Snow is melting. Flowers are blooming. Birds are chirping. And roller coasters are racing. Spring is the perfect season to take a trip with family or friends to a theme park. If you’re not sure which park to choose, or even which parks are near you, take a look at some of the best lesser-known theme parks across the country.
Many people don’t know about Silverwood, an inexpensive park located in northern Idaho, but it is perfect for those in the area who don’t want to travel far for a fun day in the sun. The park typically opens in May and holds various celebrations for Silverwood’s anniversary, Mother’s Day, and Memorial Day. Silverwood has four roller coasters as well as various other rides and attractions for all ages.
The amusement park also contains a water park called Boulder Beach, which includes rides and activities everyone can enjoy. Splash down Avalanche Mountain in a raft or take a swim in Boulder Beach Bay to cool off on a warm spring day.
Knott’s Berry Farm, California
Instead of your typical trip to Disneyland, make a visit to Knott’s Berry Farm, located in Buena Park, California. The park features 10 roller coasters, with the largest being the GhostRider, one of the tallest and longest wooden roller coasters in the world. The park also contains various children’s rides, thrill rides, water rides, games, and live entertainment.
If you visit the park in the spring, you can experience Knott’s Berry Bloom, a spring celebration that features fun activities, delicious food, and a Spring Fling Dance Party. Don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity, not to mention the beautiful weather at this time of the year.
Looking for a “sweet” theme park? Hersheypark features more than 65 rides and attractions, including 12 roller coasters and more than 20 kiddie rides. The accompanying water park, called the Boardwalk at Hersheypark, features 14 water attractions. In addition, you won’t want to miss Springtime in the Park, an event in April that includes live entertainment, entrance into the ZooAmerica wildlife park, and more.
Theme park enthusiast Mora Sweeny has visited theme parks across the country—including Disney World, Busch Gardens, Universal Studios, and King’s Dominion. However, Hersheypark remains her favorite—even after more than 20 visits.
“What I love at Hersheypark is that the whole town revolves around the park,” Sweeny says. For example, Hershey’s Chocolate World is located right outside the main gate to the park, the park’s roads are brown, and Hershey Kiss–shaped lampposts line the streets, making the park a dream come true for chocoholics across the nation.
Busch Gardens, Virginia
You don’t need to travel all the way to Europe to experience its culture. You can visit the beautiful Busch Gardens to get a tour of nine villages in six European countries, including France, Scotland, and Germany. You can also spot Irish dancing and taste foods from the various countries.
The food is “nice because it [is] quality food, not amusement park food,” says Sweeny, who has visited the park four times.
Sweeny’s favorite ride is Apollo’s Chariot, one of the five roller coasters in the park. Busch Gardens also has multiple rides for kids, and it hosts special events throughout the year, such as the Food and Wine Festival, Howl-O-Scream, and Christmas Town.
In addition, Busch Gardens has been voted the world’s most beautiful theme park for the past 23 years. This park offers remarkable rides, food, and scenery, making it the perfect place to spend a spring afternoon with the family.