The day after Thanksgiving and the day before my birthday we had a special Family day together, which we spent at Gilroy Gardens. I've mentioned Gilroy Gardens before (here) but this trip we got to experience their Spooky Boo and prolong our Halloween celebration one more day.
It was the perfect day to go, the weather was sunny with a breeze and the crowds were minimal, a win-win!
The Halloween decorations were awesome, not scary at all but festive and fun. The soundtrack had all Halloween- themed music and included the Harry Potter theme song, which Kinsey loved and Michael Jackson's Thriller which Brian and Brielana loved. The X Files theme song also came on and put a smile on Brian's face, it's the little things ;)
Kinsey has been super into Scavenger Hunts lately so she happily accepted the Spooky Scavenger Hunt challenge that highlighted different spots around the park in which to enjoy some spooky fun. The only one she didn't go all the way through was the rock maze because she said it was "too scary".
Our first ride was the Carousel and it was a Kinsey and Mommy only ride. Actually, we did most of the rides together while Brian and Brielana hung out which was a big contrast from last years visit when Brielana was only a month old and dependent on me.
We hit up almost all the rides because Kinsey is a thrill seeker but she was particularly bummed she couldn't go on the banana boat because she was too short. She said next time she would be tall enough to ride it and then ran off to another attraction.
Our view of Brian and Brielana from the top of the Ferris Wheel.
It took some bargaining but we were finally able to sit down for some lunch at the Castroville Artichoke shack for some fried artichoke hearts and garlic fries and enjoyed a nice cold Coke. Because #yum. Also, taking an us-ie with these two is pretty challenging.
One place I wish we had found sooner was The Green Barn. It's new and filled with awesome science, reading and discovery items. There were fossils, hands-on treasures (rocks, stones, crystals, etc.) a book nook and art studio and this adorable monarch caterpillar just hanging out. I have no pictures because we were all so enchanted by it but it was by far my favorite exhibit.
I also spied a sign for a Charlie Brown Christmas program and I'm hoping we'll make the trip back to see it! Kinsey is a big Peanuts fan and will periodically ask when we're going back to Gilroy Gardens to see Snoopy.
The 'gardens' part of Gilroy Gardens are beautiful. There are also some small man-made waterfalls that Kinsey loved running through and getting wet. And how amazing is that sunflare?! Talk about magical.
Kinsey was extra excited about this garden, her favorite cousin is also named Claudia.
Someone else got soaked too.
As we were leaving, we just HAD to put Brielana on her first ride and this two seater Firetruck fit the bill. The girls both loved it and it ended our day on the perfect note.
As we were exciting we got suckered into the Petting Zoo area (or I should say Brian and Kinsey did, Brielana and I watched from the fence) and had some fun with the goats.
We turned in out map in exchange for a goodie bag and we beat the crowds out around 430p. Pretty much instantly the girls passed out making it a quiet ride back home. Gilroy Gardens, you didn't disappoint!
In exchange for this review I was given tickets to Gilroy Gardens courtesy of US Family Guide. All opinions are my own.