Families Enjoy – Rides, Thrills & Attractions at Pennsylvania Amusement Parks

Aug14 NC web banner-3By: Paula Green

Whether you’re climbing the hill on a coaster, chugging along in a train or sitting on a bench taking in sites, a day at an amusement park is filled with laughter and excitement.  It is even more thrilling when you are accompanying children; after all they have a tendency to bring out the kid in all of us.  Pennsylvania has its fair share of great amusement parks, take a ride along and see the fun places that are located in our beautiful state.

Amusement_Wave Swinger   Kennywood Park – Native Pittsburghers know that all large, yellow arrow signs point the way to Kennywood Amusement Park in West Mifflin.  This year commemorates the 90th anniversary of those legendary directional markers.  The park itself was built in 1898, and today it has 31 major rides, including three wooden coasters, two steel coasters, water rides, kid’s rides and other exciting attractions.  New this year, is the sit-down restaurant Johnny Rockets which took over the spot formerly occupied by the Carousel Food Court.  For more info, visit https://www.kennywood.com/

Idlewild Park & Soak Zone is located in Ligonier.  It received the coveted Golden Ticket Award for Best Children’s Park. Nestled in the Laurel Mountains of Ligonier, Westmoreland County, Idlewild is the oldest amusement park in Pennsylvania.  It opened in 1878.  The park also has an attached water park called Soak Zone and an enchanted section called Story Book Forest.  The new attraction for 2014 is Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.  Visit https://www.idlewild.com/

Amusement_merrygoroundWaldameer Park and Water World is an amusement / water park is located in Erie at the base of Presque Isle.  It is the fourth oldest amusement park in Pennsylvania, and the tenth oldest in the United States.  It has coasters, thrill rides and water sliders – fun for the whole family.  For details, visit http://www.waldameer.com/

Amusement_bigfootresized Conneaut Lake Park is a summer amusement resort, located in Conneaut Lake, Penna., has long served as a regional tourist destination, and is loved by roller coaster enthusiasts for its classic Blue Streak coaster, which was recently classified as “historic” by the group American Coaster Enthusiasts.  Visit http://www.conneautlakepark.com/hours.html

Hershey Park located in Hershey, Penna., is truly a sweet place to visit.  The park itself boasts over 70 rides, including 12 roller coasters, 20 kiddies’ rides.  There is also a boardwalk and guests can splash around in the water park.  A must see – is a visit to the world famous “Chocolate World,” which is – the sweetest place on earth.  This family themed park is situated in Derry Township, about 15 miles east of Harrisburg, and 95 miles west of Philadelphia.  For info, visit http://www.hersheypark.com/

Dutch Wonderland family amusement park is “A Kingdom for Kids.”  Located in East Lancaster, the park opened in 1963.  It was voted one of the Top Five Best Kids Park in the World Amusement Today magazine.  With over 30 fun-filled rides, Duke’s Lagoon water play area, and live entertainment, Dutch Wonderland is a wonderful place to explore.  For details, visit https://www.dutchwonderland.com/

Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom is located in Allentown.   It is 60 to 90 minutes – or less – from most points in metropolitan Philadelphia, New York, New Jersey, northeast and central Pennsylvania and Delaware.  Dorney’s attractions include eight roller coasters, thrill rides, Planet Snoopy, water rides, dining and live shows.  Visit https://www.dorneypark.com/

Knoebel’s Amusement Park is situated in the Poconos.  This free admission amusement park is located in the woodsy atmosphere of Pennsylvania. It offers rides, camping, picnic grounds, and sporting activities. Two attractions worth checking out are – the Phoenix Roller Coaster, which is one of the top wooden roller coasters in America.  The other major attraction is the Carousel Museum.  For info, visit http://www.knoebels.com/

Lakemont Park, located in Altoona, houses the world’s oldest-surviving roller coaster, the Leap-The-Dips. The park opened in 1894 as a trolley park and became an amusement park in the summer of 1899.  It is home to over 30 rides and attractions, including the Island Waterpark, two rollercoasters, Go-Kart track, the kids Mini-Indy Go-Karts, Spins’ n Grins Kiddieland, an 18 hole miniature golf course, and arcade, games. Visit http://www.lakemontparkfun.com/attractions.html

DelGrosso’s Amuseument Park is located in Tipton, Penna., north of Altoona.  It is home to more than 30 rides and attractions including Kid’s Kingdom as well as an extensive Water Park complete with the Tipton Waterworks & Rapids.  The park also has games, miniature golf and the Altoona-Tipton Speedway Go-Karts.  For details, visithttp://www.mydelgrossopark.com/

Sesame Place is one of the happiest amusement parks in Pennsylvania… the theme park where Sesame Street comes to life! Enjoy a summer vacation with rides, shows, water attractions suited to very young children. It is one of 11 parks operated by SeaWorld Entertainment.  It is located in Langhorne, in Bucks County.

Well there you have it, which ever park you choose to visit – have a happy and safe enjoyable time!