Spring is already here, and it is almost summertime! This means longer, warmer, and fun-filled days. The long-awaited summer break also means that parents have more time on their hands to spend with their little ones. And what’s a better way of doing this than visiting an amusement park accompanied with good friends and family? Unlike other expensive holiday ideas of spending your summer – such as flying abroad – tickets to most amusement and theme parks are relatively affordable. What’s more, a majority of these theme parks will have irresistible offers on their tickets as the summer heat keeps sweltering.
Here’s a quick primer on some of the best amusement parks in this side of the hemisphere.
1. Cedar Point
Popularly touted as the world’s Roller Coaster Capital, Cedar Point has a total of 17 high-powered roller coasters. These should be enough to see you riding all day. In fact, most regular visitors here will fondly describe it as an ‘adrenaline junkie’s paradise.’ It has a broad range of recreational activities fashioned for both grown-ups and kids alike.
2. The Knoebels
It is an old-fashioned amusement park tailored for those of us who are pretty budget conscious and those who miss the 90s theme parks. Unlike many theme parks around the world, admittance to Knoebels and parking are both free of charge. And with a budget of a paltry $100, a family of four can ride, swim and eat all day here.
3. The Walt Disney Magic Kingdom
Commonly referred to as the world’s happiest place, Walt Disney’s Magic realm is the place where you take a trip back to your nostalgic childhood. Otherwise, you can choose to transport yourself to the cinematic Space Mountain and say hello to your favorite childhood Disney Characters.
4. The Schlitterbahn Amusement and Water Park
Spanning across over 65 acres, the Schlitterbahn Water Park has been voted the best Amusement Park in Northern America for the past 12 years in a row. It is one of the few water parks that features a combination of a roaring water coaster ride, surfing, beaches, and much more.
5. The Six Flags Magic Mountain
This park has outranked Cedar Park as the ‘top theme park with the most roller coasters’ several times in the past two decades. Just like its counterpart in Sandusky, Ohio, the Six Flags Magic Mountain has a total of 18 coasters – including the most famous one here – the Green Lantern. Situated near Los Angeles, the theme park has enough Hollywood flair to keep you busy if you’re not keen on riding the roller coasters.
6. The Universal Islands of Adventure
Although a majority of you associate the Universal Islands of Adventure to the comical and oddly diabolical Harry Potter’s Wizarding World, the theme park is also home to a generous number of 3-D rides, roller coasters, a vibrant nightlife and plenty of good restaurants. And while at it, don’t forget to try the butterbeer – the famous wizarding non-alcoholic beverage.
7. Kings Island
It is one of the most frequented amusement parks in the US receiving more than 3 million tourists every year. The park is particularly renowned for its all-family-friendly tourist attractions; a good example being the Snoopy Island. Besides, any ticket bought to the park includes the admission to the nearby themed water park christened as Boomerang Bay.
It was originally started as a recreational area for the employees of the nearby Hershey Chocolate Factory. However, several decades later it has been renovated to a fully-fledged theme park with plenty of chocolate paraphernalia to boot. More recently, a water park and a trailer of roller coasters were added to make it even more appealing to all generations.
9. Sea World in San Diego
It is one of the only three SeaWorld parks in this side of the world. The theme park was established in 1964 in pursuit of the idea of building the first underwater restaurant in America. Unfortunately, this project never materialized, and instead, they ended up with a marine zoological park. The amusement park showcased over 20 live marine shows featuring dolphins, killer whales, and sea lions. And next year, the park is set to add five more attractions to its turf including one to be named as the Ocean Explorer – a live simulation of riding in a real life submarine.
10. The Knott’s Berry Farm
It is actually one of the oldest theme parks in the US. And, therefore, the perfect place for those looking for classic thrill rides, simple rides or to relive the good ol’ days of family fun.