Amunsement Parks in Pennsylvania: A New Spin on Summertime Fun

Summer wouldn't be complete without a trip (or two or three) to one or more of Pennsylvania’s fun-filled amusement parks. Each is unique, and even better – most offer an amusement park and a waterpark in one, so don’t forget your swimsuit!
Featured Trip Ideas

Pack up the swimsuits and take your kids to one of the top 5 children’s amusement parks in the world – Dutch Wonderland.  This Lancaster icon is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and has several treats in store to commemorate the event, including two new shows: Decades of Dutch Wonderland and Really Royal: The Story of Princess Brooke, both of which take place daily. Enjoy the park’s wide variety of kid-sized rides and be sure to visit Duke’s Lagoon with its multi-level waterplay platform, kid-sized slides, variety of spray nozzles, jets, tipping cones, and a large tipping bucket, surrounded by palm trees and thatched umbrella shaded areas for loads of summer fun!

A trip to PA wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the renowned Hersheypark; with 65 rides and attractions it is sure to be a good time! Check out exhilarating roller coasters that range from aggressive to moderate on the thrill-inducing scale and visit the water park where you’ll find rides like the Pipeline, an inline tubing ride that takes you through open and enclosed sections of back-to-back serpentine curves and water curtains before dumping you out in a splash pool.  Included in your ticket price is admission to Zoo America, located adjacent to the park and open year-round. Bonus!

Pennsylvanians love their amusement/water park combinations. Here is another one, and it’s one not to miss – ranked the number-one- kids’ park in the world! Idlewild & SoakZone, located in the Laurel Highlands region of PA, is enjoyed by kids and “kids-at-heart” alike, and is not your typical amusement park. You’ll love it for its uniqueness. The Loyalhanna Creek flows through the center of the park and lakes and thousands of shady trees dot the landscape, making visiting here a relaxing and fun experience for the whole family. 

Be sure to check out Knoebels Amusement Resort in Elysburg, Northumberland County. Admission and parking are free and you can either pay by the ride or for go for a ride-all-day pass.  The park offers attractions of all shapes and sizes – everything from bumper cars to roller coasters to Pennsylvania’s largest fresh water pool. You can even try to grab a brass ring while riding the 100-year old Grand Carousel, overwhelmingly rated the country’s best in 2012. Hungry? Along with its great rides, Knoebels is famous for its food, winning Amusement Today’s Golden Ticket award for best amusement park food for much of the past two decades.

If roller coasters and bumper cars aren’t exactly your thing and you love animals, check out Claws “N” Paws Wild Animal Park, PA’s very own zoo in the woods. Located in the Pocono Mountains, visitors can get close to more than 120 species of wild animals. Kids (and the young at heart!) can feed the giraffe, lorry parrots and other petting zoo animals. Live animal shows feature baby animals, colorful birds and reptiles and take place throughout the summer.

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