Darien Lake is an amusement park between Rochester and Buffalo, NY that has tent camping, glamping, cabins, and RV Rentals. It also has the Darien Lake hotel, the Lodge on the Lake. We had an opportunity to spend a few days at the hotel in early summer and really enjoyed the convenience to the theme park.
We were looking for a weekend getaway at the start of summer vacation that wasn’t too far of a drive. The Lodge on the Lake offered great packages for 3 nights or more stays for season pass holders. Darien Lake offers season pass holders special deals and discounts through the season.
Always check out these rates, even if you do not have a pass. It may save you more money to get the passes, especially if you live close and may visit again. I was a little hesitant to stay 3 nights, but the price was less for 3 nights as opposed to 2 and I figured we could always leave early if we wanted.
The Darien Lake hotel has a rustic lodge theme and for being almost 20 years old it was clean and updated. We stayed in a 2 queen bedroom with a pull out sofa. As a family of five hotel travel can be tricky on who sleep where. I really liked the pull out sofa because it was in the same room as the queen beds.
I know some parents prefer a separate sleeping area but my kids feel more comfortable when we are all in the same room. The room and bathroom were clean and we were very happy with it. There was also a coffee maker and refrigerator in our room. If we stay again I would pack more snacks and food for the room.
The lobby has a small cafe and gift shop. The gift shop sells s’mores kits and other toiletries and souvenirs. Outside there is a pool, seating area, and a life size chess board. Honestly we could have spent more time here then we did. The pool was heated and the kids enjoyed playing chess.
On Saturday night we returned to hotel early, ordered a pizza at the cafe and enjoyed it poolside while the kids played. There is a fire pit, but we were fast asleep before dark most nights. It is very tranquil and beautiful with Adirondack chairs lining the views of the lake. The walk to the park is a 5 minute stroll along the lake.
The rides at Darien Lake are your typical amusement park rides. They have a few roller coaster and spinning/circle rides. My daughter is over 48 inches and can do a few of the roller coasters. Some she is not tall enough to ride yet. They have two small kiddie ride sections that the kids like. This year will be my daughters last year riding some of them because they have a maximum height.
A ride worth waiting for, because of its originality, is Moose on the Loose. You ride on a Moose that goes along a track. My youngest loves this ride and chants “Moose, Moose, Moose on the Loose!” whenever he wants to ride it. It is a funny ride and you should ride it at least once. For all the rides check the height requirements on the website and the height of your child. You don’t want to promise a ride that your child does not meet requirements for. We also like the Moto-Coaster. It is a launch coaster and you sit on a motorcycle with the restraints coming from your back. It’s fun but a little challenging to get to. You will find it in the back of the park behind the antique cars.
They also have a nice water park. Plan on arriving early to the waterpark to claim a chair and get in line for your favorite slide. It gets busy fast, especially on hot days. The waterpark opens at 10:30am, slides/Hook’s Lagoon open at 11:00am.
If your kids (and you)and you can stay until park close I recommend seeing the laser light show. It is on the hill at the back of the park, it’s marked on the park map. Bring a blanket and arrive 45-30 minutes early. I suggest picking up some snacks or bring your own and find a good spot for the show.
At the close of the park the show begins and it is a laser show that includes fireworks and popular music with lasers projected on a screen. They sell glow sticks but I usually buy some at the dollar store and bring my own. This is a really nice end to the day and it was awesome to walk back to our hotel room instead of the parking lot for the drive home.
The Lodge on the Lake was a happy surprise. It was nice to go back to the room to regroup, change after riding water rides, and turn in for the night after the laser show(which starts at 10:15pm). The hotel was clean and the staff was friendly. I was happy with the overall service and the proximity to the park. We stayed 3 nights but I think 2 nights would be enough to enjoy everything and if we did it again we would spend more time relaxing at the pool.
Have you ever stayed at The Lodge on the Lake? Let me know in the comments section what you thought.