10 Best Midwest Theme Parks for the Family Vacation

Spending the day at a theme park is a great way to have some fun in the summer. Theme parks are great because they tend to cater to all age groups. The whole family can go, you can go with some friends, or just you and your significant other if you choose. There are hundreds of theme parks spread all across the United States and there are 10 epic Midwest theme parks to experience in our own backyard. Today I am going to be sharing with you just a few of the best theme parks in the Midwest. Maybe you can take a huge road trip and see them all one day!

#1 Cedar Point – Sandusky, OH

Cedar Point is a part of the Cedar Fair Park company and can be found in Northern Ohio. Cedar Point is home to some of the most thrilling and exciting rides in the U.S. For example, the Top Thrill Dragster is a ride that reaches 120 mph, goes as high as 420 feet and is over in the matter of 17 seconds! It is quite an adrenaline rush and a definite must when visiting Cedar Point.

#2 Kings Island – Mason, OH

Kings Island is another park that is part of the Cedar Fair Park company. It is located in Mason, Ohio which is just about 20 minutes outside of Cincinnati. Kings Island is a great family friendly park being filled with kids rides as well as some pretty intense rides as well. One of their most famous rides is the Beast, which is the longest wooden roller coaster in the world and has been since 1979! It is a really fun ride and definitely something that the park is famous for.

#13 Dollywood – Pigeon Forge, TN

If you are looking for a great place to have a family vacation, Dollywood is the place to be. Pigeon Forge in general is a great location to visit for a nice family vacation and you can’t miss out on visiting Dollywood while you’re there. I love Dollywood because I feel like that it is a mix of carnival type feel and a theme park. You get rides that you will find at a carnival like the Dizzy Disk but you also get the theme park type rides like the Lightning Rod!

#4 Six Flags Illinois Great America – Gurnee, Illinois

Six Flags has several locations all over the country but one that can be found in the Midwest is in Gurnee, Illinois which is about 40 miles outside of Chicago. At this particular location they have a lot of great rides and a lot of them are fun themed rides including Batman: The Ride, The Bedrock Boulder Roller, the Justice League: Battle for Metropolis, and Superman: Ultimate Flight. They have nearly 70 different rides and attractions so there is definitely something you will find that is a blast for you!

#5 Nickelodeon Universe – Bloomington, Minnesota

This one is another great one for the kiddos! Nickelodeon Universe is jam-packed full of fun Nickelodeon-themed rides. There is everything from Avatar, to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, even the Rugrats! I love that they incorporate everything from old-school Nickelodeon characters up to the newer shows as well. This does seem to be more geared toward children because it is all based on Nickelodeon but the rides are just as fun for adults as well!

#6 Holiday World – Santa Claus IN

If you are someone that LOVES all of the holidays throughout the year, you will love Holiday World! This park is solely dedicated to all of the holidays and each section of the park is a different Holiday theme including Christmas, Halloween, 4th Of July, and Thanksgiving. They also have a water park attached known as Splashin’ Safari. This place is so much fun and not as well known as some of the other parks listed so be sure to check it out if you visit the Indiana area!

#7 Silver Dollar City – Branson, MO

Probably my favorite of all the midwest theme parks is nestled in Branson, MO. Silver Dollar City offers big thrills, family fun, and amazing craftsmanship. Ride the ride the world-record breaking fastest, steepest, tallest, spinning coaster – Time Traveler, reach 66mph on the WildFire, get soaks on Lost River of the Ozarks, and enjoy more than 30 other rides, as well as over 100 crafters selling goods. Not to mention the beautiful sites of Table Rock Lake near the theme park, making it a great place to plan a vacation.

#8 Worlds of Fun & Oceans of Fun – Kansas City, MO

Enjoy two parks in the same place when you visit Worlds of Fun and Oceans of Fun in Kansas City! Towering swing ride, twisty coasters, water rides, themed areas, and Camp Snoop. So much in one place making it perfect for the family. This park is loosely based on Jules Verne’s ‘Around the World in 80 Days’ but with two days you could easily enjoy both parks with the family. I highly recommend staying at Worlds of Fun Village if you go!

#9 Adventureland – Altoona, IA

A theme park I’ve visited almost every summer of my life, Adventureland is just a short 2 hour drive from me. Growing and changing, Adventureland is home to more than 100 rides, shows, attractions, and Adventure Bay water park! Space Shot, The Dragon, and the Sky Ride that was purchased from the World’s Fair in 1975 – it’s a neat relaxing ride across the top of the park, and gives you a chance to see all the stuffed animal prizes that have been dropped on top of the bumper car building.

#10 Arnolds Park – Arnold’s Park, IA

This charming theme park is a family favorite in the Midwest. Arnolds Park sits on the waterfront of Lake Okoboji where you will find a Ferris Wheel with gorgeous views, the Legend Roller Coaster that has been riding the track since 1927, and many other nostalgic rides like the Tilt-a-Whirl, Log Flume, and bumper cars.

Theme parks are so much fun and I love visiting and testing out different parks to see which ones are my favorite. Whether you have little ones to entertain or you are looking for a thrill of a ride, you can most definitely find what you are looking for at any of these parks. Have fun this summer and if you’re looking for a fun vacation spot, check out any of these awesome parks.

What are your favorite midwest theme parks?

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