Looking for your ticket to family fun? Nestled within the foothills of the beautiful Laurel Highlands, just outside of Ligonier in Westmoreland County, you’ll find Idlewild & SoakZone, named “Best Children’s Park in the World” by Amusement Today and “Best Park for Families” by the National Amusement Park Historical Association.
Since 1878, Idlewild has been providing smiles, laughter, and memories longer than almost every other amusement park in the entire United States. Originally a simple picnic ground along the Ligonier Valley Rail Road, the park has grown into a sprawling entertainment center rich in tradition, nostalgia, and natural beauty, and is recognized as one of the top destinations for family fun in the country.
Idlewild strikes the perfect balance between traditional and modern-day amusement. At one end of the park you’ll find tranquil Story Book Forest. Featuring a winding path through a real forest, guests visit cottages and other character scenes from fairy tales and nursery rhymes – providing a great chance for parents and grandparents to revisit their youth as they introduce their own little ones to Mother Goose, Goldilocks and many more.
At the opposite end lays SoakZone, gushing with “splash-tacular” fun from the Wowabunga Family Wave Pool, over a dozen waterslides, Captain Kidd’s aqua-structure, Lil’Squirts kiddie pool, and the new lazy river, Float Away Bay. In between, families can experience cheerful excitement within the entertaining Hootin’ Holler’ western town,Jumpin’ Jungle interactive playground, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood of Make-Believe, and Raccoon Lagoonkiddieland - one of the largest and most scenic children’s areas in the country.
The park’s roster of nineteen major rides includes rare gems like the Whip, not to mention the top-notch Rollo Coaster, which has appeal to both children (often listed as their first ever coaster ride) and longtime coaster enthusiasts, (whom designated the ride an “American Coaster Classic”). Compare those classics to the park’s more modern rides, like the fast-paced Wild Mouse steel coaster, towering high among the park’s tall evergreens and offering high action at every quick turn.
Idlewild is truly multi-generational. Grandparents are often seen riding alongside their grandchildren among the family-friendly rides and there’s a wide array of entertainment directed to both the young and the young at heart. At the core of every attraction is the principal that the entire family can enjoy it together.
It’s unique charm and laid-back atmosphere just invite you to relax. Shady trees, lakes and the Loyalhanna Creek passing through its center, make Idlewild compare more to a state park than any other amusement park you’ve ever seen. The center midways are lined with benches and there are plenty of picnic groves where families can enjoy a picnic lunch together as they take a break during their fun-filled day.
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