Flintstones…Meet the Flintstones. From a page right out of history comes Flintstones Bedrock City. For a whopping $5 per person, you and your entire family can play for an hour or for the day in this nostalgic theme park situated at the crossroads of US-64 and US-180 in Williams, AZ, and what more appropriate place for a prehistoric village than nearby one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, the Grand Canyon!
One of the last remaining vestigial locations of the beloved and famous Route 66, while the Mother Road was decommissioned in 1985, there are still patches and spots where idling tourists can get their kicks, including Bedrock City. Officially licensed by Hanna-Barbara, this Flintstone cartoon attraction encompasses all the stupidity and frivolity that made once made Route 66 glorious. From papier-mache Fred and Barney to their cement houses, this is a delightful side-trip must whether you have children or not. The decor is lumpy and the paint is loud. Welcome to 1960s Vintage America. Flintstones Bedrock City is as visually iconic as it is culturally classic.
While the park does pay homage to one of the greatest cartoons dating back to when my parents were kids…the Stone Age…here is where the reverence stops. This is not a museum, so don’t treat it like one or you’ll be bored out of your gourd. In order to have a gay old time, you’ll need to be somewhat self-entertaining. Be silly. Be ridiculous. The park is completely hands-on and is a fun place to let your inner child play pretend for a couple of hours. Remember what it’s like to be a kid again: Cook a meal in Betty’s kitchen. Take a nap in Fred’s bed. Get your hair done at the beauty salon. Ride the trolley under the giant volcano. Oh no! Don’t get thrown in jail!! And if you get tired of beating feet around the town in the Arizona sun, take a load off at the local theater where the season’s blockbuster is, of course, actual Flintstones cartoons. They even have a giant dinosaur…that you can slide down. It’s a brontosaurus. And you can be Fred on his way home from work. You’re a star in your own Flinstsones show, and if a Yabba-Dabba Doooooo! doesn’t escape your lips at some point in your visit, go back to the beginning and make yourself a new episode. Flintstones sounds and dialogue even play over the PA system throughout the park to authenticate your own personal narrative. What a deliciously dorky thing to do on vacation!
This park is a great side trip for Grand Canyon visitors who want a laid back day off from heat and hiking and also provides on-site accommodations for families traveling on a budget. Surrounded by the Kaibab National Forest, visitors may find that the area is sparse. However, sparse doesn’t just mean empty, it means quiet, but still convenient. Located about 30 minutes away from the Grand Canyon’s South Rim, the Bedrock City grounds offer a low-dough tent-site campground and RV park, which is nearby to a few convenience stores, unlike other campgrounds in the area which can be several miles from the main road. There is a grocer on the premises for campers as well as a small diner in the gift shop area, which is all decked out in Cave Man Revival. The diner is fairly inexpensive, offering the good ol’ 5-cent coffee and a breakfast of eggs and omelets or a lunch of burgers. They also offer snacks and ice cream novelties. The attraction is a 30-minute straight shot from Downtown Williams where there are restaurants, shopping, and other touristy things to do after you put the cat out for the night.
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