Theme Parks in Cleveland

Cleveland may not be the first place you think of when you’re looking for a theme park, but maybe it should be. Although it doesn’t have the magic mouse the Cleveland area does have a variety of parks including a child’s park, a water park, and a park that holds more roller coasters than any other park in the world. Cleveland is full of exciting theme park adventures for the entire family and is sure to make everyone happy.

Geauga Lake’s Wildwater Kingdom Amusement Park

Geauga Lake’s Wildwater Kingdom Amusement Park outside Cleveland has a variety of adventure levels so the park has a little bit of everything for everyone, from sitting bit poolside in a cabana to wild adventures on a liquid roller coaster. This water park was actually originally founded in 1888 but was a more traditional theme park at that time. Throughout the years the park has passed through a large variety of hands, each creating their own version of the amusement park. But in 2007 the park would take a dramatic turn as the current owner, Cedar Fair, announced that they would close the park and would end its reign as a traditional amusement park and reopen it in 2008 as a water park. The amusement half of the park was closed entirely and the rides and other equipment were auctioned off. Although much smaller and more focused than it was in the past, Geauga Lake’s Wildwater Kingdom Amusement Park is still a very popular destination for local and visitors looking to escape the heat and enjoy the water.

Cedar Point

Cedar Point is a world renowned theme park and has been rated the number one amusement park on the planet. Cedar Point is also the second oldest amusement park in the United States having a history that stretches back to 1870. But the 1870’s Cedar Point was much different than it is today, it was a beer garden with bathhouse and dance floor that you could access by steamboat. Not until 1892 did there first appear a roller coaster, the Switchback Railway. Today the park rests on 365 acres along the Lake Erie shore and holds the world record for the most roller coasters, 17, in on park. It also is home to the world’s second tallest and second fastest roller coaster, the Top Thrill Dragster which reaches 420 feet into the air and hits speeds of 120 miles per hour. But the Top Thrill Dragster is hardly the only exciting ride in Cedar Point as there are four other coasters which reach up higher than 200 feet. The park caters to everyone who wants a little thrill and features many rides that appeal to families and smaller children, but the roller coasters are by far the most exciting and popular rides at Cedar Point.

Soak City

Located within Cedar Point is the Cedar Point Soak City, a water park which features a mile long sand beach on the shore of Lake Erie. This 18 acre park began as an indoor water park and has expanded to include a wide variety of rides from lazy rivers that can accommodate little ones to liquid roller coasters which will thrill you as much as get you soaking wet. In addition to regular water attractions and the kids’ zone Soak City features a Breakers Bay which is a wave action pool with lifeguards on duty, two inner tube rivers and one family inner tube ride, 10 different slides, an island bar for adults only, and private cabanas for families to congregate or others to lounge.

Memphis Kiddie Park

If you’re looking for a park near Cleveland that specifically caters to younger ones then the Memphis Kiddie Park is perfect for you. But please note that many of the rides require a height minimum of 50 inches. The Memphis Kiddie Park opened in 1952 and features 11 different amusement park rides specifically designed for children, an arcade, miniature golf, and a concession stand. It’s not a park for older kids and may not fill a day for little ones full of energy but it’s a great distraction.

Zoombezi Bay Water Park

Zoombezi Bay Water Park is a new addition to the Cleveland area water parks with 22.7 acres on what was previously known as Wyandot Lake. 15 new state of the art water slides, a wave pool, an action river, a lazy river, kiddie attractions and private cabanas make this formidable competition for the other water parks in the area.

Coney Island

Located in Cincinnati, Ohio Coney Island has held a fond place in the hearts of many since its inception in 1867 when an apple farmer purchased a 20 acre apple orchard and began renting the land for group picnics instead of farming. He added a dining hall, dance hall, bowling alley and a mule powered merry go round. The farm was sold in 1886 and was named Ohio Grove, the Coney Island of the West, hoping to bank on some of the popularity of the New York Coney Island. The focus was shifted to riverboat rides and that became an important staple of the park. In the 1900s several roller coasters joined the lineup of activities at Coney Island in Ohio and a local icon was born. Although it’s seen its share of ups and downs throughout the years, to the point where it was abandoned and left for dead at one point, the park is now alive and kicking and thrilling the pants off of young and old visitors alike.

Kings Island

Kings Island in Ohio is a little bit of everything with a 364 acre amusement and water park. There are more than 80 rides, large production shows, and other attractions that will give you something to do all day long. The park is packed with 15 roller coasters including the new Diamondback. Part of Kings Island is Boomerang Bay, the 15 acre water park with more than 50 different water attractions, 30 of which are slides. Admission to the water park is free with purchase of a ticket to Kings Island. The park has activities for all age groups and is quite proud of their award winning children’s area.

Creative Commons License Photo credit: Andrew 94