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Playland

Cotton candy

On a whim, my sister, Steffie, and I decided to take my daughters to Playland, an amusement park in Rye, NY that was built on Long Island Sound in the 1920s. It’s got an Art Deco vibe and is fairly glam, as far as places hawking shaggy pink pandas, foot-long hot dogs, and “we’re number one” foam hands go. Having grown up in a neighboring town, Steffie and I passed many a hot summer day at Playland, and going back dredged up more than a few memories. As kids, we rode the Mighty Mouse and the bumper cars; in high school, we baked our skin brown at the adjoining beach, cooling down at the end of the day with one ride apiece on the famed wooden Dragon Coaster.

At six years old and four feet tall, Ava and Flora are at that in-between stage: two big for the kiddie rides, too little for most of the grown-up rides. Luckily, in true Goldilocks fashion, there are a handful of rides that are just right: the ferris wheel, the vintage carousel, and the Jumping Bean were a few of our faves. In between soaring through the sky and flailing around on the kiddie coaster, we ate Nathan’s hot dogs and soggy fries, and the girls finished off the day with hand-spun cotton candy (a world apart from that pre-made bagged stuff they sell at street fairs).

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