21 Midwest Amusement Parks for Family Vacations

Outdoor Theme, Amusement Parks and Water Parks

Holiday World - Turkey Whirl and The Voyage
Holiday World - Turkey Whirl and The Voyage. Jeremy Thompson/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

As soon as the weather starts to warm, kids of all ages can’t wait to start making arrangements to spend time at outdoor amusement, theme and water parks. There’s nothing quite like it for a day (or more) filled with fun. At 21 of the best in the Midwest, you will find enough to keep you busy to plan a family vacation around your trip.

Amusement Parks and Water Parks in Illinois

Six Flags Great America & Hurricane Harbor in Gurnee - The latest offering here is Goliath, the world’s fastest wooden coaster with the steepest (and tallest) drop.

Magic Waters in Cherry Valley - This water park has wet and wild rides of all types, for all age groups.

Amusement Parks and Water Parks in Indiana

Holiday World and Splashin' Safari in Santa Claus - While the little ones will also find plenty of rides to enjoy, this park has two of the longest water coasters in the world.

Indiana Beach in Monticello - This complex with an amusement and waterpark also has accommodations and campgrounds for a family vacation.

Amusement Parks and Water Parks in Iowa

Arnold’s Park in Arnold’s Park - Here the parking and admission is free so you only have to pay for the rides, games and food.

Adventureland in Altoona - This park has added a $6 million dollar coaster called "The Phoenix" to its offerings.

Amusement Parks and Water Parks in Kansas

All-Star Adventures in Wichita - Here you can choose from amusement rides, bumper boats or batting cages for family fun.

Amusement Parks and Water Parks in Michigan

Michigan’s Adventure in Muskegon - New to this park is Lakeside Gliders, a wide interactive flying ride that allows riders to rotate the vehicles to their desired speed.

Kokomo’s Family Fun Center in Detroit - This park is full of action from go-karts to laser tag and bumper boats.

Amusement Parks and Water Parks in Minnesota

Valleyfair in Shakopee - This place has a new Route 76 area that brings back three classic rides – Tilt-a-Whirl, Antique Autos and Scrambler.

Paul Bunyan Land in Brainerd - Within six acres you’ll find rides and an Old Farm Pioneer Village, with a large collection of antiques from the late 19th and early 20th century.

Nighttime Aerial View of Hwy 76, Branson Missouri
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Amusement Parks and Water Parks in Missouri

Silver Dollar City in Branson - Here you can combine rides (both land and water), bluegrass and barbecue for lots of family fun.

Six Flags St. Louis - Some of the best rides in the Midwest in one spot. Also enjoy the water park here in the summer. 

Amusement Parks and Water Parks in Nebraska

Fun-plex in Omaha - This park has something for everyone to enjoy.

Cedar Point Amusement Park
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Amusement Parks and Water Parks in Ohio

Cedar Point in Sandusky - One visit and you’ll know why this place on Lake Erie Shores is often referred to as the best amusement park in the world.

Kings Island in Mason - The latest offering here is not for the faint-hearted. Banshee is the world’s longest high-speed inverted roller coaster.

Amusement Parks and Water Parks in North Dakota

Raging Rivers Waterpark in Mandan - This park offers a lazy river, speed slides, a kiddie pool area and tubing within the city park of Mandan.

Amusement Parks and Water Parks in South Dakota

Boondocks in Deadwood - If you are looking for something out of the norm, Boondocks is your theme park. Within the Black Hills, you’ll find cabins, camping, amusement rides and a Studebaker Car collection.

Story Book Island in Rapid City - This free admission amusement park suitable for younger children under 10 to enjoy.

Offbeat Roadside Attractions
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Amusement Parks and Water Parks in Wisconsin

Mt. Olympus Water & Theme Park in Wisconsin Dells - This is a huge water and theme park that has three resort options attached for you to stay at.

Bay Beach, Green Bay, Wisconsin - The beachside rides are lots of fun. While in town, also check out the nearby Wildlife Sanctuary.