This winter, have one last hurrah of the year at any of these amusement parks to make the most of this holiday season. By Ritika Dixit
The holiday season is here! Packed full of festive charms and magical moments, these amusement parks transform to an unforgettable winter wonderland with their re-themed rides, season special treats and, of course, Santa awaiting the kids. These amusement parks are bound to lift your spirits for some holiday merrymaking.
The chocolate-themed mecca of Hershey Park opens its gates for visitors every November through December as it gets revamped for the season of the cold. During the winter months, the park features a Christmas Candylane, which is a dazzling show of nearly 12 million lights. If that isn’t enough to light up your Christmas, few thrilling rides also are available during the winter season. The Claw, which is a fast swinging pendulum ride, or the Tea Cups, which are classic self-controlled spinning pods are some of the options. Don’t worry about the cold as fresh hot chocolate in the park comes to your rescue!
2. Kennywood Park, Pittsburgh
Every weekend, for the simplest of holiday joys like Gingerbread Express Train rides, this amusement park off Pittsburgh’s Monongahela River opens for visitors from 5 pm to 9 pm. The Holiday Lights Festival is one of the key attractions at the park in this season. It features a 10-minute light show display choreographed to holiday tunes. However, while planning the itinerary to Kennywood, one must remember that these holiday lights are weather dependent, and could be cancelled in case of extremely cold temperatures and heavy precipitation.
3. Busch Gardens Williamsburgh, Virginia
Busch Gardens Williamsburgh is one of the largest Christmas light displays in North America. The Christmas Town at Busch Gardens Williamsburgh starts from November and continues through December till the first week of January. Festive foods and drinks, Christmas shopping and spellbinding light shows transform the park into a winter fantasy land. Christmas Town, on the other hand, is kids’ haven with its many parks rides open to visitors or the chance to see live penguins in an ice-themed habitat. While at Busch Gardens, do not miss the Escape from Pompeii or the Verbolten. The former is illuminated with the spirit of merrymaking and glittering bright lights, while the latter is a simulation of a fast drive on a German autobahn.
4. Silver Dollar City, Branson
Silver Dollar City can be your perfect Christmas family hideout this winter season. During wintertime, the pine-scented air from the 1,000 trees in the park, and the five million lights charge the festive surroundings at Silver Dollar City. The park also features an impressive five-storey ‘smart tree’ that presents a light show choreographed to merry music. It is suggested to check the weather to ensure you don’t miss the chance to enjoy a ride on the Outlaw Run. Outlaw Run boasts of being the world’s only wooden coaster with three inversions.
5. Santa’s Village, Jefferson
If the name isn’t enough to get you packing your bags, here’s something that could help! Santa’s Village ensures your family experiences a joyous Christmas. This Christmas-themed park in Jefferson will make the festival extra special with carols ringing throughout the park, and the hopeful possibility of some snowy pathways and a million lights illuminating the dusk. With the varying temperatures here all day long, it is advised to be dressed in layers when at this Christmas haven so as to enjoy the park to the fullest. Make sure to visit the Reindeer Rendezvous and play the Elfabet Game at the Elf University. And, don’t skip out on greeting Santa in his green chair at Santa’s home while you are there. It’s a must!