This post is courtesy of our contributor Krista…It’s not often that my husband and I get a chance to spend time together without the kids. In fact, this Pittsburgh trip was only the second time we have ever left our children! Our trip to Kennywood Amusement Park was an opportunity to relive our youth, play games, get dizzy on rides, eat whatever we wanted without having to be “responsible parents” and we enjoyed every minute!
Kennywood was founded in 1898 and was designated as a national historic landmark in 1987. It is an amusement park that integrates traditional classic rides like the Jack Rabbit roller coaster (1920) with new high-tech rides that will leave you weak at the knees such as the Black Widow. There are rides for all ages from newly walking toddlers in Kiddieland to six crazy roller coasters for your daredevil teens. You will definitely not be disappointed with the ride selection!
When entering the park, make sure to stop off at the Rider Safety Center (located on the right side). They provide height-checking services so guests can see what rides they are able to enjoy. This can save a lot of time and potential meltdowns by little ones that have stood in line only to find out they can’t ride due to height requirements.
Also at the front gate you can rent strollers, wheelchairs and wagons to tow around your little ones or those heavy backpacks we all carry when traveling with kids. If you’re concerned that your little ones may get lost (or to simply provide peace of mind) you can request an ID wristband for your child with contact information at the same location or at the Service Center located in the park.
Kennywood also offers a “parent swap” option that allows parents/guardians to take turns on rides with older siblings or for parents that would like to enjoy a ride that their child doesn’t meet the height requirement for.
Kiddieland is a specialized area within Kennywood that caters to little ones. The ride selections include swinging chairs and floating boats to more adventurous rides like the dropping Pounce Bounce!
Another great thing about this area is that it has multiple shaded areas where families could picnic, rest or let their kids have some good old fashioned play time in the “Dinosaur Dig” massive sandbox. To beat the heat, misting stations were a blessing!
I don’t have the best stomach when it comes to rides but I bit the bullet and risked my lunch. My favorite ride was the historic Racer Roller Coaster! Two separate tracks run parallel racing the adjacent coaster. It’s definitely an adrenaline rush! A ride that looked awesome (for the more adventurous) was Cosmic Chaos where riders were partially standing on a disc-like plate that goes high up on tracks while spinning around simultaneously. Guests that are looking to cool down could opt for the Log Jammer – logs splashing down into water. Super hot and looking to cool down? Check out the Raging Rapids – a huge tube spinning in water while water pours all over the boat!
The dining options within Kennywood seem endless! The day we visited, it was extremely warm so we had lunch at Parkside Café which has air conditioning and serves a wide variety of healthy sandwiches and warm meals. Other dining options include (but aren’t limited to) Pizza Pavilion, Pedro’s (Mexican food), Backyard BBQ and Kennywood’s famous Potato Patch that offers Idaho potatoes with different topping options.
Have a sweet tooth? I know I do! If so, Kennywood will have you drooling and looking for extra napkins. The smell of sweet deliciousness could be found throughout the park. You’ll find classics like funnel cakes, homemade fudge and cotton candy to more recent culinary inventions like deep fried Oreos!
I enjoyed juicy strawberries with fresh whipped cream.
No theme park would be complete without fun carnival games and Kennywood had loads! Classics like ring tosses, balloon popping, ping pong water bouncing, a penny arcade and so much more! Other fun options include elaborate face painting and funky temporary tattoos.
When in need of a break (yes, you will need one!) head down to the Garden Stage located in the center of the park where live performances run multiply times daily. We were treated to a pirate show complete with sword fighting and fire!
When planning your Pittsburgh vacation, make sure that the historic Kennywood Amusement Park is on your list. Whether you’re looking for a child-friendly destination, are a history connoisseur, are a roller coaster junkie or simply looking to find your inner child – you won’t be let down!
Want to know more about Pittsburgh? Check out the rest of my Pittsburgh trip here!
*Disclosure: This post & press trip was compensated by VisitPittsburgh.com. All opinions expressed here are my own.