Visiting indoor amusement parks can be great for a quick theme park getaway, but they offer very different experiences than large amusement parks. At the same time, indoor parks can be fun and entertaining for special events or just enjoying a few hours of thrills.
Benefits of Indoor Parks
Indoor theme and amusement parks have several benefits that larger outdoor parks do not, including:
- Year Round Fun: Most indoor parks are open year round and their different rides and attractions do not close because of inclement weather. High winds, thunderstorms, and lightning can close rides at outdoor parks, many of which are only open seasonally.
- Affordability: Because indoor parks are usually smaller, they are also more affordable for families or groups to enjoy. Ride tickets can often be purchased individually, and great deals can be found with all day admission passes or wristbands.
- Rentals: Many indoor parks allow groups to rent part or all of the facility for birthday parties, family reunions, graduation celebrations, or other special events. By having the park available for exclusive use, that special day will be even more meaningful.
Attractions at Indoor Amusement Parks
Because indoor parks are often vastly smaller and more restricted than traditional large amusement parks, they usually have fewer rides and less intense attractions than big parks. To compensate for this, however, many small indoor parks offer a range of unique attractions that larger parks often overlook, such as:
- Rides, including kiddie or family roller coasters and classic amusement park rides
- Arcade games and prize redemption game centers
- Large jungle gyms and interactive play structures
- Miniature golf courses with unique features such as black lighting
- Rock walls, bounce houses, and other individual attractions
- Motion simulators, often recreating larger thrill rides
- Mirror or cage mazes
- Laser tag obstacle courses
- Haunted houses or walk throughs
- Refreshment bars and concession
In addition to these fun indoor features, many indoor amusement parks also have outdoor sections with larger rides, additional miniature golf courses, batting cages, go kart tracks, and more, but these outdoor sections may only be open seasonally.
Popular Indoor Parks
Many communities of all sizes have at least one indoor park or family fun center to enjoy. Some indoor parks, however, are larger and can compete with outdoor amusement parks in terms of the range of attractions and excitement they offer.
- Galaxyland: This indoor park in the West Edmonton Mall in Alberta, Canada is the largest indoor theme park in the world. Galaxyland is home to the Mindbender triple looping roller coaster, the Galaxy Orbiter spinning coaster, a 120 foot tall Space Shot tower, and dozens of other exciting attractions for all ages.
- Adventuredome Adventuredome: Adjacent to the Circus Circus casino in Las Vegas, the Adventuredome houses more than two dozen rides and attractions. The pink Canyon Blaster coaster is a popular thrill ride, and other fun attractions include bumper cars, a 4D theater, swinging ship, carousel, mini-bowling, clown shows, and more.
- Nickelodeon Universe: This park in the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota is home to five thrilling roller coasters, bumper cars, a log flume ride, and other exciting attractions. Because it is themed around popular children's shows, this park is particularly great for families and kids can meet their favorite characters such as Dora the Explorer and Spongebob Squarepants.
Tips for Visiting Indoor Theme Parks
Not all indoor parks are suitable for everyone's excitement and entertainment. To make the most of an indoor park visit, interested guests should always…
- Check Hours: Hours and dates of operation vary widely for indoor parks. Some are only open during the evening and on weekends, while others may be open all day but not all the rides or attractions will be available. Also, some parks may close for private events or rentals.
- Investigate Attractions: An indoor park may claim to have a roller coaster, but older children and teens may be disappointed to discover that it is a kiddie ride or a mild family coaster. Always check a park's website or call for information on what attractions may be appropriate for different ages and interests.
- Calculate Prices: Spending just a few dollars to ride a roller coaster or an indoor ride may seem like a bargain, but if every ride costs several dollars an evening of entertainment can quickly become expensive. Many parks do offer ticket booklets or unlimited ride wristbands or stamps that can be a better deal than individual tickets.
Visiting indoor amusement parks can be fun for the whole family, and they're a great and affordable diversion for a fun evening or special party. With different attractions to try and many options to choose from, indoor parks are fun all year long.