Amusement parks never fail to entertain, especially when Fido can join in the fun. We’ve scoured the globe from Kentucky to Denmark to find amusement parks that welcome dogs through the turnstiles for free! Well-behaved pups can enter these parks as long as they’re leashed and cleaned up after. Dogs who aren’t used to crowds or 200-year-old clowns (see Bakken) might want to pass on these adventures.
Posted by Billy Francis
Knoebels Amusement Resort
America’s largest free-admission amusement park is also one of the few in the country that welcomes dogs. Located in a small Pennsylvanian valley, Knoebels Amusement Resort has evolved from a popular picnic spot in the early 1900s to a thrill-seekers’ paradise with more than 60 rides to enjoy. Dogs aren’t allowed on the bigger rides, but you can check out the white-knuckle action from the relative calm of the pet-friendly train. The 1.5-mile track passes underneath the Twister Roller Coaster, through a tunnel and deep into the Knoebels Woods. Fido also can ride shotgun in an antique automobile or hop on the historic carousel built in 1913. The Knoebels Pool even welcomes pups for a Doggie Dive at the end of summer. When hunger strikes, grab a bite together at the pet-friendly outdoor eating areas around the park.
After all the excitement, let Fido rest up at a campsite in Knoebels Campground, the most dog-friendly campground in Pennsylvania, which is right next to the amusement park. If camping isn’t your pup’s style, reserve this creekside home just steps from the park.
There’s really no need to visit the rest of Europe if you take a trip to Europa-Park in Germany. Its 15 European-themed areas pay homage to the unique national architecture, cuisine and plants from around the continent. There are more than 50 pet-friendly restaurants throughout the park, including the popular terrace at Casa Atlantica in the Portugal section. Traveling from England to Portugal in a few minutes can be a lot of work, so don’t forget to let Fido pause at one of the park’s 15 water stations for refreshment. Canines are not allowed to enter the attractions or shows, and certain breeds are not permitted. If your pooch fits into one of these categories, you can put her up at Toms‘ Hundewelt for the day. This nearby kennel offers transportation to Europa-Park.
Stay at one of the park’s themed resort hotels like Europa-Park Erlebnis-Resort Hotel Colosseo or Europa-Park Freizeitpark & Erlebnis-Resort, Hotel El Andaluz and enjoy early park entry.
Located 18 miles north of Salt Lake City in Farmington, Lagoon Park has been attracting fans since 1886. Although dogs are not permitted in the park’s Lagoon A Beach, the fountain or on any rides, they can join you for a romp around Pioneer Village and along the paved trails. The wooden sidewalks invite dogs and their owners to imagine they’re starring in their own western: The Good, the Bad and the Pugly. This reconstruction of a frontier community is reminiscent of a town in the late 1800s. There are 42 authentic 19th-century stores, buildings and artifacts to explore together. Don’t forget to pause for a picture in Old West clothing and #bringfido, before sharing an ice cream from the Pioneer Village Ice Cream Parlor.
Deep in one of Denmark’s most beautiful wooded areas sits the oldest amusement park in the world, Bakken. The doors first opened in 1583 and people and pups from around the world have been entertained here ever since. Dogs are invited to walk the same park paths that other Great Danes have for generations. Sharpshooters have the chance to win Fido a brand new cuddly toy at one of the shooting stalls while he stands watch for Pjerrot, Bakken’s notorious white-faced clown who has been a fixture here for the last 200 years. Dogs are not permitted on any of the rides.
Tweetsie Railroad in Blowing Rock, NC delivers the Wild West to the East Coast. Dogs are welcome on the paved trails, where you can marvel at the locomotive collection consisting of classic steam trains. The Miner's Mountain Theater boasts two pet-friendly shows based on the American Frontier. Give Fido a front-row seat for Hopper & Porter and The Cloggers, both performed in the open-air venue daily. Tweetsie also plays host to the awesome K-9s In Flight Frisbee Dogs, who will dazzle you and your pup with their amazing array of tricks. And each year during the summer, Thomas the Tank Engine makes an annual appearance at the park. Pets are not permitted in Deer Park Zoo, in areas where food is served, or on rides and transportation within the park.
The Milky Way Adventure Park
Devon and Cornwall are England’s most southerly points, nestled in a region defined by rolling green hills and stunning coastal views. Amidst these scenic surroundings is The Milky Way Adventure Park, where well-behaved dogs are also invited to join the fun. Hop on the scenic train with your furry friend and discover gorgeous views of the coast and Dartmoor. Sniffer dogs can use their superior snouts to hunt out the correct route in the Milky Way Maze. And if there’s any time left, canine caddies can offer guidance on the mini golf course. Dogs are not permitted on any of the other rides, inside carpeted areas or in the birds of prey centre. Fido also should be out of sight during the birds of prey demonstration to avoid being confused with dinner.
Take your worn-out hound to Williams Cottage for a good night’s sleep, and admire gorgeous views of the Bristol Channel from the quaint backyard.
Fossils, life-sized models and interactive exhibits are all on display at Dinosaur World, an amusement park devoted to our planet’s previous inhabitants. All three locations in Texas, Kentucky and the original park in Florida welcome your “diplodogus” to leave his paw prints inside the Fossil Dig area. Your pup can help scrounge for stingray barbs, gastropods and even Mosasaur teeth. The Dino Gem mine hides even more treasures, including real minerals and arrowheads. Water stations are provided to keep furry friends hydrated on their prehistoric prowl.
Flamingos aren’t exactly what ornithologists expect to see in Yorkshire, England. In fact, you’re much more likely to spot a pigeon or seagull, but this hasn’t stopped Flamingoland from thriving. This amusement park named for the shockingly pink birds is happy to let Fido walk around the exhibits while you snap a photo with classic literary animals like Peter Rabbit & Lily Bobtail. Don’t miss the swashbuckling tale of the Pirates of Zanzibar, a pet-friendly performance on an outdoor stage. Dogs are welcome in most sections of the park except for the zoo, Children’s Planet and Splish Splosh.
After a fun-filled day, recharge at Rocklands Lodge where each unit features a full kitchen, a hot tub, and access to shared outdoor areas for dining and relaxing.
While dogs may not be able to join you at Magic Kingdom in Disney World, there’s another Florida amusement park where Fido can have a ball. Fun Spot America welcomes leashed pups at their Orlando and Kissimmee locations as long as they’re cleaned up after. Pets aren’t permitted on rides, but they can join you for fun photo ops, while you play games, at picnic tables to share a hot dog or a bite of funnel cake, and at dog-friendly events held throughout the year like Paws and Pints and the Florida Wiener Dog Derby. The park is open every day until midnight, so plan to bring your thrill-seeking canine in the evening for cooler temperatures.
Stay close to both parks at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Orlando at SeaWorld. Perks include tile floors and easy access to a grassy area with waste stations.
Centreville Amusement Park
Bring the whole family to Toronto Islands Park for an unforgettable day out. Leashed dogs are welcome to float the short distance on a pet-friendly ferry ride from the mainland to Centre Island for a fun-filled day at Centreville Amusement Park. Although pups aren’t permitted on any of the 30 rides, they are free to explore the winding paved trails that weave around the luscious 600-acre park with you. They can also enjoy green spaces dotted along the way and share in stunning views of the Toronto skyline. Swing by one of the food outlets like Scoops Ice Cream Wagon, the Funnel Cake Shop, or Mr. Fipp’s Popcorn Wagon, and pick up a treat to share.
At the end of the day, head back to the mainland and let Fido rest his paws in a loaner pet bed at Hotel Le Germain Maple Leaf Square. Treats and bowls are also available at the front desk and a pet relief area with waste stations is onsite.
Canobie Lake Park
Family fun should always include Fido, and at Canobie Lake Park in Salem, NH it certainly does! Bring your whole pack for a day of adventure at this dog-friendly New England amusement park. While daredevil dogs aren’t permitted on the more than 85 rides and attractions, well-behaved and friendly pups are welcome to stroll along the Heritage Trail and learn about the 100-year history of the park and cheer on their humans in outdoor games. Stop for fun photo ops and share some ice cream or popcorn along the way, too.
All that excitement can be exhausting for pups and their people. Rest up at nearby La Quinta by Wyndham Salem NH. Canine guests have easy access to the grassy area outside and humans will enjoy the daily Bright Side Breakfast.