Family-Friendly Theme Park: 12 Best Amusement Parks Near NYC and Coney Island For Fun, Thrilling Adventures

Family-Friendly Theme Park: 12 Best Amusement Parks Near NYC and Coney Island For Fun, Thrilling Adventures


Welcome to the vibrant world of family-friendly theme parks and amusement parks in the heart of New York City! Nestled among the iconic skyline, these attractions offer an enchanting escape for visitors of all ages. From thrilling park rides to whimsical entertainment, NYC’s parks provide a perfect blend of excitement and wholesome fun for families seeking unforgettable adventures in the city that never sleeps.

What Makes Amusement Parks Exciting

Amusement parks are synonymous with thrill and excitement, providing an adrenaline-pumping experience with gravity-defying rides and heart-racing attractions. The combination of sensory stimulation and immersive environments from water rides, ropes course, kiddie rides, and family rides create an unparalleled sense of adventure for thrill-seekers.

Here are some reasons amusement and water theme parks are a must-try.

  • Unforgettable Thrills: Experience the exhilaration of high-speed roller coasters, daring drops, and gravity-defying spins that promise a rush of adrenaline unlike any other.
  • Family-Friendly Fun: Amusement parks offer a perfect setting for families to bond, with a diverse range of rides and attractions catering to all age groups, ensuring an enjoyable experience for everyone.
  • Immersive Entertainment: From captivating shows to interactive experiences, theme parks transport visitors to fantastical worlds, providing a unique form of entertainment that goes beyond traditional amusement.

Best Amusement Parks Near NYC and Within the State

From iconic roller coasters that defy gravity to whimsical attractions and classics like the tilt-a-whirl our list of the best amusement and theme parks perfect for the little ones, NYC’s parks offer a diverse range of experiences that cater to every taste. Whether you seek the adrenaline rush of daring rides or the enchantment of family-friendly adventures, these parks are a testament to the city’s commitment to providing unforgettable and varied entertainment experiences for locals and tourists alike.

Get ready to explore a world where excitement knows no bounds and where the magic of amusement parks comes to life in a city that never sleeps. Whether you’re looking for a water adventure or thrilling rides, one of these amusement parks is sure to bring you an unforgettable experience. Our list also includes amusement parks near the state and away from NYC with both kid-friendly and adult rides.

1. Coney Island’s Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park


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Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park, a beloved gem nestled in the heart of Coney Island, promises a delightful blend of nostalgia and excitement for visitors of all ages. One of its iconic attractions is the Wonder Wheel itself, a towering Ferris wheel offering breathtaking beach views from 150 feet in the air.

For thrill-seekers, the Spook-A-Rama dark ride and the Thunderbolt roller coaster provide exhilarating experiences, while the family-friendly atmosphere is heightened by whimsical rides like the Kiddie Wheel and Pony Carts, ensuring there’s something for everyone in this charming amusement park by the sea. Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park is a timeless destination where both adults and kids can create cherished memories amid the backdrop of Coney Island’s rich cultural history.

2. Luna Park in Coney Island


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Luna Park, an iconic fixture on the vibrant Coney Island boardwalk, stands as a testament to the enduring allure of amusement parks. Its popularity is rooted in a rich history dating back to 1903, making it one of the oldest amusement parks in the United States.

Attracting visitors with its unmistakable charm and carnival atmosphere, Luna Park is renowned for its diverse range of attractions. Among its popular rides are the historic Cyclone roller coaster, the thrilling Thunderbolt, and the family-friendly Luna 360, each contributing to the park’s reputation as a must-visit destination for those seeking a perfect blend of nostalgia and contemporary amusement.

3. Adventureland

Adventureland, situated on Long Island, has secured its popularity by offering an immersive and thrilling escape for families and thrill-seekers alike. Boasting a welcoming atmosphere, the park combines classic charm with modern excitement, drawing visitors with its diverse array of attractions.

Among its popular rides are the Frisbee, Turbulence roller coaster, providing a heart-pounding experience for adrenaline enthusiasts, and the enchanting Adventure Falls for those seeking a more relaxed adventure. The park’s appeal lies in its ability to cater to a wide audience, ensuring a memorable and entertaining experience for all who step into its dynamic realm.

4. Playland Park in Rye

Playland Park in Rye, New York, stands as a beloved destination, celebrated for its historic charm and diverse attractions. This iconic amusement park in Westchester County, with its scenic location along the Long Island Sound, has been captivating visitors since its opening in 1928.

Popular for its vintage appeal and family-friendly environment, Playland features renowned rides such as the wooden Dragon Coaster, which is a wooden roller coaster, and the Derby Racer, an antique carousel that adds to the park’s timeless allure. With a perfect blend of nostalgia and modern thrills, Playland Park continues to be a cherished destination for families and amusement park enthusiasts alike.

5. Six Flags Great Adventure

Six Flags Great Adventure, located in Jackson, New Jersey, has earned its popularity as one of the premier amusement parks on the East Coast, offering a thrilling mix of world-class rides and entertainment. Boasting the title of the world’s largest theme park, it is renowned for its impressive roller coasters, including the iconic Kingda Ka, the tallest and fastest coaster on the planet.

The park’s diverse attractions include the adrenaline-pumping El Toro wooden coaster, Jersey Devil coaster to the family-friendly Safari Off Road Adventure, where visitors can embark on a safari journey alongside exotic animals.  And they offer rides for all ages. With a reputation for pushing the boundaries of amusement park excitement, Six Flags Great Adventure continues to draw crowds with its adrenaline-fueled thrills and a wide range of experiences for all types of thrill-seekers.

6. Splish Splash

Splish Splash, located in Calverton, New York, has become a popular summer destination for those seeking refreshing water-based thrills and family-friendly fun. This water park’s popularity is attributed to its expansive array of attractions, featuring everything from exhilarating water slides to relaxing wave pools.

Notable rides include the Bootlegger’s Run, a water coaster that combines the excitement of a roller coaster with the refreshing splash of water, and the Mammoth River, a family raft ride that offers a winding adventure through twists and turns. Many also visit this theme park for the 40-foot drop at Von Dark’s Tunnel of Terror ride. With a focus on providing a cool and entertaining escape from the high temperatures of summer, Splish Splash has solidified its status as a go-to destination for water enthusiasts of all ages.

7. Nickelodeon Universe at American Dream

Nickelodeon Universe inside the American Dream Mall, nestled in East Rutherford, New Jersey, has emerged as a popular attraction, drawing visitors with its unique blend of entertainment and nostalgia. What sets it apart is its distinction as the largest indoor theme park in North America, offering a climate-controlled environment for year-round enjoyment. The park features 30 rides and attractions for all-ages!

Popular rides include the TMNT Shellraiser, a thrilling roller coaster inspired by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and the SpongeBob SquarePants Rock Bottom Plunge, combining excitement with beloved Nickelodeon characters. The park’s appeal lies not only in its diverse and immersive attractions but also in its ability to provide a weather-proof and family-friendly destination for fans of all ages.

8. Seabreeze Amusement Park

Seabreeze Amusement Park, situated on the picturesque shores of Lake Ontario in Rochester, New York, has captivated visitors for over a century with its timeless charm and diverse attractions. Popular for its scenic location and family-friendly atmosphere, the amusement park on lake offers a range of rides suitable for all ages.

Notable attractions include the Jack Rabbit, one of the oldest operating roller coasters in the country, and the Whirlwind, a thrilling spinning coaster that adds to the park’s allure. Renowned for its commitment to providing classic amusement park experiences and modern thrills, Seabreeze continues to be a beloved destination for families and amusement park enthusiasts alike.

9. Adventurer’s Park Family Entertainment Center

Adventurer’s Park Family Entertainment Center in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, has become a popular destination for families and thrill-seekers alike, offering a diverse range of attractions to cater to various tastes. The park’s popularity is evident through its classic and beloved rides, including the exhilarating Cyclone Racer and bumper cars, the whimsical Kiddie Himalaya for the little ones, and the timeless Merry-Go-Round and roller coaster. For those seeking a spin, the Tilt-a-Whirl provides a thrilling experience, while the Wet Boats offer a splash of excitement.

Additionally, the park features a variety of activities, including go-kart racing and mini-golf, ensuring a well-rounded and entertaining experience for visitors of all ages. The park is under new management and opening dates are announced on its website and social media platforms. The park is set to open in March 2024, but that’s subject to change. So check out one of their social media platforms to keep updated on its schedule.

10. Fantasy Forest Amusement Park

Fantasy Forest Amusement Park, located in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Queens, is a popular destination for families with its enchanting atmosphere and a variety of kid-friendly rides. Boasting whimsical attractions, the park caters to the younger audience with rides like the Queens Himalaya, a gentle spinning ride, and the Corona Choo Choo, a delightful train journey.

The Dragon Wagon coaster provides a thrilling experience for young adventurers, while the Sea Serpent Swing offers a playful swinging ride. The park’s popularity lies in its commitment to providing a magical and age-appropriate amusement experience, making it an ideal choice for families with children.

11. Legoland New York

Legoland New York from Hudson Valley, located in Goshen, has quickly become a popular destination, captivating visitors with its immersive Lego-themed attractions and family-friendly environment. The park’s popularity is rooted in its vast array of Lego-built landmarks, interactive exhibits, and engaging rides suitable for all ages.

Notable attractions include The Dragon roller coaster, a whimsical ride through a medieval Lego castle, and the Lego City Deep Sea Adventure, allowing visitors to embark on a submarine journey in a vibrant underwater world. Legoland’s appeal lies in its unique ability to bring the beloved Lego universe to life, providing a playful and imaginative experience that resonates with Lego enthusiasts and families alike.

12. Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom

Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom, located in Allentown, Pennsylvania, has earned popularity for its dual offerings of thrilling amusement park rides and refreshing water attractions. The park’s diverse appeal caters to a wide audience, featuring notable rides such as the Steel Force, a towering steel coaster providing a high-speed adrenaline rush, and the Possessed, a unique inverted roller coaster.

The Wildwater Kingdom water park complements the experience with attractions like the Thunder Canyon raft ride and the Snake Pit water slides. Dorney Park’s popularity is grounded in its ability to provide a well-rounded and exciting experience, combining the best of both amusement park thrills and water park adventures.

Planning Your Visit

Embarking on a day of fun at an amusement park is an exciting adventure, but a little planning can go a long way in ensuring a smooth and memorable experience. Before you dive into the world of thrills and excitement, there are a few key considerations to keep in mind. Don’t forget to check the following for a smooth-sailing fun adventure.

Everything You Need to Know Before You Go (Tips)

Check Park Information: Review the amusement park’s website or app for essential information such as operating hours, ticket prices, new rides, and any special events or promotions happening during your visit.

Weather Preparedness: Be aware of the weather forecast and dress accordingly. Comfortable clothing, sunscreen, and perhaps a poncho or jacket can make a significant difference, ensuring you’re prepared for whatever the day brings.

Map Out Your Priorities: Familiarize yourself with the park map and identify the rides and attractions you most want to experience. This helps optimize your time and ensures you don’t miss out on the highlights.

Snack and Hydration Strategy: Pack snacks and stay hydrated throughout the day. Many parks allow visitors to bring in water bottles, helping you stay energized and ready for the adventures ahead.

Timing is Everything: Arrive early to make the most of your day and consider utilizing the park’s app for real-time updates on ride wait times. Be strategic in planning your visit, taking advantage of shorter lines during off-peak hours.

By keeping these tips in mind, you’ll be well-prepared to make the most of your amusement park visit, creating lasting memories filled with laughter and excitement


If you are an adventure-seeker and want to bring your family along for a new, thrilling experience, visit the nearest local amusement park near you. I also suggest that you visit the New York Hall of Science if your kids enjoy Science. Adventure parks and theme parks are great places for families to bond and make memories! 

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