While Orlando is the hub for amusement parks in Florida, you will find a few parks in Miami that deliver on thrills and fun. An amusement park is the perfect way to add to your Miami vacation as a break from the beach or just to focus on family time. As part of a Huffington Post Travel series on family-fun parks, here is our guide to all the key information visitors need to know about Miami amusement parks.
Santa's Enchanted Forest
Santa's Enchanted Forest is the world's largest Christmas-themed amusement park. With rides, games and shows, the family can enjoy Christmas in more than 100 ways without having to wait for the holidays. It's a winter wonderland in the heart of Miami and a family favorite for residents and visitors alike.
Signature RideSanta's Enchanted Forest offers classic carnival rides for all ages. The MegaDrop is one that will attract the thrill seekers in your crowd: Riders are launched to the top of a tower and then dropped in a free fall.
At The CarnivalSanta's Enchanted Forest attractions include rides for kids and thrill seekers, as well as ones geared for the family. The park has classic carnival games, such as Balloon Dart and Duck Pond, as well as nightly shows and fun activities, such as face painting and photos with Santa. True to theme, the park also boasts a 90-foot Christmas tree.
Food OptionsThe park offers typical carnival-style fare, including doughnuts, pizza, cotton candy, onion rings, candy apples and popcorn. Booths throughout the grounds offer many options, so you'll find something to please everyone's tastes.
Safety RecordIncidents at Santa's Enchanted Forest are uncommon, but like any theme park, accidents can happen. In December of 2010, according to the Miami Herald and Outdoor Amusement Business, eight riders were stuck in the Crazy Mouse roller coaster for 30 minutes.
Address: 7900 SW 40th St., Miami, FL 33155
Hours: Santa's Enchanted Forest is open November through the first week of January. Park hours are from 5 p.m. to midnight.
Price: Ticket prices include all the carnival rides and shows. Parking is free. Adults, $24.30; seniors 65 and older and kids age 3 to 9, $16.82; children 2 years old and younger, free. Group discounts and season passes are also available.
Boomers Boca Raton
Boomers has something to amuse every member of the family, from Laser Tag and a Rock Wall to Bumper Boats. There is even a kid's play land for the little ones.
Signature RideBoomers boasts the world's largest and fastest inflatable water slide. At 40 feet tall and 180 feet long, it's not short on thrills.
More Than Just CoastersBoomers Boca Raton has a range of attractions to fit every age and thrill level. The park includes a miniature golf course, arcade game room, go-karts, bumper boats, bowling, laser tag, a rock wall and a kid's play land.
Food OptionsBoomers offers classic park fare, such as hamburgers, pizza, pretzels, fries, chicken tenders, ice cream and cotton candy. Food and fun combos are available.
Safety RecordWhile incidents at Boomers are infrequent, like any amusement park, they do occur. According to the Palm Beach Post, in May of 2005, a man fell 25 feet from the rock-climbing wall.
Address: 3100 Airport Road, Boca Raton, FL 33431
Hours: The park is open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and until 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Contact the park directly to inquire about hours for the water slide.
Price: An all-day super pass, which includes unlimited rides on go-karts and bumper boats and access to miniature golf, laser tag and the rock wall, is $34.99. A two-hour unlimited attractions and games play card, which includes two hours of unlimited access to video games, go-karts, miniature golf, bumper boats, the rock wall and one session of laser tag is $24.99. You can also purchase play cards with points to use on the attractions: A 100-point play card is $25, and a 250-point play card is $50. Season passes, Individual plays and meal combos are also available. Check the website for specials and promotions.
Other Noteworthy Parks:Everglades Safari Park
Busch Gardens Tampa
Grand Prix Tampa
Photo: Fredo in (((Stereo))); Flickr
What's your favorite amusement park in Miami?
Check out more AMUSEMENT PARKS.