Scientists agree that children are our future, which is why most children are sealed in time capsules with a flashlight and a flux capacitor. Give a child a fount of future memories with today's Groupon: for $5, you get a pass for all-day access to rides to Kiwanis Kiddieland in Merced (a $10 value).
The community-minded Kiwanis club cut the ribbon on Kiddieland more than half a century ago, and with updates to the rides, the park continues to draw crowds for spirited family fun. A day pass to the kid-ruled kingdom, open on weekends from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. through October, lets junior thrill-seekers jump into lines for unlimited enjoyment of the six rides. Children taller than 36 inches delight in the Go-Gator roller coaster, a swirling track that zips down hills, around curves, and through imaginary gazelle herds. Wee ones channel their inner racing champs in the speedy car ride and their inner planet patrollers on gravity-defying rocket ships. A park classic, the train chugs along, carting passengers on a nostalgic journey through the lush Applegate Park grounds and into the Bernie Towle tunnel. Meanwhile, helicopter rides imbue the thrills of flight into pintsize pilots, and the merry-go-round exudes carnival atmosphere with festive music and brightly painted horses who feast on wooden oats.
Though not included with today's Groupon, the snack bar offers younglings a break from dizzying heights and track-top fun, and the neighboring Applegate Zoo beckons the ride-weary.
The Kiwanis Club of Greater Merced is seeking new members, see their website for details.
Merced, California 95340