Update: The Farmpark has changed the process for ticket purchasing for this year’s Country Lights. Go here to read more about it!
You sit down at your computer. Your palms are sweaty and your heart is racing. You have the site open on your desktop and tablet, credit card in hand (even though you preregistered). You keep refreshing the page, watching the clock for 8:00 AM to roll around and tickets to go on sale. Are you buying tickets for Springsteen on Broadway or Taylor Swift? Nope. It’s that time of the year again. It’s time for another ticket sale for Haunted Hayrides or Country Lights at the Lake Farmpark.
I’ve been buying tickets for these events for the past five years and although it has always been somewhat stressful, the past couple of years have gotten crazy! Over the years though, I have fine tuned my ticket purchasing to make the experience a little more tolerable and usually more successful.
My tips for purchasing tickets for the Haunted Hayrides and Holiday Lights:
- Set two alarms on your phone to remind you that tickets are going on sale. One for the day before and one for an hour before. You may even need a third reminder for 15 minutes before because #momlife.
- Set aside an hour for the entire process and grab a cup of coffee. You’ll need it.
- Contain your kids who are at home somewhere safe so you have no interruptions. I usually put my baby girl in her crib with some toys and books so I don’t have to worry about her. If you’re at work, pretend you’re in an important meeting and close your office door. #iwonttell
- Sit down at your computer 15 minutes prior to get everything up and running. Pull up the page for the ticket sales on the Metropark’s website. Even if you have an account, make sure you have your credit card right next to you.
- Use a desktop, not a tablet. I don’t know if it’s the connection speed or how the site runs, but I always have more luck with the desktop.
- Plan to purchase your tickets at 8:00 sharp (or whatever time the sale starts). Not 8:15, not 8:05, not even 8:01. If you wait, you’ll get shut out and too many people will get in the queue ahead of you.
- Have a date and time in mind ahead of time and go for that immediately. You don’t have time to think about it and coordinate schedules!!
- Resist the urge to keep clicking or hit refresh. BE PATIENT. This is hard for me. I want to click click click when it’s slow but I have gotten shut out before by doing this. Click the links and let the computer do its job.
- DO NOT TELL YOUR KIDS YOU’RE PURCHASING THE TICKETS!! There is nothing worse than telling your kids ahead of time and then telling them that you failed. #trustme #ivebeenthere
- Have a back up plan if you don’t get any tickets. There are so many other events in the area. These Farmpark events are fun, but they’re not the only game in town. Last year we didn’t get tickets (because I clicked too much) and we went to Kringle’s Inventionasium instead and had a great time. And did you know that the Farmpark also does the toy making event in the workshop during other times besides Country Lights? We did this last year too and my little guy still had a great time. In the fall, if you don’t get Haunted Hayride tickets, try the Whooloween event at Penitentiary Glen instead. Just tell your kids you decided to do something different this year to change it up a bit. They will be fine!
Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? All of this for some tickets for an event at the Farmpark! If you’ve gone before, you know it’s worth it once the tickets are purchased. They put on an amazing event!
Also, one bonus tip: anticipate problems. It may not work out (see step 10) despite your best efforts or as we saw last week, their site might crash on their end. The event is huge. HUGE! Problems occur. Whatever you do, don’t call those nice ladies at the front desk at the Farmpark and cuss them out. Do you really think they have anything to do with these ticket sales? Constructive feedback is one thing, being nasty to people is another. #choosekindness
Good luck on Wednesday, folks!
Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with the Lake Metroparks. I’m just a Lake County mom who loves the parks and the events they put on!