Disclosure: We received complimentary tickets to Gilroy Gardens to facilitate the review, no other compensation was received and all opinions are 100% honest and my own.
From waterfalls to thrills Gilroy Gardens was a delight to our entire family. Having kids two,four and six rarely do we feel we really get much from visiting family fun centers or theme parks, other than exhaustion and disappointed kids. Even with most having a kids section they rarely have more than a few rides that Luke, our two year old can ride if any at all and Lily, being a bit on the shorter side is right there with him disappointed and watching Ariana have fun on rides designed for 42" or taller. Gilroy Gardens on the other hand completely caters to the “vertically” challenged little ones by allowing them to ride all but 3 or 4 rides, in the whole park. Plus, most of the rides also allowed for a chaperone so even the small kids that are too small to go alone can still ride with their chaperone. And as a chaperone that means the whole family is on a ride together sharing the experience.
One of my favorite things about the park is the way the designers avoided creating a concrete jungle with seemingly endless lines in direct sunlight like other parks. Long lines gates are few and far between at Gilroy Gardens. At Gilroy Gardens you find shaded lines with natural cover ranging from bamboo two stories high to beautiful canopies of flowers. As well as scenic walkways that allow for you to take in the scenery and pace yourself as to avoid line pile ups. Also if you ever get too warm you can always take a refreshing walk under the beautiful waterfalls or run around with the kiddos in the water feature area.
While visiting we enjoyed a family pizza meal deal for lunch and I have to say in our experience as avid amusement park visitors we appreciated the price and quality. At about 35.00 (with tax) for a family sized pizza and beverages it was about 5-10$ cheaper for the same amount of food at another park and the service was great. We didn't feel like we were in an assembly line nor did we have to wait more than five minutes for a hot, fresh and tasty pizza. When we ate our fill, the staff was nice enough to give us foil to take the remaining pizza with us. Food quality and service wasn't a side note to pushing masses through, but rather had the feeling of being at the forefront. I appreciated this greatly, as typically eatting with excited kids can be a bit of a struggle.
Our family really enjoyed our visit to Gilroy Gardens and I know that it would be a hard place to be disappointed. If you get the chance to head through the bay make sure to stop by and enjoy the park, there really is something for everyone. Although, Gilroy Gardens does offer some thrilling rides for adults, for me the biggest thrill was the sheer joy on my childrens faces. It isn't every day you get to go to a park that really considers your time there to be family time and doesn't leave anyone disappointed.