TRAVEL

Amusement Parks In The Midwest: A Huffington Post Travel Guide

12/05/2011 11:12 am ET | Updated Jan 01, 2012

Amusement parks in the Midwest are a great source of family fun and a welcome escape from the everyday. Whether you have toddlers or teens, taking them to an amusement park for the day guarantees your nomination for Parent of the Year. 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 Midwest amusement parks.

Cedar Point


Cedar Point is the Midwest's original staycation. Since 1870, visitors have been trekking to the Point for entertainment and she has always delivered. In fact, most Midwesterners have fond memories of visiting at least once in their childhood.

For Thrill-Seekers

Amusement park rides often compete with each other for speed, height and overall craziness. Cedar Point's newest, the Windseeker, is no exception. What at first appears to be a simple, old-fashioned swing ride is something much more. The swings raise riders more than 30 stories before the spinning even begins.

Attractions On The Lake

Cedar Point is located directly on beautiful Lake Erie. You can take a break to enjoy some water sports or just a walk along the lakeshore. Soak City is an adjacent water park owned by Cedar Point and a popular secondary attraction for guests who are visiting a bit longer.

Places To Eat

Cedar Point has a variety of places to eat, from snack shacks and hamburger stands to sit-down restaurants. Fare includes barbecue, salads, wraps, sandwiches, waffle fries, cheeseburgers, chili, popcorn, taffy, doughnuts and muffins. There is definitely not a lack of dining options here.

Safety Record

According to TheCoasterCritic.com, nine riders of the Wild Cat roller coaster sustained minor injuries in 2008 when an ascending car rolled back and collided with several other cars. In 2007, three riders of the Magnum roller coaster were injured after an incoming train bumped into one leaving the station.

Address: 1 Cedar Point Drive, Sandusky, OH 44870
Phone: 419-627-2350
Hours: Open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily mid-May through Labor Day; 6 p.m. to midnight Friday, noon to midnight Saturday and noon to 9 p.m. Sunday September and October.
Price: $48 for adults, $38 for military, $22 for seniors older than 62 and guests under 48 inches tall. Children younger than 2 are free. Discount tickets are available for twilight admission, multiple-day admission, resort guests and combination tickets (water park).

Six Flags Great America


Visiting Six Flags Great America as a family can make for an unforgettable adventure. With thrilling rides, watery slides and live concerts and shows, it is sure to please everyone in your group.

Take Flight

Traditionalists love the American Eagle, a wooden roller coaster with a 25-year history of thrilling passengers. For those looking for a more modern twist, Superman: Ultimate Flight lets riders fly through the air just like a super hero.

Water Park And More

Six Flags offers live entertainment, shows and an attached water park, Key Lime Cove. With so much to see, families can stay busy for days.

Food Options

As with many mega parks, Six Flags Great America has a huge variety of dining options available, from sit-down restaurants to concession stands for dining on the go. Food options range from hamburgers, pizza and salads to ice cream, funnel cake and popcorn.

Safety Record

According to the Chicago Tribune, a girl lost part of her toe when the movable floor of the Cajun Cliffhanger ride malfunctioned in 2000. Also, in 1998, 23 riders of the Demon corkscrew were stuck upside down for almost two hours and four were injured after a rear-axle nut on the last car became loose. A year earlier, an American Eagle roller coaster collision hurt four, and couple of months previous to that, a teenager who had dangled his arm outside of the Viper roller coaster lost part of his hand.

Address: 1 Great America Parkway, Gurnee, IL 60031
Phone: 847-249-4636
Hours: Open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily mid-May through Labor Day and select weekend days and hours September and October.
Price: $56.99 for guests 48 inches and taller, $36.99 for guests under 48 inches tall; children under 2 admitted free. Discounted tickets and season passes are for sale online.

Other Noteworthy Parks In The Midwest

King's Island -- Ohio
Adventureland -- Iowa
Mt. Olympus Park -- Wisconsin
Valley Fair -- Minnesota

What's your favorite amusement park in the Midwest?

Check out more AMUSEMENT PARKS.

Suggest a correction