Kennywood Amusement Park, Pittsburgh
What is summer without a visit to an amusement park? We made our annual trek to Kennywood every summer when we lived in the Pittsburgh area.
When our children were young, we spent our time in Kiddieland, took a traditional train ride through the park and snacked on cotton candy before leaving the amusement park.
As they got older, we tried our luck at the arcade, overcame our fears and rode the tamer roller coasters and enjoyed a dip cone with a cherry on top.
As teenagers, a whole new world opened up for them as they tried the racing roller coasters, spent their allowance on games of skill and knoshed on numerous tempting snacks. We have fond memories of summer days at Kennywood.
Kennywood was founded in 1898 as a small trolley park begun by the Monongahela Street Railway Company. It was overseen by Andrew Mellon, a prominent figure in Pittsburgh. The first roller coaster was added in 1902, The Figure Eight. Kennywood evolved into a popular park for family gatherings and school picnics.
Kennywood boasts water rides, thrill rides, classic amusement park rides and kiddieland. Several roller coasters operate:
The Exterminator, which is a high speed coaster ride in the dark, riders 46"-52" must ride with an adult
The Jack Rabbit (1921) riders 36"-46" must ride with an adult
Phantom's Revenge-one of the world's fastest coasters reaching 85 mph, riders must be at least 48" tall
Racer, the only single track, racing coasters in the United States, riders must be at least 46" tall
The Thunderbolt-an attraction on the "top coasters" list reaching more than 50 mph featuring deep plunges, riders must be at least 52" tall.
The gate opens daily at 10:30 a.m. with rides beginning at 11:00 a.m. Closing time is generally 10 pm, but can vary with the weather and crowds. Prices are $28.95 for a Fun Day Pass; $14.95 Jr. Fun Day Pass for those under 18; $14.95 for those over age 55; free for children under 2. A Night Rider Pass is available after 5 pm for $14.95.
In the summer, visitors can obviously go to Kennywood to ride the rides, eat, and play games. In the fall (from September through October), Kennywood hosts its annual "Fright Nights" in anticipation of Halloween. Not all the rides are open, and most of the games are closed, but most of the rides (including all of the roller coasters) remain open, but what makes Fright Nights different from the typical Kennywood experience is that the entire park is decorated to look scary, ghouls and other monsters roam the park to frighten unsuspecting visitors, and the best part: There are multiple haunted houses all around the park.
The number of haunted houses may change from year to year, but when I visited, there were five different haunted houses! It's a lot of fun, and you get to go to multiple haunted houses without having to travel around.
Fright Nights occur from 8:00pm - 1:00am, and it costs $18.00 to enter. For more information, visit the website I've provided.
This is a lovely amusement park with fun rides (unless you are a roller-coaster buff) and great food. The only down side is the price, which has increased greatly over the past 5 years. I typically took the night-rider specials (come in after 5pm and pay less), but the price of this has increased from 12.99 about five years ago to 19.99 now.
As far as rides go, they have the traditional bumper cars, swings, ferris wheel, etc, but they also have the oldest working wooden roller coaster, the Thunderbolt and a Raging Rapids (water tubing) ride, wet roller coaster "Log Jammer", "The Exterminator" which is like an in-door completely dark roller coaster ride, a Sky Coaster, and many more. I suggest checking out the website to see if this is a place for you.
Kennywood Park is one of the oldest amusement parks in the United States, and is well-loved by generations of Pittsburghers. It has dozens of rides for kids and adults of all ages, including five roller coasters, for which it is best known. Our four-year old daughter loved the Kiddieland section of Kennywood, which has around fifteen rides specifically for small children. Kennywood is full of trees which make it aesthetically pleasant and easy to find a shady place to get out of the hot summer sun. It also has a lot of places to eat within the park.
Kennywood Amusement Park is a must in the summer.
Kennywood still has old wooden roller coasters! Lots of rides for everyone in your family. I wouldn't recommend the train ride, as it travels along the river, showing Pittsburgh's most depressing neighborhood and crumbling steel mills.
malls, theaters, Kennywood, and Pittsburg Zoo.
Kennywood is a great amusement park it is home to the steelphantom one of the biggest roller costers in the world! It travals at 85mph.
Pittsburg zoo is also a great place to vistit if you want to see wild animals up close in what looks like there natrule habatat.
It started as a picnic grove in 1898 and still contains two of the original John Miller coasters - The Jack Rabbit (1920) and The Racer (1927). The character of Kennywood still resembles the trolley park it started as while mixing with the modern elements. Several years ago, a section entitled "Lost Kennywood" was added to commemorate the parks that had fallen to time, and the entrance arch is a copy of the entrance to the long-gone Luna Park in Pittsburgh.
This amusment-park is something you can't miss. They have some great roller-coasters (steel phantom = the best) and a free-fall, called pit fall, that surely will kick your ass. See the picture.