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Amusement and Theme Parks In New England, Perfect for Family Travel


by Eric Hurwitz. Updated 12/02/16.

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Picture of Six Flags New EnglandNew England travel isn't just about the ocean, mountains, seafood and pretty village greens. The six-state Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont offer great amusement parks and theme parks ideal for New England family travel. Not in any order, here are some of the best amusement and theme parks in New England.

Six Flags New England, Agawam MA If Six Flags were a mall, it would be an anchor store. Formerly Riverside Amusement Park, Six Flags is the largest -- and arguably best-- amusement park in New England with highly developed theme and water parks. Some of our neighbors -- who seem to be regulars at Six Flags during the summer -- rave about the "scarier rides" (technically speaking, "Thrill Rides," or roller coaster).  Six Flags even has a "thrill meter" where you can decide the level of "thrill" you want on your rides. For total wimps and the faint-hearted, Six Flags features many family rides, including a beautiful carousel. Six Flags also has an impressive food court, as well as featuring many events. Read more about Six Flags

Canobie Lake Park, Salem NH In the 70s when I was a kid, Canobie Lake Park was a modest but thoroughly fun amusement park, offering all the familiar suspects: carousel, Ferris wheel, roller coaster, bumper boats, haunted house, spinning tea cups, etc. Proving that modern day offerings can sometimes be better than the "good old days," Canobie Lake Park has taken on a new life in the past 25 years, transforming into a premier New England amusement park with pretty much every ride you could imagine. "Untamed" is one of the most popular attractions -- a roller coaster with a 97 ft. vertical drop!
Read more about Canobie Lake Park

Lake Compounce, Bristol CT Lake Compounce just might be the oldest continuously running amusement park in the United States, dating back to 1846. While this popular family spot has indeed been around a long time, Lake Compounce has become fully engaged into 21st century amusement park ways with thrill rides, roller coasters and a large water park. Read more about Lake Compounce

Quassy Amusement Park, Middlebury CT Located on scenic Lake Quassapaug, Quassy Amusement Park is a bit more affordable than other amusement parks without a compromise in fun. You'll find a nice mix of traditional and modern rides here, and also Splashaway Bay -- a wonderful water park featuring water slides, raft rides and cascading fountains. Additionally, Quassy Beach offers a nice lake experience for swimming and sunning.
Read more about Quassy Amusement Park

Bromley's Sun Mountain Adventure Park, Peru VT  Let's face it, Vermont is not exactly the epicenter of amusement and theme parks. However, Sun Mountain Adventure Park brings Vermont up to speed (literally and figuratively) in the amusement/theme park world with zip lines, climbing walls, huge swings and mountain coasters. What a nice use of a destination that is best known for skiing in the winter! Read more about Sun Mountain Adventure Park

Palace Playground, Old Orchard Beach Maine This is one of my favorite fun New England destinations. You have the beach right there, 25 or so rides and attractions, and around 200 arcade games. Some of the amusements: an excellent Ferris wheel, well-maintained carousel, two roller coasters and a few thrill rides. It's great, too, that admission is free. Read more about Palace Playground

Water Country, Portsmouth NH This is the granddaddy of water parks in New England, but, fortunately, has been kept up to date -- and beyond that, too, with some real innovation. The 26 acres of water park fun, includes Dr. Von Dark’s Tunnel Of Terror, Adventure River, the Tahiti Tree House for kids and a wave pool. The Double Geronimo will get the heart pumping with its 58 ft. high slide! Read more about Water Country

Funtown Splashtown USA, Saco Maine This southern coastal Maine water park features nearly 50 rides, slides, and pools of varying intensity -- or,if you choose, slower, closer-to-the-ground attractions! Read more about Funtown Splashtown USA

Water Wizz, East Wareham MA Water Wizz is the best bet for enjoying a quality Cape Cod area water park, offering several water slides, tube slides and speed slides as well as kiddie splash pools. Read more about Water Wizz

Edaville USA, Carver MA Edaville USA offers a timeless children's amusement park experience with a train ride through 200 acres of cranberry bogs, rides like an antique carousel, illuminated Ferris wheel, the Flying Turtles, Tilt-Whirl, bumper cars, and special seasonal events the fall National Cranberry Festival and the spectacular Festival of Lights at Christmas. If you are seeking thrill rides, this is not your place. The train ride is the main attraction, and traditional rides dominate the amusement park section. Read more about Edaville USA

Storyland, Glen NH A fantastic, well-established theme park where fairy tale heroes come to life, including  the Three Little Pigs, Cinderella and Mother Goose. Along the way, you'll find many different rides and themes -- including a pumpkin coach and pirate ship -- as well as castles, safaris, a train ride, swan boats, and an antique German carousel. Last I knew, there is also a circus -- hopefully, they'll feature one this year!
Read more about Storyland

Santa's Village, Jefferson NH No, Santa's Village is not just open for the Christmas season (although it's really beautiful, dressed up in holiday garb during this time). This is a travel destination open several months in the year that features many "tamer" rides (many have Christmas/Santa themes), shows and interactive play. Located in a beautiful White Mountains of New Hampshire town, Santa's Village is pretty much a automatic family destination when visiting this area, and with good reason: it's a well-run park with a timeless theme. Read more on Santa's Village

Clark's Trading Post, North Woodstock NH Best known for its trained bear show, Clark's Trading Post goes way beyond that one special attraction with a circus act, water blaster boats, museums filled with "Americana," family entertainment, 
a climbing tower and the White Mountain Central Railroad that takes you through the best of rural scenic New Hampshire. Read more about Clark's Trading Post

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