Knoebels is a family tradition in our area. The park opened on the 4th of July over 90 years ago and is an important part of our area’s history.
Many families take advantage of the long weekend that corresponds with the park’s opening date and spend some time at Knoebels. And there’s a lot to celebrate this year.
Recently, the park was voted both favorite ‘traditional’ and family park in U.S. and best park for families in a 2016 survey.
Located in a grove settled in Elysburg, PA, Knoebels has a seen a lot over the years and if you haven’t made the park a family tradition, this might just be your year to start.
Located in Central Pennsylvania, Knoebels stands on what was once a popular swimming hole and picnic spot called “Peggy’s Farm.”
A local farmer, Henry Knoebel, purchased the land for $931 and began to sell drinks, ice cream, and snacks to visitors of the area. Soon visitors called it “Knoebels Grove.”
Knoebel leased plots along the creek to build cottages, some of which are still in the park today. He soon added a restaurant, a steam-powered carousel, and some games in 1926.
This marked the beginning of the amusement park, which opened a concrete swimming pool on site on July 4, 1926. A campground was added in 1962 enabling families to expand their experience at the park.
The park faced floods in 1972, 1975, 1996, 2004, 2006, and 2011 and suffered damage from each one. However, Knoebels turned around successfully after each incidence. Visit it today and—aside from flow level markers—you’d never know anything had happened.
The park was officially named “Knoebels Amusement Resort” in 1981, which was also the first year of the Covered Bridge Festival. Today, the park boasts over 60 rides, laser tag, trains, a haunted house ride, picnic pavilions, and so much more, all with free parking and free admission.
Fact: The Knoebels Grand Carousel was purchased in 1941, 10 days before the start of WWII. The park closed in 1943 for a period of time during the war.
Knoebels is the perfect place for the whole family. Why? Because admission is free! You only pay if you want to ride rides, eat, or go swimming.
So, if you have children but can’t stomach a roller coaster, you can still take the kids and just watch them have fun! You can even borrow a few of their tickets to go on the Ferris Wheel with them if you want. Or, throw it back to the old times with their new, wooden bobsled roller coaster:
Kayleigh is a content writer with a BA in technical writing/literature and an MA in creative writing. When she’s not at work writing, she’s at home writing, reading, or binge-watching television shows… for research, of course. A big do-it-yourselfer and crafter, Kayleigh loves testing out projects and gifting them to friends and family—all in preparation for when she owns her own home one day and decorates with her own personal creations. Her work has appeared on The Writing Cooperative and as an Honorable Mention in East Meets West American Writers Review.