Can You Dig It? At Diggerland, Yes You Can!

Dump trucks and ’dozers are the draw at this unique amusement park.

The Spin Dizzy ride.
The Spin Dizzy ride.
Photo by Joe Polillio

At Diggerland, it’s okay for kids to play in the dirt. In fact, it’s encouraged.

The construction-themed amusement park, located in West Berlin, is the only one of its kind in New Jersey. Here, children—and adults—can discover what it’s like at the controls of real, diesel-fueled, full-sized construction equipment. Guests have the opportunity to climb into modified backhoes, excavators, asphalt rollers and other machines to crunch, crush, dig and destroy.

Aerial view of Diggerland.

Aerial view of Diggerland. Photo by Joe Polillio

Diggerland features more than 25 attractions, including the Spin Dizzy, a three-ton JCB JS200 hydraulic excavator transformed into a spinning ride; and the Greased Beast, which uses an industrial-size dump truck to dangle riders 34 feet above the ground. Kids must be at least 36 inches tall for most attractions. Some have a height requirement of 42 inches, but small children are allowed to ride on the lap of a parent or guardian.

Izzy Ignosh, of Emmaus, Pennsylvania, drives a skid-steer loader.

Izzy Ignosh, of Emmaus, Pennsylvania, drives a skid-steer loader. Photo by Joe Polillio

Four-year-old JR Ignosh of Emmaus, Pennsylvania, joined his father in the cab of an excavator to dig for treasure in a sand pit. “It’s like playing in my sandbox at home, but better,” he said.

His sister, Izzy Ignosh, 9, took pride behind the wheel of a skid-steer loader. “It was fun being able to drive my own vehicle,” she said.

JR Ignosh and his dad, of Emmaus, Pennsylvania, in an excavator.

JR Ignosh and his dad, of Emmaus, Pennsylvania, in an excavator. Photo by Joe Polillio

Brothers Yan and Ilya Girlya, whose family owns a construction company, opened the park in 2014 and have gradually expanded it. In 2016, they unveiled Diggerland XL, an adults-only section with more rigorous activities. This year, Diggerland added five new attractions, including a zip line and Rugged Riders, a course where guests can drive off-road Kubota RTV-900 vehicles.

Diggerland is open March through December. Days and hours vary; visit their website for details.

Read more Getaways, Outdoors articles.

By submitting comments you grant permission for all or part of those comments to appear in the print edition of New Jersey Monthly.

Required not shown
Required not shown