Today’s children are spending a whopping 7 hours a day staring at a screen. From watching television, playing games on the computer, to looking at a phone, children are increasing their amount of screen time each year. It has even been shown that too much screen time can lead to attention problems, school difficulties, sleep and eating disorders, and obesity.
Get your kids away from their screens and into the real world by taking them to an amusement park. Full of real-life fine and gross motor skills, education learning, and physical activity, amusement parks are a great place for the whole family to learn together.
Most people think of the mega parks such as Disney World or Universal Studios, but don’t count out all of the other great parks around the world. This season, take your little ones to one of these 9 best amusement parks.
Go Back in Time
Silver Dollar City – Branson, MO
Go back in time at this 1800s-style theme park where your children can watch over 100 resident craftsmen demonstrate American’s heritage crafts. From glassblowing and candle making to glass blowers and glasscutters, the little ones will be amazed with these old-school techniques.
There are, of course, plenty of rides and attractions to keep them busy, complete with live shows and activities such as wilderness church services and bluegrass music bands.
Calling All Christmas Lovers!
Santa’s Village – Jefferson, NH
If you just can’t wait for December, this amusement park is for you. Santa’s Village is a dream come true for all children who love Christmas. From the Chimney Drop to the Skyway Sleigh, there are endless fun and adventure
Let their imaginations and creativity run wild in this unique, destination theme park.
World’s Largest Dino Park
Dinosaurs Alive! At Kings Island – Kings Island, OH
Parents will love this educational amusement park that disguises learning as fun. At the world’s largest animatronic dinosaur park, the dino’s literally come alive.
Learn about different types of dinosaurs and see how they lived. This unique amusement park is not one to pass up for children who love animals and dinosaurs.
Get Wet in Winter
World Waterpark – Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
No matter the season, the little ones will love one of the world’s largest waterparks. Keep the older kids busy with indoor surf lesson while the younger ones can enjoy the massive water park complete with slides.
Parents will enjoy this place too – relax in one of the private indoor cabanas while the kids run wild all day.
Pump House Indoor Waterpark – Jay, VT
Cool off all throughout the year at this high-energy waterpark. Kids won’t want to leave this park complete with wave pool and tons of water attractions.
If you’d prefer a slower pace, check out the lazy river or indoor and outdoor hot tubs. Be sure to check if your children are tall enough to ride on all the slides, and purchase admission tickets or lodging ahead of time.
Visit a Japanese Wonderland
Harmonyland – Kyushu, Japan
If your children are big fans of Japanese culture and Sanrio characters – think Hello Kitty – they will fall in love with Harmonyland.
Located in Japan, the little ones will be able to tour Hello Kitty’s castle and meet her. She changes outfits based on the season. You can even take a photo with her!
Try to tackle a ninja obstacle course, and then take a boat ride to see all the different characters at the park.
Try a Classic
Knott’s Berry Farm – Buena Park, CA
One of the older amusement parks in the country, Knott’s Berry Farm isn’t an actual farm – but it used to be.
Filled with plenty of attractions, you’ll find a wide variety of rides, shows, games, waterparks, and things to do. Kids of all ages will fall in love with this classic park.
If you’re getting hungry, don’t forget to try their famous fried chicken dinner.
Can’t-Miss Parks in Orlando That Aren’t Disney World
Gatorland, Orlando, FL
Most people only associate Disney or Universal Studios with Orlando, but Gatorland is one park you won’t want to pass up on your next trip down in sunny Florida.
Your children will learn all about alligators and crocodiles – and maybe even get to touch one! This park is unlike any other. While the excitement isn’t in tall roller coasters, there are still plenty of thrills to have. If you’re a Florida resident, be sure to mention it for a discount on admission.
Discovery Cove, Orlando, FL
Another park that isn’t one of the “big two,” Discovery Cove is the place to be for marine animal lovers of all ages.
The little ones will love everything they can learn from the sea and ocean, to real-life dolphins, sea otters, and other sea creatures.
Parents: before your children get too excited, make sure to check if they’re old or tall enough to participate in all the activities they want to.
Amusement parks don’t have to be places filled with only long lines and fattening funnel cakes. Take your children somewhere they can learn and be filled with wonder. Spending time in these types of environments instead of staring at a screen will only benefit them in the long run. Plan your next trip with the family to one of these 9 best amusement parks for little ones.
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