Who wouldn’t fall in love with sights like these quirky saucers
pouring into each other?

Amusement parks are closing as the season ends, and so I’m thinking, wistfully, of our trip to Indiana Beach Amusement Park in late August. I’m not one for amusement parks in general. I don’t like the crowds, nor the fakey entertainment, nor the ridiculous prices. I only manage our annual trip to Six Flags Great America because a dear friend comes along, and we spend hours chatting on a bench while our boys ride together.

How about having the boardwalk to ourselves?
But last year we went to Indiana Beach for the first time, courtesy of my younger son who’d put that on his wish list as a reward for finishing an extra workbook, and I fell in love with its old-fashioned boardwalk charm. So we went again this year. Both times we went off season, i.e. just before the park was going to close, and most schools were back in session (luckily, not ours). A two hour drive from Chicago, and hidden in the middle of the cornfields of Northwest Indiana, Indiana Beach is an unassuming place. With its cluster of vacation cottages, it has retained a 1950s charm of summers spent lakeside.

We went on a Walgreens Wednesday, which meant two for the price of one. Refreshments at Indiana Beach cost about a third of what they do at Six Flags. Rides aren’t as outlandish but if you go off season, you never wait in line and can ride over and over again, which my kids did, of course.

 I can still hear those carts rattle.

These cars make me wish my kids were smaller and would
still think these are cool to ride.
View from the ferris wheel.
Spinning over the waters of Lake Shafer in seats with creaking safety
locks and sunbaked umbrella roofs.
The Skyride ambles high above the boardwalk.
My favorite ride last year has sadly been moved off the water.
How’s that for droopy? Spinning over asphalt just ain’t the same.
Flying through the air is the ultimate summer feeling for me –
which is why I used this photo for my post on having a summer.
More than anything, though, I am in love with the shapes and
forms of Indiana Beach, like this dome of the gift shop.