While there are plenty of places out there that will bring kids joy during the summer, there’s nothing that will light up kids’ eyes like telling them they are going to an amusement park, which has endless options of entertainment. From the fun rides to delicious treats, there’s so much for kids (and adults) to enjoy.
Here are a few of the best amusement parks to go to in the Northeast.
The Great Escape
1172 State Rt. 9, Queensbury, NY 12804
Originally known as Storytown before being bought by Six Flags, this park specializes in general thrill rides instead of just roller coasters, with some of its best rides including The Sasquatch freefall and The Condor spinning sky-ride. In addition, the park has two water parks on its property: An outdoor park known as Splashwater Kingdom and an indoor water park, White Water Bay, which is inside its lodge, across the street from the main park.
186 Enterprise Dr., Bristol, CT 06010
Lake Compounce is a family theme park right on the edge of the lake. The park is filled with various thrill and gentle rides, with its most famous being the 91-year-old roller coaster The Wildcat. It has a show for kids called Daniel Tiger’s Grr-ific Day, in which the mascots at the park tell a story and teach lessons. There is even a water park right on the beach of the lake that includes a wave pool and water slides.
528 Presidential Highway, Jefferson, NH 03583
Who doesn’t love the idea of Christmas in July? Santa’s Village is open May through December and includes a variety of attractions and kids rides, including bumper cars, a Ferris wheel, and The Great Humbug Adventure. They even have a water park to fit right in with the summer while still in the holiday spirit. There are also special performances from various winter-themed characters.
2549 Splish Splash Dr., Calverton, NY 11933
If you are looking for an exclusive water park that is right in the area, look no further than Splish Splash. The park has a variety of different water attractions from relaxing pools to extreme water slides. The park is entering its 28th year in operation and it added two new thrill rides for the occasion: Riptide Racer, a racing mat slide, and Bombs Away, and launching duel-slide.
100 Hersheypark Dr., Hershey, PA 17033
The official theme park of the classic candy company. There are plenty of significant rides at the park, including Laff Track, the first spinning, glowing indoor roller coaster in the United States. New for this season, Hershey added Breaking Edge Water Coaster, a water slide with the up-and-down, twisting thrill of a coaster.
In addition to the rides and shows around the area, you can also visit the Hershey’s Chocolate World Attraction, where you can tour the delicious world of Hershey’s chocolate. You can also visit The Hershey Story, a museum dedicated to the history of the company.
Six Flags Great Adventure
1 Six Flags Blvd., Jackson, NJ 08527
Who knew that Long Islanders live around 100 miles from the largest theme park in the world? Great Adventure isn’t just home to a plethora of high-flying thrill rides, including nationally-ranked coasters El Toro and Nitro, but it is also home to a 350-acre Safari animal park that you can experience by taking a tour. There are also plenty of dining options, whether you want a snack or a full meal, that consist of cuisines of many cultures.
Mountain Creek Waterpark
200 Rt. 94, Vernon, NJ 07462
This water park is unique because it is on the grounds of a ski resort in the middle of the woods in New Jersey. While most amusement parks would tear down the forest obstructing it, Mountain Creek has its rides built to blend in with the nature around the area. The park even has a white water rafting ride called Colorado River, which takes you through 1,600 feet of scattered waterfalls.
2245 Broad Hollow Rd. (Rt. 110), Farmingdale, NY 11735
The most well-known amusement park on Long Island, Adventureland is in its 56th year of operation and has evolved into a hotspot during the summer. While there is an abundance of rides for young kids, there are many rides for teens and adults, such as the Frisbee swing and the Turbulence roller coaster.
This season, Adventureland has a new haunted ride called Mystery Mansion, which opened this past spring. And don’t forget to complete your day with a soft-serve ice cream cone swirled in with your favorite fruity flavors.