It covers many acres in the Susquehanna Valley of central Pennsylvania. Knoebels Amusement Park and Resort (also in the past known as Knoebels Grove) provides a day of fun that an entire family can enjoy.
Free? For Real?
Although it is relatively unheard of, Knoebels Amusement Park has free admission and free parking and it has always been that way. I have gone to the park many times since I was a kid and they have never charged admission. The parking is in a huge field but don’t worry about having to do the walking because trams make the circuit often and visitors to the amusement park simply need to wait at one of the tram stops.
And even more free?
Yes, even more is free! The amusement park, unlike many of its counterparts, offers free entertainment. The building is called The Roaring Creek Saloon. This is where visitors to the park will find shows that are generally comedy and magic related. Shows that occur at the Band Shell (main stage) are generally music performers of all kinds. Visitors just need to find a seat and not worry about an admission price.
If you’d like to take a picnic lunch along for your day at the amusement park, ample picnic tables are available. There is no charge but the park recommends advance reservations for the picnic tables. Many are situated under a pavilion. Electricity is available in the picnic areas and there are coin operated gas burners.
It is allowed to bring your own grill to the amusement park but guests will need to get rid of their own charcoal, etc. Grills are not to be used on the tables, however, even if it is a tabletop grill. Any form of alcohol is forbidden inside of Knoebels Amusement Park and Resort.
Directions, Times and Rates . . .
Knoebels Amusement Park and Resort is found in Elysburg, Pennsylvania (near Shamokin and Sunbury) directly off of Route 487. The park is open every day from Memorial Day until Labor Day and a few weekends only before and after those holidays.
It is a good idea to check the amusement park’s website for the times they will be in operation and also the rates for the various attractions. Visitors to the park can pay for rides with a hand stamp (with discounts for certain days and times) or buy tickets. The rides each have their own cost if paid with tickets. Hand stamps cover most (but not all) of the rides for unlimited riding.
If it is a hot day, a visitor to the park may want to visit the “Crystal Pool” and waterslides while visiting Knoebels but keep in mind that it isn’t part of the actual amusement park and it will have a separate admission rate, not covered by hand stamps or tickets from the main part of the amusement park.
There are various activities near the pool for kids and adults alike. These include a “ball crawl” and climbing nets, sunbathing, a kid’s play pool, and a refreshment stand. The pool is open from Memorial Day until Labor Day.
Hungry? Have no fear!
I couldn’t really write about an amusement park without mentioning the incredible food that we all expect from a place such as this! Knoebels Amusement Park and Resort is not a disappointment in this regard. Just a short list of the foods visitors visitors find at the park include:
– Cotton Candy
– Burgers, hot dogs, and fries
– Award winning pizza
– Hot sausage sandwich with peppers and onion
– Soft serve ice cream and milk shakes
– Funnel Cakes
– *SO* much more!
If you would prefer having something more than “park food” all day long, there is an international food court found near the Phoenix Roller Coaster and a sit-down restaurant called The Alamo at the entrance to the amusement park.
Rides, Rides, and Even More Rides!
Knoebels Amusement Park adds new rides every season. If anyone in your family (or traveling with your party to the park) is fond of roller coasters, this is definitely worth the trip to central Pennsylvania for the options on rides!
For the thrill rides, the park offers:
– Twister Roller Coaster
– Super Round-Up
– Phoenix Roller Coaster (voted a top 10 roller coaster)
– Flying Turns
– Power Surge
– 1001 Nacht
– High Speed Thrill Coaster
Even More Rides!
There are also dozens of family rides and kiddie rides at the amusement park. I will not list them all, but a few of the more popular include:
– Antique Cars (called “Gasoline Alley”)
– Bumber Boats
– Flume (water ride)
– Giant Ferris Wheel
– Motor Boats
– Haunted Mansion
– Grand Carousel and Kiddie Carousel
– Ol’ Smoky Train
– Sklooosh! (water ride)
– Pioneer Train
– Italian Trapeze
– Skooters (bumper cars)
– Scenic Skyway (chairlift)
– Many rides for children of all ages
There are also lots of games!
If your idea of an amusement park involves playing games, you won’t be disappointed with Knoebels. Try your luck at winning prizes from the many games on the midway or try to gather up enough tickets for a prize at the enclosed arcade area.
Other things you will find
There are some gift and souvenir shops within the park. Keep in mind, however, that if you get on rides or get busy with another kind of amusement, you’ll need to have someone watch over your packages. If you don’t have someone with you to do that, you may want to keep the shopping for when you are on your way out of the park. On the other hand, if the rides are not an interest at all, definitely check out the shops!
Stop by the coal mining museum. This is in the heart of Pennsylvania coal mining country, after all! If a rest is needed from the rides or walking, this is a nice place to visit.
Last but not least, there are many camp sites available at Knoebels and some cabins for rent. You can try your luck at getting a cabin, but the couple of times that I tried, they were totally booked up. I would assume that cabin reservations would need to be made well in advance.