Looking for a good old-fashioned adrenaline fix? Home to the oldest roller coaster in the country and Pittsburgh native George Ferris, who created the first Ferris Wheel for the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, Pennsylvania has plenty of great amusement parks.
Many of Pennsylvania's amusement parks are historic treasures, built around the turn of the century by the trolley companies to drum up weekend business. A step back in time, most are still owned by the same families and still contain many of the same classic attractions like fun houses, wooden coasters, whip rides and tunnels of love. Idlewild, located in Ligonier, is the third oldest amusement park in the country, and Kennywood in Pittsburgh is designated as a national historic landmark.
Western Pennsylvania Amusement Parks
Pittsburgh, Erie, Altoona
Conneaut Lake Park, Conneaut Lake - Located two hours north of Pittsburgh, Conneaut Lake Park is home to the famous "Blue Streak" wooden roller coaster, plenty of old-fashioned midway rides, and a cool waterpark.
DelGrosso's Amusement Park, Tipton - Family owned and operated, this small central Pennsylvania amusement park is famous for its "best amusement park food." More than 30 rides and attractions include midway rides, go-karts, a water park, and championship miniature golf.
Idlewild & Soak Zone, Ligonier - The third oldest operating amusement park in the country, Idlewild was named by "Amusement Today" as the second best kid's park in the world. Seven theme areas of fun include the Soak Zone Waterpark, Story Book Forest, the Olde Idlewild midway, and Mister Rogers' Neighborhood of Make-Believe.
Kennywood Park, Pittsburgh - Considered one of America's "finest traditional amusement parks," Kennywood features some great roller coasters, an old-fashioned grand carousel and a nostalgic atmosphere.
Lakemont Park, Altoona - Leap-the-Dips, the world's oldest operating roller coaster, is only one of the great attractions at this central Pennsylvania amusement park. There is also an island waterpark, a Go-Kart track, Spins 'n Grins Kiddieland, and an 18 hole miniature golf course.
Sandcastle Waterpark, Pittsburgh - Nestled on the shore of the scenic Monongahela River, this wet and wild summer playground features a wave pool, 15 waterslides, and a water area for the kids. The Sandbar nightclub offers evening fun for the 21-and-older crowd.
Splash Lagoon, Erie - Splash Lagoon is Pennsylvania's only indoor water park, and adds on a laser tag arena and arcade for even more fun. Water slides, body coasters, tube coasters, a lazy river, tipping bucket and 80,000 gallon activity pool are sure to keep you wet and cool.
Waldameer Park & Water World, Erie - Offering over 75 rides, slides and attractions, this family amusement and waterpark complex is located at the entrance to Presque Isle State Park in Erie.
Eastern Pennsylvania Amusement Parks
Philadelphia, Allentown, Poconos
Bushkill Park, Easton - A family tradition since 1902, this Lehigh Valley amusement park doesn't have a roller coaster, but does have 9 great old-fashioned rideslike bumper cars, tilt-a-whirl and the famous "Barl of Fun." Plus, miniature golf, roller skating rink, and a kiddieland.
Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom, Allentown - Home to more than 100 rides and attractions, Dorney Park features seven roller coasters, Camp Snoopy, live shows and one of the largest collections of water attractions in the country.
HersheyPark, Hershey - Voted top amusement park by Family Fun Magazine, Hershey Park was built in 1907 by chocolate entrepreneur Milton S. Hershey. This major theme park boasts over sixty rides, including some popular white-knuckle roller coasters.
Knoebel's Amusement Park, Elysburg - Two world-class roller coasters, plus family rides, kiddie rides, and two campgrounds are just some of the highlights of Pennsylvania's largest free-admission amusement park.
Sesame Place, Philadelphia - America's only theme park based on "Sesame Street," this family park features 15 water attractions the Vapor Trail roller coaster and the Sesame Street characters.
Have fun and stay safe!