Best Amusement Parks in Pennsylvania: Knoebels Near Bloomsburg

Updated April 2023

There are few things more universally loved by children than visits to an amusement park. We are exceedingly lucky to have one of the best amusement parks in PA — Knoebels, near Bloomsburg. Knoebels (pronounced kuh-NO-bels) is still family-owned and is the largest free-admission park. Knoebels is located in Elysburg, PA, 1 ½ hours from Harrisburg and 2 ½ hours from Philadelphia and Newark.

You will need several days to enjoy all of the features of Knoebels–the rides, the pool, the picnic grounds, live entertainment, museums, and food! After a full day at the park, you will want to settle into a well-appointed, comfortable room close to breakfast in the morning. The Inn at Turkey Hill is the perfect place, just 15 minutes from Knoebels.   


Knoebels’ location was popular in the early 19th century because of the creek-fed swimming hole. People gathered for picnics and hayrides. Henry Knoebel was a local farmer who tended visitors’ horses and then brought and sold ice cream, soft drinks, and snacks.

In 1926 farmer Knoebel added a restaurant, carousel, games, and a large cement pool on the site of the old swimming hole. Since then, the park has developed around the pool, with 50 rides, concession stands, and other attractions.

Rides and Attractions

Usually, the main reason for visiting an amusement park is the rides. Knoebels has kept its old-fashioned feel while adding newer, more modern rides to the favorites.


Wooden rollercoasters are the favorite of many amusement devotees, and Knoebels does not disappoint with 3 of them. The Twister and Phoenix are consistently rated as among the best wooden rollercoasters in the country!

There are three steel roller coasters for more modern thrillseekers, with Impulse being the newest addition. Impulse has an initial rise of almost 100 feet, followed by a cobra roll, vertical inversion, and a zero-g roll. Hold onto your hats!


There are two carousels at Knoebels, but it is most renowned for the Grand Carousel. It is one of the largest carousels in the world, with 63 horses and three chariots. It is one of the few remaining carousels with a working ring dispenser, where riders on the outside horses can grab a steel ring as they pass. The rider who gets the brass ring rides for free!

Trains and other attractions

There are more than four dozen additional rides at Knoebels, including a 110-foot Ferris Wheel, a 55-foot high log flume, a Haunted Mansion (rated as one of the country’s best traditional haunted mansions), bumper cars, and a whole slew of kiddie rides. The family will also love the two miniature railroads.

Restaurants and Food

There are over three dozen places to eat at Knoebels, including the original 1926 restaurant! Choose from snack concession stands or sit-down restaurants. There is even a Starbucks if you need a caffeine fix!

Other Activities

Besides the rides and the food, Knoebels has a pool, a golf course, mini-golf, arcades, and one of the country’s oldest Fascination Parlors (a combination of skeeball and bingo). In addition, there is an XD Theater, several museums, and a bald eagle habitat.

Details about Parking, Cost, and Location

Knoebels Amusement Resort
Location: 391 Knoebels Boulevard, Route 487, Elysburg, PA

The opening weekend at Knoebels is traditionally the final weekend of April. There is never an entrance fee and no charge for parking. The picnic facilities are also free.  

Visit their website for detailed information about different plans, the entertainment calendar, and the complete list of rates for rides, attractions, the Crystal Pool, and Golf. There are many choices to fit every budget, from a ride-all-day pass to special discounted evening passes or even a pay-per-ride. If it’s a hot day, and you want to swim, you can get a swim-only pass.

Where to Stay

In addition to a visit to one of the best amusement parks in PA | Knoebels Amusement Resort near Bloomsburg, the local area is a perfect location for a fun-filled spring or summer getaway. You can enjoy hikes, swimming, and boating at Ricketts Glen State Park, canoeing or kayaking on the Susquehanna, horseback riding, or just relaxing in our gazebo at the Inn. So don’t delay making plans for a Northeastern Pennsylvania getaway. Call us at (570) 387-1500 or go online to reserve your stay at the Inn at Turkey Hill.


Images of The Phoenix courtesy of the Columbia Montour Visitors Bureau







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