That’s right, summer is coming! One of the most fun things to do in the summer is to hit up the water and amusement parks. And there are a bunch of them right around Chester County, PA! While things might look a little different, and new precautions are put into place to keep everyone healthy, these family fun parks are open and ready to bring some much-needed fun back to summer. So grab your sunblock and swimsuits (and masks) and check out these ten parks near Chester County.
Water and Amusement Parks Near Chester County
1. Dutch Wonderland
2249 Lincoln Hwy E, Lancaster, PA · (866) 386-2839
Known as one of Pennsylvania’s best theme parks, Dutch Wonderland is a great park for families with younger kids. A wonderful “kingdom for kids,” complete with dragons, princesses, and Merlin, there are a ton of rides for kids and families. You can also check out Exploration Island, a prehistoric land with a lot of dinosaurs, or Duke’s Lagoon, a tropical oasis with water slides and more. You do need to register for a specific date before heading to the park due to capacity limits.
100 W. Hersheypark Drive, Hershey, PA · (800) 437-7439
Originally created as a place for employees of Hershey’s Chocolate Factory, Hersheypark is now a theme park full of roller coasters, water slides, and of course, chocolate. There is also a super fun North American wildlife park with over 200 animals. And don’t forget to check out Hershey’s Chocolatetown, which doesn’t just have a ton of yummy places to eat, it also has a fast, tall, and long roller coaster with a Hershey’s candy theme. To allow for capacity limits, reservations are required before your visit.
3. Sesame Place
100 Sesame Rd, Langhorne, PA · (215) 702-3566
If you have young kids, or you just love Sesame Street, Sesame Place is the perfect theme park. Full of fun rides and water slides, there are also live shows and parades. You can even get pictures with your favorite characters. A pretty cool and unique fact about Sesame Place it is the first theme park in the world to be designated as a certified autism center. They also require reservations prior to your visit.
4. Knoebels Amusement Resort
391 Knoebels Boulevard, PA-487, Elysburg, PA · (800) 487-4386
America’s largest free-admission amusement park has rides, a water park, arcades, and mini-golf, and a lot more. While it does not cost anything to get into the park, you do have to pay for rides and other attractions. Knoebels also does a lot of special events including, autism awareness day, deaf day, and senior citizen day. You do not need to make reservations prior to visiting, and they are managing capacity via parking areas, though they do recommend pre-purchasing pool passes, particularly on weekends.
5. Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom
3830 Dorney Park Rd, Allentown, PA · (610) 395-3724
With extreme coasters, such as Possessed, as well as tamer rides and a water park, there is really something for everyone in the family. They also have lots of live entertainment, and you can meet your favorite Peanuts character (Linus, obviously). Reservations are required prior to your visit, and they are also requiring that at least one member of your group has Dorney Park’s mobile app downloaded.
6. Idlewild and SoakZone
2574 US-30 E, Ligonier, PA · (724) 238-3666
Another of Pennsylvania’s best theme and water parks, Idlewild has been around since 1878. With a huge water park, tons of rides, and other unique attractions, it is a great place for families. One of their unique attractions is Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, so if your kids are big Daniel Tiger fans, this is a great park to check out. They are not allowing reservations, and will try to provide updates regarding capacity on their website and social media.
7. Kennywood Theme Park
4800 Kennywood Blvd, West Mifflin, PA · (412) 461-0500
Known as Pittsburgh’s best amusement park, Kennywood has been around for over 120 years and a few features include, seven roller coasters, Thomas Town, and Steelers Country. At the entrance of Steelers Country is the Steel Curtain, an extreme coaster with nine inversions and 4,000 feet of track which riders cross at 75 mph in only two minutes. Reservations are recommended but not required and the park plans to post updates on its website and social media.
8. Storybook Land
6415 Black Horse Pike, Egg Harbor Township, NJ · (609) 646-0103
This is a perfect “first” amusement park. Completely family-oriented, Storybrook Land is a great amusement park particularly if you have younger children. They make an extra effort to ensure the youngest kids have fun and are comfortable, particularly if it is their first time. And every area of the park, from dining to rides, has a story theme, like the Jack and Jill Hill Slide. Reservations are required unless you are a season pass holder.
9. DelGrosso’s Amusement Park and Laguna Splash Water Park
4352 E Pleasant Valley Blvd, Tipton, PA · (814) 684-3538
Probably one of the best things about this park is the low cost. The All Day Fun Pass provides unlimited access to the whole park, including the water park, and if you get your tickets online it is even cheaper, and they even offer coupons to lower the cost even more. Parking is free, and admission into the amusement park is free, you can either buy a fun pass for the rides or individual tickets, but you do need to have a fun pass to enter the water park. They do not have a reservation system, but they do recommend buying tickets online to limit time at the ticket windows.
10. Sandcastle Waterpark
1000 Sandcastle Dr, Homestead, PA · (412) 462-6666
Our final entry is known as Pittsburgh’s Best Family Water Park. The feature 15 waterslides, a wave pool, lazy river, and two play areas for younger kids. They are a Palace park, and you can buy a Platinum pass that gives you access to not only Sandcastle, but also Kennywood and Idlewild, which are also Palace parks. Reservations are not required but highly recommended.
Can you hit each park this summer? Should be fun to try!
Amusement Parks in Pennsylvania
Did you know Pennsylvania has more amusement parks than any other state in the country? From roller coasters to log flumes and water slides, each park is the ultimate way to pursue your summer fun, promising exciting experiences for visitors of all ages. So, if you’re planning a trip this summer, you should schedule a visit to at least one of these exciting amusement parks.
Know before you go: We recommend contacting your destination before your visit for their latest rules and regulations. Reduced hours may be in effect. Additionally, in an effort to limit the impact of COVID-19, most locations will have safety measures which could include: Limiting Capacity, Pre-Entry Temperature Checks, Face Coverings and Personal Protective Equipment, Social Distancing, and Educating Guests. It is best to plan ahead.