Amusement parks in and near Washington state are small but fun for the whole family. They offer thrill rides, including some classic and modern roller coasters, as well as live entertainment, fair food and even IMAX theaters. 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 Washington state amusement parks.
The 100-acre Riverfront Park in downtown Spokane was created as part of the Expo '74 World's Fair. The park, which is open year round, features thrill rides in the summer, an ice skating rink in the winter and the classic Looff Carrousel. Riverfront Park is also attached to the 37-mile Spokane River Centennial hiking trail.
Ride With A ViewThe signature ride at Riverfront Park is the Spokane Falls Skyride. This 15-minute, all-season ride takes riders in an enclosed cab around downtown before descending 200 feet over the Huntington Park Natural Area.
Other AttractionsIn addition to the Spokane Falls Skyride, Riverfront Park offers miniature golf, a variety of kiddie rides, a Ferris wheel and pony rides. The park also boasts an IMAX theater.
Sweet TreatsThe Carousel Grill offers a variety of park food, such as hot dogs and ice cream as well as cold beer and wine. The Sugar Shack serves a variety of sweet treats, like cotton candy and elephant ears.
Safety RecordOur research revealed no notable news reports of accidents or safety issues at Riverfront Park.
Address: Riverfront Park, 507 N. Howard St., Spokane, WA 99201
Hours: Riverfront Park is open year round. Hours vary by day. Check the website for current information.
Price: Summer one-day pass, $16.25 (includes regular IMAX movie); winter one-day pass, $13.75.
Wild Waves, which opened in 1977, is the largest amusement park in the Pacific Northwest. The 70-acre park, formerly part of the Six Flags family, offers more than 40 rides and attractions as well as fair food, carnival games and a water park.
Largest In The StateThe signature ride at Wild Waves is TimberHawk, a classic wooden roller coaster that is 75 feet tall and the largest in Washington state.
Other CoastersIn addition to TimberHawk, Wild Waves has three other coasters, a 1906 carousel and a variety of water attractions. There's also a kiddie section for the youngest visitors that includes kiddie boats, a kiddie coaster and an enchanted train ride.
Food OptionsWild Waves offers a dozen dining choices. Among these are Lumberjack Burgers, which serves not only burgers but also chicken wraps, hot dogs and cold drinks; the Village Cafe, which serves pizza, hot dogs, chicken tenders and fries; and the Pizza Pier, which serves pizza, chicken wraps and more.
Safety RecordOne phone worker was killed and another critically injured in 2007 just prior to the park's opening for the season when their cherry picker hit live electrical wires. Our research did not uncover any incidents involving park guests.
Address: 36201 Enchanted Parkway S, Federal Way, WA 98003
Hours: Wild Waves is open from May through Oct. Hours change frequently. Check the website for current information.
Price: General admission or guests 48 inches and taller, $39.99; juniors less than 48 inches tall, $29.99; active military and seniors 55 and older, $19.99; children 3 and younger, free. A discount is given to those who purchase tickets online.
Other Noteworthy Parks Near WashingtonWonderland Family Fun Center
Oaks Amusement Park
Wahooz Family Fun Zone
What's your favorite amusement park in Washington? Tell us about it in the comments section below.
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