The Top Theme Parks and Amusement Parks in New York State

Ferris Wheel in Coney Island

Alan Schein / Getty Images

As the home of Coney Island, the state of New York lays claim to one of the world's first and most famous amusement hubs. Brooklyn's venerable seaside fun center is still chugging along after all these years. And there are plenty of other amusement parks and theme parks (and yes, there is a difference between the two) spread throughout the state.

Find info to plan your next visit to a midway. Amusement and theme parks are arranged alphabetically.

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Adventureland: Farmingdale

Adventureland Long Island

The medium-sized amusement park is geared mostly to younger children. It includes a steel coaster and a few other thrill rides. As an interesting aside, although it was the setting for the 2009 movie, Adventureland that starred Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg, Kennywood, an amusement park near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was actually used for most of the location shots.

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Adventurer’s Park: Brooklyn

Adventurer's Park Brooklyn New York

Adventurer's Park

A small, outdoor family entertainment center that is open seasonally, Adventurer’s Park offers rides such as a Ferris wheel, a Sea Dragon swinging ship, bumper cars, a large slide, a small roller coaster, a Tilt-A-Whirl, and kiddie rides. There is also mini-golf and go-karts.

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Buffalo RiverWorks

Buffalo RiverWorks amusements

Pearl St Properties

Located along the banks of the Buffalo River, the music, entertainment, and sports complex includes activities such as an escape room, a zipline course, a high ropes course, and a rock climbing wall. In 2021, it will be adding a large Ferris wheel called the Buffal-O along with six amusement rides geared to younger children. Four of the rides will be reclaimed from the nearby Fantasy Island amusement park, which closed in 2020.

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Coney Island: Brooklyn

Coney Island

TripSavvy / Donghee Eim

The classic amusement area has had its ups and downs through the years. Over the past few years, it has been on the upswing with new rides and investment in the boardwalk landmark. Coney island has never been a single park, but a collection of attractions. The primary operator is Luna Park (see below), which operates the famous Cyclone roller coaster, the Scream Zone thrill rides, and the newer Thunderbolt steel coaster. Other highlights include Deno's Wonder Wheel Park (see below), the original site of the legendary hot dog stand, Nathan's Famous, and the B&B Carousel.

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Deno's Wonder Wheel Park: Coney island in Brooklyn

Wonder Wheel at Coney Island

Deno's Wonder Wheel Park 

The famous Wonder Wheel, which was built in 1920, is the centerpiece of the seaside park. It also includes the classic dark ride, Spook-A-Rama, and a great collection of vintage kiddie rides. New for 2021, Deno’s is debuting Phoenix, an inverted, family thrill roller coaster.

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Eldridge Park: Elmira

Eldridge Park rides New York

Eldridge Park Carousel Preservation Society

The lovely, small park includes flower gardens and a few rides and attractions. The highlight is an antique carousel that dates to the 1890s. Other attractions include the spinning rides, Turtle Chase and Thunderbirds, a train ride, mini-golf, paddle boats, and pony carts. The park stages special events, including fireworks and Farm City Day. Plans for the 2021 season call for a new Tilt-A-Whirl ride to open.

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Enchanted Forest Water Safari: Old Forge

Enchanted Forest Water Safari
Enchanted Forest Water Safari

Primarily a water park, the dry rides at Enchanted Forest include a carousel, Ferris wheel, and kiddie rides. Adjacent to the park is an arcade, go-karts, a zip line, and rock-climbing attraction. The resort includes an inn and a campground.

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Fantasy Forest Amusement Park: Queens

Fantasy Forest Amusement Park in Queens

Fantasy Forest Amusement Park

Located next to the Queens Zoo, Fantasy Forest is a small outdoor amusement park with rides geared to younger children. They include the Flushing Meadows Carousel (which debuted at the 1964 New York World’s Fair), the Corona Cobra Coaster, teacups, a train ride, and a small drop tower.

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Fantasy Island in Grand Island

Closed in 2019, the Niagara Falls-area park has a new owner that plans to reopen the water slides and other water park attractions in 2021. The “dry” rides, which includes the Silver Comet wooden coaster, are scheduled to reopen in 2022. The small amusement and water park dates back to 1961. It was known as Martin’s Fantasy Island from 1994 to 2016.

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The Great Escape: Queensbury (Lake George)

Greezed Lightnin' thrill ride at The Great Escape.
Six Flags

Owned and operated by Six Flags, The Great Escape is a major theme park with thrilling rides (including the wonderful, classic Comet wooden coaster) as well as fairytale lands and attractions that reflect its origins as a park for young children. It also features a large water park that is included with admission. Adjacent to the outdoor park is ​Six Flags Great Escape Lodge, an indoor water park resort that is open year-round. For the 2021 season, The Great Escape is debuting Adirondack Outlaw, a 165-foot-tall pendulum ride.

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Harris Hill Amusement Park

Harris Hill Amusement Park

Harris Hill Amusement Park

The vintage park, which opened in 1947, is really more of a family entertainment center (FEC) than a full-fledged amusement park. Among its primary attractions are mini-golf, go-karts, batting cages, and an arcade, all FEC staples. Harris Hill also offers kiddie rides such as a mini Whip, carousel, and a spinning Airplane. Nearby affiliated attractions include the National Soaring Museum, the Tanglewood Nature Center, and a pool.

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Huck Finn's Playland: Albany

Huck Finn's Playland
Huck Finn's Playland

Improbably, the small amusement park is located next to and operated by a furniture store. Most of the rides are for young children. The handful of family rides include a Scrambler and a Tilt-A-Whirl.

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Lake George Expedition Park: Lake George

Lake George Expedition Park

Lake George Expedition Park

Formerly known as Magic Forest, the Lake George Expedition Park is geared toward the younger set and is much more laid back than the nearby Great Escape.

This modest park features kiddie rides, a petting zoo, and shows as well as the new-in-2019 Dino Roar Valley, which features several lifelike sculptures of the most well-known dinosaurs who roamed this land millions of years ago.

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Legoland New York

Legoland New York theme park

The LEGO Group.

It was supposed to open in 2020, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Legoland New York is planning to debut in 2021 instead. Like other Legoland parks in Florida, California, and around the world, it will feature toned-down rides and attractions geared to younger children and themed to the famous toy brand. Among the highlights will be Miniland, with famous U.S. landmarks built entirely out of Lego bricks; Lego Ninjago World with a 3-D, interactive dark ride in which guests use martial arts hand gestures to score points; and the Lego Factory Adventure Ride, a first-of-its-kind attraction that magically transforms passengers into Lego mini figures. The Legoland resort will also feature a themed Legoland Hotel.

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Luna Park: Coney Island in Brooklyn


Arthur Levine

Most of the amusements at Coney Island are now operated by Luna Park, which also includes the Scream Zone. Among its treasures are the Cyclone, perhaps the most famous (and one of the oldest) wooden roller coasters in the world, and the Thunderbolt, a modern-day take on steel coasters complete with a 90-degree lift hill and multiple inversions.

New for 2021, Luna Park will be welcoming a number of kiddie rides, including Grand Prix, Fire Patrol, and Circus Candy.

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Midway Amusement Park: Ellery

Midway Amusement Park

Mkbingcon / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

Midway is a charming small trolley park with a vintage carousel, kiddie coaster, Tilt-A-Whirl, and other classic rides. It is located inside Midway State Park.

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Orion’s Landing: Hamburg

Orion’s Landing entertainment center in Hamburg

Orion’s Landing

An entertainment center that features virtual reality, Orion’s Landing offers a variety of experiences, including group escape games and shooter games. There is also an Esport arena, an arcade with video games and air hockey, a cafe with a full bar, and function rooms to rent for birthdays and other events.

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Palisades Center: West Nyack

5 Wits attraction at Palisades Center New York

5 Wits

The shopping, dining, and entertainment complex offers a surprising number of attractions. You could almost spend an entire day at the indoor center enjoying the rides and many other things to do, such as:

  • Rides, including a Ferris wheel, a carousel, bumper cars, and go-karts
  • Mini-golf
  • Ropes course
  • Bowling
  • Dave & Buster’s arcade games and other attractions
  • Billy Beez play arena
  • 5 Wits group game adventure
  • Palisades Climb Adventure
  • VR Exodrome virtual reality experience
  • Escape the Mystery Room
  • Ice skating
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Rye Playland: Rye

Rye Playland coaster
Rye Playland

Rye Playland is a classic, historical park (it is registered as a National Historic Landmark) with original art-deco architecture and ambiance. Rides include the Dragon wooden coaster, a beautiful carousel, a freefall ride, and a splashdown ride. It is located on a seaside boardwalk. Playland is a municipal park that is operated by the Westchester County Department of Parks.

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Santa's Workshop: North Pole

People in costume at Santa's Workshop
Santa's Workshop

Santa's Workshop is a small, Christmas-themed park with a few rides and shows. It is open in the summer and some weekends before Christmas.

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Seabreeze Amusement Park: Rochester

Jack rabbit rollercoaster at Seabreeze Amusement Park

Seabreeze Amusement Park

Although its famous Quantum Loop steel coaster closed in 2017, the medium-sized park on Lake Ontario  in Rochester known as Seabreeze Amusement Park is still a great destination for some family fun in the warmer months of the year. 

Ride the classic Jack Rabbit wooden coaster or cool off for the day at the Raging Rivers Waterpark, which is included in the price of admission to Seabreeze. However, also keep in mind that children aged 17 and under must be accompanied by an adult chaperone on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the season.

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Sylvan Beach Amusement Park

People getting on a ride at Laffland Sylvan Beach park
Sylvan Beach Amusement Park

This is a small, amusement park on the shores of Oneida Lake. It includes LaffLand, a classic Pretzel dark ride. (Pretzel was a company that manufactured many haunted-house-like dark rides, few of which remain in operation today.) It also includes spinning rides such as a Tilt-A-Whirl and a Rotor.

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Six Flags Darien Lake: Darien Center

A rollercoaster at Darien Lake
Darien Lake Amusement Park

The major amusement park features the Ride of Steel hypercoaster, the launched Orange County Choppers MotoCoaster, and a good-sized water park that is included with admission. The destination resort includes a hotel, a huge campground, and a major performing arts center that welcomes major acts each summer.

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Victorian Gardens Amusement Park: Central Park, NYC

Victorian Gardens Amusement Park
Victorian Gardens

The Victorian Gardens Amusement Park is a seasonal attraction that comes to New York City's Central Park every spring through fall.

Set up on Wollman Rink near the southeast corner of the park, this small, free-admission park features rides geared mostly toward younger children. It also offers face painting, storytelling, clowns, and interactive games throughout the season.

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WonderWorks: Syracuse

WonderWorks Syracuse Canyon Climb


Part of a chain of indoor amusement attractions, the WonderWorks in Syracuse offers a variety of things to do, including laser tag, a 4D XD Motion Theater, ropes courses, and zones devoted to physical challenges, an imagination lab, space discovery, and more.

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24 New York Theme Parks Jam-Packed With Fun