Theme & Water Parks

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What's New for 2019 at Luna Park, Six Flags, Sesame Place, Hershey, and Theme Parks Near NYC

Spring may have just begun, but a summer of fun is right around the corner, and NYC's favorite nearby theme parks are starting the 2019 season with thrilling new rides, stunning expansions, and stellar upgrades. Luna Park at Coney Island opens this weekend on Saturday, April 6 with new attractions, and New York State's biggest indoor water park at brand-new Catskills resort The Kartrite is set to open on Friday, April 19.

Keep this post close when planning your next theme park destination getaway. Whether you're planning a day trip or an extended stay, these theme parks are all under 2 hours from NYC. Read on for a sneak peek at what's new and exciting this year at amusement parks close to NYC, from Coney to Hershey.

Storybook Land in New Jersey: A Magical Park for Preschoolers and Tots

If you’re looking for an enjoyable amusement park experience minus crazy thrill rides and super-sized crowds, take a day trip to Storybook Land in Egg Harbor. This charming spot, in operation since 1955, was created with younger children in mind—the rides and attractions are all geared toward the under-10 crowd, making it great for toddlers and big siblings alike.

Visiting is a bit like stepping into a fairy tale: as you walk through the wooded grounds, you encounter characters from nursery rhymes and classic children's stories, like Humpty Dumpty and Alice in Wonderland. Even if you didn't go there as a kid, as many New Jerseyans did, you're sure to fall under its nostalgia-laced spell. 

My husband and I recently visited for the first time with our two boys, ages 5 and 2, and we all loved it and will definitely go back. Storybook Land is No. 1 on our list of 30 Things to Do with NJ Preschoolers, with good reason. Read on for more about this sweet NJ gem. And find even more fun for little ones in our roundup of Great NJ Amusement Parks for Toddlers and Preschoolers.  

Land of Make Believe: A Charming Family-Friendly Amusement Park in NJ

For more than 60 years, Land of Make Believe in Hope, NJ, has entertained and amused families and kids of all ages. Designed as an amusement park where kids and adults can have fun together, there’s literally something for everyone. And the best part is that it’s affordable. The Pay-One-Price policy covers both the amusement park rides and water park, giving you the convenience to move from attraction to attraction without the hassle of endlessly having to reach into your pocket. Parking is also free, and you can even bring your own food and drinks to picnic right inside the park.

Perhaps you visited Land of Make Believe when you were a kid. I know I did. That’s why I was eager to talk a walk down memory lane and introduce my 5-year-old daughter to the thrills and adventures of my own youth. While I found that a lot has changed since then, the essence of this charming amusement park remains.

Read on to experience a bit of this magical-sounding amusement park for yourself.

Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Adds Huge New Activity Pool

If you're looking for new ways to beat the heat this summer, Six Flags Hurricane Harbor is offering a bigger, better, and much wetter place to cool down. The 45-acre water park in Jackson, NJ, welcomes Calypso Springs, a 100,000-gallon, beach-entry-style activity pool, where parents and kids of all ages can swim and play together. The new addition, Hurricane Harbor's largest expansion since 2000, will be open in time for summer 2019. 

10 Best Kid-Friendly Weekend Getaways Near NYC

New York City is unlike any other place in the world, and that’s just the way we like it. Still, it’s fun to get away from New York for a weekend to show our families what lies beyond the city limits (naturecultureartfunfood!), and the best part is, you don’t have to travel far to feel like you're a world away from New York.

We’ve rounded up ten of our favorite kid-friendly destinations for stir-crazy city families, all 2.5 hours or less from NYC. 

Star Wars, Potter, and More New Theme Park Rides at Disney and Beyond

Amusement parks are a spring break and family vacation staple. From coast to coast, amusement and water parks abound, offering fun and thrills to parents and children ranging from toddlers to teens alike.

While there's never any shortage of excitement, having an opportunity to check out new attractions only adds to the kids' enjoyment. Take a look at which popular destinations are introducing everything from state-of-the-art roller coasters to gentle kiddie rides, and which are celebrating the opening of entirely new sections of their already-enticing parks in 2019. We've rounded up new rides (including water park fun) from California's Disneyland to Orlando, Florida and even along the New Jersey Shore boardwalks and in Pittsburgh, Chicago, and Texas.

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