Amusement parks in New Jersey draw visitors from all over the Mid-Atlantic, especially New York, Pennsylvania and Delaware. Whether it's a major theme park or an old-fashioned amusement park at the Shore, there's no shortage of thrills and family fun. 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 New Jersey amusement parks.
Not everything in iconic Atlantic City is family-friendly, but the Steel Pier certainly is. This historic park is over 100 years old and was once known as "The Nation's Showplace." With over 20 rides from the ultra-thrilling to the mild, it's still one of the best places for families on the boardwalk.
Most ExtremeThe Rocket at the Steel Pier was voted New Jersey's Most Extreme ride six years in a row. Riders shoot 225 feet up in a second and a half, at over 100 miles per hour.
Pier AttractionsThe Steel Pier also features a Ferris wheel, a double-decker carousel, coasters, bumper cars, a Tilt-A-Whirl and go-karts, as well as a variety of amusement games. For a real adventure, your family can take a real helicopter tour over Atlantic City, day or night -- it's the only helicopter tour on the Jersey Shore.
Boardwalk FoodThe Steel Pier offers classic boardwalk food, including pizza, sausages and funnel cake.
Safety RecordThe Steel Pier reported a couple of serious accidents in the 1990s, according to Philly.com. No recent reports of accidents or injuries were found.
Address: 1000 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, NJ 08401
Hours: The park is open weekends starting in April. The full season begins mid-June and lasts through August, when the park is open weekdays from 3 p.m. to midnight and weekends from noon to 1 a.m.
Price: There is no entry fee. Tickets are $1 a piece, but are discounted if you purchase a book of tickets. Guests can also purchase a $40 pass for unlimited rides. The Rocket costs $25 per person. Helicopter rides cost $49 per person, plus a gas surcharge.
Six Flags Great Adventure
Great Adventure is Six Flags' big time theme park serving the Tri-State area of New Jersey, Southeastern Pennsylvania and Delaware. The location is ideal if you plan to visit both Philadelphia and the Jersey Shore, since it's located in between the two.
Just Like The MovieThe signature ride at Six Flags Great Adventure varies from season to season, depending on the new major ride. For 2011, it's the Green Lantern ride -- a 15-story stand-up coaster with upside-down loops based on the Green Lantern movie. Expect very long lines for new coasters all season long, especially on weekends.
Other AttractionsGreat Adventure offers nearly 50 rides for all ages, including two Amusement Today Top 10 Golden Ticket roller coasters: the El Toro (#2 wooden coaster in the U.S.) and the Nitro (#3 steel coaster), as well as two Batman coasters and a Superman coaster. In addition to thrill rides, Great Adventure features lots of mild to moderate rides for all ages, including Looney Tunes themed rides for younger kids.
Food OptionsThere are over 30 places to eat and drink in Six Flags Great Adventure, including Nathan's Hot Dogs, Johnny Rockets, Panda Express, La Cocina, Primo's Pizza and Ben and Jerry's. The Oasis Cafe in the Safari Kids area is Kosher-friendly. Beer and wine are served at the Liberty Pub on Main Street.
Safety RecordTheme Park Insider has records of five unconfirmed injuries and minor accidents, all prior to 2009, and one verified accident involving a stunt performer injured while performing a Jet Ski trick in 2005.
Address: 1 Six Flags Boulevard, Jackson, NJ 08527
Hours: The park is open weekends and some weekdays in April, May, September and October. June through August the park is open daily from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Please visit the website for a complete list of dates and hours.
Price: General Admission, $59.99; Junior (under 54"), $34.99; Younger than 2, free. Add $11.99 per ticket to include the drive-through Wild Safari. Online discounts, group rates and season passes are available. One-day parking is $20.
Other Noteworthy Parks Near New JerseyClementon Park
Land of Make Believe
Wild West City
What's your favorite amusement park in New Jersey?
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