The first ride arrived at Knoebels, now America’s largest free admission park, in 1926.  Even today, spending the day at Knoebels is like stepping back in time.  From the nostalgic musical performances to the carousel that has been operated at the park since 1942, Knoebels is good old fashioned fun.

At Knoebels, you will see rides that you won’t see at newer amusement parks like the Sky Slide that costs $75 cents for a speedy ride around the outside of a rocket ship that is so thrilling, some adults (me) are a little apprehensive about riding it.  This is one of our favorite rides.

Sky Slide


The rides at Knoebels will remind you of the rides you rode as a kid, especially if you are, ahem, thirty something like me.  Remember those glittery cars that had the loud buzzy horns that sounded when you pressed the little black button?  MEH-MEH  MEH-MEH.  Yeah, they have those.

There are trains that ride through the woods, under roller coasters and over creeks.

Train headed under a roller coaster
Some type of squirrel feeding area, these are things you just won’t see anywhere else.


There is a ski lift ride that takes you on a scenic ride up and down a mountain,  two carousels and lots of other rides, both old fashioned and more modern.  Since my children are young, we stick to the kiddie rides.  There are plenty of adult rides to keep older kids happy as well.

My kid trying to make an early exit from the boat


Before we had children, my husband and I lived about fifteen minutes from Knoebels.  We would occasionally drive over on a summer evening and graze at the many food stands in the park.  Whether you are looking for french fries or funnel cake, ice cream or fried macaroni and cheese, ice cream or barbecue, Knoebels will satisfy your cravings for carnival food.  If you prefer to pack your lunch, there are pavilions available, which can also be rented for large group gatherings like family reunions or college alumni events.


After eating, we would ride a few rides and entertain ourselves by watching other people’s kids on the hand cars.  These are little cars that are powered by the child turning the handles to make the wheels move.  This made for great entertainment and we daydreamed about bringing our future children here and watching them make their way around the track.

Fast forward about ten years and we have taken our three children to the park multiple times and my favorite part is still watching the kids on those hand cars, even better that they are my own kids!

hand cars


In addition to rides, foods and shows, there are games around the park, souvenir shops, mini golf, an 18 hole golf course next door, a carousel museum, a Knoebels history museum, a mining museum, a bald eagle habitat and more.  There is a pool and water activity area.  There are even hand crafted goods for sale.  Who doesn’t want a decorative hand crafted outhouse for their yard?

Close the door, you’re letting the flies in.


There is so much to see and do at Knoebels that it is hard to list it all.  See a complete list of attractions at .  There are also campgrounds and cabins for rent for those who would like an extended stay to see it all.

There is no admission!  So, if Grandpa wants to come and watch the kids little faces light up as they spin endlessly while trying to keep their chicken fries down, he can do it without paying a cent.  You can pay for each ride individually by buying the appropriate number of tickets or you can take advantage of “ride all day bracelets.”  We typically buy the kids the bracelets and have some tickets on hand (they never expire!) in case we need to ride something with them or ride the train that goes through the woods (not to be missed).

Knoebels is one of our family’s favorite mini adventures.  You won’t regret spending the day at this little slice of heaven on earth!

One thought on “Knoebels

  1. Kristie Barracliff

    The sky ride up the mountain side ALONE is worth the trip, but LOVED the fact that this is the only place I’ve ever seen where I could get a pickle-on-a-stick!!!!! haha Theee BEST!

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