History of Amusement Parks in America

Amusement parks large and small have become a favorite family pastime, both in America and worldwide. What started out as a small, simple entertainment for families has grown into the phenomenon everyone knows and loves today. Learning more about the history of amusement parks and how it all started almost 150 years ago can help you understand how these family entertainment venues grew into the huge attractions you can visit now.

Early Amusement Parks

The earliest amusement parks were nothing like you picture when you think of amusement or theme parks today. Working men needed places to wind down after a long day on the job, so certain outdoor public areas were designated for relaxation. These men were allowed to invite their families to join them and spend time relaxing, enjoying an inexpensive meal and light entertainment.

Over time, this entertainment evolved into live music, more concessions, and shows. The shows became more elaborate, and many attractions included live animals and rides. As the scale increased and more attractions were added, early public amusement parks such as Coney Island in the 1880s began to plant the seeds for the grand entertainment venues you can experience today.

The Evolution of Theme Parks

After decades of amusement parks of varying sizes, another trend emerged that took the industry by storm. Amusement parks focused on a specific theme can be traced back to the 1940s with Indiana’s Santa Claus Land and allowed visitors to experience the fun of Christmas all year long.

In the 1950s, the industry experienced a boost that is still being experienced today with the creation of Disneyland. Disneyland allowed visitors to enjoy rides and shows with themes from the Disney films. Other themed amusement parks grew into successful ventures, while at the same time, non-themed parks also added popular venues all over the nation.

Modern-Day Amusement Parks

Unlike early amusement parks, which worked on a pay-per-ride business model, most modern-day parks typically include all rides for an all-inclusive price. With or without specific themes, these parks usually cover many acres and sometimes include water parks, highly-rated restaurants, technologically-advanced thrill rides, exciting shows, and parades.

Attractions are available for people of all ages, from the youngest kids in the family to adults looking for a fun time on their own. Some amusement parks are standalone businesses, while others, such as Six Flags or Busch Gardens, have multiple locations across the United States. On a smaller scale, many states and local areas have fairs that function as smaller, short-term versions of amusement parks.

Plan Your Family Entertainment Outing

Whether you are an individual looking for a fun and exciting way to spend a vacation or a parent wanting to treat the kids to a memory-making trip, finding an amusement park is always a safe bet to meet all of your needs. When making plans, decide if you want to travel a long distance or stay as local as possible. Decide if you prefer a smaller-scale venue or a large extravaganza for your ideal setting.

Contact Sonny’s Place For Family Fun! 

If you are in the Somers, Connecticut, area, or want to travel to the area from another location, give Sonny’s Place a try. With both indoor and outdoor attractions, there is family fun for everyone. If you have any questions about the available activities or need help planning your trip, contact us online today for more information. You can also reach out by phone at (860) 356-3518.

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Photo Credit: Shutterstock/Maciej Bledowski