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Less expensive Than Disney: 7 Amusing Theme Parks for Little Children within the Northeast

Yes, Disney World is a magical place, especially for a child, but the cost of a vacation there can go through the roof. In addition to flights and hotel rooms, you are hit with expensive daily ticket prices, optional Magic Morning add-ons, character meals and — let’s not forget — the souvenirs. There are ways …

Sure, Disney International is a mystical position, particularly for a kid, however the price of a holiday there can pass throughout the roof. Along with flights and lodge rooms, you’re hit with dear day by day price ticket costs, not obligatory Magic Morning add-ons, persona foods and — let’s no longer put out of your mind — the souvenirs. There are tactics to scale back the fee, but it surely nonetheless provides up. 

For lots of households, spending hundreds of bucks (or a lot of features) for a unmarried holiday is not sensible. Many small children can simply revel in identical magic at selection theme parks round the USA for a fragment of the fee (all beneath $50 an afternoon). Children can nonetheless revel in thrill rides, meet a few of their favourite characters, watch displays and, in some instances, have persona eating studies with out touring to Central Florida or California.

My daughter has been to Disneyland a few instances and each and every time I take her to the sort of different theme parks, she tells me that she had simply as a lot amusing as she had at Disney. Here’s a record of theme parks within the Northeast which can be easiest suited to small children between the ages of one and 10 years outdated. Simply understand that lots of them are most effective open seasonally, so make sure to test their working dates and hours ahead of making plans your go back and forth.

In This Put up

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Sesame Position

Sesame Position, in Langhorne, Pennsylvania — a few 30 minutes from Philadelphia and not more than 90 mins from New York Town — is the easiest theme park on your “Sesame Boulevard”-loving kid. Except the 16 rides and 9 water points of interest, your circle of relatives too can revel in 3 “Sesame Boulevard” displays and a day by day parade. There may be a Mini Monster Clubhouse for children beneath 5. Your youngsters will love seeing “Sesame Boulevard” characters, corresponding to Elmo, Abby Cadabby and Giant Chicken, wandering across the park. Sesame Position may be the primary theme park on the earth designated as a Qualified Autism Heart.

(Photo courtesy of Visit Philadelphia)
(Photograph courtesy of Consult with Philadelphia)

Easiest of all, you’ll be able to dine along with your favourite “Sesame Boulevard” characters. Pick out between breakfast, lunch and dinner (breakfast is $27 for adults and $11 for youngsters 2–9; lunch and dinners are $32 for adults and $13 for youngsters 2–9; and youngsters beneath 2 are unfastened for all foods).

Sesame Position has personal nursing stations, bottle heaters and converting tables to be had. You’ll be able to even hire strollers prematurely.

Day by day price ticket costs: A one-day price ticket levels from $35 – $60 (when bought on-line), even supposing you’ll be able to acquire a two-day price ticket on-line for simply $69.99 (youngsters 23 months and more youthful are unfastened). Repeatedly you’ll be able to additionally in finding discounted tickets on Groupon or acquire a package deal handle a close-by lodge. There may be these days a reduced sale with tickets to be had for $48.

Resort lodging: The Sheraton Greenbacks County is correct around the side road from Sesame Position (from 17,500 Marriott features an evening). Only a fast trip experience away, you’ll be able to additionally keep on the Vacation Inn Specific Philadelphia NE-Langhorne (from 20,000 IHG features an evening) and Place of dwelling Inn through Marriott Langhorne (from 17,500 features an evening).

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Dutch Wonderland

Dutch Wonderland is about in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. There are 34 rides, plus a complete water-play space all the way through the summer season months. Along with the joys rides, you’ll be able to additionally revel in Exploration Island, the place you’ll be able to rise up shut and private with many dinosaurs or even dig for his or her bones. All through the vacation season, there’s a particular Royal Gentle Display, and also you’ll have the ability to fulfill Santa.

(Photo courtesy of Dutch Wonderland)
(Photograph courtesy of Dutch Wonderland)

There are day by day displays, the place you’ll be able to meet Dutch Wonderland’s personal princesses and princes. You’ll be able to even have breakfast with the Dutch Wonderland characters ($15.99 consistent with visitor; youngsters Three and beneath are unfastened).

Day by day price ticket costs: Preseason sale tickets value $37.99 (youngsters beneath Three are unfastened). Additionally, you’ll be able to discuss with the park without spending a dime for the remaining 3 hours the park is open at the day ahead of your full-day discuss with.

Resort lodging: The DoubleTree Hotel through Hilton Lancaster (between 29,000 and 40,000 Hilton Honors features an evening) options each an indoor pool and an indoor water playground in addition to seasonal actions for children.

Storybook Land 

Storybook Land, in response to fairy stories and nursery rhymes, has a ton of theme-based rides to revel in. All through sizzling summer season days, there may be a big water play space for children to chill off. New in 2019, you’ll even have the ability to revel in the CinderRoller Coaster.

Storybook Land is in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, about 10 mins west of Atlantic Town. This implies it might be the easiest one-day process for the ones vacationing in Philly (most effective an hour away) or the Jersey Shore.

(Photo via Storybook Land / Wikipedia)
(Photograph by means of Storybook Land / Wikipedia)

Day by day price ticket costs: $25.50 an afternoon (if bought on-line prematurely); youngsters beneath 2 are unfastened.

Resort lodging: Simply Three miles away, you’ll be able to keep on the Homewood Suites through Hilton Egg Harbor Township (between 26,000 and 40,000 Hilton Honors features an evening) or the Place of dwelling Inn Atlantic Town Airport Egg Harbor Township (from 25,000 Marriott features an evening).

Thomas Land / Edaville Circle of relatives Theme Park

Thomas Land is ready to have fun its fourth yr and is a smart one-day go back and forth for Thomas the Tank enthusiasts. It is a part of the Edaville Circle of relatives Theme Park, which will even provide you with get entry to to Cran Central and Dino Land. There may be a 20-minute scenic teach experience that your youngsters will love.

Along with the 11 Thomas-themed rides, there also are day by day displays in addition to meet-and-greets with Thomas and his buddies. This theme park is in Carver, Massachusetts, which isn’t a holiday vacation spot in itself however is simply 20 miles from the Cape Cod bridges, so you’ll be able to mix the go back and forth with a seashore holiday. Or you’ll be able to simply take an afternoon go back and forth to Carver when visiting Boston (not up to an hour pressure).

(Photo courtesy of Edaville)
(Photograph courtesy of Edaville)

All through the summer season, there also are many particular occasions, corresponding to a Pete the Cat look or the chance to have breakfast with Sir Topham Hatt. Like Disney, the theme park does it up for Halloween and Christmas, so youngsters can get into the spirit. In October you’ll be able to revel in its “No longer So Spooky Halloween.” Then comes the  “Christmas Pageant of Lighting fixtures” — almost certainly its most well liked tournament — through which you’ll be able to take the 45-minute teach experience in an interactive seek for Santa.

It will not be an afternoon in Disney, however she is all smiles! (Photograph through Jennifer Yellin / Offers We Like)

Day by day tickets: If bought forward of time, tickets value $35 an afternoon (for adults) or $30 an afternoon (youngsters 2–Three years outdated and seniors 60+); youngsters beneath 2 years outdated are unfastened. The theme park additionally provides many discounted charges on make a selection days right through the yr, corresponding to complimentary tickets for nurses, academics, army, police, fireplace rescue and veterans. There are even days when youngsters can input without spending a dime through appearing a record card with all A’s and B’s or that they’ve finished their summer season studying.

Resort lodging: Edaville is in Carver, Massachusetts, which doesn’t have many lodge choices within sight. The nearest features lodge is the TownePlace Suites through Marriott Wareham Buzzards Bay (from 25,000  features an evening) which is ready 13 mins away.


Storyland is within the White Mountains of New Hampshire and is a smart vacation spot for a longer circle of relatives holiday. Storyland will permit your youngsters to relive their favourite storybook tales, together with Mom Goose. They’ve 30 points of interest, 4 other displays right through the day (together with Daniel Tiger) and a royal parade on the finish of the day. You’ll additionally see many characters, corresponding to Cinderella, Tinkerbell, Peter Pan, Little Pink Driving Hood and Humpty Dumpty, wandering across the park and not using a wait in any respect to fulfill them and snap a photograph. Like Disney, there may be a magic fortress the place a pumpkin trainer will take you to fulfill Cinderella.

(Photograph through Jennifer Yellin / Offers We Like)

My daughter’s favourite a part of Storyland used to be tea time with Cinderella. For simply $10 a price ticket, you’ll be able to revel in an hour in Cinderella’s presence studying correctly drink tea after which concentrate to her learn a tale. My 5-year-old completely felt like a princess, and it used to be simply as particular for her as any Disney meet-and-greet tournament.

You’ll be able to additionally dine with lots of the characters, Cinderella integrated, on the finish of the day. The price ticket value is simply $19.99 consistent with grownup or $9.99 consistent with kid (ages 3–12). A identical revel in at Disney would value a minimum of 3 times that.

(Photo by AnotherMaker via Wikipedia)
(Photograph through AnotherMaker by means of Wikipedia)

The very best perk of Storyland is that for those who input all the way through the remaining 3 hours of the day, you’ll be able to obtain a price ticket to go back another day of the season. That is nice for households who don’t need to spend a complete day at a park and would quite unfold it throughout two days. You’ll be able to additionally use the remainder of the time to discover the encircling space.

Day by day price ticket costs: Tickets get started at $31.99 consistent with day, and youngsters beneath Three are admitted unfastened.

Resort lodging: Staying in North Conway is very really helpful, as there are a ton of kid-friendly actions within the space and Storyland is most effective 6 miles away. There are lots of points-friendly resorts, such because the Hampton Inn & Suites North Conway (between 23,000 and 60,000 Hilton Honors features an evening), which options an indoor waterpark. Some other widespread lodge, even supposing at the dearer finish, is the Pink Jacket Mountain View Hotel, which may be identified for its indoor waterpark. Whilst you can’t use your conventional chain lodge features at this assets, it’s the superb alternative to make use of versatile features.

Santa’s Village

You’ll be able to revel in Christmas once a year on Memorial Day Weekend and throughout the summer season at Santa’s Village. This Santa-themed park about an hour from Storyland provides 20 rides, 3 waterslides, a waterpark and a touch pad. Every day, you’ll get to revel in its three-D film, a Tinkerdoodle Christmas and Santa’s Christmas Gentle Display. The summer season months will even carry further day by day displays. A completely new water space with further waterslides is anticipated for 2019.

(Photo courtesy of Santa
(Photograph courtesy of Santa’s Village)

All through the autumn you’ll be able to revel in the park’s “Foolish, Spooky Halloween” tournament — in fact, costumes are welcome. Then this theme park totally comes alive for Christmas. All through its “Christmas Time,” the place there somewhat in all probability might be snow at the floor, there are about 1 million lighting right through the park, and you’re going to completely pay attention caroling.

Day by day price ticket costs: Tickets get started at simply $29 consistent with particular person and youngsters beneath four are unfastened. It additionally provides a unfastened go back price ticket, for those who arrive inside of 3 hours of the park final. This lets you get further “unfastened” hours on the park and in point of fact lengthen your discuss with.

Resort lodging: Very similar to Storyland, Santa’s Village may be within the White Mountains of New Hampshire, even supposing at the reverse facet of the mountain. If you wish to revel in each parks in a single holiday, make North Conway your house base. Or, in case you are having a look to simply do Santa’s Village, your closest choice for the usage of features is the Hampton Inn Littleton (normally 40,000 Hilton Honor features an evening).

Idlewild & SoakZone

Idlewild & SoakZone, an hour out of doors of Pittsburgh, has greater than 35 rides and a whole waterpark. There may be a Tale E book Wooded area, the place your youngsters can revel in many widespread nursery tales and meet acquainted characters, corresponding to Mom Goose, Goldilocks and the 3 Bears, the Outdated Lady Who Lived in a Shoe, Little Pink Driving Hood and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Princess-loving youngsters will even love the enchanted fortress, the place they are able to meet the park’s personal Princess Lily.

To most sensible off your discuss with, households can take a trolley experience thru Daniel Tiger’s Group. And for those who discuss with all the way through Halloween, you’ll have the ability to watch Daniel Tiger’s “Hallowboo!” display, the place your kid can meet Daniel Tiger and Katerina Kittycat in particular person.

Day by day price ticket value: Tickets value $32.99 and youngsters beneath Three are unfastened.

Resort lodging: Simply six mins away, you’ll be able to keep on the Ramada Ligonier (15,000 Wyndham Rewards features) or 12 mins in the wrong way, there may be the Springhill Suites Pittsburgh Latrobe (from 17,500 Marriott Bonvoy features).

Backside Line

If you wish to have a theme park journey more cost effective and nearer to house than Disney, those possible choices be offering your kid a memorable day full of rides, displays and characters with out leaving the Northeast. You are going to almost certainly no longer need to struggle lengthy strains, pay an inordinate quantity on parking or stroll 10 miles to navigate the park. Those theme parks too can function a preview on what an afternoon at Disney could be like will have to your circle of relatives make a decision to move on a long term go back and forth. You’ll be informed the forms of rides your kid likes, whether or not or no longer they are able to be affected person in line and in the event that they love characters, or no longer.

On the lookout for extra theme park recommendation? TPG has you coated:

Jennifer Yellin covers circle of relatives commute offers for TPG and blogs at Offers We Like. Practice her circle of relatives’s adventures on Twitter and Instagram.

Featured symbol courtesy of Dutch Wonderland