For many, one of the great joys of summer is riding a rollercoaster or another thrill ride. We are fortunate, to have several amusement parks right in the Hudson Valley – and other theme parks close by as well. Here are some popular theme parks for your next family adventure.
Amusement Parks in Westchester and the Hudson Valley
16 Old Route 9 West, Fishkill, NY
Billed as America's Biggest Little Water Park, Splashdown Beach in Dutchess County is a staple for summer fun for kids in the area. Smaller in size may just mean you won't get exhausted walking to every corner of the park. There are thrilling water slides, wave pool, lazy river, a beach area and areas for small children.
If you are going to spend most of the summer in the area, a season pass is only $99. Get it before the season starts next time and you will get an additional discount.
1 Playland Parkway, Rye, NY
Playland has been a favorite theme park destination since 1927 in Westchester. Known as “America’s Premiere Playground,” there’s always something fun to do.
The well-known Dragon Coaster is a popular favorite. One of the classic rides and also a wooden rollercoaster, it is something you simply aren’t going to see at every park these days. They have Kiddy Rides, with fun rides just for your little ones to make them smile including the old fashioned Boat Ride and the Jump N’ Bean.
Family Rides include classic ones your parents may have enjoyed at the park, such as the House of Mirrors, and new ones like Zombie Castle. Thrill Rides add even more excitement to your visit, with fun such as the Derby Racer or the Double Shot ride.
Playland is also known for its fantastic entertainment such as weekly fireworks shows and concerts with top singers.
Other Amusement Parks in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut
1000 Surf Avenue Brooklyn, NY
Luna Park is beloved by New Yorkers and people have come from every state and beyond to visit this fun theme park. Couples have even gotten married on the Cyclone, their well-known rollercoaster!
This theme park first opened in 1903, and was known as the “Electric Eden.” Today’s Luna Park features rides, games, dining and even shops. You can spend the entire night having fun right here at Luna Park.
The Coney Island Cyclone is an exciting ride and quite likely one of the most well-known rollercoasters on the East Coast. But Luna Park has many other rides. If you like tons of thrills, try the Sling Shot or the Thunderbolt. There’s also the Steeplechase or The Tickler. If you want a more moderate type of a ride, try the B&B Carousel or the Coney Island Hang Glider. The gentlest of rides include the Mermaid Parade, Big Top Express and Happy Swing.
If your family enjoys theme parks, Great Adventure is a terrific choice. It’s about an hour away from the lower Hudson Valley, and you’ll find plenty of rides and fun entertainment. You can make a day of it at the park or choose to spend the weekend or make this an overnight trip.
Great Adventure is especially attractive to adults, older teens or college aged students, as they have larger rollercoasters and many thrill-type of rides. If your kids want to ride the rides that go upside down, then this is the theme park you pick!
Great Adventure features thrill rides, family rides, kids’ rides, entertainment, events, dining and shopping. On a hot day there is a whole water park section. There is a separate safari which charges additional admission.
Most rides have a height requirement. If your kids have their sights on a certain ride, you can check out the website ahead of time to see if they will meet the height requirement ahead of time.
Thrill rides include Batman: The Ride, Dare Devil Dive, Runaway Mine Train and Slingshot. Family rides include Big Wheel (ferris wheel), Enchanted Teacups, Jolly Roger and Safari Off Road Adventure. Kids’ Rides include Air Safari, Bugaboo, Bugs Bunny Ranger Pilots and Road Runner Railway. There is lots of fun entertainment at the park, such as meeting adorable otters and meeting the cute Looney Tunes cartoon pals.
89 Six Flags Drive, Queensbury, NY 12804
For those living in the mid Hudson Valley, Six Flags Great Escape located at Lake George may be a closer option than Great Adventure. Just like Great Adventure, there are also rides at different levels, and a water park and lots of events.
There are many events and promotions for Six Flags Great Escape. It includes a July 4th festival, and kids get in free on July 5, 12, 19, and 26.
822 Lake Avenue Briston, CT
This amusement park is about 2 hours away from Eastern part of the Hudson Valley, and you’ll find lots of fun, family entertainment here. Lake Compounce not only have the classic rides, but also have water rides too.
They have roller coasters & thrill rides that include their Boulder Dash, a popular wooden coaster. Down Time and Sky Coaster. Water Rides include Croc-O-Nile, Bayou Bay and the Lights Out, a high speed slide in the dark! Classic & kiddie rides including an Antique Carousel, American Flyers and Bumper Cars.
Amusement Parks in Eastern Pennsylvania
If you are willing to travel a little further to Pennsylvania, you can also consider the following amusement parks in Eastern Pennsylvania:
3830 Dorney Park Rd, Allentown, PA 18104
Great park with roller coasters on one side, and a water park on the other.
309 Resort Dr, Tannersville, PA 18372
Water park at the Camelback Mountains in the Poconos
100 Sesame Rd, Langhorne, PA 19047
Great place to visit if you have a little one, and we mean little. It is a little small and pricey, but where else will you find Elmo, Big Bird and the gang. Located in the suburb of Philadelphia
100 W Hersheypark Dr, Hershey, PA 17033
The lovely park with rides and a visit to the chocolate factory. Located in Hershey, close to Harrisburg in PA
2249 Lincoln Hwy E, Lancaster, PA 17602
Theme park in the Amish country in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Similar to Sesame place, rides are geared towards younger kids.