New Jersey is home to one of the most popular amusement parks in the world and one of the flagship parks in the Six Flags chain, Six Flags Great Adventure. The famous Jersey Shore also hosts a number of relatively small amusement parks.
There are no major theme parks in the state (are you wondering what is the difference between an amusement park and a theme park?), but that may change if the folks behind the long delayed American Dream mall in the Meadowlands can get their act together.
It is supposed to feature a DreamWorks park, a water park, an indoor ski slope, and a huge observation wheel.
New Jersey theme parks are arranged alphabetically. Looking for New Jersey water parks?
Bowcraft Amusement Park
Small, traditional amusement park. Rides include the junior coaster, Crossbow, as well as a Scrambler, Pirate Ship, Tilt-A-Whirl, swing, and kiddie rides.
Seaside Heights (on the shore)
How do they cram 35 rides, including a roller coaster and a Sky Ride onto a narrow pier? Beats me, but they've been doing it for years on the Jersey Shore. There are waterpark rides also.
Clementon Amusement Park
Turn-of-the-century park with a wooden roller coaster, thrill rides, zoo animals, and a waterpark.
Beach Haven (on the shore)
A small park with kiddie rides and a huge arcade disguised as a casino.
Gillian's Wonderland Pier
Ocean City (on the shore)
Classic boardwalk pier park with a roller coaster, log flume, mini-golf, and waterpark.
Pt. Pleasant Beach (on the shore)
Small park with rides and games on the famous Jersey shore.
Keansburg Amusement Park
Keansburg (on the shore)
Classic boardwalk park with thrill rides, games, go-karts, and waterpark.
Land of Make Believe
Small park for younger children with family coaster, hayride, and Christmas Village meet and greet with Santa. One price includes admission to Pirate's Cove waterpark.
Wildwood (on the shore)
It's amusement nirvana with three classic boardwalk and pier parks plus two waterparks. Over 150 rides, including seven coasters.
Playland's Castaway Cove
Ocean City (on the shore)
A great Jersey Shore park with four coasters and a freefall tower ride.
Six Flags Great Adventure
Jackson (southern part of the state, near the shore)
Enormous Six Flags complex with a Wild Safari park (included with admission), a separate admission Hurricane Harbor waterpark, and one of the country's biggest and most popular seasonal ride parks. Highlights include the record-breaking Kingda Ka rocket coaster and El Toro, a new-age wood coaster that is among the best in the country.
Atlantic City (on the shore)
One of the most famous amusement piers of yore, the Steel Pier was rebuilt in the 1990s with a modest assortment of rides and amusements.
Family-owned and -operated park geared to young kids with storybook theme.
Wild West City
Nestled in the rough-and-tumble wilds of New Jersey is this "western heritage" park for the young-uns.
No amusement park rides, but there are shoot-em-up shows, panning for gold, and other wild west diversions.