Story Land

Geared to Young Children, the New Hampshire Theme Park Beguiles

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© Arthur Levine.

Kids 12 and older probably wouldn’t be interested in Story Land, but younger children would revel in its beguiling charm. And adults would adore the almost palpable nostalgia. Dating back to the mid-1950s, the front section of the park retains many of its original storybook tableaus such as the Old Woman in the Shoe, Humpty Dumpty, and the Three Little Pigs (with real pigs!). 

The back of the park offers more modern-day attractions including a wonderful raft ride, a steel roller coaster, and a log flume ride, but the thrills are mostly toned down to pint-size levels—with one huge exception. In 2014, the park added Roar-O-Saurus, a small, but surprisingly potent wooden roller coaster. It is part of a delightful dinosaur-themed area. The coaster can be a tad rough, so it might be wise to have young children give the much tamer Polar Coaster a try first; if they are okay with that (or have been on more aggressive coasters before), then they would probably be okay with Roar-O-Saurus.

Nobody would ever mistake Story Land for Disneyland, although the seasonal park does have some impressive animated characters among its attractions. And like Walt Disney's original park, there is a playful sense of innocence, a wonderful melding of the old and the new, and small surprises around every corner.

A subterranean gopher making an impromptu appearance or an encounter with Heidi's grandfather generate as much glee as a ride aboard an antique carousel or the Bamboo Chutes log flume. Set amid the picture-perfect backdrop of New Hampshire's White Mountains, the park is impeccably maintained.

Story Land offers decent value. In addition to its reasonable admission fee, parking is free and pet kennels are complimentary. Food prices are lower than most parks. Even the gift shops are limited to a reasonable number.

The Morrell family had owned and operated Story Land until 2007 when it sold the park to Kennywood Entertainment, a small company whose park portfolio featured Kennywood amusement park, near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In late 2007, a Spain-based chain of parks purchased Kennywood Entertainment. The international operator has maintained the quality standards, commitment to value, and captivating vibe that has characterized Story Land for decades.

Admission Info, Operating Season, and Location

Admission to the park includes all rides, attractions, and shows. Children under 3 are admitted free. Reduced rates are available for select dates in May and early June. Guests arriving after 3 p.m. receive a complimentary pass to visit an additional day. Season passes are available. Reduced prices may be available by purchasing tickets in advance at Story Land's official Web site.

Story Land is open Memorial Day through Columbus Day. The park is located in Glen, New Hampshire. The address is 850 NH Route 16. Directions from Boston: I-93N to Exit 23, New Hampton, NH. Route 104E to Meredith and the junction of Routes 25 and 3. Take Route 25 northeast to West Ossipee and onto Route 16 N through North Conway to Story Land.

What's to Eat?

Story Land offers the usual assortment of park food, including burgers, fries, and pizza. Among its more interesting choices are a BBQ pulled pork sandwich and grilled cheese available with a variety of additional toppings. Hawaiian shaved ice is also on the menu.