Summer Family Moments

Top 10 Amusement Parks to Visit This Summer

roller coasterHappy Fourth of July, friendsicles! Here's to a mid work-week respite and to lighting things on fire in our backyards. Independence Day not only signifies the birth of our nation, but the birth of summer, as well. Since most public schools end in late June, the Fourth sort of rings in the start of a warm season filled with pool time, barbecues, and amusement parks.

If you're not familiar with some of our country's great theme parks, I kindly suggest you put down that hot dog and beer long enough to read our top 10 list. Check out which amusement park is near you and plan a family trip -- it's what the Founding Fathers would want, after all.

  1. Busch Gardens, Williamsburg, VA. Best amusement park in the nation, if you ask me. The park is almost entirely shaded, it has HUGE roller coasters for the adults and great options for the little ones. Adult day passes are $67, kids are $57.
  2. Knoebels Amusement Resort in Elysburg, Pennsylvania. This old-fashioned, very family-friendly park is pay per ride. Go for the wooden roller coaster, stay for the food -- it's been voted Best Food for over seven years. 
  3. Universal Studios, Orlando, FL. Can you say "mind-blowing Harry Potter ride" and "boozy City Walk"? Day passes are $123 for adult, $117 for kids.
  4. Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio. This place is huge. With over 17 roller coasters and ten shows, there's never a break in the action. Adults pay $52, kids are $30.
  5. Disney World, Orland, FL. I mean, Space Mountain might be the best ride ever invented. Tickets start at $77 a day.
  6. Wonder World Park, San Marcos, Texas. Explore caves and learn about Mother Nature's destructive forces all in a fun-filled environment of learning. Adults $20, kids $16.
  7. Knott's Berry Farm, Buena Park, CA. Dubbed the "best amusement park in California," this place gives Disneyland a run for it's money. Water rides, roller coasters, and live entertainment for $58 a day, $30 for kids.
  8. Six Flags Great America, Gurnee, Illinois. Thrilling rides and water slides in the Midwest for $57, $37.
  9. Lake Compounce, Bristol, CT. It's the oldest theme park in North America. After a $50 million upgrade, this park as thrill rides and classic rides alike. $36 adults, $26 kids.
  10. Oaks Amusement Park, Portland, Oregon. There's mini golf, a roller rink, and a dance pavilion in this theme park. Bonus! Free admission, pay per ride/amusement.

What's your favorite theme park?


Photo via roller coaster philosopy/Flickr


entertaining, travel


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ceciliam ceciliam

We got season passes to Great Adventure since it's 5 minutes from my house. My favorite litlle amusement park is Storybook's so cute!

dreab... dreabug23

Cedar Point!!

nonmember avatar dt

Don't forget Holiday World, three best coasters on the planet. People travel from all over the world for them. They have the tallest and longest water coaster and the second tallest and longest water coaster too, also tallest raft ride. Free soda, parking, free onride storage free rafts free sunscreen and cheap food

daerc... daerca574

well the closest one to us is World's of Fun in Kansas City.  I do like it, but prefer Six Flags over Texas.

chigi... chigirl1228

I've been to Disney world, Knott's berry farm, and six flags gurnee. knotts was cool bc of the military discount for the service member and dependants and and six flags is always fun. but I want to go to universal studios and Busch gardens next.

mamio... mamiofthree1982

CANADA'S WONDERLAND!!!!! If ur ever in Southern Ontario, look it up!


Busch gardens in tampa is te best ever. And only 20 minutes away.

ANSnyder ANSnyder

I have never been to any of these. We have a Six Flags here in St. Louis and besides for Disney World it's the only one I have been to.

Shandi80 Shandi80

Six Flags Great America used to be a lot better, when it was Marriott's.

It is stil a nice place, just very commercialized and expensive. Definitely pack a cooler if you're low on funds, but keep in mind, you'll have to leave it in the car while you ride and get your hand stamped to re-enter the park after you eat...

godde... goddess99

I like Disney World and Great America.

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