In our search for amusement centers in and around the Chicagoland area, we have experienced a number of hidden surprises Indoors! The beauty of an indoor amusement park/party place is that the invite never has to say, “Weather Permitting”! Since it is of great importance to report our findings based on an actual “kids view”, it has been up to my grandkids to ride the rides and play the games. Yesterday, we visited Safari Land, a world filled with adventure located just west of Chicago in Villa Park.
As you know, this is not the first of our visits to indoor parks, having just been down the street in Lombard and all the way up in Lake County/Waukegan where one of the highlights is indoor mini-golf that glows in the dark. each amusement center has its own specialty and Safari land has a unique indoor roller coaster that all of the kids LOVED! Even, the biggest kid of them all, ME!. Sarah was in heaven, Adam took the first car, front seat on his first ride and then moved to the middle on ride number two. Rebecca, who is only four only went one time, but enjoyed the ride and screamed with the rest of us- not in fear, but in delight!
The center is filled with rides that are for the most part for the kids that are five and up” The Tilt-A-Whirl, Bumper-Cars ( Sarah went after Adam and won two of her battles ( ah, sibling rivalry). There are Kiddie-Go-Karts, a Merry-go-round and the amazing “max Flight” ( before you eat, not after). Another highlight to the trip is the Lion’s Den, a great spot for the little ones to climb, slide and explore. They can be in the head of an animal or in a jungle vehicle. The kids had a ball doing this and despite being 9, Adam was not bored. His favorite part of the experience at safari land was indeed the roller coaster although the bumper cars were pretty high on his list. For Rebecca, the Lion’s Den was her favorite.
Of course, there are games, as is the case in all of the centers we have visited. For our youngsters, this is their initiation into the world of “gaming”, but here they win tickets which are then redeemed for prizes. They can save them for larger prizes if they are coming back or cash in on the visit. Safari Land works more like a casino in they have Adventure Cards that are used instead of carrying a cup of tokens around and a bag full of coupons/tickets. This is something different and new so the counter people at redemption did have a bit of a headache in getting al the prizes handled. Travis did a great job of keeping his composure and the crowd under control.
When making this journey, food becomes apart of the experience. Chucky Cheese ( a much older and smaller indoor amusement type of park) has a limited menu and of course no rides that even come close to what Safari land offers, but they do have a decent package with pizza and tokens. Safari Land also offers “Cosmic Bowling” which kids adore.
We tried the pizza ( well made, tasty and a great size for the family) and some of the tastiest french fries we have had. The menu also features appetizers Wings, Chips/Cheese/salsa, Nachos, Chicken Fingers, salads, Pastas, Hot Dogs, Polish and Chicken as well as a special selection of Kids items, most under $2.50. The center is unique in that Portillos is in the same center, so they have had to bring their food to a new level to keep those at Safari Land from walking down the parking lot- they have done so. Food was good, prices very affordable and the service delightful.
Birthday parties are a specialty at all of these indoor amusement plazas and at Safari Land , there are special rooms of all sizes and packages that are as comfy and affordable as you desire. Company outings and “lock-ins ” are also available. For more info, visit www.safarilandfun.com or call 630-530-4649. One thing that i want to say is the quality of service is outstanding. Despite this being a holiday week-end and as the day progressed the crowds grew , the staff was always there to make sure that we ( the we means all of those visiting the center) were happy. I will say that the kids expressed a let down in the number of games compared to some of the other spots visited but loved the roller coaster and bumper cars. They do have some specials that include unlimited bumper cars, tilt-a-whirl, Monkey Jump, Lion’s den and Merry Go Round as well as two rides on Kiddie Go Carts, Roller Coaster and Max Flight , on weekends for $20 ( subject to change, so check on the site first) In fact, I would check on the site for any other offers and times, as well as birthday packages.