If you love theme parks and thrill rides but want to try something a little different this summer, it might be time to steer away from the mouse ears and any other place with massive square footage and even more massive lines. Instead, you might want to hit up some of America’s weirder amusement parks. There are quite a few out there with some absolutely bizarre themes including everything from Creationism to dairy farming. Click through the slideshow for a few ideas to get you started on your weird theme park tour of the U.S.
Zero Gravity Thrill Amusement Park
At Zero Gravity in Dallas, Texas, there are just five rides, each more death-defying than the next. The park began with just a single bungee tower but expanded to include rides like the Skycoaster which takes three people up 110 feet in the air in what looks like a body sling attached to cables then swings them through the sky at 60 miles per hour. There’s also a freefall, a life-size slingshot and another ride in which you sit in a propeller that reaches G-Force speeds. The park is family-friendly and doesn’t have age restrictions, but it’s definitely geared toward only the bravest of thrill seekers.
11131 Malibu Dr.
Dallas, Texas 75229
Diggerland USA is an amusement park created to look and feel just like a real construction site. In fact, you can actually drive construction vehicles including tractors, diggers and mini-excavators. There are also more traditional attractions like a zipline, a swinging merry-go-round, a sky shuttle, a rock-climbing wall and more, all maintaining the construction vibe. Though the park was definitely designed with kids in mind, there’s lots for adults to participate in as well including Diggerland XL, where you can operate all sorts of machinery unrestricted.
100 Pinedge Drive
West Berlin, NJ 08091
Santa’s Land Fun Park & Zoo
Christmas in July! At Santa’s Land, it’s Christmas all year round—even during the steamy summer months in the Smoky Mountains. Here you can meet the big guy in red, peruse a zoo full of exotic animals, queue up for amusement park rides, check out a magic show and there’s even an arcade. There’s literally something for everyone. So if you’re already counting down the days until Christmas, you can get your fix and have some warm weather fun at the same time.
571 Wolfetown Rd.,
Cherokee, NC 28719
Just looking at pictures of Orlando’s Gatorland theme park gives me the heebie jeebies, but if you’re in Florida and reptiles are your thing you should definitely check it out. You can see all types of alligators including babies and those up to 14 feet long, as well as white alligators, as well as a bunch of other reptiles like massive snakes and turtles. There are even big cats, birds and more. Other attractions include a zip line that goes over a pond filled with 130 alligators and an off-road adventure ride in a monster vehicle.
14501 S. Orange Blossom Trail
Orlando, FL 32837
The San Francisco Dungeon
At The San Francisco Dungeon you’ll experience the city’s creepy history through a tour of various 360-degree sets that have been designed to be both terrifying and hilariously funny, complete with performances by professional actors. Though there’s only one ride—an Alcatraz-themed drop ride—but, all of the experiences are interactive including a gold mine maze and an escape room.
145 Jefferson Street
San Francisco, CA 94133