Next week, Spring Break kicks off for many schools in the DC/NoVA/Maryland area; and, judging from the emails I’ve received, the all-consuming question on parents’ minds is…”How do I fill my children’s hours!?” Over the next few days, I’ll be sharing some of our favorite ideas!
Today, we’re talking about all things amusement parks. Living in the DC-area, we have our pick of heart-pounding ‘coasters all within easy driving distance. Here is a little information on each one, including promotions and coming attractions!
King’s Dominion re-opened for the season in March and debuted three new rides in their Planet Snoopy expansion (the perfect place for your littler ones). And, if you ask our 9 year old, King’s Dominion is her favorite spot for thrilling rides because…Shenandoah Lumber Company and Avalanche. She does those two rides on repeat, regardless of how loooong the lines might be! For us, we like that it’s a little over an hour drive (which makes it an easy day trip!) and the mom in me loves that it’s so, SO clean.
While they are normally only open Friday-Sunday until May, they will be opening their gates daily for Spring Breakers, from April 7-16. Also, if you have a child, ages 3-5, be sure to sign up for their free Pre-K pass that grants complimentary admission to Kings Dominion and Soak City for the entire 2017 season. Keep in mind that the Pre-K Pass must be redeemed before April 30, 2017 at the park. Just register online or via mobile app before arrival. (Right now, everyone pays kid prices – $45 for a day pass.)
A little further of a drive (two hours from DC), Hershey Park combines sugar rush with adrenaline highs! While we’ve never visited the park, we’ve heard the shrieks of excitement as we toured the Hershey chocolate factor and nibbled on our free samples. 🙂
Hershey Park opens this Saturday, April 8th and will be unveiling the first choose-your-thrill triple tower in the United States, their Hershey Triple Tower. In addition to their awesome rides, you can visit their adjacent 11 acre, walk-through zoo, ZooAmerica to learn about more than 200 animals from five regions of North America. (It’s free with your Hershey Park admission!)
Tickets are $34.95 for ages 9-54 and $23.95 for ages 3-8 but visit participating Giant stores to receive a coupon for $4 off regular admission.
Opening on Friday, April 7th, Busch Gardens is excited to welcome their first wooden roller coaster, InvadR, this season. Embracing the Viking theme, InvadR will fly over nine air-time hills, including a 74-foot plunge that reaches speeds of almost 50 miles per hour. We loved that Busch Gardens wasn’t just about the rides – they also had cool shops, engaging shows for the whole family, and tasty foods representing various European countries.
A bit of a longer drive from the DC-area, visiting Busch Gardens would make a great excuse to add a little education to your visit by staying in the Historical Triangle and touring Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Yorktown.
Busch Gardens Williamsburg also has a FREE 2-Park Preschool Pass for 2017. This pass offers unlimited admission to both Busch Gardens® Williamsburg and Water Country USA® for kids ages 3 – 5, through September 10, 2017. You must register by May 31, 2017. Tickets start at $80 (but, right now, you can pay for a day and get unlimited visits for the whole season).
A mere thirty minute drive for most of the DC-area (provided traffic isn’t at a standstill!), Six Flags America in Baltimore is the closest amusement park. Open every day from April 8 through 23 for Spring Break goers, you can get your fill of roller coasters with their heart-stopping rides.
On Easter weekend, April 15 & 16, they will be hosting a special Easter Egg Hunt before the park opens, including candy, giveaways and more! Children ages 12 and under are invited to participate. To participate, guests must have valid park entry and must be present at check-in in order to receive their event wristband.
Day tickets are $45.99, when you buy them online and at least a day before you go.
Dutch Wonderland is approximately the same distance to Hershey Park from the DC area (it’s in Lancaster, PA). We went several years ago during the Christmas season, and it’s a great park if you have little children (6 and under). Unfortunately, they don’t open until April 29, 2017; but, you can add it to your list of summer adventure possibilities. Daily tickets start at $32.99.