One part of summer many families look forward to each year is to visit amusement parks. Here’s a sampling of the parks you’ll find in Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.
King’s Dominion and Soak City
King’s Dominion is home to over 60 rides, shows, attractions, a water park, and more. For the big thrill seekers, don’t miss Tumbili, Virginia’s first 4D spin coaster. The 112-foot tall coaster is part of Jungle X-pedition. The park has a new chaperone requirement requiring children 15 or younger to be accompanied by an adult after 4 p.m. The park opens daily for the season on Friday, May 26. Tickets at the gate will cost $75. Online prices are cheaper, and the park offers an unlimited pass. Drive time from Dulles: 1.5 hours. 16000 Theme Park Wy., Doswell
Busch Gardens Williamsburg
Busch Gardens Williamsburg is a one-stop shop for entertainment. The new DarKoaster debuts May 19, and is North America’s first all-indoor straddle coaster. The park has kid-friendly rides, Clydesdale horses, and opportunities to interact with sheep, Scottish Highland cattle, and birds. Busch Gardens is a cashless park that is open daily. Tickets at the gate will cost $110 for anyone over three. Online prices are lower, and there are options for two- and three-day tickets, as well as memberships. Drive time from Dulles: 2.5 hours. 1 Busch Gardens Blvd., Williamsburg
The young and young at heart will have a great time at this amusement park in Virginia Beach. Motor World features 11 Go-Kart tracks, mini golf courses, bumper boats, and rides for young children. Kids need to be at least 3 feet tall to ride the go-karts. The park is open daily from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend. After that, hours vary through November 26. Kids under 4 feet tall can ride the kiddie rides and kiddie tracks for three hours for $35. Taller people can enjoy three hours for $69. Mini golf prices depend on the number of holes played. Drive time from Dulles: 3.5 hours. 700 South Birdneck Rd., Virginia Beach
Great Wolf Lodge Williamsburg
In addition to an epic indoor water park, Great Wolf Lodge offers plenty of outdoor summer fun too, including a ropes course, immersive laser tag experience, an arcade, and kid-friendly bowling. Day passes start at $50 online. The lodge offers packages for those who stay there. Drive time from Dulles: 2.5 hours. Great Wolf plans to open a Maryland lodge in June. 549 E. Rochambeau Dr., Williamsburg
Six Flags America
Six Flags America is a park with water rides, roller coasters, and shows. Its new attraction, the RipQurl Blaster, a water coaster with uphill rip currents opens this summer. If you’re planning on visiting Six Flags this summer, also consider planning your getaway based on one of the park’s themed events. Weekends from June 3–18, there’s ¡Viva La Fiesta! with street tacos, musical entertainment, and cocktails. There is also a new Pride celebration June 20–25, Coca-Cola July 4 Fest on July 1, 2, and 4, and National Coaster Day on August 16. Daily tickets online start at $34.99, and passes with unlimited visits are available. 13710 Central Ave., Upper Marlboro
Jolly Roger has two locations in Ocean City. Its larger amusement park at 30th Street has roller coaster, a carousel, bumper cars, miniature golf, and a circus twice a day. Its Splash Mountain Water Park and Speedworld go-kart facility are right there. On the Ocean City boardwalk, you will find Jolly Roger at the Pier. Its rides include the Drop & Twist, which sends you spiraling up 45 feet and back down again as you rotate; the Kraken, which whips you out over the ocean; and a human slingshot. Prices vary, but you can get unlimited rides at either location for $28.99 during the day. Drive time from Dulles: 3+ hours. Ocean City, Maryland
Dutch Wonderland, located in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, is just under a three-hour drive from Dulles. This year marks the park’s 60th anniversary. The park has over 35 rides, attractions, and shows. Everything is designed for those under 10, including the Kingdom Coaster. New this year: the Topsy Turvy Tea Party ride. Dutch Wonderland’s version of the ride is much like the classic Disney version — riders can spin fast, slow, or just sit and enjoy. The hours vary, depending on the day. Tickets prices online are as low as $39.99. It’s free for kids under two. 2249 E. Lincoln Hwy., Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Hershey’s Chocolate World and Hersheypark
Chocolate lovers everywhere flock to this Pennsylvania park and its accompanying chocolate factory. You could take a day trip. Or spend a weekend in Hershey, first paying a visit to the Hershey’s Great Candy Expedition, a new cinematic train ride within Chocolate World. The next day, check out all Hersheypark has to offer including 15 roller coasters and a water park. There are other rides for kids and adults alike (the carousel and train are fun retro throwbacks). New this year is the Wildcat Revenge, a wooden and steel hybrid coaster that hits a maximum speed of 62 mph, dives into an 82-degree drop, and inverts four times. Drive time from Dulles: 2.5 hours. Day passes, two-day passes, and season passes are available. 101 Chocolate World Wy., Hershey, Pennsylvania; and 100 Hersheypark Dr., Hershey, Pennsylvania
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