With its majestic Green Mountains, lovely Lake Champlain, and endless acres of rolling farmland, Vermont is loaded with natural beauty. When it comes to roller coasters and water slides, however, the state comes up short. That's not to say that there aren't any water parks or theme parks in Vermont—they're just a bit different than ones you's find in other states. Here's a guide to the places in the Vermont where you can find some park-like fun and thrills, most of which are located at the state’s major ski resorts.
One of Vermont's big ski resorts, Smugglers' Notch, offers some water park and amusement park-like fun after the ski poles get stored for the winter. The FunZone is a family entertainment center with mini-golf, laser tag, a climbing wall, and other activities. The resort also offers a year-round zip line. In the summer, there are eight outdoor pools and four water slides to enjoy along with a three-acre water playground. Activities are open to resort guests and the general public.
Killington is known more for its ski mountain. But in the warmer months, the resort offers some fun attractions, including alpine tubing, which allows passengers in tubes to soar down a course built into one of the mountain slopes. Other activities include an obstacle course, a climbing wall, zip lines, a ropes course, a jump tower, and a trampoline jump.
During both the summer and winter seasons, riders can challenge the Beast Mountain Coaster. The alpine coaster features two-passenger vehicles that careen along a track built into Killington Mountain.
Mountain Adventure Park is located at Bromley Mountain. Like Killington, it's a ski resort in the winter, and in the warmer weather, Bromley offers a mini park with fun attractions. There are two water slides, one of which is inflatable and is designed exclusively for children.
Mountain Adventure Park also offers dry rides such as Giant Swing, a thrill ride that sends passengers 40 feet in the air at 40 mph and delivers 3 Gs. Two of the park's more unusual attractions are Space Bikes, in which riders pedal vehicles that flip them head over heels, and Twin Spin, a self-propelled spinning ride. Other activities include an Alpine slide, a zip line, bumper boats, chairlift rides, a climbing wall, and mini-golf.
Located at the Jay Peak ski resort, The Pump House is a good-sized indoor water park. The climate-controlled park is open year around. Among its highlights is La Chute, the first water slide with a launch capsule and a 360-degree loop to open in an indoor water park. There is also a FlowRider surfing attraction, a lazy river, slides for little kids, and an interactive play structure with a tipping bucket. The park is open to both resort guests and the general public.
In the summer, Jay Peak also offers rides aboard its aerial tram to the top of its mountain.
A tiny park, Santa's Land USA has been charming visitors since 1957. The Christmas-themed attraction includes visits with Santa Claus, train rides on the Alpine Express, a carousel, a slide, and a few kiddie rides. It is open late June through Labor Day and during the holiday season.
If you seek amusement parks with roller coasters and other thrills as well as full-feature outdoor water parks, you'll have to travel to other states. Here is a select listing of nearby parks to visit:
Santa's Village in Jefferson, NH: Much larger than Vermont's Santa's Land, this Christmas themed park has a great selection of rides and attractions.
Story Land in Glen, NH: Wonderful storybook-themed park with a good variety of rides.
Funtown Splashtown U.S.A. in Saco, ME: Separate admission amusement park and water park. Highlights include the Excalibur wooden coaster.
Six Flags New England in Agawam, MA: Huge amusement park with some of the country's best roller coasters. An enormous water park is included with admission.
The Great Escape in Queensbury, NY: Lovely, storybook-themed park that also offers major thrill rides. A water park is included with admission. The year-round Six Flags Great Escape Lodge indoor water park resort is located next to the park.