Amusing Amusements

April 12, 2015
Amusing Amusements

CLE for Adrenaline Junkies & Amusement Park Enthusiasts

By Lexi Hotchkiss

There are folks who like to sit back and enjoy a little R&R during vacation. Sure, that's nice and all.

But some of us demand some serious heart-pounding, stomach-tumbling, equilibrium-shaking thrills to be deemed a proper holiday. If you're the type who lives for airtime, historic bops and some OMGeeeeeeeeeeee intensity, Cleveland's the place.

Cedar Point

Do you want to experience the king of amusement parks? The crème de la crème of thrill rides? The pièce de résistance of mega coasters? You're in luck, mon ami.

Cedar Point Amusement Park, located just 60 miles west of downtown Cleveland on a 364-acre Lake Erie peninsula, is widely recognized as one of the best amusement parks in the nation.

The park houses 17 heart-in-your-throat roller coasters, a waterslide-filled waterpark, five resort properties, a Caribbean-themed indoor waterpark and an activity park with go-karts, mini golf and the like. It's basically every thrill-seekers dream-come-true.

Of course, it wouldn't be a suitable summer in CLE unless we were anxiously awaiting CP's fancy new toy(s). And, 2015's season doesn't disappoint, as the park introduces a dynamic new riding experience with Rougarou [roo-guh-roo].

Rougarou's floorless trains (yep, that means your feet dangle on their own) travel up to 60 mph. Expect to go down a 145-foot-tall hill, flipped upside-down by a 119-foot-tall vertical loop and a get whipped in a flat spin at 360 degrees. [Yeah, I'm breathless just thinking about it.]

On top of all that, the park debuts the two-year transformation (interior and exterior) of Hotel Breakers located along the mile-long Cedar Point Beach. That means staying overnight just got a lot more fresh and fun.

Euclid Beach Carousel

Forty-six years ago, an historic Cleveland amusement park along the southern shore of Lake Erie, closed after more than seven decades of bringing fun to the region. The park was home to seven old-fashioned, wood coasters and a handful of historic thrill rides like the Flying Turns and the Mill Chute.

But most notably, the park was home to "No. 19," which was a stunning carousel designed by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company and installed in 1910.  On the carousel's 50-foot platform were four rows of horses (three inside rows of 44 jumping horses and an outside row of 14 stationary horses) and two chariots.

In 2014, the Western Reserve Historical Society bought and restored the carousel, which it now operates inside the University Circle museum during regular hours.

Swings-N-Things

Bumper boats, go karts and laser tag. They're not just for kids anymore. Swings-N-Things in Olmsted Township proves that adults can have just as much fun as (and along with) the kids.

This indoor/outdoor family fun park is a mixture of an arcade, amusement park and mini golf course...on steroids

Besides the aforementioned, you're encouraged to hit a homer in the batting cages, blast your frenemy at paintball, show-off your mini golf skills and order a triple scoop at the ice creamery.

Memphis Kiddie Park

Listen, even the kiddos need a good adrenaline rush now and again. Thankfully, they can get their fix at the oh-so-cute Memphis Kiddie Park in the Brooklyn neighborhood.

With no admission fee and most rides designed for kids under 50 inches tall, this historic 63-year-old amusement park is a huge (read: MASSIVE) hit with families.

Included in Memphis Kiddie Park's dozens of children's rides is a famous, kid-sized roller coaster, as well as a 30-horse carousel.

There are other great amusing amusement attractions throughout the region including the Merry-Go-Round Museum in Sandusky, Lake Metroparks' Farmpark in Lake County, the Old Firehouse Winery's Ferris Wheel in Ashtabula and Airport Go-Karts in Brookpark. What amusements are you looking forward to this summer?

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