Theme & Water Parks

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Water Parks Where LA and SoCal Kids Can Get Their Water Slide Fix

Nothing is more fun on a too-hot day than some water play—just ask the kids. And if you want to give them a big surprise, take them to a water theme park. There are several water parks in Southern California, with large scale splash parks to please every kid from toddler to teen. Of course, if you're looking for something smaller, closer, or more low-key, you can always check out our list of water play features at city parks; but if you're looking to make a big splash, check out one of the SoCal parks below.

Best Amusement Parks for Preschoolers in and Near NYC

For young children, a ride on a carousel’s painted pony, a spin with dad around the bumper car track, and a dripping swirl of frozen custard are the stuff summer memories are made of. No need to seek out the latest scary high-tech roller coasters (which means you can cross Luna Park's most scary rides off your list).

Rides that look mild (or frankly, downright boring) to big people usually provide just the right amount of thrills for toddlers and preschoolers. Happily, there are a number of amusement and water parks in or near the New York City metro area that offer these kinds of tame attractions. Here's our roundup of theme parks perfect for the pint-sized.

Find more seasonal rides in our Theme and Water Parks Guide for families.

Awesome Amusement Parks on Long Island

Feeling the need for speed and splash? Long Island amusement parks are ready for you and your thrill-seeking family. If your kids are eager to check out the latest rides and attractions, or you can’t wait to make new memories with your family at parks you enjoyed as a child, now is the perfect time to explore these local amusement centers.

For more entertainment inspiration, see our guide to Long island amusement and water parks or our guide to family fun on Long Island. Both are loaded with reviews of local and regional destinations sure to delight your child.

NYC Carousels: 13 City Merry-Go-Rounds To Spin You Around

There's something wonderfully nostalgic about kids getting a thrill from a ride on a carousel. It's the simplest of amusement park attractions, and there are more than a dozen merry-go-rounds in New York City alone. It's easy to stumble upon them on your next park outing.

Each city carousel offers a unique spin on this traditional kiddie ride, from harbor views to a ride in a iridescent fish. With spring in full swing, it's a great time to take your first ride of the season, so we've rounded up the merry-go-rounds in all five boroughs.

Get Merry and Go Round on Unique Carousels with NJ Kids

With all the crazy thrill rides found in theme parks these days, there’s something simply magical about taking a spin on an old-fashioned carousel. Often one of the first rides a child gets to experience, carousels have a special way of making even the most timid tiny ones crack a smile, and they’re a treat for all ages. New Jersey is home to both traditional and turned-up-a-notch carousels, and you don’t have to trek far to find one. Hop on a carousel at one of the area malls for a year-round shopping distraction, go for a spin in a park or zoo, or catch views of the Atlantic from a Jersey shore carousel on the Boardwalk.

We’ve rounded up 15 of the best and most unique carousels in and around NJ, so pack up your little ponies and give them a whirl.

Spruce Street Harbor Park: Play Games and Enjoy Some R&R in the Hammocks

If you think you have to head all the way to the Jersey Shore for a boardwalk, think again. This one is just over the bridge, a few blocks south of Penn's Landing, and is perfect for family fun. With the weather warming up, Spruce Street Harbor Park kicks off its season on Friday, May 11th. From games to food to a stroll on the boardwalk, read on to plan your visit to this great pop-up park.

Story Land, NH: Closer Than Disney, Tamer Than Six Flags for Kids Under 12

Amuseument parks are a big thrill for kids; but for younger ones, they can be little scary, too. New Hampshire's Story Land gets it. Nestled in the Mount Washington Valley, Story Land was created more than 60 years ago to simulate a storybook village where characters and animals can come to life to charm children. It's grown to include more than 30 rides (most recently the "Roar-O-Saurus") and splashy stage shows (Daniel Tiger visits this summer), but has maintained a low-key, family-friendly feel that's geared to kids 2 to 12 years old (though we find it especially appealing for preschoolers and young elementary schoolers). It's also a morning drive away from Boston (see that, Disney), and about half the price of a day at Six Flags Great Adventure. Read on for tips on a Story Land trip...with a little planning, it's possible you'll be just as enchanted as the kids.

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