TRAVEL
12/07/2011 04:51 pm ET

Amusement Parks In New Mexico: A Huffington Post Travel Guide

Amusement parks in New Mexico offer plenty of options for even the most jaded park-goers, including one of the top 25 wooden roller coasters in the world. But even if coasters aren't your thing, you'll still find plenty to keep yourself entertained in the Land of Enchantment. 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 Mexico amusement parks.

Western Playland Amusement Park


Just north of the Mexico border, you'll find Western Playland Amusement Park. Formerly located in El Paso, Texas, the park has since relocated to the state of New Mexico, which is only about 10 miles away. Critics note it is "small" and "old school," but say it's still worth a visit.

Signature Rides

One of Western Playland's signature rides is undoubtedly the Tsunami, which reaches the height of 60 feet and features a 40-foot tidal wave. It's a great way for riders and spectators alike to cool down. Another favorite is Drop Zone, which, as the name implies, drops riders from a height of 90 feet after a leisurely elevator-like trip up. Riders experience 3 Gs and go from 0 to 35 miles per hour in a matter of seconds.

Kid-Friendly Amusements

For adults not scared of heights, Western Playland offers the Yo-Yo, Skyglider and Flying Skooters, among others. Kids' rides include the Miner Coaster, Merry-Go-Round, train and U-Boats. A number of Western Playland rides are kid-friendly as long as an adult passenger rides along, too.

Park Fare

Western Playland serves typical park fare, including hot dogs and Pepsi products.

Safety Record

Our research revealed no notable news reports of accidents or safety issues at Western Playland.

Address: 1249 Futurity Drive, Sunland Park, NM 88063
Phone: 575-589-3410
Hours: Western Playland is open from February to October. Hours vary, but generally fall between 2 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Price: General admission, $16.70; non-riders, $5, ages 2 and younger and 60 and older, free.

Cliff's Amusement Park


Cliff's Amusement Park offers thrill rides, family rides and water rides, as well as games, candy, face painting and a shooting gallery.

Brave The Fire Ball

Cliff's Super Fire Ball spins riders on an 80-foot high loop. The souls that are brave enough to get on are whipped upside down and back around 13 times a minute. Cliff's calls its SideWinder ride "a swinging, spinning monster that, at its highest point, sends passengers twirling 80 feet into the air." And no visit would be complete without a ride on the New Mexico Rattler, which was voted one of the top 25 wooden coasters in the world, according to the Best Roller Coaster Poll website. It's nearly 3,000 feet long and snakes its way around the entire park.

Family-Friendly Rides

Cliff's offers family rides like a carousel, bumper cars, Scrambler and Tilt-A-Whirl. Kiddieland also features a tremendous assortment of rides especially for the little ones, including the Frog Hopper, Baja Buggy, L'il Yo-Yo and Doggie-Go-Round.

Food Options

The park serves typical fare, including burgers, fries, pizza, popcorn and ice cream. Only birthday party groups of 15 or more are allowed to bring in coolers and outside food. Glass containers and alcohol are not allowed.

Safety Record

Our research revealed no notable news reports of accidents or safety issues at Cliff's Amusement Park.

Address: 4800 Osuna Road NE, Albuquerque, NM 87109
Phone: 505-881-9373
Hours: The park is open weekends in April from noon to 6 p.m. and weekends in May from noon to 7 p.m. It is open Thursday through Sunday in June, Wednesday through Sunday in July and Wednesday through Sunday from Aug. 3 to 14. Hours vary between 11 a.m. and 10 p.m. The park is also open weekends from Aug. 20 to Sept. 18. Hours vary from noon to 6 p.m. and noon to 9 p.m.
Price: General admission, $2.50; children 2 and younger, free. Rides are individually priced, ranging from $2 to $6 each. An unlimited ride pass can be purchased for $24.95.

Other Noteworthy Parks Near New Mexico


iT'Z USA
Wonderland Amusement Park
Joyland Amusement Park
North Pole, Home of Santa's Workshop
Lakeside Amusement Park

What's your favorite amusement park in New Mexico? Tell us about it in the comments section below.

Check out more AMUSEMENT PARKS.

CONVERSATIONS