Mornings with Kristen Herrmann

Mornings with Kristen Herrmann

Mornings with Kristen Herrmann

Knoebels Amusement Park is my favorite place in the entire world. Seriously. You know those bumper stickers that say “I’d rather be_____”. I’d always rather be in Knoebels. It’s the best. My childhood vacations were spent camping at Knoebels Amusement Resort. We had full run of the park, and the water park, and definitely tested the limit of how many times someone could ride a speed slide in one day. My siblings and I have the best memories there, and I’ve already started taking my daughter as often as I can. If you’ve never visited, add Knoebels to your summer plans. It’s bound to become a tradition in your family too.

No really, Knoebels is the best place on earth. Here’s why:

  • No Admission Fee

    One of the two great train rides at Knoebels Amusement Park. Photo shows a family of 4 on the train ride, a mom and dad who look to be in their 30's and two kids, a young boy and young girl, around 3-4 years old.

    Just walk in. Knoebels is America’s largest free admission amusement park. Free admission. Free parking. Free picnic facilities. Free entertainment. Go in and out of the park as you please. Oh, and you can bring in whatever food and drink you like into the park. Pack a picnic. They have picnic tables and host family reunions and birthday parties and the like. On weekdays you can pay for rides as you go, or buy an all day ride pass. Which brings me to the June special. Every Tuesday this month, Knoebels is offering full day ride passes buy one, get one free. Both kids passes and adults.

  • The Rides and Especially The Phoenix

    The Pheonix wooden roller coaster at Knoebels is one of the reasons Knoebels is the best place on earth. Photo shows front of the ride with a sign that says Pheonix, and one of the ride cars out front for people to take photos inside.

    There are some really incredible rides at Knoebels. If you love roller coasters, Knoebels has a few great classic old wooden coasters, including The Pheonix which is my favorite. It’s won many awards over the years, including the World’s Best Wooden Coaster. The Pheonix was originally built in San Antonio, Texas in 1947 as ‘The Rocket”. Knoebels moved it in 1985 to its present site, and it remains one of the best and most famous coasters in the world. The dips are amazing.

    Photo features the entrance sign to the incredible Haunted Mansion ride at Knoebels Amusement Park. The sign reads Knoebels Haunted Mansion: A Terrifying Adventure in...Darkness with a large vulture sculpture perched on top.

    Oh, and the Knoebels Haunted Mansion gives the Disney ride a run for its money too. “A Terrifying Adventure In Darkness.” Ride if you dare. I used to ride this as a kid with my eyes closed and holding my ears closed too. Nowadays I happily open my eyes, and love every single detail.

    Photo shows the game system for Fascination, a sort of bingo game played with a ball dropping into holes at Knoebels Amusement Park. Fascination is incredibly fun, but insanely addicting.

    An honorable mention: Fascination is a game and not a ride, but it’s so much fun. Find the Fascination pavilion at Knoebels and play a BINGO-esque game by rolling a ball down a sort of ski-ball shoot, hoping to get 5 in a row. The coverall game is the most exciting part, and stressful in the best way. Watch out though. Playing costs $0.50 a game, and it’s insanely addicting. You may end up having to re-mortgage your house trying to win a prize worth a whopping $3.

  • Great For Little Kids

    Kristen's daughter Trudy happily rides a Knoebel's kiddo ride with some sort of a bug theme to it. She smiles from the little ride car that looks like a purple, white and black beetle or something like it.

    This place is awesome for the littles. First of all, with free admission, you aren’t paying for anyone in your party that isn’t going to get their money’s worth on the rides. You can have have babies and toddlers and even grandparents accompany the group, and never pay a penny for any of them. There’s such a benefit to no admission fee, and a choice between an all day ride pass or buying individual tickets as you go along. Whatever the folks in your group are up to doing, you can determine which route is best.

    Photo depicts Kristen's 2 year old daughter Trudy singing baby shark while on a shark 'boat' ride at Knoebels Amusement Park. The ride car as a shark face painted in the front.

    There are LOTS of rides to offer even toddlers though, and it makes for a super fun day for even your tiniest family members.

    Bumper cars for smaller kids. Photo shows 4 small bumper cars with 4 small children inside them, smiling ear to ear as they all crash into one another at Knoebels Amusement Park.

    Trudy is 2 years old and was even able to drive her own bumper car this year. It was low impact and she had the best time. We did it more than once and she laughed a lot.

  • The Food

    As an adult now (with a wallet), I’ve found that Knoebels is even better than I thought it was as a kid. When you realize (and appreciate) the value of this place over literally every other amusement park out there, it can’t be beat. Hot dogs for $2.75, candy apple for $4.50, potato cake for $2, and the ever popular Travelin’ Taco for $6.50. You can’t beat it.

    There are plenty of food options at Knoebels and all of them reasonably priced. Or bring your own food into the park! Photo shows sign with pizza prices at Knoebels: Regular Pie ($19), White Broccoli ($22), Cauliflower Crust ($15), Toppings $3, Slice ($4 and $0.50 toppings). Toppings: Pepperoni or Extra Cheese.

    There’s lots to choose from. Check HERE for Knoebel’s guide to new food additions this year. Oh, and if you eat nothing else while you’re there, get a banana split at Ole Mill Ice Cream. Every single option is great, but that banana split lives in my brain year-round. With no park admission fee, you could stop by Knoebels any time throughout your vacation, just to get a bite to eat. Just one more reason why Knoebels is the best place on earth.

  • Your Dog Is Welcome Too

    Photo depicts brown pitbull resting on a couch facing the camera, two big ears pointed to the sky. Bring your dog with you to Knoebels. Your well-behaved and leashed dogs are welcome.

    Knoebels is great for kids, adults, and dogs too. That’s right, dogs are welcome to join you on your Knoebels adventure. You can bring your furry friends with you to the park. You just have to keep your dog leashed and with you at all times and you must clean up after them. Sounds pretty reasonable to me. Oh, and this seems like common sense, but your dog can’t go on the rides with you…

    HOWEVER, Knoebels does allow the dogs one big swim in their GIANT pool at the end of the season. It’s called the Doggie Dive, and it’s a fundraiser for local animal rescue organizations with 100% of the proceeds donated to the cause. This year, the Doggie Dive is happening on September 8th. More info HERE. It’s real cute.

  • You Can Camp At Knoebels

    Camping at Knoebels is a super fun vacation for kids and adults alike. With no admissionn fee, you're free to wander to and from the park and your campsite all day, every day. Photo shows a 7 year old boy stretched out on a double camping chair and smiling.

    There are plenty of affordable hotels close to Knoebels in nearby in Elysburg, or Shamokin (believe it or not, there’s a great Bed and Breakfast there), OR just set up camp right at Knoebels. Their campground is where I spent many summers growing up. With no admission fee to the park, the flexibility of being able to walk in and out of the park all day is so incredibly nice, especially as a teenager. We ran all over the place and ended each action-packed park or pool day with s’mores by the campfire, only to do it all over again the next day. Seriously, the best kid vacation ever. Adults too! The rates are affordable, and the accommodations range from tents to luxury cabins. Find more information about Knoebels Campground HERE. Just one more reason why Knoebels is the best place on earth.

  • The Crystal Pool

    Knoebels Crystal Pool is located inside the park, and it’s gigantic. Nearly 900,000 gallons of water with water slides and lots more to enjoy.  They have Day and Season Passes available, and like everything at Knoebels, it’s very affordable.

    • Open Daily: June 1 – Sept 2.
    • Swim Only: $8.50 / $6.50 (Ages 2-11)
    • Swim & Slide: $15.00 / $13.00 (Ages 2-11)
    • Hours: 11 AM – 6 PM


    Crystal Pool Knoebels Crystal Pool features a zero depth entry shallow end, plus a stepped entry. There are two sliding boards in the pool and a deep end with multiple diving boards! For the little ones, we also feature a separate kiddie pool and play area.American Red Cross Certified lifeguards are on duty at all times.

    Unfortunately (although, I totally understand why) dogs aren’t allowed in the pool area until the very last Doggie Dive at the end of the season. Book your dog’s spot in this year’s Doggie Dive happening on September 8th. Even without a dog of your own it’s a very entertaining thing to witness. More info HERE.

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