We started out our day looking to go to the art museum, but silly me didn’t read the times correctly and showed up an hour early. It was also incredibly cold out and we were searching for something to do with the kids indoors, close by and that was opened before 11am on a Sunday. See the challenge? We found that Nickelodeon Universe opened up at 10:30 so it worked great for us. Even though it wasn’t that close, the drive there would get us there right at the opening time. Since we were on a new adventure we told my daughter that we were headed to the mall. She had no idea what was waiting for her in the center of this mall.
There are multiple ways to get rides tickets at Nickelodeon Universe. You can pay per ‘point’ or you can get an unlimited ride wristband. What you choose is really dependent on how much you want to spend and how many rides you wish to go on. A lot of time you can find a wristband deal for around $20 dollars around the cities. I see people selling them on Facebook Garage sale sites all the time for that price. Cub Foods has also been doing a promotion for discounted tickets. Otherwise, at the gate, it’s closer to $35. If you buy online, it’s $30. You pick up the wristbands at the ticket kiosk. If you have a smartphone, you can take advantage of the online discount right there. You can also buy points in any increments. The points don’t expire and everyone in your party can use the point package. Depending on what attractions you want to do, you could burn through points pretty quick. I would check on their promotions page to see what the best deal is before you go. It’s always changing.
With my kids still going on the smaller rides that only cost about 3 points per ride, we chose to just buy a points package. They were both able to go on most of the rides once and we still have half our points left over to go again. My youngest, almost 2, was able to go on the bulk of the kid’s rides as long as he had a chaperone. The nice thing about chaperones is that they do not have to pay!
I’ve been to the park a few times before and found that weekends can be kind of busy, especially if it’s cold and snowy out. The weekdays have the opposite effect. It’s usually dead. So dead in fact, that the kid’s rides rotate every 15 minutes on which ones are open. You just have to plan our your trip a little more on these days. During the week, they also have a Toddler Tuesday specials on wristbands. They are only available for kids (5hr limit) and cost $11.95.
All of the rides in the park are designed especially for an indoor setting. The thrill factor is not as high as the outdoor parks. Don’t let that discourage the thrill seekers, you’ll find something. My daughter was finally big enough to go on the Log Chute ride and begged to go on it. The thing that is really interesting about the ride is the way they developed it. It is designed so the water pushes out and doesn’t soak the riders. You are still on a water ride, so expect to get misted a little. While my daughter was pretty brave, she was probably still a little too young for it and got scared. The funny thing is I don’t think that I could have convinced her of that without her going on it. The nice thing was, I didn’t have her bugging me too much about going on any other big kid rides because he was thoroughly scared. I think it really just depends on the kid though.
I think one of my favorite rides to watch as a spectator is the kids bumper cars, known as Rugrats Raptarmobiles. They are specially designed for the little kids and they will not let the parents in the car with them. These kids, do not fully understand the dynamics of how to operate bumper cars. It took a good thirty seconds for the to realize that there is a gas pedal and in order to get the car to move, you have to press it down… the whole time. Once they mastered that, they had to figure out the steering. It required you to turn and then straighten out the wheel. It’s a really hard concept. All of the parents are on the sidelines trying to coach them on how to operate the cars. For a long time, my daughter just spun around in circles. There were two kids that spent 2.5 of the 3-minute ride stuck facing each other with their foots on the gas unable to separate from each others car. As a parent, you think about how much each ride cost and you want them to take advantage of every second of fun. But you have to just forget about that laugh at the situation.
What I love about Nickelodeon Universe, is that they are always trying to change it up and add in more thrills. Like the rest of the mall, they have to keep it fresh. One of the newer things that I’ve been dying to try is the Dutchman’s Deck Adventure Course and Zipline. Unfortunately, whenever I go, I’m with the kids and I don’t want to make them sit back and watch me. Maybe on my next date night, I can convince my husband to go. All and all it was a great little impromptu adventure.