The Best New Jersey Theme Parks and Amusement Parks

New Jersey is home to one of the most popular thrill ride 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 seaside amusement parks, and there are other parks throughout the state. 

Northern New Jersey will soon be the home of a major indoor theme park and water park in the long delayed American Dream mall in the Meadowlands. It will host a 300,000-square-foot Nickelodeon Universe that will include two huge roller coasters and a variety of other attractions. A separate DreamWorks-themed indoor waterpark, which will be one of the largest in the country, is also planned. Other features at the mega-mall will include a huge outdoor observation wheel, a Legoland Discovery Center, a SeaLife aquarium, and an indoor ski slope. The mall is scheduled to open in 2019.

Let's review the New Jersey parks that are open, which are arranged alphabetically.

  • 01 of 14
    Bowcraft Amusement Park New Jersey
    ••• Bowcraft Amusement Park

    Bowcraft is a small, traditional amusement park. Rides include the junior coaster, Crossbow, as well as a Scrambler, Pirate Ship, Tilt-A-Whirl, swing, and kiddie rides. It also offers an arcade, midway games, and food stands.

  • 02 of 14
    Casino Pier New Jersey
    ••• Casino Pier

    Casino Pier is a classic seaside boardwalk park on the Jersey Shore. It features 35 rides, including a roller coaster and a Sky Ride, crammed onto a narrow pier. Visitors will also find go-karts, a walk-through funhouse, and mini-golf. There is an adjacent water park, Breakwater Beach.

  • 03 of 14
    Clementon Park New Jersey
    ••• Clementon Park

    Clementon is a classic, turn-of-the-century amusement park. Highlights include Hellcat, a wooden roller coaster, and the 100-foot-tall Thunder Drop tower ride. The park also offers spinning rides and kiddie rides, along with water slides and other water park attractions.

  • 04 of 14
    Fantasy Island park New Jersey
    ••• Fantasy Island

    Another one of New Jersey's seaside parks, Fantasy Island is relatively small. Among its rides are a lovely vintage carousel, a large Ferris wheel, bumper cars, tea cups, and a Tilt-A-Whirl. It also offers an ice cream parlor, an arcade, and midway games.

    Continue to 5 of 14 below.
  • 05 of 14
    Gillian's Wonderland Pier New Jersey
    ••• Gillian's Wonderland Pier

    The classic boardwalk pier park offers a wide variety of rides, including two family-level roller coasters, a huge Ferris wheel, a haunted dark ride, a log flume, and a freefall drop tower.

  • 06 of 14
    Jenkinson's Boardwalk New Jersey
    ••• Jenkinson's Boardwalk

    The small Jersey Shore park offers a drop tower ride, a carousel, a Ferris wheel, bumper cars, spinning rides, and two small roller coasters. Other attractions include three mini-golf courses, a fun house, an arcade, and an aquarium.

  • 07 of 14
    Keansburg Amusement Park
    ••• Keansburg Amusement Park

    Another Jersey Shore park, Keansburg offers a small roller coaster, antique cars, a carousel, a whip, and a log flume, among other rides. It also has an arcade, midway games, and go-karts. There is an adjacent Runaway Rapids water park.

  • 08 of 14
    Land of Make Believe
    ••• Land of Make Believe

    Land of Make Believe is a small park for families with younger children. Its attractions include a family coaster, spinning rides, and a Christmas Village meet and greet with Santa Claus. One price includes admission to Pirate's Cove waterpark.

    Continue to 9 of 14 below.
  • 09 of 14
    Morey's Piers New Jersey park
    ••• Morey's Piers

    It's amusement nirvana at the Jersey Shore's largest ride complex with three classic boardwalk and pier parks plus two waterparks. There are over 150 rides, including seven coasters. Highlights include the Great Nor’Easter, a steel coaster, and The Great White, a wooden coaster. There is also a carousel, a giant Ferris wheel, lots of spinning rides, and bumper cars. The water parks overlook the ocean and include water slides, a lazy river, and private cabanas.Morey's also operates nearby hotels, including the Pan American and the Starlux Boutique.

  • 10 of 14
    Playland's Castaway Cove
    ••• Playland's Castaway Cove

    A great Jersey Shore park, Playland's Castaway Cove features four coaster, a freefall tower ride, spinning rides, and kiddie rides. its newest coaster, GaleForce, opened in 2017. It includes three magnetic launches, a greater-than-90-degrees drop, and a top speed of 64 mph. The park also offers mini-golf, go-karts, and an arcade.

  • 11 of 14
    El Toro coaster at Six Flags Great Adventure.
    ••• © Arthur Levine.

    This is an enormous Six Flags complex with a Wild Safari experience (that is included with admission to the amusement park), 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.

  • 12 of 14
    Steel Pier New Jersey
    ••• Atlantic Pier Amusements, Inc.

    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. Highlights include the 227-foot-tall observation wheel, which can accommodate 240 passengers, Helicopter tours of the shoreline and city are available.

    Continue to 13 of 14 below.
  • 13 of 14
    Storybook Land New Jersey Seven Dwarfs House
    ••• Storybook Land

    A family-owned and -operated park, Storybook Land is geared to young kids with a storybook and nursery rhymes theme. Rides include a small roller coaster, a small drop tower ride, a carousel, antique cars, and a train ride. The park is open on select days through the early winter and offers fall and Christmas-themed events.

  • 14 of 14
    Wild West City New Jersey
    ••• Wild West City

    This "western heritage" park for the young-uns is nestled in the rough-and-tumble wilds of New Jersey. There aren’t any amusement park rides, but there are shoot-em-up shows, stagecoach rides, pony rides, panning for gold, and other wild west diversions.