I love visiting amusement parks! They are such wonderful places for an exciting family outing. I’ve been having fun at amusement parks since I was a little girl when my church would plan an annual “church picnic.” Sometimes, we would go to Valley Forge for an old-fashioned BBQ picnic. Many times, we would go to an amusement park. For the most part, it was Clementon Park that we would visit. Other times it would be Dorney Park.
I also remember my dad taking our family to many fun places, but when it came to amusement parks, it was when the church sponsored it that my family would go. It was a good idea because of the group discounts for admission to the park, free transportation, and a catered lunch. More importantly, it was an opportunity to spend time with family and friends. These annual church trips still happen, and, now, my children get to be a part of it. The annual church trip is something they look forward to every year. Just like when I was a kid, they, too, enjoy spending time with other family and friends. Our church is full of children, so this is a big plus for our kids.
Now that I have my own family, going to amusement parks has been one of the activities we love to do together. We have been to amusement parks during every season. It’s nice to visit the amusement parks in the spring just when the weather is right. When we go in the summer, we get to enjoy the water parks that are attached to many amusement parks. When we go in the fall during the month of October, it’s for their special events like the Pumpkin Fest and/or Haunted event at Dorney Park. During the month of November and December, we’ve visited a couple of amusement parks to get into the Christmas season. Every time we go to an amusement park, no matter the season or holiday, we have loads of fun. I’m glad this is a source of fun for us!
Do you want to know why I’m such a big fan of amusements parks? Let me tell you!
Something for everyone
No matter what your age or interest, amusement parks have something that all members of the family can enjoy. My 3 older children can enjoy all the thrill rides and ride all the roller coasters to their hearts’ content. I enjoy getting on these rides with my kids (thankfully, I haven’t hit the point where I don’t ride anymore, since I’m still young yet!). My hubby enjoys some rides, too, more so the family rides that don’t have you up high, spinning, going upside down, and have you feeling like you will fall out of the sky! Oh, the joy of those rides! The adrenaline…it’s something about that rush of excitement and fear at the same time. I get on any and every ride — you would think I was a teen. Except by the end of the day when my body reminds me I’m not.
Ayden doesn’t have to miss out on all the fun because there’s always a nice kiddie section in the park for him at 4 years old. And aside from the kiddie section, some parks have kiddie rides throughout the parks. When Donte, Kaiya, Mikayla, and I get on the thrill rides, my husband and Ayden get on one of his rides nearby.
Then, most amusement parks have live entertainment in different areas of the park and shows playing at their theater(s). This is perfect for non-riders or when you want a break from all the thrills. Indoor theaters come in handy on hot summer days when you need to cool off and relax a bit. In addition, most amusement parks have games for families to enjoy, and a lot of the games offer you the chance to take home a winning prize!
Many amusement parks have a water park
For those who enjoy the water, many amusement parks have a water park attached to it. There’s usually no separate price for the water park and often included in the general admission. My kids enjoy swimming, water slides, and tubes. One of their favorite water attractions is the wave pool. Personally, I’m a fan of the lazy river! My husband is not a water person, so he gets to sit, relax, and watch all us have fun while keeping an eye on the kids and taking pictures. I look forward to the day when I can sit and relax while the kids play, but Ayden isn’t old enough to be in the water without an adult yet. Water parks are great for relaxing and staying cool on a hot summer day. Just make sure to pack sunscreen!
Great food and snacks
Can I get an amen for the amusement park food and snacks?! Of course, foods and snacks vary from park to park, but everyone in your family should be able to find something they like. Maybe it’s pizza, chicken fingers, French fries, or BBQ that will satisfy your appetite. And let’s not forget funnel cake, fried Oreos, kettle corn, and ice cream on a waffle cone. When the amusement parks have their seasonal events, they also have seasonal treats like S’mores and hot chocolate for when it’s colder out. We always enjoy a special treat when we go to an amusement park, so the kids really look forward to that part.
Growing up, going to amusement parks was just a summer thing. But many parks realized we can have fun during all the seasons. I’m so glad that some amusement parks change their park to celebrate a season or holiday. Fall is a great time to visit an amusement park. It’s something about the crisp air, the colors of the leaves, the smells of apple pie and pumpkin spice, decor, bonfires, hayrides, and S’mores. It’s so beautiful when amusement parks transform their parks for a Halloween event or Fall Fest. Plus, I appreciate not having to be hot and sweaty while trying to have fun. Kids can safely go trick-or-treating in the parks, enjoy a hayride, pet zoo animals, and find their way through a maze, in addition to getting on their favorite rides. And there’s something magical about going to an amusement park at the end of the year to celebrate Christmastime. The parks are transformed into beautiful winter wonderlands or spectacular light shows! The atmosphere is full of love, joy, and peace, and it feels wonderful to be a part of the festivities! I remember one time enjoying a live show at Busch Gardens and leaving feeling the spirit of Christmas like never before! The songs touched my spirit in a way that there was no doubt about the real meaning of Christmas and why we celebrate!
Keep in mind, the seasonal activities vary from park to park, but my family has always enjoyed all the seasonal activities at the parks that host them. The parks that we experienced Fall/Halloween events at were Sesame Place, Hershey Park, and Dorney Park. My goal is to visit other parks like Six Flags Great Adventure, Disney World, and Busch Gardens during the fall season. For Christmas events, we’ve enjoyed Dutch Wonderland, Sesame Place, Hershey Park, and Busch Gardens. I’m interested in experiencing what Christmas is like in Disney World and at Six Flags! I hear that those parks as very festive around the holidays!
I love taking pictures! Ever since I was a kid, I enjoyed taking pictures. I must get it from my dad because I remember when I was growing up he took pictures of his family all the time. And when I became older, there were times I would look back at his pictures and think to myself, “I’m glad I have these visual memories to look back on.” Even though the memories remain in my heart, it is always nice to look at pictures and see what my family looked like “back in the day,” and the pictures give you something to talk about.
I enjoy capturing moments of my family when we’re home or out and about and sharing them with my family and friends. Taking pictures of my family at amusement parks is fun and they offer so many backgrounds and props for one-of-a-kind photos! Even though I take pictures of my family posing, my favorite types of moments to capture are candid shots! I’m sure I annoy my family at times because I will stop them to take a picture while we’re on our way to the next activity. I can’t help it — I saw a lovely background that’s perfect for a picture! I snap all kinds of pictures: walking to the next ride, standing in line, on the ride, browsing in the gift shop, eating a snack or meal, going down a slide, on the Ferris Wheel during a sunset, park characters, and live entertainment, just to name a few! Months or years later, my family will be able to reminiscence and smile as they go through pictures of the times we went to one of their favorite amusement parks.
I have to be very careful going into the gift shops with my family of six! If we had it our way, our gas bill wouldn’t get paid for that month! Before going into the shops, I set some boundaries about our spending limit. Monetary gifts that my kids received for their birthdays or “just because” come in handy for gift shops. I tell my kids that they can put some of their own little money towards a souvenir or gift for someone. This is important because it teaches them to be financially responsible. The gift shops offer so many special items and memorabilia related to the themes of the park. Some items are perfect for giving, displaying, wearing, or playing with. My family enjoys browsing for souvenirs that make our amusement park trip more memorable. Even if we don’t buy something from a gift shop, it’s fun to check out what the stores have to offer.
One of the best things I love about amusement parks is that they provide my family with opportunities for family bonding. From driving to the park, walking to the rides together, relaxing at the pool, eating meals, watching shows, getting on rides, browsing the gift shops, and taking pictures are quality times for bonding. We spend a lot of time talking and laughing about various topics, even sometimes arguing about what ride to get on next or what we want to eat! We talk about our memories from another time we visited that park, about our favorite rides from that day, and what we liked best about a show. Larry and I learn more about our kids’ likes and dislikes or what their interests are from the games they play and items that catch their eyes in the gift shops. Being together at an amusement park is a great way for my family to enjoy each other’s company and bond. If you are ever looking for opportunities to bond with your family, try visiting an amusement park!
These are some of the reasons for my love of amusement parks! What about you? Do you like them? Tell us your favorite part about them!