A 35-minute drive from our house in Berkeley, Pixieland Amusement Park was a super fun day for all three of my kids (age 2, 6, and 8) in a contained area small enough that it wasn't a problem to parent alone. Think of it as a more modern (some say better, others say charmless), smaller version of Fairyland.
Admission is free but you pay per ride carnival-style. Tickets are $2.35 each. Buy books of 10 or 20 tickets with a discount for bulk purchasing, which gets them closer to $1.80 each. With that in mind, allow me to give you a tour…
Red Baron Airplane (1 ticket): Exactly like at Oakland Zoo. Little one was scared; big ones were bored. Preschoolers love it though.
Dragon Roller coaster (2 tix): Perfect intensity for my 6- and 8-year-olds.
Tea cups (1 ticket): Great if you like the spinny rides. My 2-year old discovered mid-ride that he's not a fan; My 8-year old sat out.
Frog hopper (1 ticket): Both big kids loved it.
Carousel (1 ticket/person): Kinda fast for a merry-go-round. We learned that if you yell, “I don't want to do it,” the operator will stop the ride for you and let you move from a horsie to a bench, even if you're two. Little kids require adults and adults require tickets. Even on the bench.
Windy Grove Cars (1 each): This was the toddler's most favorite ride — he got to DRIVE a car!! — and, oddly enough, he rode for free. The big boys seemed to enjoy it, too.
Pixieland Express Train (2 tix): Runs occasionally so check the schedule. It's a train and, thus, a must-do.
Okay, that's it. You've seen the entire park. There is a picnic area and a few coin-op games that we avoided.
Prices: Tickets are $2.25 each or you can purchase multi-packs, such as 20 tickets for $36.
For myself and three kids, we spent $50. That felt like a splurge of an outing.
There is a large, free parking lot.
2740 E Olivera Rd, Concord, CA 94519
Pixieland is open on weekends only until Spring Break. Days and hours vary throughout the year, so check the Pixieland calendar.
Bottom line: It was a super fun outing and next time we go, I'll look for a deal on ride prices. The boys all loved it. Pixeland is also a small enough amusement park that when the big kids left their hats on the dragon coaster, I sent them back in alone to find them. I would never do that at Fairyland.