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Jolly good time at Gilroy Gardens

We had planned on spending the day at Gilroy Gardens during the Thanksgiving holidays, but we found out that the theme park was gonna be closed temporarily then.  So we decided to go the weekend before Thanksgiving, and boy, we sure had a blast!


Gilroy Gardens is a family theme park, complete with rides for the kids and beautiful landscaped surroundings.  It’s like a mini Disneyland, except well…it doesn’t have all those Disney characters.  But still, it’s a very fun place to spend the day and unlike the 4-5 hour drive to Disneyland, this one only takes about an hour.


Kids and adults are bound to have endless fun here, and it was also a good way to bond with nature.  As you can see, fall has lent a warm and colorful touch to the foliage here, and the trees and plants are all so well-groomed.


One of the things I noticed in Gilroy Gardens was the existence of many weird-looking trees.  This was the first group of trees that caught my eye:


But there were even more weirder ones to come:


And look at this one, growing in a zig-zag manner!  It even has a pear-shaped fruit hanging from one of its branches!


Anyway, enough about trees already!  Let’s move on to what we did at the park…


We wanted Ethan to have a go at as many rides as possible.  Some of the rides were not suitable for him because he had not reached the minimum height requirement, whereas some of the rides required that he ride with a chaperone.

The first ride Ethan got on was the mini carousel.  He appeared very happy when he saw that he could ride on a horse.  These were all really small horses, so don’t expect adults to sit on them!  Ethan was happily strapped on, but as soon as the carousel started to move, he began to panic and screamed to be let down.  I think he figured Daddy and Mommy were not around, so he got worried, the poor dear.


So off we went to try a different ride, this time with a chaperone.  We chose the Apple & Worm ride, and I rode with him. 


At first he was happily posing for pictures, but when we started to move, he realized that his Daddy was not around, and he wanted to climb out!  The lady manning the ride had to stop the ride to let us out.

So we figured we had to start with a ride that both Daddy and Mommy can ride on with him.  And we ended up queueing up for the train ride. 


Here he is, waiting anxiously to get on.


When it came to our turn, Ethan obediently sat in his seat, put on his seat belt and held on to the safety bar.  Anxiety turned into curiosity and excitement, and then….HAPPINESS 🙂


Oh, how he enjoyed that ride.  And we were really pleased.

There was another train ride that ran all around the theme park, and as soon as we found the station, we got in line too.  Look at Ethan, he can’t even wait to get on the train now, and he wanted to climb through the gates!  He kept saying, “Open door, open door!”


But he was a good boy and didn’t put up much of a fuss.  When the train came, we got on and the look of happiness on Ethan’s face was simply priceless.


In fact, he loved the red train ride so much, we went for a second round!

Next, we made a stop at the beautiful Bonfante Falls.  They are really just mini waterfalls but intriguing, nonetheless. 


There was a section where we had to walk right under the falling waters, and of course, get wet.  That was fun, but extremely cold once we got out of there.  Good thing Ethan’s jacket had a hood.  LOL.


We also had fun in the Rock Maze, which is a confusing maze that is bound to get anyone lost.  Our boy sportingly walked in with us, that lil adventurer!


Oh, I also put on gloves for Ethan for the very first time, since it got pretty chilly in the late afternoon.


But although he kept them on for a spell, he decided to go without them after that.  I do so think the gloves suit him so, don’t you?


And finally, of course we had to make a pitstop at the children’s play structure where Ethan had a really fun time playing on the slides and the steps and the mini bridge, among others.


So much fun had he, that we had to carry him kicking and screaming away from the play area, because it was getting late and we had to head for home.

We certainly had great fun at Gilroy Gardens that day, and although the park is closed now, I believe they have something special planned for December.  Well, time can only tell if we’ll make a trip there again, but the memories we had will definitely stay with us forever.


  1. Paik Ling’s avatar

    Sure looks like fun! I hope Ethan’s mother wasn’t too tired!

    Joyce says: Nah…just a tad. But seeing that look of joy on Ethan’s face gave me renewed energy!


  2. michelle’s avatar

    Gilroy Gardens…how come not Gilroy Outlets…hehehe.

    Joyce says: Oh, we went to the outlets a few weeks back already!


  3. mom2ashleyaidan’s avatar

    i thought gilroy sounded familiar until michelle mentioned gilroy outlet!:)

    Joyce says: Aha…that struck a chord huh?


  4. rinnah’s avatar

    Lovely lovely pix! Ethan’s growing up right before my eyes… and I love how all his expressions are perfectly captured for posterity!

    Joyce says: Thank you! I’m loving all the pictures too!


  5. emelda’s avatar

    You sure have a good looking lil boy there 🙂

    Joyce says: Hey thanks Emelda! And thanks for stopping by too!


  6. anggie’s avatar

    what a nice place … btw… the tree trunk was so special lei …. like an art to me … btw, Merry Christmas to u all ….

    Joyce says: Thanks…merry Christmas to you and your family too!


  7. huisia’s avatar

    you didn’t really bundle up yourself, didn’t you feel cold??

    Joyce says: It’s not really cold, just chilly. But it is getting colder now that it’s nearing winter.


  8. KittyCat’s avatar

    I love Ethan’s pink cheeks! Lucas’ ones only turned pink when we went to super cold Beijing 😛

    I can’t help but notice how different both our sons are. On all those rides, Lucas will probably CHARGE at them and pry Mummy’s hands off! LOL

    Btw, mittens work better than gloves…

    Joyce says: Yeah? They are so different that way… But if I put mittens on, won’t the fingers “disappear”?


  9. slavemom’s avatar

    Another fun family outing! Those trees r really weird-looking huh. And love all the pics of happy good-lookin’ Ethan. 😉

    Joyce says: Yup, we had fun all right!


  10. health freak’s avatar

    That looks like a very very fun outing. Gee, those tree barks sure look unique!

    Joyce says: I really could not get enough of those trees!



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