Amusement and Water Parks in New Jersey
Hop on a roller coaster or make a splash at New Jersey's best amusement and water parks!
From thrills and kiddie rides to lazy rivers and tube slides, amusement and water parks please the whole family. Whether you’re indoors or out, the best waterparks and amusement parks may be one in the same. This list 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. Hop on the merry-go-round or kiddie boats, take a drive on the speedway or ride the swinger, and definitely don’t miss the roller coaster and arcade. Admission and parking are free; purchase 20 tickets for $23.50, 40 tickets for $42 (most rides take four each) or 100 tickets for $95. If your kiddos want unlimited fun, get a weekday pass for $25.95 or weekend pass for $29.95. Take advantage of Summer Night Specials: From 4-8 pm on Tues., Wed. and Thurs., kids and adults pay $15.95 for unlimited rides.
Camelbeach (Tannersville, PA)
At Camelbeach, you can soar over the park on a zipline or lounge around their 1,000 foot long lazy river, the Blue Nile Adventure River. If you’re looking for more fun, check into the Camelback Lodge resort for a few nights. Tickets for adventurers over 48” are $44. Tickets for those under 48” are $34; kids ages 2 and under are free.
Dorney Park (Allentown, PA)
Take a trip to one of Pennsylvania’s favorite amusement park and waterpark duos. Dorney boasts two parks for the price of one: Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom. Take a break from the rides and let the kids roam free in the kids cove: a submarine full of mini waterslides. Daily admission tickets start at $39.99.
Great Wolf Lodge (Scotrun, 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) can fit 4-8 people based on suite. There are also lots of other activities and an arcade on premises. The kids will want to get their swim, splash and slide on at the Double Barrel Drop, Hydro Plunge and River Canyon Run. The splashing continues at the Raccoon Lagoon, water fort tree house and Crooked Creek tubing. The kids can go alone or hop on a ride with Mom and Dad. Charge everything to your room on your magnetic bracelet. Don’t miss nightly story time in the lobby.
Hershey Park (Hershey, PA)
Named “the sweetest place on Earth,” this theme park offers more than 65 rides and attractions, including more than 20 kiddie rides. The park contains a waterpark called The Boardwalk and a zoo called ZooAmerica North American Wildlife Park. Adjacent is Hershey’s Chocolate World, a visitors’ center open to the public that contains shops, restaurants and a chocolate factory-themed ride. Regular one-day admission is $66.95 for those ages 9 and up, $44.95 for kids ages 3-8. All-season passes are $170 for regular and $155 for junior (ages 3-8).
Family-owned since opening in 1905, the state’s oldest amusement park celebrated a grand reopening a few summers ago after suffering devastating damage in Hurricane Sandy. Keansburg offers a selection of thrill rides, kiddie rides and arcades. Take a spin on the Tornado, Lopping Star or Pharaoh’s Fury, plus swings, a log flume, tilt-a-whirl and tea cups. Purchase tickets ($31.95 for a sheet of 50) for individual rides or pay an hourly fee for admission to Runaway Rapids ($28.95 for three hours). Combo tickets are available.
Knowebels (Elysburg, PA)
Welcome to America’s largest free admission amusement park. Have your kiddos try their hand at golf at Junior Clinic for golfers ages 7-14. Take a break from the fam and shop around their facility, go for a dip in the pool or dine at The Alamo, a sit-down restaurant that has been in service since 1926. Did we mention free parking, free live entertainment and free picnic facilities? Their “ride all day” plan starts at $34, but discounts are available on bargain nights and for groups.
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 lifesize nets and water slides, as well as a tilt-a-whirl, roller coaster and this summer’s newest ride: Scream Machine 360, which takes riders on “the ultimate upside down thrill ride” (you’ll fly in every direction). For younger kids, the park has a wading pool and giant carousel. Admission of $28 per adult, $30 per kid ages 2-18 and $26 per senior citizen, includes all rides, attractions and Pirate’s Cove WaterPark.
Morey's Piers (Wildwood)
Hop on classic carnival rides or try your hand at arcade games on Morey’s Piers, a destination that has served the Wildwood Community since the 1960s. Cool off at their two waterpark destinations: Raging Waters and Ocean Oasis Waterpark and Beach Club. Tickets to rides are sold individually and vary by amount purchased. Family packages with food and beverage credits included start at $135.
Mountain Creek (Vernon Township)
Spend a night at the lodge, wine and dine at one of five restaurants or make a splash at more than 20 of their waterslides and water rides. For the bike lovers in your life, take a ride along the mountains and trails of the resort. Tickets for the bike park and the water park are sold separately and full day waterpark tickets for guests over 48” start at $23.99. Full day bike park tickets start at $30.
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 10-and-under set. There’s a whirlwind coaster, go kart speedway, swings and more (like the alien abduction ride!)—plenty for both kiddos and adults to enjoy. Ride tickets are 47 for $32.
Sahara Sam's (West Berlin)
New Jersey’s largest indoor water park features lots of attractions, including a surfing simulator, the Flow Rider, a family raft ride and a toddler area, as well as the Nile Mile, a 350-foot body slide. Ticket prices vary with both daytime options offered (half day tickets are $32.99, full day tickets are $34.95).
Sesame Place (Langhorne, PA)
Can you tell me how to get the Sesame Street? Meet some of your kiddos’ favorite characters and ride on family-friendly roller coasters. There are daily shows and entertainment throughout the park, like Elmo the Musical: Live! With a “Choose Your Date” ticket, admissions is $45 per person. Kids under 2 are admitted free.
Six Flags Great Adventure (Jackson)
With unique thrill rides like Kingda Ka, the Joker and Nitro, Six Flags Great Adventure is synonymous with a good time. The amusement park offers seasonal activities, like the nightly Fright Fest parade during Halloween and Holiday in the Park during the winter. Over the summer, cool off at Hurricane Harbor, Great Adventure’s neighboring water park. Tickets for Six Flags: Great Adventure are $79.99 per adult and $49.99 per kid under 54” at the gate. Ages 2 and under are free.