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Best amusement parks in Illinois

Kori Ellis is an editor and writer based in San Antonio, TX, where she lives with her husband and four children. At SheKnows, she writes about parenting, fashion, beauty and other lifestyle topics. Additionally, Kori has been published i...

Family thrills

Adults and children of all ages enjoy theme parks. Whether you live in Illinois or are just visiting, you have an assortment of amusement parks to choose from in Illinois. Here are just some of the best.

Family thrills

Hurricane Harbor and Six Flags Great America

This popular Six Flags amusement park features incredible thrill rides, spectacular shows and other amazing attractions. But for fun in the summer sun, don't miss Hurricane Harbor water park next door. This water park is perfect for children of all ages. They have special kiddie areas, the wave pool, and amazing water slides. Water parks are a fantastic way to cool off when the weather heats up in the summertime. If you want to avoid the huge crowds, head to Hurricane Harbor during the week or early in the morning.

542 N. Route 21, Gurnee, IL 60031-9916. Hours: Vary by season and day of week; Admission: General: $54.99; children under 48": $34.99: children 2 & under: Free; Other discounts and season passes also available.


Donley's Wild West Town

Amusement parks aren't all about roller coasters. This one takes a slower (but equally fun) approach. Experience the Old West with gunslinger shows and other Wild West events. See the blacksmith's shop, jail, saloon, and Sweet Phyllis Gold Mine. While other theme parks might be more exhilarating, this wild west town shouldn't be missed. It's a fantastic change of pace and is enjoyed by young children as well as teenagers. Nearby Chicago O'Hare Airport, Donley's Wild West Town is a fantastic destination to spend the afternoon with your family.

Route 20 & South Union Road, Union, IL 60180 (near Chicago O'Hare Airport). Hours: Open May 1 through Labor Day Daily 10 a.m.- 6 p.m.; Admission: Adults and children over 2: $15.00; children 2 & under: Free.


Knight's Action Park & Caribbean Water Adventure

This park features arcade games, go-karts, a ferris wheel, kiddie rides, miniature golf and much more. Your whole family will enjoy cooling down at the Caribbean Water Adventure, where you will find bumper boats, wave pools, the wild river, water slides, and other water activities. This park is a fantastic place to spend the day with your entire family. Slather on the sunscreen and enjoy a day in the sun.

1700 Knights Recreation Drive, Springfield, IL 62711. Hours: Knight's Action Park 9 a.m.-11 p.m.; Caribbean Water Adventure (summer only) 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Hours vary - check website for details. Admisssion: Knight's Action Park prices vary by ride. Caribbean Water Adventure - 48" & taller: $25.95; children under 48": $19.95; children 2 years & under: $4.00. Two-day discounts, season passes, and other price options available.

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