Amusement parks in Maryland abound with year-round thrills and adventure. Visitor's days and nights are packed with fun in the Free State's five distinct regions -- from sandy beaches in Ocean City to exotic rides near the nation's capital. 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 Maryland's amusement parks.
Six Flags America
Six Flags means big-time family fun. This park has one of the world's tallest roller coasters, Maryland's largest wave pool, and the state's first-ever flying roller coaster. Branding itself the "Nation's Capital of Family Fun" the park also has more than 100 rides, games, shows and attractions, including Hurricane Harbor Water Park, which is free with a Six Flags ticket.
The "Ride Of Steel"The park has seven roller coasters, including Superman: Ride of Steel, which stands 205 feet tall and reaches speeds of up to 75 m.p.h. It is one of the tallest roller coasters on the East Coast. Batwing is Maryland's first "flying" coaster. There's also a classic wooden coaster called the Wild One. Family rides include the Penguin's Blizzard River rapids ride, as well as a traditional tea cup ride. There are two exciting kids' areas with pint-sized rides, special shows and character greetings. Six Flags recommends catching the most popular rides early in the day, or after 6 p.m.
Two Parks For The Price Of OneThe park has more than 100 rides and slides, and hosts a variety concerts with top rock, pop and contemporary Christian performers. Adjacent Hurrican Harbor water park features extreme tubing and a gigantic wave pool. Admission to Six Flags is includes water park access.
Dining OptionsThere are tons of restaurants and eateries located throughout the park for every taste -- from hamburgers, fries, salads and pizzas, to funnel cakes and ice cream. Guests can save money by buying meal deals online. No outside food, beverages or coolers are allowed except for special dietary needs for allergies and baby food or formula.
Safety RecordIn 2007, a girl fell from a ride called the Octopus at Six Flags America and sustained minor injuries.
Address: 13710 Central Ave., Largo, MD 20775
Hours: Open daily Monday through Friday, from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. and later on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. Hurricane Harbor is open May 28 through September 5, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Price: $54.99 for general admission, $34.99 for juniors, free for children two and under. Admission tickets include all rides, shows and attractions, with the exception of the Skycoaster and Sonora Speedway Go-Carts.
Trimper's Rides and Amusements
Vacationers looking for some old-fashioned fun and excitement can spend an afternoon or evening at Trimper's Rides and Amusements. This small, family-owned boardwalk attraction has been around since 1887 and is a living piece of Ocean City history. Trimper's has an incredible collection of classic, brightly colored rides centered around a gorgeous antique carousel. It's a special park and a must-see for families with young kids.
Classic CarouselTrimper's hand-carved menagerie carousel, the Pride of the Boardwalk, is a piece of American history. Built in 1902, it evokes fond memories passed down from one generation to the next. Tidal Wave, a spectacular looping roller coaster, is another carnival classic and Ocean City landmark, as is Tilt-A-Whirl, the spinning teacup.
Ferris Wheel On The BoardwalkWhat's more nostalgic than a summer Ferris wheel ride on the Ocean City Boardwalk? Trimper's Ferris wheel soars high above the sights and sounds of the seaside city. Plus, there are lots of other indoor rides and games for children, including airplane rides, classic bumper car rides and fire engines. For the adventurous and brave-hearted, tour Trimper's Haunted House of Count Wolf Von Vinderstein and the fabulous Mirror Maze.
Food OptionsTrimper's is surrounded by a variety of restaurants and eateries on Ocean City's famous three-mile boardwalk. Don't forget to try some famous Maryland crabs.
Safety RecordIn 2010, the Tidal Wave roller coaster reportedly had a minor mechanical problem, causing non-life threatening injuries to three people.
Address: S. First Street and Boardwalk, Ocean City, MD 21842
Hours: Indoor and outdoor rides are open daily, noon to midnight, mid-June through Labor Day. Winter, weekends only.
Price: 50 cents for a single-ride ticket, $18 for a sheet of 40 tickets and $23 for wristbands. Wristband admission allows the wearer unlimited indoor and outdoor rides. The number of tickets per ride may vary. Group rates are available.
Other Noteworthy Parks Near Maryland
Jolly Roger Amusement Park
Adventure Park USA
Ripley's Believe It or Not
Glen Echo Park
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