Facebook | Diggerland USA

'Diggerland' Amusement Park Lets Kids Safely Operate Construction Machinery

My little cousin is absolutely obsessed with construction equipment, to the point where his last birthday party was literally dump truck-themed and every present was, of course, a dump truck.

But, he's also five years old, so odds are it's going to be years before he ever finds himself operating the kind of machines he's currently obsessing over. That is, if his interests don't suddenly change dramatically before then.

For now, his life is all about construction stuff. And if this sounds like a kid in your life too, I think I've just found the perfect theme park to help them live out their machine-fueled dreams.

Welcome to Diggerland USA, where children can operate all the construction equipment they could possibly want, and more.

Facebook | Diggerland USA

Located in West Berlin, New Jersey, this theme park allows kids to get up close and personal with the sort of machinery they've likely only interacted with in miniature form.

That includes backhoes, drum-rollers, bulldozers, you name it.

Facebook | Diggerland USA

According to its website, it's the only park of its kind in North America, so if your kid happens to love all things construction, this would definitely be the spot to go.

There are over 40 attractions spanning more than 21 acres of land for visiting children to explore and enjoy.

Facebook | Diggerland USA

Kids can try their hand at maneuvering a 1,310-pound dump truck through a specially designed course, or snatch up faux floating ducks from a pond with a mini-excavator.

Don't feel like getting behind the wheel of a machine? No problem!

Facebook | Diggerland USA

Try taking a ride on the Dig-Around carousel made of seats resembling excavator buckets, or even experience a simulated dump-out of the back of a steel demolition trailer as it dangles kids 34 feet in the air.

And in case you were wondering, all of Diggerland's attractions are situated in controlled environments to ensure guests' safety while operating the equipment.

Facebook | Diggerland USA

Each of the rides also has specific height and weight restrictions, as outlined on the website, but in general the child must be at least 36" (or 3 feet) tall before operating a machine, and even then they may still require parental or guardian assistance.

Tickets start at $40 for a day pass, but you can also purchase seasonal passes for $70 each.

Facebook | Diggerland USA

Not only does your ticket give you access to Diggerland and all of its fantastic attractions, but you can also check out the Water Main water park.

Yep, that's right, there's also a water park and it certainly stays true to the construction theme! Kids can zoom through the Pipeline water slide, or cool down at the Downpour Derby splash pad.

While certainly meant to help stimulate children's creativity and help them have some fun, Diggerland is also trying to squash some preconceived notions about the world of construction.

Facebook | Diggerland USA

After all, trades jobs and manual labor positions don't always get the best rap when it comes to career choices for children.

And that's a perception that seems hard to eliminate.

Facebook | Diggerland USA

“You may not be able to document it, but word on the street is that guidance counselors are telling kids, ‘Don’t settle for something dirty,’” Ken Simonson, chief economist at the trade group Associated General Contractors told Bloomberg. “We have to counteract this notion that young people need an indoor job to get ahead.”

Diggerland's owners are brothers Ilya and Yan Girlya who said they came up with the park as a way to encourage children experience what it's like working in construction.

Facebook | Diggerland USA

“We’re taking a piece of real-world equipment and making it kid-friendly and snack-sized,” Ilya told Bloomberg. "You’re supposed to drive the machines and experience what it’s like."

The park opened in 2014 and has only continued to grow in popularity.

Facebook | Diggerland USA

It now offers birthday packages, Fourth of July celebrations, and will even let families camp out at the park. For more information, check out the Diggerland website.

h/t: Bloomberg

Filed Under: