There’s something universally fun about a community event focused on adrenaline and sugar and bright lights. In case you’re unclear on what I’m referring to… it’s a fair. Or a carnival. Or a festival. Whatever your hometown called it. And when we saw a poster advertising the Crystal Palace Park Fun Fair, we knew we couldn’t miss making some travel memories at this one. (It had fun in the name! That’s practically a guarantee.)
We kept an eye on the park every time we walked past, trying to gauge the best time to stop by. You seasoned fair-goers know how it is… First day could be packed, or could be dull. Fridays are cheaper, but you always forget. Too early in the afternoon and it’s all elementary kids, too late at night and it’s all high schoolers intent on PDA. In the end, we settled on a late evening Saturday night. Turns out we had luck on our side because the evening was spectacular.
While our whole life might seem like an endless date sometimes, it’s really a lot different to set a time to go out and do something fun (there’s that word again) as just the two of us. We’ve realized more time together means more tension in our relationship, as Tyler and I are two very different personalities. Thankfully, we’re coming off of fours years of relationship tension so we know that good communication and lots of intentionality are what it takes for us to survive the differences. This year is decidedly not one long date– unless it’s the kind that sends you running to the bathroom sending SOS texts– but it has been full of date nights like this that make us laugh and appreciate what we have in each other.
Our biggest disappointment in this fair was the lack of good ol’ fair food that we have always felt belongs in one’s diet at least once a year. We personally think the Midwest does it best (holla!) but I have had my fair (ha!) share of fried goods in the South and nobody can argue the quality there. Either way… grilled corn on the cob, elephant ears the size of your face, pulled pork parfait. Ohmygoodness.
Alas, this London fair did not offer a single bite to eat. But as soon as we laid eyes on the beautiful metal beast that would soon lift us into the air and spin us around like crazy, we knew it was a good thing we came with empty stomachs.
Our second ride was way less dramatic, and maybe even a little bit lame, but we still whooped and hollered and maybe even threw our hands up like we were riding Thunder Road at Carowinds. We’ve done so many things during our travels that afterwards we look at each other and say “Yeah. That was underwhelming.” So many travel fails! But in the end, the right attitude makes them wins. I want to know what it’s like for the average kid in a south London neighborhood on a Saturday night in October. It’s not Disneyland. It’s the Crystal Palace Park Fun Fair!! And we had one amazing ride, and then one strange and jerky ride, and then a walk through a super sad little house of mirrors. And we giggled at the silliness the whole time.
So you can smirk too, here are some more iPhone photos of our date night:
And don’t worry… at the end of it all, we did walk away with a little more than we’d brought. No, not extra love or fun or happiness, although those things are nice. We got a dinosaur!!! We could have actually walked away with the money we won at the slot machines, but we were too greedy so we kept reinvesting our meager winnings until we ended up with something that we couldn’t stuff back into the slots. I guess in reality he cost us about three bucks but he’s worth a lot more. The perfect souvenir from our date night at the Crystal Palace Park Fun Fair.
If you’re ever in south London in the spring or autumn, you know where to find the night of your life (;
Are you a serial fair-goer? What’s your favorite ride? What’s your favorite food??