If you are an amusement park enthusiast, you have probably heard of Knoebel's Amusement Park in Elysburg, PA. My husband grew up about 2.5 hours away and would often attend. His mother's vacation home is only an hour away from Knoebel's so we have been visiting the park for the past few years.
Knoebel's is an old-fashioned park. There is NO admission fee, NO parking fee, and very reasonable prices all around. If you are a camper, there is a nearby campground and even some cabins available for rent right on property.
The park is nestled in a grove of trees, so is is well shaded making the park not as hot as many. There are plenty of picnic groves for use if you wish to pack your own lunch.There are many children's rides so even the not so daring will find rides to enjoy. For the ride enthusiasts, there are several wooden coasters, a well known haunted house, and more. There is a large pool and a few water slides as well as a mini-golf course. There is definitely enough there to keep you occupied for a few days if you were staying there.
There are no park "gates" so you can wander in before park opening. We were able to buy our tickets before official opening at 11a and my daughter was right on the rides.
Rides are covered by tickets and range in price from $0.75 to $2.50 for the thrill rides ($3 for 15 minute sky ride). On weekdays and spring/fall weekends there are wristbands available for almost unlimited rides (haunted house, sky ride, pool, mini golf, and a few other exclusions). We typically do a combination of a wristband for our daughter and tickets for us. Wristbands are priced based on height (under 48" or over 48") and inclusion of wooden roller coasters. My daughter is 44" so her wristband without the coasters is only $19.95. Over 48" is $31.95. This year we ended up buying $30 in tickets (for $27) for us to use. She really wanted to ride the sky ride which is not included in the wristband and used $9 of tickets for that (her, her grandmother, and her great-grandmother) while my husband and I enjoyed the Haunted House. The tickets do not expire and can be used year after year. We have $6 left from last year that we forgot to bring with us and $2 left from this year, so we will have a start on tickets for next year.
Now that my daughter is older, we may rethink our plan and start to buy wristbands for ourselves so we can both go on rides with her.
Their food has won awards as best amusement park food. We had made to order pizza for lunch (takes 15-20 minutes based on crowds) and ate at the full-service restaurant, the Alamo, for dinner. For 5 people with beverages, and fruit as an extra side dish, our bill was under $60. Compared to the prices I am used to paying at a theme park or stadium, it was an excellent deal.
Knoebel's is not far from I-80 and is about 7 hours from Ann Arbor. It wold make a great addition to a trip to Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, or other points on the East Coast. We typically make our trip a sideways"U" taking the Pennsylvania Turnpike in one direction (to visit family) and I-80 in the other to go to Knoebel's.
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