Amusement Parks and Theme Parks in Indiana

The Raven roller coaster at Holiday World
Holiday World

There are really only two major amusement parks/theme parks in Indiana: Holiday World and Indiana Beach. That wasn't always the case.

Older Hoosiers may remember Playland Park. The South Bend trolley park opened in the 1890s and closed in 1961. Through the years, it offered coasters such as the Figure 8, the Jack Rabbit, and the Little Dipper. Today, the property is part of Indiana University South Bend.

Other Indiana parks that are no longer open include Rose Island in Charlestown (which was destroyed by the Ohio River flood of 1937), Robison Park in Fort Wayne, Boyd Park in Wabash, and Mounds Park in Anderson. More recently, Fun Spot in Angola offered a petting zoo, a couple of small roller coasters, and some waterslides. It is still standing, but no longer open.

The following are Indiana parks, both big and small, that are operating. They are listed alphabetically.

Columbian Park Zoo in Lafayette

More a zoo than an amusement park, the municipal facility offers some rides such as a small train that adults and kids can ride together. Spinning kiddie rides include helicopters, small boats, and horse and buggies. The animals are exhibited in lands that include Americas, Australia, Butterfly Garden, and Family Farm.

Fun Center at Paige's Crossing in Columbia City

More a family entertainment center than an amusement park, the center offers go-karts, mini-golf, batting cages, an arcade, and rides such as a Frog Hopper, a Himalaya, and a small Runaway Train junior coaster.

Thunderbird coaster at Holiday World

Holiday World

Holiday World in Santa Claus

Yes, you read that right. Holiday World is located in the small town of Santa Claus. Santa reigns dearly (see what I did there?) at his summer hangout, Holiday World, in southern Indiana. In addition to the Christmas ​theme, the park highlights other holidays and offers the Splashin' Safari waterpark (included in admission). It is one of the best water parks that is part of a theme park and rivals the best standalone water parks. Holiday World is especially noted for its wonderful coasters, including the huge woodie, The Voyage. In 2020, the park debuted Cheetah Chase, its third water coaster.

Indiana Beach Amusement Resort in Monticello

It's not as big as Holiday World, but the Monticello park has plenty of great rides such as Hoosier Hurricane, Cornball Express, and Lost Coaster of Superstition Mountain, three wooden coasters. The traditional park dates back to 1926. It also offers Indiana Beach Water Park. The park announced that it was going to close permanently, but a new owner purchased Indiana Beach and reopened it in 2020. For the 2021 season, it will be opening a new coaster, Triple Loop, that is being moved from another park. When the ride first debuted in 1984, it was the world’s first roller coaster with three vertical loops.

Indianapolis Zoo roller coaster

Indianapolis Zoo

Indianapolis Zoo

Like Columbian Park, this is a zoo first with some great animal exhibits. But it does offer a few amusement rides such as a carousel, the Skyline gondola, a train, and the Kombo family coaster. A 4-D Theater offers animal-themed presentations.

That Fun Place in Greenfield and Greenwood (two locations)

These are indoor and outdoor family entertainment centers with bumper cars, laser tag, and mini-golf.

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