BACKGROUND: Storybook Land is a pop-up book come to life - with lots of amusement rides thrown in for good measure, all for the price of admission.

At Storybook Land, costumed characters frequently welcome new arrivals.

There are enough rides to keep the family occupied for hours. The J&J Railroad (named for the founders' grandchildren Jessica and John), a roller coaster for older kids, antique cars, monster trucks, a ferris wheel and a spinning turtle tilt-a-whirl.

Founded in 1955 by Esther and John Fricano who wanted a place for families, the 20-acre site has grown from a brief rest stop to an all-day adventure for the under 8-year-old set. The park is still run by the Fricano family.

The Fricanos built or restored many of the rides and exhibits themselves, searching for antiques that give the stories authenticity.

In a nod to modern tastes, they have also added animatronics and sound. But the best thing about the park is it feels like a small town created just for kids. They can run around, get lost in the card maze, eat lunch under the big birthday cake, or ride the train. Plenty of trees provide shade and acres of flowers and flower baskets give the park the atmosphere of a small, old-fashioned village.

There is food and snacks sold on site, but families can bring lunch and strollers inside.

WHERE: Storybook Land is located on Route 40 in Egg Harbor Township. http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&um=1&ie=UTF-8&q=storybook+land+eht+nj&fb=1&gl=us&hq=storybook+land+eht&hnear=nj&cid=0,0,10998310476991879609&ei=hp3hS7bZA4G78gazsMmJDA&sa=X&oi=local_result&ct=image&resnum=1&ved=0CBgQnwIwAA" target="_blank">CLICK HERE FOR DIRECTIONS.

HOURS AND COST: Summer hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m weekdays, 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekends. Admission is $21.95 plus tax per visitor. Season pass $87.95 per person. Call 609-641-7847.