My first visit to Darien Lake was in the early 1970’s when our children were very young. The park had just recently opened and consisted of dirt roads surrounding a campsite on the lake. The only activity available was a ride on a hay wagon around the newly acquired territory.
Since that time, Darien Lake Theme Park Resort at 9993 Allegheny Road, Darien Center, New York 14040 has evolved into a wonderful vacation destination for families who want to camp out or to seek more comfortable accommodations at the only hotel on the grounds, which is called The Lodge on the Lake.
I had occasion to spend a recent weekend at this hotel and was amazed at the variety of activities which are available to families. A beautiful outdoor pool awaits you as you walk out the back door of The Lodge on the Lake. From there, you can walk to the amusement park via a paved walkway which is probably a quarter-mile long. Fortunately, there are benches placed strategically on the pathway to accommodate the more faint-hearted or the elderly who cannot manage the strenuous exercise needed to get to the amusement park.
The fee to enter the amusement park is included in your stay at the hotel or the campsite. You are given a wristband to wear which is your entry ticket. The wristband also allows you to go on any of the midway rides in the park. There are several restaurants available inside the park. The latest establishment is the Anchor Bar, which is a branch of the famous Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York, known for its creation of the first Chicken Wings, which are now known throughout the country. Several other eating places are available, such as Subway, Maria’s Spaghetti House, Crossroads Café, and many other concessions selling fast food items.
Local products are used at restaurants and cafes in the park. Buffalo is famous for Sahlen’s Hot Dogs, Weber’s Mustard, and Perry’s Ice Cream, all of which are available at Darien Lake.
The Performing Arts Center in the Park has already hosted this season Tim McGraw, the Dave Matthews Band, and the Zac Brown Band. Coming soon will be Kid Rock, Brad Paisley, Toby Keith, the Jonas Brothers, John Mayer, the Allman Brothers Band, and Rascal Flatts, to name a few.
A new innovation this year is the Laser Show which is called “Ignite the Night.” Every night before the show, the producers must contact the Federal Aeronautics Administration (FAA) to let them know that the laser show is about to launch. The FAA needs to alert planes in the area because the powerful lasers can affect air travel.
The weekend that I was there, Ironman was a big hit at the Fountain in the Square where he did a Meet and Greet with hundreds of children who were there that weekend. They shook his hand and posed for a picture of themselves with Ironman, which was free to all. Many adults also wanted a souvenir picture taken with Ironman.
There is something for everyone at Darien Lake, young and old alike. Check it out. You will have an unforgettable experience for yourself and your children if you take advantage of this travel destination in western New York.