Planning a trip to Illinois soon? Obviously, your adventure must include the various museums of Chicago, and we highly recommend checking out the fascinating glimpses of history in Springfield. Another thing you’re definitely going to want to check out while in Illinois? The Illinois amusement park scene! That’s right; we highly recommend seeing some of the many amusement parks in Illinois.
There are a huge number of amazing amusement parks in Illinois, and one could easily plan an entire trip revolving around these parks. That said, even if you don’t plan your entire trip around amusement parks, we do recommend heading to at least one or two of them during your time in the Prairie State.
Amusement Parks in Illinois
Not sure which amusement parks to go to? We’re here to help! Below, we list our 10 favorite Illinois amusement parks. These include indoor parks, outdoor parks, water parks, and traditional amusement parks. Each and every one has something awesome to offer:
- Six Flags Great America
- Hurricane Harbor Chicago
- Hurricane Harbor Rockford
- AZoosment Park at Santa’s Village
- Donley’s Wild West Town
- Grand Bear Falls Indoor Water Park
- Knights Action Park
- Raging Waves Waterpark
- Haunted Trails Family Amusement Park
- Great Wolf Lodge Chicago
Pick from this list, check out our planning tips and campground suggestions below, and we promise you’ll have a good time.
Six Flags Great America
Located in Gurnee in the northern Chicago area, Six Flags Great America is the biggest and most popular of the amusement parks in Illinois. This awesome park opened in May 1976 and has been going strong ever since. In fact, the park sees around 3 million visitors each year!
Six Flags Great America is home to a total of 53 attractions. These include 15 epic rollercoasters, family rides, kiddie rides, and more. Some favorites of this attraction lineup will be found in the brand new “DC Universe” section of the park, which will open in spring of 2022. This area will put guests in the middle of a DC comic book, with great theming and even better rides.
Other great things to do in this park include live performances, character meets, shopping, and dining. Special events also happen throughout the year, making a visit to this park even more exciting.
RV Camping Near Six Flags Great America
Hoping to camp during your visit to Six Flags Great America? Lucky for you, there is an excellent campground located nearby. This means you can bring your home-on-wheels and relax in the comfort of your own space after a long day of thrill seeking.
Fish Lake Beach Camping Resort — Found just 20 minutes away from Six Flags Great America, Fish Lake Beach Camping Resort is a lovely place to stay. Here, you can enjoy a heated pool and dog park, go kayaking or canoeing, and have an absolute blast in a laid-back and relaxing environment that the whole family will love.
Planning Your Trip to Six Flags Great America
Admission to Six Flags Great America starts at $34.99 for a single day ticket. Parking is an additional fee, so be sure to budget for that. Season passes are also available at various levels, making it affordable for those who live in the area to visit over and over again.
When planning your day, you will want to keep in mind that outside food is not allowed in the park. There are plenty of places to get food in the park though.
Hurricane Harbor Chicago
Found right next to Six Flags Great America, Hurricane Harbor Chicago is a great addition to your visit to the northern Chicago area. This exciting 20-acre water park opened in 2005. It is open for the summer season and offers guests the perfect way to escape the heat while still having a great time.
Hurricane Harbor Chicago is home to a number of fantastic attractions. These include the usual lazy river, kiddie area, and tube slides. The surfing simulator is one super cool thing to do in the park. Another great attraction found in this park? Tsunami Surge. This is the world’s largest water coaster, and is the perfect ride for thrill seekers who love the water.
RV Camping Near Hurricane Harbor Chicago
Fish Lake Beach Camping Resort works well for this park also. That said, if you plan to bring your RV and want another lodging option, you will be happy to know there are more campgrounds available. One of our favorites is listed below.
Chain-O-Lakes State Park — If you’re willing to drive about 40 minutes, you might consider staying at the beautiful Chain-O-Lakes State Park. This park offers power and water, a dump station, and restrooms with showers. It is a lovely escape into nature and the perfect place to relax after a day of theme park adventures.
Planning Your Trip to Hurricane Harbor Chicago
Tickets to Hurricane Harbor Chicago come in at $29.99 each, with parking costing a bit extra (be sure to pay for parking online). There are season passes that include visits to both Hurricane Harbor and Six Flags Great America, a great option for those who plan to visit often.
As is the case at Six Flags, Hurricane Harbor does not allow outside food or drink. Therefore, you will want to either eat before you arrive or plan to eat at one of the park’s many onsite eateries.
Hurricane Harbor Rockford
Yet another Six Flags park, Hurricane Harbor Rockford is another excellent amusement park pick in Illinois. This park is found in the town of Cherry Valley just outside of Rockford. It has been around since 1984, and has lasted this long for good reason.
The selection of attractions at Hurricane Harbor Rockford is wonderful. You’ll find small slides for younger kids, huge slides for thrill seekers, and in-between slides for everyone else. If you’re looking for a real thrill, head to “Wipeout” where you will take a near vertical free fall into a 45-degree loop. Slides don’t get much more intense than that!
RV Camping Near Hurricane Harbor Rockford
RV camping is always the best way to travel. This is especially true when visiting amusement parks in Illinois, as your RV will allow you to relax with the comforts of home after a long day of fun and excitement. Of course, you will need a place to park your rig. That’s where the campground below comes into play.
Blackhawk Valley Campground — A beautiful green place, Blackhawk Valley Campground is located about 15 minutes away from Hurricane Harbor Rockford. This campground has everything you need to be comfortable, including full hookups, restrooms with showers, and a laundry room. The staff is friendly, and activities like mini golf and a playground are sure to keep everyone happy.
Planning Your Trip to Hurricane Harbor Rockford
You’ll pay $29.99 for a single day in Hurricane Harbor Rockford. You’ll also need to pay for parking, and you’ll want to do so in advance. Looking to save money? If you plan to visit more than once, a season pass is the way to go!
Food and drinks from outside the park are not allowed when you enter. Therefore, you will need to plan to eat before or after your visit. Another option is to visit one of the park’s eateries. An onsite shop is also available in case you forget something important.
AZoosment Park at Santa’s Village
Originally built in 1959, AZoosment Park at Santa’s Village in East Dundee is one of the coolest amusement parks in Illinois for sure. This park is a zoo, water park, and amusement park all rolled into one. It’s a super popular place with locals and travelers alike, and is especially good for families with young children.
The rides here are not as big as what you might find at a larger theme park. Still, there are plenty of fun options, including the popular Cyclone Coaster and the tummy-tickling Sea Dragon. The waterpark has slides for little ones and adults alike, and the zoo part of the park features animals such as peacocks, camels, and a variety of farm animals.
RV Camping Near AZoosment Park at Santa’s Village
You will definitely want to bring your RV when visiting this park. This will allow you to get the best sleep possible and may even save you some money if you choose to cook in your home-on-wheels. Fortunately, there are some great campgrounds nearby.
Paul Wolff Campground — Paul Wolff Campground is our top pick for a visit to AZoosment Park at Santa’s Village. This campground is only 15 minutes from the amusement park. The sites here are well manicured and shaded, and they include power and water. A dump station is also available onsite, as is a restroom.
Planning Your Trip to AZoosment Park at Santa’s Village
Tickets to AZoosment Park at Santa’s Village are very affordable. They start at $32.99 per person and should be purchased online to ensure availability. Those under 36” tall do not have to pay anything to enter, saving parents of little ones a bit of money. Season passes are also an option.
Outside food is allowed in this park for a $25 fee, but must be in a cooler bag. Swimsuits are required for waterpark use, and wagons, wheelchairs, and lockers are all available for rent.
Donley’s Wild West Town
A super cute western-themed amusement park, Donley’s Wild West Town in Union is a must-see for little ones who love the Old West. Built in 1974, this park is a local favorite and is sure to be well loved by the younger kids in your travel party.
Rides found in Donley’s Wild West Town include canoe rides, hand carts, a carousel, a train ride, and a mine car coaster. Archery, gold panning, roping, slingshots, and a shooting gallery allow guests to try their hand at favorite Wild West activities. Meanwhile, the Wild West Stunt Show is tons of fun.
We should also mention that Donley’s Wild West Town is home to a museum. The displays in this museum include cowboy memorabilia, a “Law and Order” exhibit (not to be confused with the TV show), a Civil War display, and more.
RV Camping Near Donley’s Wild West Town
Taking the RV on a trip to Donley’s Wild West Town is the perfect idea. The kids will be able to snooze in their own space at night, and you can enjoy all the fun camping has to offer before and after your visit to the park. Wondering where to park the rig? We recommend the RV park below.
Chicago Northwest KOA Holiday — KOA parks are almost always wonderful, and the Chicago Northwest KOA Holiday is no exception. The whole family is sure to enjoy the well-kept full-hookup sites and fun activities offered here. Of course, the friendly staff helps round out the experience and make it a memorable one.
Planning Your Trip to Donley’s Wild West Town
2022 ticket prices for Donley’s Wild West Town have not been announced just yet. That said, the park has always had very affordable admission prices, and we imagine this is a tradition that will continue into this summer.
Food is available onsite, but is limited. We recommend eating before you arrive and planning to buy a snack in the park.
Grand Bear Falls Indoor Water Park
Located in North Utica, Grand Bear Falls Indoor Water Park is one of the best amusement parks in Illinois for some water fun when the weather is less than warm. This amazing park offers 24,000 square feet of water fun and is great for the whole family.
Attractions at this park include a lazy river, a wave pool, a kiddie pool, a hot tub, and of course, water slides. An arcade is also available in the resort, as are dining locations, including the Wave Cave, which is in the waterpark and serves up concession-style foods.
RV Camping Near Grand Bear Falls Indoor Water Park
You could of course stay at the Grand Bear Falls Resort. That said, we much prefer staying in our own space, so we would choose to take our RV and visit the resort for the day. This allows us to sleep in comfort while still enjoying the water park.
Nature’s Way RV Park — This awesome campground is a mere 3 minutes from Grand Bear Falls Resort. It features full-hookup sites and is in a great location. Campers love the friendly and helpful staff, and the pool, dog park, and playground are fantastic amenities.
Planning Your Trip to Grand Bear Falls Indoor Water Park
Unfortunately, tickets for folks who are not staying at the Grand Bear Resort are not currently available. That said, this could change at any time. When these non-guest tickets are available, they typically cost between $35 and $40 per person.
Be sure to check the operating calendar before visiting, as hours do change from one day to the next. Note that “calm waters” listed on the schedule is a time when no lifeguards are present and the wave pool, whirlpool, and lazy river are turned to still pools. Additionally, no slides are available during this time.
Knights Action Park
The place to go for fun if you happen to be in Springfield, the enormous 65-acre Knights Action Park has a little bit of everything. A huge variety of fun attractions ensure everyone in your party will have a great time during their visit to this park.
Some of our favorite things to do at Knights Action park include driving go-karts, playing mini golf, and working on our batting skills in the batting cages. That said, the waterpark offers enough fun to fill an entire day, and a new movie at the drive-in theater is the perfect ending to a perfect day.
RV Camping Near Knights Action Park
Camping is the way to go when visiting Springfield. The area is beautiful, and staying in your RV allows you to park in the middle of the beauty while still enjoying all the comforts of home. Not only that, there are plenty of RV parks around to choose from!
Springfield KOA Journey — As mentioned before, we love KOA campgrounds. Springfield KOA Journey is just as lovely as any other KOA we’ve ever visited and is a great place to stay when visiting Knights Action Park. It’s located about 15 minutes from the amusement park and features full hookups, clean bathrooms, a pool, and a variety of other great amenities.
Planning Your Trip to Knights Action Park
Pricing at Knights Action Park is based on what you’d like to do while you’re there. The park offers season passes to their waterpark, and there are plenty of ways to get a discount, including presenting proof of purchase from a Pepsi product, presenting a military ID, and visiting on certain days of the week.
Raging Waves Waterpark
Folks who find themselves in Yorkville should pay a visit to the awesome Raging Waves Waterpark. This park is the biggest waterpark in the state and is one of the best places in the area to have some summer fun, offering guests a way to stay cool while they soak up some sunshine.
Rides include all kinds of excellent water slides such as the Aussie Mat Dash racing slide, the Cyclone bowl slide, the 4-person raft slide called Wonambi, and more. Little ones love Quokka-Nut Island and Koala Kove, and Kangaroo Falls will entertain the whole family with its interactive water features. Of course, the wave pool and lazy river are also appreciated by all.
RV Camping Near Raging Waves Waterpark
Planning to take the RV on your trip to Raging Waves? Great idea! This will allow you to sleep soundly and in complete comfort after your busy day of waterpark fun. It’ll also give you the opportunity to cook your own meals if you see fit.
Big Rock Campground — Want to keep camping fees to a minimum? If so, Big Rock Campground is the place for you. The site fees here are low, power and water are available, and a dump station is easily accessible. Best of all, this park is just 15 minutes from all the fun found at Raging Waves.
Planning Your Trip to Raging Waves Waterpark
A visit to Raging Waves will set you back $44.99 per person for a pick-your-day ticket. You may be able to save some money by purchasing a ticket for a specific (i.e. less popular) date or buying a season pass.
Parking costs $10 for a standard spot and $20 for RVs, buses, and those who prefer premium parking.
Make sure to wear an appropriate swimsuit, pack your things in a clear bag, pack a water bottle, and leave the selfie sticks and outside food at home.
Haunted Trails Family Amusement Park
Looking for amusement parks in Illinois with a unique theme? You might appreciate the ghoulish theme at Haunted Trails Family Amusement Park in Burbank. It isn’t often you see a park with a Halloween theme, and we love that they manage to pull it off without being a scary place, meaning even young children can enjoy the fun.
Attractions at this park include go-karts, mini golf, batting cages, and plenty of arcade games. Kids especially love the Miner Mike Coaster, and the Crazy Cabs provide thrills for the whole family. Finally, we must mention the Lazer Frenzy, an obstacle course that challenges you to complete objectives while navigating under, over, and around laser beams.
RV Camping Near Haunted Trails Family Amusement Park
Not sure where to stay during your visit to Haunted Trails? Why not take the RV along for the ride? RV camping is the most fun way to travel no matter where you’re headed, and staying in your rig allows you all the comforts you love most, even while far from home.
Camp Bullfrog Lake — When visiting Haunted Trails, we recommend staying at Camp Bullfrog Lake. This campground is about 15 minutes from the amusement center, and campers will appreciate the water fill-up, dump station, and electric hookups. The lake at this campground offers lovely views, and many people use it for canoeing and kayaking.
Planning Your Trip to Haunted Trails Family Amusement Park
This park is open year-round. Hours are from 12pm to 9pm on weekdays and 12pm to 10pm on weekends. However, hours may change during school breaks and on holidays.
There is no admission fee for Haunted Trails. Instead, guests pay per attraction and the respective fees vary. FUN cards can be purchased if you plan to enjoy a number of attractions, and these cards do not expire so they can be used again on a future visit.
Great Wolf Lodge Chicago
Last on our list of amusement parks in Illinois is Great Wolf Lodge Chicago. This is another indoor waterpark, and it’s an absolutely fantastic vacation destination for families! In fact, it’s even touted as the beat indoor water park in Illinois.
Attractions at this park include a lazy river, a river raft adventure, aCub Paw Pool (which features interactive water features), Fort Mackenzie (where kids can climb and play), and Chinook Cover for swimming, floating, and enjoying water basketball. Of course, water slides are also plentiful and include a bowl slide, a multi-person tube slide, and more.
RV Camping Near Great Wolf Lodge Chicago
Hoping to make your Great Wolf Lodge adventure into a camping adventure? We don’t blame you! Who wouldn’t want to take their home-on-wheels with them wherever they roam? Of course, you’ll need a place to park it. That’s where the campground below comes into play.
Adeline Jay Geo-Karis Illinois Beach State Park — there’s a lot to love about this state park campground. It can be found about 20 minutes from Great Wolf Lodge. Each site has a power hookup, and water fill stations and dump stations are scattered throughout the park. We love that the campground is located next to Lake Michigan and even features a beach—plus, the cost to stay here can’t be beat!
Planning Your Trip to Great Wolf Lodge Chicago
Those visiting Great Wolf Lodge for the day may choose between a full-day pass or a half-day pass. Prices vary based on the day and the time of year, but you can expect to spend at least $40 per person for your visit.
A variety of dining options are available onsite, so if you get hungry during your visit, you can definitely find something to eat. You can even find Dunkin coffee and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in the resort!
Yep, Illinois is an excellent place to go for amusement park fun. Want even more great Illinois theme park options? Why not try searching “amusement parks near me” once you get to your Illinois campground?
Another great option? Check out the hundreds of other amazing things to do in Illinois. We can help you research your options by offering the links below: