Lebanon Reporter


July 5, 2014

Great ways to amuse yourself

Recently my family was discussing options for spending a day together. It came to our attention that my son’s girlfriend had never been to an actual large scale amusement park. “ Well that has to change,’” I thought. We have always taken our children once a year to an amusement park since they were in strollers. Many years we spent riding kiddie land rides. Oh, what joy when all of them were finally tall enough to ride the big rides! So when we found out about this young lady’s lack of experience on roller coasters and rides, we decided to peruse our options and find what park in our area would be our best choice to initiate her into the world of thrill rides. Here is our research:1. Indiana Beach- Monticello ( about 1 ½ hour drive)Offers four roller coasters: Cornball Express, Steel Hawg, Hoosier Hurricane and Tiger Coaster, as well as perennial favorites like a Ferris wheel, tilt o’whirl and antique autos. Has a kiddie land for children. A plus is the 30 minute ride on a paddlewheel boat on Lake Schafer which is included in your pop ticket price. There are also several water ski shows which are included in the park admission, whether you ride on rides or not.Tickets: Admission to beach — $3.50 for age 2 and over.Pay one Price Ride Band — $20.95 for under 48” or seniors; $26.95 for over 48”Discount tickets are available at Office Depot and Wendy’s Restaurants2. Holiday World — Santa Claus, Indiana (about 3 hour drive)Offers themed holiday park sections including a large children’s area. Noted for having some of the top roller coasters and water slides in the country. Splashin’ Safari water park has access to slides, a wave pool, a children’s water area and a lazy river. Pluses are the unlimited soft drinks available all day and unlimited sunscreen, as well as free parking and free wi-fi. Park admission also covers your admission into the water park, so you can go back and forth between rides and water park all day long.Tickets: order online for $39.95 (reg. $44.95) for general admission and $39.95 (reg. $36.95) for under 54” and seniors. Offers $6 military discount and $5 dollar fire, police and EMS discount all season long.3.Kings Island — Cincinnati, Ohio (about 3 hour drive)Touts the world’s largest inverted roller coaster, The Banshee, and has a quite large children’s section called Planet Snoopy. New this year is the Dinos After Dark display where you can walk through a Jurassic forest setting at night under the stars alongside 65 animatronic dinosaurs. Open every night in July after 10 p.m.; $6 per person. Enjoy s’mores and activities at the end of the walk. Soak City Waterpark is available onsite for an additional price.Tickets: Order online $43.99 (reg. $59.99) for general admission; $36.99 for children and seniors. July 3-6 all military personnel can get in the park for free.4. Six Flags Great America — Chicago, Illinois (about 3 ½ hour drive)Offers intense rides like the Viper cyclone coaster, Raging Bull steel coaster, Superman Ultimate Flight Coaster and X Flight Wing coaster. Also new this year is Goliath ,a giant wooden roller coaster. Other rides are rated anywhere from mild to thrill and there is a large children’s area so everyone in the family can get in on the fun. Hurricane Harbor water park can be added to your ticket for $5.00 per ticket. This includes all day access to the water park. During the July Fourth weekend, an All-You-Can-Eat buffet will be offered for $15.99 that is a typical BBQ 4th feast.Tickets: Order online $51.99 (reg. $66.99) for general admission; $46.99 for children under 48”5. Cedar Point — Sanduskey, Ohio (about 4 ½ hour drive)Very similar to Kings Island; they even have the same Planet Snoopy kiddie lands. New for 2014 is the Pipe Scream sideways roller coaster. The classic Gemini twin racing roller coasters and the Corkscrew twisting roller coaster are fan favorites. Soak City water park is available for an additional price and includes water rides, slides, a wave pool and a lazy river.Tickets Order online $33.99 for general admission; $19.99 for junior and senior admission.Well, now that our research is complete, let the screaming begin! Which park will our family choose? We may hit two during the course of the summer. We will let you know!

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