Asummer winds down and the children are clamoring for a last vacation before back-to-school time, consider all the exciting experiences NEPA has to offer for everyone in the family.
Ages 4 and older: Want to have a great family vacation right around the corner? Knoebels Amusement Resort is a family-owned and operated amusement park, picnic grove and campground in Elysburg. It has been America’s largest free-admission park for 90 years of operation.
Opened in 1926, the park has more than 60 rides, including two wooden roller coasters, a 1913 carousel and a haunted house ride that was featured on the Discovery Channel. The park and its rides have won awards from organizations such as Amusement Today, American Coaster Enthusiasts and the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions. In 2014, Travel Channel rated Knoebels one of Top 10 Family Friendly Amusement Parks in the United States.
Perfect for smaller park enthusiasts, the kiddie rides feature gentle thrills and fun-sized attractions. Imaginations run wild when children ride on the back of a ladybug or fly their own plane. The thrills are even better when you share them with the whole family. Compete for the brass ring on the carousel, go for a relaxing train ride or view the park from high above. The park’s rides have entertained families for generations.
Want to take a break from the action? Not a big ride fan? There’s plenty of other attractions at Knoebels. Take a tour of its museums, visit the bald eagle habitat, try your hand at mini golf or watch a show in 4-D. You can even watch live demonstrations from the Blacksmith and Lost Logger in the park’s Americana section.
The fun doesn’t stop when you get off the rides. Originally a local swimming hole, Knoebels’ Crystal Pool is where the amusement park got its roots. On hot summer days the crowds still flock to the mini waterpark to cool off in nearly 900,000 gallons of refreshing mountain stream water. Day and season passes are available.
Ages 9 to 12: It’s hot, hot, hot. Try some of these area attractions:
Montage Mountain Water Park, nestled in the hills of Montage Mountain ski resort, is a true family-friendly resort. The water park features the thrilling “tundra tornado,” slippery water slides and a giant wave pool with wave settings. The park also has a child interactive area, lazy river and more. Your waterpark admission also includes dry attractions like a regulation-size volleyball court, miniature golf and batting cages. Montage Mountain Waterpark also boasts the only mid-Atlantic ZipRider zipline — with a discounted rate for waterpark guests.
Great Wolf Lodge: The 84-degree indoor water park offers the best in weatherproof family vacations. There are so many fun things to do in the waterpark from jaw-dropping thrill slides like the Howlin’ Tornado and Hydro Plunge water coaster to activity pools and zero-depth playgrounds, including Cub Paw Pool. And while you are there, experience slideboarding, available exclusively in the Pocono Mountains at Great Wolf Lodge.
Camelbeach Waterpark Amusement Park: This waterpark at Big Pocono State Park in Tannersville in the Poconos is an oasis with 37 rides, slides and attractions — something for everyone. Book your stay at Camelback Lodge & Indoor Waterpark, and splash away at Aquatopia, the largest indoor waterpark in the northeast. Once inside the massive 125,000-square-foot adventure-themed, multilevel water kingdom, you’ll explore remnants from Sir Kartrite’s journeys to distant lands, swim in a myriad of pools and let the waves crash over you at the Ka-Na-Gawa Wavepool. Speed wildly down 13 adrenaline-pumping water slides, including Venus SlydeTrap, the only slide of its kind in the world. With all the adventure of an outdoor park and the convenience of a non-stop, weather-proof facility, you can enjoy the splashing exhilaration Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark offers year-round!
Ages 13 and older.The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders:
Take me out to the ball game. Everyone enjoys a night at the stadium complete with hot dogs and popcorn. The RailRiders are a professional minor league baseball team based in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area. The team plays in the Northern Division of the International League and is the Triple-A affiliate of the New York Yankees Major League Baseball club. The team plays at PNC Field, its home since 1989.
Sky Zone: The world’s first indoor trampoline park features “fun fitness” and trampolines as far as the eye can see. One of the greatest workouts ever is combined with awesome, healthy fun. Experience the weightlessness of bouncing, flipping and landing in a pit filled with 7,000 foam cubes. For thrill seekers and people who believe that jumping is freedom, fitness can be fun and play can be smart. Sky Zone Scranton, 525 Keystone Ave., Pittston, was completed in 2014 and offers open jump, a SkySlam court, SkyRobics fitness classes, Ultimate Dodgeball (when available) and the Foam Zone. For just about any age, shape or size, Sky Zone Scranton is the ultimate 3-D play experience.