Rookie Dad Adventures - a Road Trip to Moncton, New Brunswick

Thursday, May 8, 2014

posted by Romy (@daddontlie)

Rookie Dad Adventures - a Road Trip to Moncton

Crystal Palace, Magnetic Hill Zoo & Being an age-pushing parent

Do you feel like an age pusher sometimes as a parent?  As a rookie dad, I'm starting to realize that I am. I don't know what it is, but it's like you want your child to develop faster when he's already growing up too fast.

When Kyrie was a couple months old, I wanted him to be crawling and babbling.  When he was seven months old, I already wanted him to be walking.  Now that he's ten months old, I want Kyrie to be three years old enjoying an amusement park, so in our latest adventure, we decided to take him to one.

I officially started my two month parental leave, getting a much needed break from work and now having more time to spend with my son. So Naomi and I decided to take our first road trip of my leave; an adventure to Moncton, New Brunswick.  The itinerary: Crystal Palace indoor amusement park and the Magnetic Hill Zoo.

Now, we had a little apprehension about going to an amusement park with a ten month old.  Would it be too stimulating for him? Would he be crying the whole time? Would he even appreciate the rides? We gave the park a call, and they said he could go on four rides at the park.  Why not?  We like parenting adventures, so we booked a hotel and went on our three hour road trip. Here's the recap.

Day 1: Crystal Palace
First stop, Crystal Palace.  We went on Tuesday afternoon, which was ideal....the place was dead.  I remembered this place buzzing with hundreds of screaming kids running all over place when I was last here.  This time around, the place was near empty and we pretty much had the whole park to ourselves. For Kyrie, this was probably the best circumstances to be introduced to Crystal Palace.  We bought some tickets and took him on a few rides: the carousel, a train ride, mini airplanes and mini trucks. Did he enjoy the rides? Not really. He didn't cry or vomit, he just kind of had a blank look on his face, which is not typical for this boy who is normally all smiles. He got more enjoyment out of watching other kids go on the rides while he ate his soda crackers and applesauce. All in all, it was fun, but more so for my wife-- she rode the roller coaster and the Wave Swinger by herself while Kyrie and I watched.

Day 2: Magnetic Hill Zoo
Next stop, the zoo.  This was something a little more up Kyrie's alley. We had already taken him to Oaklawn Farm Zoo and he has two cats and a dog at home, so he already has an appreciation for animals. Although both zoos are great, the one in Moncton is a bit bigger, with more to see. The animals were pretty active and really put on a show. They've got wrestling bears, tigers and lions that you can see up close, squirrel monkeys (similar to the Ikea monkey) and more. He definitely enjoyed the zoo and we would go again...even just for those squirrel monkeys.

Overall, it was a fun road trip for the family but I realized one thing: babies are simple.  They don't need fancy amusement parks or an impressive zoo with animals from all over the world for enjoyment. For Kyrie (and probably most babies) he would rather a ride on my shoulders through the parking lot than a ride at Crystal Palace. Can Kyrie appreciate the difference between an African Lion and our old cat at home? I don't think so. He prefers looking at our old cat....and he can barely walk.

These mini adventures are fun when he's young, but the most important part is being able to spend time together as a family--- it doesn't matter if it's at Crystal Palace, a zoo, playing with toys on our hotel room floor or in our living room at home. Am I an age-pusher? Sure. But it's just because I look forward to all the fun things we can do together as a family while he's a kid.

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Romy is a dad, husband and blogger based out of Halifax.  He also writes about hoops too at  For dirty diaper stories,  follow him on Twitter @DadDontLie and for hoops talk, follow @RomyAquino

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