Amusement parks in Pennsylvania are historic, diverse and representative of the Keystone State's unique character. 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 Pennsylvania amusement parks.
If your children are fans of Sesame Street, there is no place more magical to take them than to the home of their beloved characters -- Sesame Place. Sesame Place features dozens of rides (wet and dry!) for young ones to enjoy during the summer months. The fun is compounded by a variety of shows and parades offered daily and special meals with Elmo, Big Bird, Zoe and the rest of the crew.
Visit ElmoElmo's World, a special section of the park dedicated to everyone's favorite furry red monster, has recently opened a new ride: Elmo's Cloud Chaser. The family-friendly swing ride sends imaginative little ones up into the sky. Lines for rides tend to be long in the afternoon when the park begins to fill up.
Other AttractionsSesame Place has almost two-dozen "dry" rides for little ones, from Grover's World Twirl to Big Bird's Balloon Race. For kids who want to cool off, there are a number of water slides and wading pools. There are also several engaging and visual shows and parades daily, featuring all of the friendly Sesame characters.
Eat With Cookie MonsterSesame World offers all kinds of up-close and personal meals with the park heroes: Big Bird, Elmo, Zoe, Abby Cadabby and Cookie Monster. Aside from these scheduled meal times, Sesame World has a number of restaurants and snack cafes with healthy options and allergen-free snack packs.
Safety RecordOur research revealed no notable news reports of accidents or safety issues at Sesame Place.
Address: 100 Sesame Road, Langhorne, PA 19047
Hours: The park is open June 18 through Aug. 7 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Aug. 8 through Aug. 28 from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and Aug. 29 through Sept. 4 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Price: Two-day pass for all ages, $55.99.
The famously delicious American chocolate company, Hershey's, is the namesake brand of Milton S. Hershey, a generous and philanthropic man born and raised in central Pennsylvania. His chocolate factory and legacy live on at Hershey's Chocolate World, home of Hershey Park and the Hershey Factory. Hershey Park offers over 60 rides, interactive tours of the chocolate factory and a summer amphitheater concert series.
58 Seconds Of ThrillStorm Runner was the first hydraulic coaster to feature inversions, and this 58-second ride is for those looking for a serious thrill. Lines will be shorter toward the beginning of the day before the park fills up, so be sure to get there early.
Delicious AttractionsIn addition to a number of scream-inducing roller coasters and plenty of kid-friendly rides, Hershey chocolate bar and candy characters can be seen strolling around the park, interacting with visitors. Hershey Park also features 11 award-winning musicals and shows.
Snack OptionsHershey Park offers a number of food options for the family: vegetarian and gluten free cuisine, a breakfast with the Hershey's characters, Turkey Hill Ice Cream, combo meal packs and picnic lunches.
Safety RecordIn 2009, a few boats on the Coal Cracker log flume bumped into each other as a result of a pipe break. One woman was sent to the hospital for evaluation.
Address: 100 W. Hersheypark Drive, Hershey, PA 17033
Phone: 1-800-HERSHEY (437-7439)
Hours: The park's hour vary by season. Please check the website for more information.
Price: Ages 9 to 54, $53.95; ages 3 to 8 and ages 55 to 69, $32.95; ages 70 and older, $21.95; children 2 and younger, free.
Other Noteworthy Parks Near PennsylvaniaIdlewild & Soak Zone
Knoebel's Amusement Park
Dorney Park & Wild Water Kingdom
Delgrosso's Amusement Park
Conneut Lake Park
Have you ever tried the chocolate at Hershey Park?
Check out more AMUSEMENT PARKS.