Confession of a hooky rookie (or how we skipped school to go to an amusement park)

I have a tiny confession to make.

We played hooky last Thursday to take a trip to Dutch Wonderland.

It just sort of happened. John and I realized we could take the same day off from work. Leo is in the last days of the school year. Besides, we figured if we went during the week before school let out, we could beat the crowds and the summer heat at the amusement park.
It was the best decision we have made in a long time. We had an absolutely fantastic day.

Now I don’t want you to think a day of playing hooky isn’t an educational experience.

We did some reading.

We did some measuring.

We learned about physics.

We also learned a bit about fear (and how amazing my husband is to go on rides I’m scared of, which is all of them).

We went back in time to see some oviparous creatures.

We talked about Venice while riding a gondola.

We learned that “mono” means one.

We watched an artist at work.

Mainly, though, we just enjoyed being together. It felt like a mini-vacation, uninterrupted time for our family of four.

There were no lines, no crowds, no waiting of any kind. We sailed through the park, enjoyed every person we encountered, and even made a stop by the schoolhouse there.

“You can tell your teacher we did go to school today,” I told our kindergartener, “just a different one.”

Leo gave me a look. No fooling that child. He’s practically in first grade, you know.

On the way home we all agreed it was a perfect day. The weather, the park, the togetherness, the fact that the boys were old enough to ride most of the rides all added up to a successful outing.

In fact, I’d absolutely do it again. No regrets. So this isn’t much of a confession, is it?

Over the weekend I was talking to Daniel and I said, “if you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?”

“You know,” he said.

“Ireland?” I asked, remembering that he asked for a trip to Ireland last week.


“China?” I said.

“No,” he said. “It starts with a Buh Buh Buh.”

“Um…” I said, trying to think of a B place and striking out. “Fort McHenry?”

“Yes!” he said, probably thinking how dense his mother is. “Well, actually it starts with Dutch Dutch Dutch.”

“Dutch Wonderland?”


Next time we might not need to skip a day of school. But just in case, I spent a few minutes interviewing a park employee to find out which weekdays have the smallest crowds (Tuesday and Wednesday).

It was a day of learning, after all.

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.