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Amusement and Water Parks in New Jersey

Hop on a roller coaster or make a splash with New Jersey's best amusement and water parks!


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From thrill rides and kiddie rides to arcades and roller coasters, amusement parks were built to please the whole family. Double the fun when water is involved! The list to the right mentions every such venue recommended by our readers, and below we shine a spotlight on a few favorites.

Bowcraft Amusement Park (Scotch Plains)

This little gem on Route 22 is home to an array of amusement rides and attractions, with an emphasis on kiddie and family rides. Admission and parking are free; purchase 20 tickets for $22, 40 tickets for $40 (most rides take four each), or get a day pass for $27.50, which gives unlimited access to rides. Take advantage of Summer Night Specials: From 4-8 pm on Tues., Wed., and Thurs., children and adults pay $12.95 for unlimited rides.

Playland's Castaway Cove (Ocean City)

Ocean City’s oldest amusement park, Castaway Cove, has been providing more than 50 years of family fun at the Jersey Shore. Located on the boardwalk, the park offers a selection of more than 32 rides, many geared toward the under 10 set. Purchase tickets for rides (45 for $32).

Sahara Sam's (West Berlin)

New Jersey’s largest indoor water park features lots of water attractions, including a surfing simulator, the Flow Rider, a family raft ride, and a toddler area, as well as the Nile Mile, a brand, new 350-foot super-fast body slide. Ticket prices vary with both daytime options (daytime reserve $29.95, walk-up daytime reserve $34.95). Twilight reserve tickets are $24.95, walk-up twilight reserve are $26.95.

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Land of Make Believe (Hope)

The pirate-themed Land of Make Believe has been a NJ staple for almost 60 years. The park has a river ride and pirate ship with life-sized nets and water slides, as well as a tilt-a-whirl and roller coaster. For younger kids, the park has a wading pool and giant carousel. Admission includes all rides and attractions, including Pirate’s Cove WaterPark. Adults are $26, kids 2–18 are $28, senior citizens are $24. 

Hershey Park (Hershey, PA)

Tagged as “the sweetest place on Earth,” this theme park offers more than 65 rides and attractions, including over 20 kiddie rides. The park contains a waterpark called The Boardwalk at Hershey Park, and a zoo called ZooAmerica North American Wildlife Park. Adjacent is Hershey’s Chocolate World, a visitors’ center that is open to the public and contains shops, restaurants, and a chocolate factory-themed ride. Regular one-day admission is $61.95 for those 9 and up, $38.95 for kids ages 3-8. An early season pass is $110; all-season passes are $155 for regular and $140 for junior (ages 3-8).

Keansburg Amusement Park & Runaway Rapids Waterpark (Keansburg)

Family-owned since its start in 1905, the state’s oldest amusement park celebrated a grand reopening last summer after suffering devastating damage from Hurricane Sandy. Keansburg offers a selection of thrill rides, kiddie rides, and arcades. Purchase tickets ($29.95 for a sheet of 50) for individual rides; pay an hourly fee for admission to Runaway Rapids ($27.95 for three hours). Combo tickets are available.

Great Wolf Lodge (Scrotun, PA)

This colossal indoor water park in the Poconos has a wave pool, multiple water slides, and a toddler area. Rooms in the resort (which you must have to use the water park) range from $280 during the week up to $650+ for a Saturday-night stay in the top-of-the-line Majestic Bear suite. There are also lots of other activities and an arcade on premises. Charge everything to your room on your magnetic bracelet. Don’t miss nightly story time in the lobby.

Editor's Picks: Specialty Amusements

Field Station Dinosaurs (Secaucus)

Jersey Shore Pirate (Manasquan)

Wild West City (Stanhope)

Reader Picks

 Key:  (Amusement Parks)   (Water Parks)   (Top Votes)

Action Park Mountain Creek (Vernon)  

Bowcraft Amusement Park (Scotch Plains)  

Camelbeach Mountain Waterpark (Tannersville, PA)  

Casino Pier (Seaside Heights)  

Crystal Springs Aquatic Center (East Brunswick)  

Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom (Allentown, PA)  

Dutch Wonderland (Lancaster, PA)  

Fantasy Island Amusement Park (Beach Haven)  

FunTown Amusement Pier (Seaside)  

Great Wolf Lodge (Scrotun, PA)  

Hershey Park (Hershey, PA)  

Jenkinson's Boardwalk (Point Pleasant Beach)  

Jenkinson's Breakaway Beach (Seaside Park)  

Keansburg Amusement Park & Runaway Rapids Waterpark (Keansburg)  

Knoebels Amusement Resort (Elysburg, PA)  

Land of Make Believe (Hope)  

LEGOLAND Discovery Center (Yonkers, NY)  

Morey's Piers & Raging Waters (Wildwood)   

Playland's Castaway Cove (Ocean City)  

Sahara Sam's (West Berlin)  

Sesame Place (Langhorne, PA)  

Six Flags, Great Adventure/Hurricane Harbor (Jackson)  

Storybook Land (Egg Harbor Township)  

Tomahawk Lake (Sparta Township)  

 

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