Best Amusement Parks in NJ
Looking for big thrills, either wild or mild? These awesome amusement parks have got you covered.
100 Pinedge Dr., West Berlin
Even if your kids aren’t obsessed with trucks, they’ll have a blast at this construction-themed amusement park. The first of its kind in the US, it gives kids (and adults) a chance to drive tractors and excavators. A must-see here is the Spin Dizzy, where you ride in a tractor “scoop,” and the SkyShuttle, which lifts riders five stories into the air. Even better, kids get to sit behind the wheel and navigate actual construction vehicles on a bunch of off-road obstacle courses. It’s best for kids four and up, since they’ll be able to ride and operate machinery on their own, without sitting on your lap.
The Details: $34.95 per person; children under 36 inches are free.
Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom
4000 Dorney Park Rd., Allentown, PA
This place rivals Six Flags Great Adventure in mega thrill rides and coasters, but its new attraction takes riders on a trip back in time. Originally opened in 1924, the ThunderHawk is a wooden coaster that’s just been refurbished. Nearly 100 years old and still a lot of fun, it joins a lineup of eight other big roller coasters your kids will see from the highway and beg to go on before you even park. For the younger ones, Camp Snoopy is filled with Peanuts-themed rides, from a mini-coaster to a giant Snoopy inflatable bounce house. And if you want to get wet, don’t miss Wildwater Kingdom, which has plenty of water slides, two wave pools and a lazy river, and is included in your admission.
The Details: $55 for adults, $44 for children under 48 inches and free for children under two.
Land of Make Believe
354 Great Meadows Rd., Hope
This charming, family-owned park is a perfect “first” amusement adventure for your little ones. Fair warning: You’ll be really sad when they outgrow it. It has all the classic rides kids love in sizes that even worried parents won’t mind, including a Ferris wheel and activities like a hayride and petting zoo. You get the best of both worlds with its water park, which caters to both younger and older kids. It features Pirate’s Escape (a plunge ride) and the Sidewinder (which simulates a free-falling experience), plus dumping buckets and a lazy river. Don’t miss a trip through the Fireplace to visit Santa at the North Pole for some year-round Christmas magic.
The Details: $27 for adults, $29 for kids two to 18 and free for kids under two for the water park and all the rides.
3501 Boardwalk, Wildwood
One of our favorite boardwalks has turned into a major amusement park in its own right. There are three separate piers to explore (you have to walk a bit between them, so bring a stroller for the little ones). Surfsider Pier is home to a fantastic water park with a lazy river and some cool slides (we love the Tarzan swing), typical carnival rides and the recently reopened Kong (a legendary Wildwood landmark from the ‘70s). Mariner’s Pier is home to the huge (150-foot!) Giant Wheel, where you can see the entire beachy horizon, and is filled with go-karts, a really scary haunted house and car-driving rides for the real-littles. Adventure Pier lives up to its name with the mega wooden coaster Great White, and the 150-foot Skyscraper (a spinning combo of a seasaw and swing). There’s the cool new ArtBox artists’ colony to check out so kids can see some crafty types at work while you recover from the rides.
The Details: Adult combo passes (for the amusement and water parks) are $79 and kids under 48 inches are $59.
Six Flags Great Adventure
1 Six Flags Blvd., Jackson
This teen and ‘tween paradise has just added the Joker roller coaster to its lineup. It claims to be the most unique ride in park history, using one-of-a-kind magnetic technology and swiveling cars. Basically, riders are in swinging seats that do complete loops while they’re speeding along insanely impossible tracks. You’ll get dizzy just looking at it! Add that to the existing thrill rides, including the super tall Nitro, the terrifying launches of Kingda Ka and the Zumanjaro Drop of Doom (the tallest free-fall in the world), and you’ve got enough adrenaline to last all day. Sound like too much for your group? Try the Looney Tunes-themed preschoolers’ area, and don’t miss meet-and-greets with Bugs Bunny and pals.
The Details: Day passes are $70 for adults, $45 for children under 54 inches and free for kids under two.