Kennywood and Idlewild Amusement Parks (Mon., 8/1/22)

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.)

Kennywood's vintage Racer still rocks the coaster scene.

Kennywood’s vintage Racer still rocks the coaster scene. Photo: Jason North.