With Governor Cumuo’s recent announcement that New York amusement parks can begin to open in April, you may already be planning your visit (we certainly are!). Between thrilling roller coasters, log flumes that leave you soaked, and that feeling of pure excitement (or fear…) that you have as you wait in line for a ride, amusement parks are elite when it comes to family fun. But when will parks open and what COVID-19 guidelines will be in place? We’ve got you covered with our roundup of the top ten amusement parks in and near NYC, complete with everything you need to know before you go.
1 Playland Parkway, Rye, New York 10580
It looks like Playland Park in Westchester County will be opening up again this summer, and we can’t wait! Expect social distancing in lines, masks, and several other COVID-19 policies. From thrill rides to kiddie rides to family rides, Playland Park has it all so that everyone in your family can have a great time. Some of our favorites are the Log Flume, the Playland Express, and the Zombie Castle. Besides rides, there’s also mini golf, games, pools and beaches, and the Westchester Children’s Museum. 10/10 recommended for family laughs, thrills, and memories.
1000 Surf Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11224
Opening this spring on or after April 9, this beloved Brooklyn amusement park will be opening back up again for family fun. The park will be operating at 33% capacity, so be sure you plan your visit ahead of time to guarantee admission. Luna Park has something for everyone — the oh-so-famous Coney Island Cyclone for your bigger kids, the Circus Coaster for little ones, and family rides like the Brooklyn Flyer or Soarin’ Eagle. Stay tuned for more about Luna Park’s Spring 2021 calendar!
5351 111th St., Queens, NY 11368
The iconic amusement park for little ones will be returning this spring. There aren’t a whole lot of rides for bigger kids, so keep that in mind when planning your amusement park getaway. We recommend going on a weekday so you can take advantage of the unlimited ride wristband discount. There will definitely be social distancing guidelines in place when Fantasy Forest opens back up, and masks will be required. Fun fact: Fantasy Forest hosts Queen’s only roller coaster: Corona Cobra Coaster!
Wollman Rink, Central Park, New York, NY 10019
While an open date isn’t quite set yet, Victorian Gardens is planning to be up and running this spring. Conveniently located in Central Park, this mini amusement park is always a blast for kids and families. Note that most rides are for little ones, so your tweens and teens probably won’t get as much of a kick out of them. Enjoy classics like the teacups and swings, and some creative ones like Big Foot, the new monster truck ride that will take you for a spin. And don’t miss out on games like Whac-a-Mole! When Victorian Gardens does open up, there will be COVID-19 restrictions and safety measures in place to keep your family healthy & safe on your amusement park adventure.
1 Six Flags Blvd, Jackson Township, NJ 08527
Opening March 27, Six Flags Great Adventure is a must-visit for thrill-seekers in your family. With the tallest roller coaster in the world (and the fastest in North America) Kingda Ka, not to mention the tallest and fastest drop coaster in the world, Zumanjaro, built inside of Kingda Ka, Great Adventure definitely has some bucket list rides. While Great Adventure’s reputation is certainly one of record-breaking thrills, there are also tons of family-friendly attractions. You can start reserving tickets on March 16 for the park, and the Wild Safari Drive-Thru opens on March 20, reservations beginning on March 9. Temperature checks for employees and guests are in place, as well as a new online reservation system, clear six feet separation in lines, custom social distancing plans per ride, and frequent cleaning of all rides. Note that it is strongly encouraged that you also purchase parking in advance to reduce onsite transactions.
300 Ocean Avenue, Point Pleasant Beach, NJ 08742
Mark your calendar for opening weekend at Jenkinson’s Boardwalk: March 27 and 28, 12-6 pm! Masks must be worn by anyone age 3 and up, and there will be Social Distancing Ambassadors on the boardwalk to answer any questions and make sure that everyone is maintaining a six-foot distance from other groups. Arcades will be open at 25% capacity, and there will also be limited capacity for the aquarium. If you haven’t visited Point Pleasant before, this is a go-to spot for NJ kids and families (NYC day-trippers welcome as well!). From bumper cars and carousels to the himalaya and Starship 3000 that will spin you in circles, there are tons of rides for everyone in your party. And with a beautiful beach right in front of you, Jenkinson’s Boardwalk is a poppin’ place in the summer.
275 Beachway Avenue, Keansburg, NJ 07734
Reopening on weekends starting March 27 and 28, Keansburg Amusement Park is the perfect weekend getaway from the city. Ages 2 and up must wear masks, there will be consistent cleaning and disinfecting of all attractions, and there will be several measures in place to maintain social distancing. If you’ve been here before, you might remember the popular wristband deals, but Keansburg will no longer be offering weekend wristbands or buy one get one free wristbands to prevent overcrowding. However, there will be wristband deals on Tuesdays 10 am-6 pm and Fridays 5-10 pm. Between the oh-so-many rides, waterpark area, the family-friendly Hollowgraves Haunted Manor, games, go karts, the beach, and more, Keansburg is one of our seasonal favorites.
100 Hersheypark Dr, Hershey, PA 17033
The place of all things chocolatey and sweet, Hersheypark is every kid’s dream. Hershey Park was open this past summer, so they definitely have this whole social distancing thing in place by now. Note that when you buy your ticket in advance, you also have to make an online reservation with a specific date for your visit. You’ll have your temperature checked at the gate, and face masks are required. Pro tip: the official Hersheypark App is super helpful for no-contact guidance throughout the park. If you’d like to visit Chocolate World, the neighboring Hershey gift shop and immersive experience, you’ll have to make a separate timed reservation. Spring events include photos with the Easter Bunny and the Hershey Workshop: Spring Cookie Kits where kids can decorate their own spring treats. And don’t miss out on the famous Chocolate Tour and Create Your Own Candy Bar experience! Chocolate World is open now, and Hersheypark opens April 2.
100 Sesame Rd, Langhorne, PA 19047
We all know that this is the go-to spot for little ones to splash around and meet their favorite Sesame Street characters. Open weekends in March and daily throughout the spring and summer, Sesame Place is ready for your family. Expect temperature checks, advanced online reservations, markings in line for social distancing, and mask requirements. Contactless payments are also strongly encouraged. Character photo-ops are limited, but your kiddos should still be able to track down a few of their furry friends during their visit. With both rides and water fun, Sesame Place is the magical, kiddie escape we all could use these days.
2249 Lincoln Hwy E, Lancaster, PA 17602
Opening on the May 14-15 weekend, Dutch Wonderland is ready for a summer of fun and games. There will be temperature checks, social distancing, sanitizing teams, limited capacity, face coverings required and more to ensure your health and safety. Be sure to register in advance for a specific date that you’re planning to visit. For the most part, the rides at Dutch Wonderland are more geared to younger kids and families, so you won’t find any record-breaking thrills here. Nonetheless, this park has plenty to do with Duke’s Lagoon water park area (including Cabanas for an extra cost), tons of rides, Exploration Island where you can embark on a prehistoric adventure (did somebody say dinosaurs?!), and much more.