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.

01 of 17

Adventureland: Farmingdale

Adventureland Long Island
Adventureland

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.

02 of 17

Coney Island: Brooklyn

People enjoying the beach at Coney Island

mizoula / Getty Images

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.

03 of 17

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.

04 of 17

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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05 of 17

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.

06 of 17

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.

07 of 17

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.

08 of 17

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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09 of 17

Luna Park: Coney Island in Brooklyn

Coney-Island-Thunderbolt.jpg

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.

10 of 17

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.

11 of 17

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.

12 of 17

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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13 of 17

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.

14 of 17

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.

15 of 17

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.

16 of 17

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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