Looking for your ticket to family fun? Nestled within the foothills of the beautiful Laurel Highlands, just outside of Ligonier, you'll find Idlewild & SoakZone. About an hour's drive from Pittsburgh, it was named "Best Children's Park in the World" by Amusement Today and "Best Park for Families" by the National Amusement Park Historical Association.
Idlewild strikes the perfect balance between traditional and modern-day amusement. At one end of the park you'll find tranquil Story Book Forest. Featuring a winding path through a real forest, guests visit cottages and other character scenes from fairy tales and nursery rhymes - providing a great chance for parents and grandparents to revisit their youth as they introduce their own little ones to Mother Goose, Goldilocks and many more.
At the opposite end of the park lays water adventures at SoakZone! This water park is gushing with "splash-tacular" fun at the Wowabunga Family Wave Pool, over a dozen waterslides, Captain Kidd's aqua-structure, Lil'Squirts kiddie pool, and much, much more.
The "endless" lazy river is15 feet wide and has a floatable length of over two football fields. Designed for families with small children in mind, the lazy river is two feet four inches deep and will have a large zero-depth entry zone. The attraction holds 185,309 gallons of water and has multiple spray features. Approximately 6,000 square feet of new beach area featuring "riverside" cabanas and chaise lounge chairs will provide convenient relaxation areas adjacent to Float Away Bay.
Also new this year, guests are able to buy Idlewild & SoakZone FunDay Passes online for only $29.99 - a $7 savings from the regular gate price. Senior FunDay Passes (age 60 and over) are $25.99 online, a discount of $2 from the senior gate admission. Children 2 years and under are FREE. Discounted FunDay Passes are also available for purchase at participating Giant Eagle locations for $28.99.
The park offers new season pass options for 2013, allowing pass holders to choose the "perks" that best suit them, in three pricing levels starting at just $54.99. The Basic Season Pass offers unlimited admission to Idlewild & SoakZone during the summer season, Oktoberfest Weekends, and Hallowboo, along with discounts to sister parks - Kennywood, Sandcastle, and Dutch Wonderland. The Premium Season Pass additionally offers ten Bring-A-Buddy-Free dates and nine Bring-A-Buddy-for-$10 dates and qualifies the pass holder for weekly in-park discounts. Upgrading to a VIP Season Pass entitles pass holders early access to specific SoakZone attractions 30 minutes before the general public and additional in-park vouchers.
The family-friendly events this summer include Mister Rogers' Neighbor Days, Antique & Classic Car Days, A Story Book Forest Christmas in July, Princesses in the Park, and Marvel Superhero Week. A ton of entertainment will be offered throughout the park, headlined by the return of THOMAS & FRIENDS® FULL STEAM AHEAD LIVE, which is performed three times daily in Raccoon Lagoon.
Families can also experience cheerful excitement within the entertaining Hootin' Holler' western town, Jumpin' Jungle interactive playground, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood of Make-Believe, and Raccoon Lagoon kiddieland - one of the largest and most scenic children's areas in the country.
The amusement park's roster of nineteen major rides including rare gems like the Whip and the Caterpillar, not to mention the top-notch Rollo Coaster, which has appeal to both children (often listed as their first ever coaster ride) and longtime coaster enthusiasts, (whom designated the ride an "American Coaster Classic"). Compare those classics to the park's more modern rides, like the fast-paced Wild Mouse steel coaster, towering high among the park's tall evergreens and offering high action at every quick turn.
Since 1878, Idlewild has been providing smiles, laughter, and memories longer than almost every other amusement park in the entire United States. Originally a simple picnic ground along the Ligonier Valley Rail Road, the park has grown into a sprawling entertainment center rich in tradition, nostalgia, and natural beauty, and is recognized as one of the top destinations for family fun in the country.
Its unique charm and laid-back atmosphere just invite you to relax. Shady trees, lakes and the Loyalhanna Creek passing through its center, make Idlewild compare more to a state park than any other amusement park you've ever seen. The center midways are lined with benches and there are plenty of picnic groves where families can enjoy a picnic lunch together as they take a break during their fun-filled day.
With one visit, it's easy to figure out why the park has been ranked as both Best Children's Park and Best Park for Families. And the finest part of your visit to Western Pennsylvania is what you get to take home with you when you leave - those distinctive family memories that will last a lifetime.
What do you get when you mix the Idlewild you know and love with trick-or-Treating, specially themed rides and attractions, Halloween entertainment, and a whole lot more? Idlewild's HALLOWBOO! See the Laurel Highlands with its foliage ablaze in beautiful color while the park is decorated with thousands of cornstalks, hay bales, and pumpkins too! Designed for the entire family, it may be a little spooky and fun, but there's nothing frightful about this Halloween event.
Idlewild's HALLOWBOO! Operates every Saturday and Sunday in October from 11:30am - 6pm..
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