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Upstate Amusement Parks for Fun Seekers and Ride Warriors


The temperature is rising, the sun is shining, and I for one can’t stop thinking about summer.

I don’t think I could tell you my favorite way to spend a sunny, summer day, but playing at a waterpark is definitely up there. What’s there not to love? The wind in your hair, the cheers of your fellow park-goers, and the thrill of the drop - are you excited yet?

Pack up the family and head over the border to Darien Lake Theme Park, New York State’s largest theme park and waterpark resort. They have rides to satisfy everyone, from the thrill seekers to the lazy river lovers and everything in-between. Hop on the Ride of Steel, the tallest and fastest roller coaster in New York, or try the Predator, Darien Lake’s only wooden coaster. Get splashed in Thunder Rapids, the classic log flume ride, or beat the heat by exploring their waterpark. Wind away the afternoon on the Flotation Station last river, or explore Hook’s Lagoon, the ultimate kiddie water park. If one day isn’t enough, stay the night at their hotel, cabins, campsites, or even glamping sites, and do it all again the next day!

A little further east in Rochester, you’ll find Seabreeze Amusement Park. Located off the shores of Lake Ontario, Seabreeze is home to the Jack Rabbit, the oldest continually operating roller coaster in America (it was built in 1920!). Seabreeze is hailed as the Goldilocks of theme parks in Upstate New York- not too big and not too small. With over 70 attractions, including a waterpark, and original twentieth century carousel, Seabreeze is sure to keep any family entertained all day.

Waiting for you in the Finger Lakes is Roseland Waterpark on Canandaigua Lake. Explore their waterslides, including The Cliff, which can reach up to 30 miles per hour on the way down. Or take a more relaxed approach to the day with the Adventure River lazy river. Venture out of the park and onto the lake with paddleboard or canoe rentals, or stay dry with beach volleyball. Spike!

Next to the waterpark is Roseland Wake Park, the only full-sized cable wakeboarding park in the Northeast. Get adventurous as you strap into the cable and wakeboard around a 2,100-foot loop. Test your skills with ramps and rails positioned throughout the lake. Suitable for ages 5 and up, learn the ropes with beginner classes, or play the day away on their obstacle course and paddleboard rentals.

A little bit of rain doesn’t keep the fun away at Palm Island Indoor Waterpark in Batavia. Perfect for day trips and overnights, kids will love the Monsoon Lagoon, in-pool basketball hoop, and the Blue Barracuda waterslides that wind in and out of the building. For those who prefer to stay dry, enjoy a full arcade and photo booth.

Wherever you decide to spend those precious summer days, you can’t go wrong in Upstate New York.