I enjoyed a visit to Remlinger Farms last week with my son and his play date. This was our first trip of the summer to the family farm, amusement park and corporate picnic site located in rural east King County in Carnation.
We’ve been visiting Remlinger Farms for years, several times every summer, since a friend at the convinced me to buy summer passes for myself and our kids.
Remlinger Farms, at 32610 N.E. 32nd St., is a great place for a play date on a summer day or a special place to visit with your kids and grandparents in tow. Most of the park’s rides and attractions are best suited for toddlers to kids under age 12. It remains one of my favorite places to spend with my family on a summer day.
The park's Family Fun amusement park section is open seven days a week from mid-June until the end of August. In September and October the amusement rides are open for only select dates, mostly weekends. It then closes for the remainder of the year. The Family Fun rides open again, for weekends, in May. During the summer, the park rides open at 10:30 a.m. and close at 4:30 p.m. The market selling produce, frozen pies and assorted farm-themed gift items is open from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday-Saturday and on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
One-Day Admission and Season Passes
One-day admission to the amusement park is $11.98. Babies age 12 months and under are free and seniors age 65 and over are $9.81. If you plan to visit the park several times over the summer, the summer and season passes are definitely a good deal. A season pass, which allows you to enter the park seven days a week May through September, is $59. Summer passes cost $48.87 and are good any weekday at the park through August. Passes also entitle you to a 10 percent discount at the restaurant and market.
After you pay admission or show your pass, you’ll receive a plastic wristband. The wristband will allow you to enter and exit the park for the rest of the day.
The Rides and Attractions
Remlinger's Family Fun amusement park features some of the popular rides you’ll find at Disneyland–on a smaller scale, and “farm themed.” If you've been to Disneyland, you’ll have a sense of déjà vu when you watch the flying pumpkin ride and realize that it is very similar to the famous Dumbo ride. Instead of whirling teacups, you’ll find whirling Root Beer barrels. There is a fabulous train ride past emus, alpacas, goats and cows, a toddler-size mini ferris wheel and carousel, a canoe ride, a small roller coaster and a car ride featuring vintage cars.
One of the most popular “rides” at Remlinger's is the pony ride. Kids must meet height and weight restrictions.
For active kids Remlinger's is a great place to work out all that energy on “kid-powered” attractions. Active play options at the park include a new rock climbing attraction, a fort, a popular kid-powered bike "race track" and several vintage vehicles to climb in and around, including tractors, a school bus and fire truck.
Some New Changes
My son was bummed on our recent visit that the hay maze he loved to dash around in is gone. The stacked bales of hay have been replaced with more of a “hay pit” that he still enjoyed playing in, bordered by a climbing wall of sorts on one side and a plastic slide with plastic tubes to climb through on the other side. Not the same experience but probably will cause less stress on some parents whose kids got lost in the maze. The popular car ride was closed during our visit and a new addition of a climbing structure wasn’t open. But all the other old “Remlinger favorites,” including my favorite, the train ride, were up and running smoothly.
Wash Hands After Visting The Farm's Residents
Remlinger's is a fun place to visit largely because of the farm animals that live at the park, including turkeys, ponies, goats, cows, bunnies and some more exotic residents such as peacocks and emus. There is a barn on site where kids can visit some of the residents up close and, until recently, buy food pellets to feed their animal pals with, although all the pellet machines were closed on our visit.
If your kids decide to visit the barn, take note of the sinks stationed at both entrances. After exiting the barn, have them wash their hands, with lots of soap and warm water, especially before having snacks or lunch.
There are two sets of restrooms for the park. The first is located inside the market building, behind the cushy climbing train, next to the restaurant. The second is in the Family Fun ride area, opposite the pony rides, in the same building the theater is housed in. If you need to change a diaper, head for the restroom inside the market building.
Beverage, Snack and Meal Options
You are not allowed to bring your own food in the park but I always pack water for my kids and their guests. On a hot day with all the walking, climbing and pedaling, they get thirsty. You can refill water bottles at the water fountains located around the park, including by the bike ride.
Bottled water and other beverages are available from a vending machine at the train station, as well as from the snack stand at the theater and inside at the market and restaurant. There are also several smaller food service outlets throughout the park that are usually open only on weekends and during festivals. You can bring a picnic and eat it in your car or head over to nearby Fall City or Carnation for lunch.
I enjoy taking my kids to the market restaurant as a treat. The restaurant is open seven days a week. Toddlers and younger kids will like the peanut and jelly or turkey sandwich “lunch box” option, which comes with drink, chips and a cookie. Parents and grandparents enjoy Remlinger's delicious soups and the variety of options from the restaurant's grill, including hamburgers. Meals here are not cheap but they are always delicious and served at your table. The ice cream at the restaurant is above average and my kids frequently request a cone on the way out for the ride home.
How to Have a Great Day at the Park, No Matter the Weather or Challenges, By Planning Ahead
You’ll have a great day at the park if you plan ahead. Pack a backpack with water bottles, sunscreen, hats for sun protection, a camera, a plastic bag and a spare pair of clothes for each kid in case of an accident. If you forget anything, hats, shirts and just about anything else you may need are available for sale at the gift shop. If you bring a stroller, you’ll need to park it nearby before you get on the rides.
If you are coming with grandparents, take note that the amusement park's attractions are spread out. If they are tired or have mobility challenges, you might want to park them occasionally on the benches for a rest while you accompany the kids to the nearby rides.
The roller coaster, while small, is very fast and makes sharp turns. So, it is not a great ride for anyone with back problems or who might be pregnant. Avoid the barrel ride on a full tummy or if you easily get dizzy.
If it starts to rain, note there is a great foam climbing train inside the market near the restaurant and several train sets for kids to play with. Kids older than 6 are not allowed on the foam train and kids should take shoes off before hopping aboard.
Every day the amusement ride operators get a break from 1:30 to 2 p.m. The good news is this is a great time to grab lunch or enjoy a live show at the farm theater or take a pony ride.
Come Early, During the Week To Avoid Crowds
My daughter is one of those kids who hates crowds. So, I learned early on that the least crowded time at Remlinger's is when the park first opens, during the week. Weekends and during the fall harvest festivals, the park can get packed. In contrast, I have often arrived at the park with my kids and play dates in tow during the week and they have enjoyed no lines and the luxury of riding their favorite rides over and over with no wait.
Pick Your Own Berries and Enjoy A Working Farm
Although Remlinger Farms is well known for the amusement park and corporate picnic sites, the farm remains a “working farm” and your family can come here to pick a variety of produce from raspberries in July, to blueberries in August to pumpkins in October. They provide the containers at the fields so you just need to show up and dress to mess. Their produce is also available for sale in the market. It is a great way to show your kids that produce does not grow at the grocery store and is the result of the hard work and care of farmers.
Have an "Exit Strategy" for the Gift Shop and Take Home A Pie
The exit from the park takes you through a tempting array of souvenirs and gift items. I usually tell my kids that they can have one souvenir for the summer season and are welcome to browse until they find just the right item. The animal puppets are adorable and there are a variety of beautiful handmade consignment items, including fairy crowns that are hard to resist. So better to plan ahead and avoid the fights going out the door.
One item I usually don't leave the park without is a frozen pie from the market store. Remlinger's pies are exceptional in quality and fill your home with a wonderful scent as they bake.