PA Parks Questions

Sunday, February 13, 2005 12:37 PM

I'm new here, having just found your site a few days ago. We mostly travel to older parks for our kids, to show that you don't have to go to Disney to have fun, and also to try to capture some of the fun memories for my kids that I have from spending so much time in my very young years at West View Park. My kids are still young so their coaster days are just starting.

I am currently trying to organize our trip in early June to central and eastern PA to visit several amusement parks. Would any of you happen to know the following:

1 - Will Bushkill Park in Easton, PA be opening this year? Their website hasn't been updated since last year. I know they were flooded and I found where people were being organized to go out there and help them clean up, but I can't find anything about whether they were able to get the place back up to running.

2 - Does anyone have any recommendations for places to stay near Knoebels? I found the Catawissa Railroad company online, where you can stay in a caboose, but I can only find one review of it online (positive).

Thank you for any help you can give.


Sunday, February 13, 2005 1:26 PM
There are some hotels in Danville which is about a 15 minute drive to Knoebels. Stay clear of the Days Inn though. The Glosser Motor Inn is a couple minute drive to Knoebels. You can check Knoebels website for a list of some local B&Bs and such.
Sunday, February 13, 2005 3:52 PM
Thanks for the information. We always avoid Days Inns ever since a few bad experiences. If I can't find any references for the caboose place we will probably go with the Hampton Inn in Danville.


Sunday, February 13, 2005 4:32 PM
I am *not* normally a camping person, but there is something just SO special about Knoebels, waking up and being able to cruise the park with a cup of coffee...what can I say, I absolutely LOVE that park, and getting to watch it come to life for the day is a unique experience you CANNOT get elsewhere...

Dick pays me to say these things though...;)

Sunday, February 13, 2005 5:22 PM
Are you going anywhere else besides Bushkill and Knoebels?

A couple of years back we went to Hershey, stayed there, drove to Knoebel's first thing, left in the late afternoon, and spent the evening at Lakemont.

Altoona and Hershey really aren't that far away... if you're going to do either of those parks, it may be easier to find a place there, rather than near Knoebels.

Sunday, February 13, 2005 6:00 PM
Definitely camping at Knoebels is the best experience imho, they also have cabins that might be worth a look. Otherwise we stayed at the Quality Inn in Danville this past summer and found it to be very clean and comfortable. There's a Country Kitchen attached and breafast is included with each night's stay. It's not a lot to look at on the outside but inside the lobby and rooms are nice, in a cheap sorta nice way. We've pretty much given up on Choice Hotels but this Quality Inn is an exception, we'd likely stay there again if camping wasn't possible.


Sunday, February 13, 2005 6:15 PM
My one time at Knoebel's we stayed at the Hampton Inn in Danville. I've never had a bad time at a Hampton Inn.

The problem with Knoebel's is that there is NO nearby lodging unless you rent one of the cabins (I believe you need to take your own linens). Danville has most of the chain hotels.

The other place that I was considering before opting for Hampton Inn was the Glosser Motor Inn in Paxinos (which was a bit closer to Knoebel's -- and I had read positive reviews out there).

Knoebel's is literally in the middle of nowhere, and it's quite dark around there at night as far as street lighting goes, so make sure you know exactly where you will be going when you get out.

Sunday, February 13, 2005 6:16 PM
I agree about the camping at Knoebels, its special.
Sunday, February 13, 2005 8:36 PM
Wow thank you everyone for all of the responses. I hadn't even considered some of the hotels you've mentioned (espec the Quality Inn - we stayed at the one in Lancaster on last year's vacation and it was a nightmare!).

<Are you going anywhere else besides Bushkill and Knoebels?>

Yes, our trip should be about 11 days, including one day of driving on each end. We live near Idlewild Park now but will be moving to Ohio in a few months due to a job relocation.

First, we base in Allentown/Bethlehem and go to Bushkill Park (hopefully), and Dorney Park (1 day), as well as the Crayola Factory (on way to next stop).

Then, we move to Phila for Sesame Place. (Third year in a row - kids hardly watch the show anymore but still keep asking when they are going back to the park)

Then, we move to base in Lancaster. From there we go to Dutch Wonderland (part of a day, rest is outlets for mom), Hershey Park (whole day), and then Williams Grove en route to Knoebels.

Knoebels seems like it could take a whole day, because there is so much my kids can ride (They are 4 year old boys - twins). If not all day, it would be enough of it to not want to drive 6 hours after going there, so we will stay in Danville or wherever the night before, then go to the park for a leisurely day, then drive home the following day.

If we lived where we do now I'd rethink staying in Lancaster vs. Hershey or Harrisburg and then just drive to Knoebels for the day and then back down to wherever we were staying there, and hit Williams Grove at some point while we were there or on the way home. However, since we'll be living somewhere up by Cleveland I am thinking that seems like backtracking.

We aren't hitting Altoona on this trip. I am hoping to do another long weekend trip in July or August to Lakemont and DelGrosso's as a tack-on to a visit back here. Unfortunately we didn't have time to do those last year when they would have been a day trip from where we live now, but we didn't realize we would be moving so focused on using our Idlewild season passes.

Thank you again for all of your help. I am glad to have found a group of folks on the internet who travel like this to parks.


Sunday, February 13, 2005 9:42 PM
Wow I didn't even realize about Bushkill - it has to be right near me. I go to college in Easton, which is about 20 minutes from Dorney. Do you have an address for the park, if so I could probably walk by it one day.
Sunday, February 13, 2005 10:42 PM
I'd recommend the Quality Inn in Danville as well. Decent rooms at a reasonable price with a free breakfast. I have stayed at other Quality Inn's that weren't very nice(One by PKD especially,) but the one in Danville is solid.

I always stay at when traveling. Its nice to end up with a few free stays by the end of the season.

Monday, February 14, 2005 11:13 AM
FlyinBack - check out the park's website. The park isn't too hard to find but it is tucked away in a hidden little location. It's also very small so it is possible to drive right by and not even notice it.
Monday, February 14, 2005 11:42 AM

Sandi said:
I am glad to have found a group of folks on the internet who travel like this to parks.

...and travel, and travel.....;)

Definitely be sure to post back a TR...I am trying to get together a "smaller parks of PA" tour sometime this year, and any input/advice would be VERY helpful...TiA!

Also, be sure to say Hi! to that 'buzzer (BigJim4Life?) who works at *Open* Sesame Place...

Monday, February 14, 2005 11:51 AM
Dutch Wonderland will be great for the kids! i can tell you that there may be some things that they may not like, but over all I have fun, not cauz i work there, but if you want to have fun there, you will!
Monday, February 14, 2005 12:23 PM
Gator...formerly worked at Sesame Place. I won't be going back there this summer. Sorry!
Monday, February 14, 2005 8:09 PM

rollergator said:

Definitely be sure to post back a TR...I am trying to get together a "smaller parks of PA" tour sometime this year, and any input/advice would be VERY helpful...TiA!

I got the idea for this trip from the book "Amusement Parks of Pennsylvania" by Jim Futrell & Tim O'Brien. It tells a lot about all of the parks in PA and the history behind the parks themselves as well as the attractions in them - not just coasters but all the rides - as well as some travel/visit trips for each park. It also has a section covering smaller parks that only have a few rides, or just a carousel. It's not terribly expensive and I would heartily recommend it. The author has also written similar books about other states but I haven't read those yet.

I will definitely post a travel report. June can't come soon enough!


Tuesday, February 15, 2005 12:26 AM
I have personally not stayed here, but I have heard many people talk highly of the Pine Barn Inn in Danville. I think it's
Tuesday, February 15, 2005 2:46 PM
I've stayed at the Quality Inn in Danville and didn't have a problem with it. As many have said, the problem with nearly all Knoebels lodging (save for the campground) is that it's at least 15-20 minutes from the park. But considering how beautiful the drive is from the Route 80-area hotels and the park, that is never a problem for me.

I would expect Bushkill to reopen this year. Last fall, a number of enthusiast volunteers (myself included) went to the park to help the employees get everything together so major work could be completed during the winter months. I am waiting to hear back from a friend of mine in the area that knows the owners of the park but as far as I know, there will be an '05 season for Bushkill.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005 3:00 PM
I mean you could stay at my house here in Bloomsburg, but we're full ;).

Kidding aside, I too would recommend the Danville Quality Inn..or maybe the Econo Lodge near the Columbia Mall in Bloomsburg. There is also another hotel, The Inn at Buckhorn there. Both are also close to the park (and pretty close to me!).

Wednesday, February 16, 2005 1:05 PM
Depending which direction you're coming from to get to Knoebels, you might want to check out the Country Inn and Suites off of I-81. It's one exit north of the one for Route 901. We've had relatives stay there while visiting the area, and they really liked it and thought it was a good value.

The downside is it's probably 25-30 minutes from Knoebels, but it is a beautiful ride across the valley to get there. The places in Danville would probably be better if you wanted to stay 2 nights-- before and after hitting the park.

Whatever you decide, enjoy your trip and have a good visit to eastern PA.


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