Think about it. What is summer without getting your adrenaline pumping? Without scaring yourself silly like you used to when you were kid? Without all kinds of treats – funnel cake, popcorn, fries, and cotton candy – that keep you up at night even though you’re thoroughly exhausted after a fun day?
Transform your summer with a visit to one, two, or more of these 10 unbelievable amusement parks in Pennsylvania:
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Hershey Park, Hershey
C'mon now. Any amusement park with a chocolate theme has to be pretty spectacular, right? (Well, anything combined with chocolate is usually pretty awesome.) In how many other parks will you come face-to-face with a loveable life-sized Hershey bar? A Hershey's kiss? Add the magic that Hershey's characters bring to life at the park with the amazing rides – the Flying Falcon, the Kissing Tower, and the Lightning Racer, to name just a few – and you're pretty much guaranteed an amazing day.
2. Kennywood Park, Pittsburgh
Terrifyingly fun roller coasters – the Jack Rabbit, the Thunderbolt, and the Racer – await at Kennywood Park where both adults and kids will find plenty of rides, games, and shows to keep them entertained all day. Enter Noah's Ark through the whale's mouth. Indulge in the park's popular Potato Patch fries and stay til closing to watch the spectacular laser show.
3. Dutch Wonderland, Lancaster
Become a kid again when you walk through the turnstile at Dutch Wonderland, a family-oriented park that has plenty to offer everyone – fun rides, royal shows with princesses and princes, and lots of good, traditional amusement park food. Get a spectacular view of the park – from above – aboard the monorail; launch into space on the Astroliner, and run to claim your favorite horse on the merry-go-round.
4. Knoebel's Amusement Park, Elysburg
So, maybe you love going to amusement parks just to stroll around and soak in the sights and the sounds? Or, perhaps you want to ride every ride in the park before the sun goes down? Whatever your personality, you'll find the perfect solution at Knoebel's Amusement Park – where you only pay for the rides you want to ride like in the good old days. (All day passes are also available.) Knoebel's Amusement Park offers more than just fantastically fun wooden roller coasters and rides. You can also visit the bald eagle habitat, stroll through the park's museum, or try your hand at skee-ball/bingo.
5. Conneaut Lake Park, Conneaut Lake
Does the name “Blue Streak” send chills down your spine? If it does, you've likely been to Conneaut Lake Park and on that old wooden roller coaster, which dates all the way back to 1937. The new Conneaut Lake Park promises the same splendor and excitement of yesteryear with its authentic boardwalk, sprawling beach, old fashioned merry-go-round, and mini golf course.
6. DelGrosso's Amusement Park, Tipton
Craving good, old-fashioned pasta and a few thrill rides? Well, then, start planning your visit to DelGrosso's Amusement Park. Dare to face the X-Scream Tower. Face the Pharaoh’s Fury or swing high in the sky on the Yo-Yo. And, once you've thoroughly scared yourself silly, try the delicious food on the menu: from pizza to mozzarella sticks.
7. Idlewild Park & SoakZone, Ligonier
Take a trip down memory lane when you visit Idlewild Park & SoakZone, one of those unique amusement parks that's a throwback to the good old days. Get an insanely cool view of the park from atop the Ferris Wheel; make yourself dizzy by riding the Tilt A Whirl until you can't stand; and take a spin on the Merry-Go-Round before cooling off in the pool or one of the water rides in SoakZone.
8. Lakemont Park, Altoona
Reach up and touch the clouds on one of Lakemont Park's sky high rides. The Skyliner, the Swings, and the Round Up will help you kick off a day of non-stop fun. Challenge your buddies to a competitive golf game at the 18 hole mini golf course. Take a dip in the pool and face the delicious dilemma of what to order from the concession stands for lunch or dinner.
9. Waldameer Park, Erie
Escape the hot summer sun with a stop at Walameer Park's Water World, where you can slip down slides, meander down a lazy river, or catch waves at the giant wave pool. Then, when you're thoroughly cooled down, head to the main park for plenty of terrifying rides – the Mega Vortex, the Ravine Flyer, and the Steel Dragon – delicious amusement park fare, free entertainment, and plenty of games.
10. Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom, Allentown
Decisions. Decisions. Water park for the day? Or an amusement park? Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom gives you both while promising an action-packed day. Slip down the more than 24 slides in the water park or wade in pool then – if you dare – face the Stinger, the Steel Force, or the Talon. Be sure to stop by Planet Snoopy, even if you're just a kid at heart, to give everyone favorite's Beagle a hug.
These 10 unbelievable amusement parks in Pennsylvania are just the beginning of what could be a thrilling, unforgettable summer. Add these
water parks to your summer itinerary, too.