Welcome Matt: Holiday Hollow on list of things to do when kids are older

Sep 17, 2015

By Matt Krueger mkrueger@batavianews.com

As much as I might look forward to the day when I no longer have to change diapers, my wife and I have often said that we don’t want to see our children grow up too quickly. We want to enjoy the present without looking too much at what will come. After all, having a 3-year-old and an 18-month-old in the house is pretty fun during play time.

But there are moments when I wish they were a little older. There are so many things we will be able to do when we no longer have to worry about all of the different times in our schedule — nap time, snack time, bath time. We’ll be able to ride real roller coasters — not the slow ones that look like Thomas the Tank Engine — take in a ballgame without having to chase down our antsy daughter when she gets bored, and ride bikes together.

We’ll also be able to go to Holiday Hollow.

Each year, I drive out to Pembroke to meet with owner George Walker to talk about what new attractions he has added to what he calls “a mini-Renaissance Fair with a Halloween and pirate theme.” I have met the many members of his family who act in the numerous shows and gotten sneak peaks at the new offerings three years running.

On Monday, I ventured to Yorkshire Hall to interview Walker and his 9-year-old granddaughter, Lindsey Zanghi, for a preview on this year’s shows that will run in The Daily News’ Autumn Recreation special section. Last year, I was one of the first to get a glimpse at the new “Victorians Villains Show.” Before that, Iwatched Audrey Foppes demonstrate her new role as Allie Gator, the first female pirate used in a show.

Ionly saw a brief highlight of each show. I want to see the whole thing.

Holiday Hollow, billed as a family entertainment destination, is geared toward children older than mine. Alexander and Abigail wouldn’t have the patience to sit through the shows, no matter how corny the puns are — “We love our bad puns,” Walker likes to say.

I have thought about taking my nephews, but at their age, Iimagine they wouldn’t look up from their iPhones long enough to see what is happening right in front of them.

Sure, I could leave Kerri and home with the kids and go alone, but I might be a little out of place. Imagine a 39-year-old man riding the Hoot-N-Holler at Darien Lake alone. It would look like that.

Nestled on seven acres of wooded land on Route 5, Holiday Hollow is a gem that too few people know about. As Walker relayed to me this week, members of the 2015 class of Leadership Genesee said they have driven past it  “hundreds of times” and didn’t know what it was.

I’ll tell you what it is. It’s a 23-year quest for Walker and his family to entertain youngsters. And they’re good at it. Hopefully, I’ll get the whole show one day.