Best 7 Family Amusement Parks for Geeky Families

cedar pointDon’t settle for any old amusement park. Check out our list of the best 7 family amusement parks for geeky families & make your trip an uber special one.

Taking the Open Road to a New Destination of Fun

It’s never too early to start planning an awesomely geeky summer vacation for the whole family. One option that’s tried and true is packing up the car and heading out to an amusement park. (Which just happens to be one of my all-time favorite road trip ideas, by the way!)

We all know how super cool Disneyland/world, Universal Studios and Knotts Berry Farm are. Heck, if you’re half the theme park fan that I am, you’ve probably been to each of them. Twice. Or more.

So, we’ll just put those aside for now.

Instead, let’s take a look at seven of the coolest amusement parks in America that maybe aren’t on your radar. Because believe you me, they definitely should be.

Every one of these places is so much fun, offering a huge variety of rides and activities suitable for the whole family, no matter how old or young your little geeks may be.

AND… a most of these places are a HECK of a lot cheaper than Disney or Universal parks, allowing you to maximize the fun while minimizing the assault on your savings.

So get ready, buckle in, be sure to keep your arms and legs inside the article at all times, and let’s start roller-coasting our way through this list of seven geektastic amusement parks that you won’t want to miss!

Top 7 Family Amusement Parks You Probably Haven’t Heard Of

7. Schlitterbahn – New Braunfels, TX

schlitterbahn 2Schlitterbahn is a family-owned waterpark that’s been in operation for 35 years. There are other park locations in the U.S. (the second best in Kansas City), but the New Braunfels Schlitterbahn is going to be my pick for this list.

schlitterbahnWhat brands of pure awesomeness does Schlitterbahn offer? The Bahnzai Pipe Line Tube Slides. The Biergarten Heated Pool & Swim Up Bar (for adults, of course…). Boogie Bahn Surfing Rides. Double Loop Body Slides.


Schlitterbahn has been the recipient of Amusement Today‘s “Best Water Park” for years and years and years. And I am not even close to surprised.


6. Hersheypark – Hershey, PA

hersheyparkFounded in 1905, Hersheypark is one of the oldest theme parks in the nation.

hersheypark 2Originally, it was built as a place for employees of the Hershey Chocolate Company to let off some steam and relax, but eventually it was opened to the sweet-toothed masses.

The park features 68 rides, 12 roller coasters, and more chocolate-based shenanigans than you could ever possibly fathom.

Fans of Hershey’s huge selection of sweet goodies are going to find themselves in a decadent paradise, but even those who have a not-so-pleasant relationship with candy are bound to have an absolute blast!


5. Knoebels Amusement Resort- Elysburg, PA

knoebelsKnoebels Amusement Resort has been around for 87 years and–from day one to today–remains the country’s largest free-admission amusement park.

knoebels 2Yup, you heard me right: FREE ADMISSION.

You know what else is free there? Parking.

But there’s so much more to Knoebels than the luxury of a good bargain–it has 5 roller coasters, 2 carousels, 2 awesome trains, the tallest Ferris wheel in Pennsylvania (110 feet), and a couple dozen other rides, including the wonderful Scenic Skyride.

In other words, you get all the fun of a grand amusement park without having to pay a dime for entrance.

What you will have to pay a few dimes for is the food. But, hey, that is A-OK, because it’s been the recipient of Amusement Today‘s Golden Ticket Award for “Best Amusement Part Food” for 15 freakin’ years (1998-2011, 2013)!

If you’re on a low-ticket budget but looking for big-ticket fun, Knoebels Amusement Resort is your must-visit destination.

4. Sesame Place – Langhorne, PA

Sesame PlaceThere are just so many reasons that this place is such a great family vacay destination. Recent(ish) upgrades and expansions have given Sesame Place 14 acres of space that’s full-to-brimming with rides, water attractions, activities and eateries. The expansion also allowed for the creation of Sesame Island and Twiddlebug Land.

sesame placeObviously, this is definitely a park for kids of all ages. The youngest will love Ernie’s Waterworks and the Sunny Day Carousel while the older kids will really dig the tide pools, water slides and Grover’s Vapor Trail roller coaster.

And the cherry on top of this deliciously geeky sundae? In 2007, Sesame Place became the first completely smoke-free amusement park in Pennsylvania.

Ah, yes, deeeeeep breaths!


3. Cedar Point – Sandusky, OH

cedar point 2Featuring a world-record-breaking SEVENTY-TWO RIDES, Cedar Point is a park that has something for everyone. And if your little geeks like roller coasters, don’t you worry, my friends, because Cedar Point has SIXTEEN OF THEM (they’re tied with Wonderland in Canada for 2nd most roller coasters in the world!).

cedar point 3And what’s more, Cedar Point is the only park on earth with four roller coasters over 200 feet high.

And what’s even more, it’s been honored by Amusement Today as the Best Amusement Park in the World for SIXTEEN YEARS.

Sounds good to me!


2. King’s Island – Mason, OH

Kings IslandKing’s Island is a sprawling 364-acre park that boasts (and if they don’t boast, they certainly should!) more than 80 rides, attractions and entertainment shows.

kinds Island 2AND there are 13 roller coasters (including the upcoming Banshee, which will be the world’s longest inverted coaster when construction finishes this year).

AND a 33-acre water park called Soak City that features two tide pools, tons of water slides and an awesome array of children’s play zones.

AND it has won the Golden Ticket Award from Amusement Today for “Best Kids’ Area” in the world for 13 years running.

AND it has a supremely wicked Halloween event every year with haunted houses, haunted mazes, haunted shows and nearly-full access to the park’s regular rides and attractions.

AND (last one, I promise) it has Planet Snoopy.

Nuff said.


1. Legoland – Carlsbad, CA

Legoland 2There are Legolands all over the world (seriously, they have parks in England, Germany, Denmark, even Malaysia!), but the California location has got to be one of the best. The weather is fantastic, the rides are unforgettable, and the people who work there are really super sweet.

legolandSome of Legoland’s many (many) highlights include:

  • Dino Island – featuring an awesome mini steel roller coaster
  • Miniland USA – which has a 1:20 scale model of the park, complete with super detailed architecture
  • Castle Hill – medieval-themed rides and attractions
  • Fun Town – where you get to role play various adult vocations at the Volvo driving school (ages 6-13), Flight Squadron simulator/ride, and the Police and Fire Academy

Whether you’re a lifelong Lego fan (like me), or someone who just likes awesome amusement parks (like my wife), Legoland makes for a perfect family vacation.



Well, I don’t know about you, but after writing this, I’m getting SUPER excited about hitting the road this summer with the family and getting our butts on some roller coasters!

What’s you favorite amusement park? Any place I neglected to mention?

Don’t Forget About Us!!

About Peter Diseth

Geek-tician and Sci-Fi-nancier, Peter has been honing his research for Geeks Raising Geeks for better than three decades. He makes a living creating web content for individuals and businesses, both local and international. He's also a veteran actor of stage and screen, and doing this makes "making a living" worthwhile. Peter is also the sole creator of (a satirical news blog in the vein of The Onion) and a once-contributor to WhatCulture.

Peter lives in New Mexico with the three loves of his life: his wife Kate, his kitty Kitty, and his vast library of well-loved and well-worn genre fiction.

Like this article?

Speak Your Mind