By Wanda Bingaman
Wanda’s World went on vacation last week. Summer vacation for our family is a trip to Pennsylvania to visit the in-laws. I missed the annual mother-son trip to the mountains this year to see my daddy because I can’t drive. And my nerves CANNOT handle the 16 year old driving four hours on I40!!! I can’t even imagine!!
One of the things we do each year is visit Knoebel’s Amusement Resort in Elysburg, PA. The park is about half an hour from the family there. To give you an idea where it is- from Philadelphia 2.40 hours; Washington, DC 3.5 hours; Hershey, PA 1.15 hours; and Bloomsburg, PA 30 minutes. I tell you this because there is one hotel in Elysburg and I wouldn’t have anyone stay there. There is a huge campground at Knoebel’s (both tent and RV), cabins to rent and a bed and breakfast. But, if you’re within a few hours, it is worth the drive!!
What makes Knoebel’s special? It’s FREE. Yes, free. Parking is free. Walking into the park is free. Also, if you want to bring a wagon with a huge cooler full of food and drinks, you can!!! Most parks make you leave and go eat at the car, but not Knoebel’s!! When you’re like me and don’t ride, it’s amazing! You have to buy tickets or an armband to ride the rides. The food is seriously delicious and as for theme park food- it’s considered cheap! We went to Kings Dominion before my surgery- no matter where we looked to have lunch in the park, it was going to be $15+ per person. At Knoebel’s lunch was less then $10 per person. And I got HOMEMADE pierogies!!!!
What are ticket prices like? The smallest kiddie ride is $1.25, with the large roller coasters being $3.00. If you want to ride all day (with the coasters) it’s $50.00. If you have a kid under 48” tall, they can ride all day for $26.00. It is a prime spot for kids between 2-8 years of age. We haven’t done a wrist band in years, my boys are content to ride a roller coaster or two and a few other rides, while their younger cousins go crazy on the smaller rides. The Haunted Mansion and train ride are tickets only, just so know. There is also a large pool in the middle of the park- we’ve never been, but, there have been times we thought seriously about it! You can swim all day for $7.50.
So, you’re probably thinking this is some rinky dink rundown place. Actually it is an award winning, quite well known amusement park! It has won Amusement Today’s Golden Ticket awards for best Carousel, best Wooden Roller Coaster- the Phoenix (in the United States!), and best Food (beating out Dollywood!!) for 2018 and many years prior!
If you and your family are into a road trip and you find yourself heading north, check out Knoebel’s! For food, let me suggest- the chicken fries (they have some of the best chicken fries my family has ever eaten!!), the homemade pierogies, ice cream at The Old Mill- they have this peanut butter sundae with peanut butter ripple ice cream that I dream about, and pizza at Cesari’s- our entire group got pizza for dinner for $50 there. We had eleven people and if you have tried to feed that many people at an amusement park before, you know that’s a great deal! I seriously just go for the food!
Knoebel’s has a wonderful history- both as a family farm and as an amusement park. There is a delightful history museum there that’s fun to look through. As well as a museum on coal mining which is so prevalent in that area. Check them out on the web- Knoebel’s.com- you won’t be sorry if you find yourselves there one day!