Some “big-league” cities trumpet the fact that they’ve got a big-league amusement park. The Pittsburgh area can claim two: Kennywood Park, close to the city, and Idlewild, a bit farther out. Both are open for business—wait, make that pleasure—this summer. Check park websites for special attractions and updated health/safety info. Kennywood dates from 1898. It’s known for a world-class collection of mechanized rides, including three classic wooden roller coasters plus the steel-framed Phantom’s Revenge and Steel Curtain. There’s a nice assortment of kiddie rides, too. Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays through June 26, the Park is holding Bites & Pints with chef-inspired tastings of international cuisine plus specialty cocktails, craft beer, and wine. Kennywood is now open daily through August 21, hours vary. After that Kennywood goes to a late summer/fall schedule. 4800 Kennywood Blvd., West Mifflin.
Idlewild offers a distinctive combination of amusements in a gorgeous countryside setting. The rides don’t include nationally ranked coasters, but there are plenty of rides and the Wild Mouse coaster is a thrill. Idlewild moreover has a full-scale water park, the Soak Zone, with water slides and a wave pool; an outdoor jungle-gym area; and the weirdly charming Story Book Forest, where children and trippy adults can wander through mini-replicas of scenes from fairy tales and folk songs—from Mother Goose to the Good Ship Lollipop. For days and hours see the park calendar. 2574 U.S. 30, Ligonier. (M.V.)