5 Unique Amusement Parks

While the United States is home to internationally known amusement parks like Disney and Universal, there are some smaller and perhaps lesser known parks that make for the perfect family road trip. Take a look at these 5 unique amusement parks that the whole family can enjoy.

1. Tweetsie Railroad Wild West Theme Park

Located in Blowing Rock, North Carolina, the Tweetsie Railroad Wild West is an experience that throws it back way old school with cowboys, outlaws and old coal-powered locomotives. They also have a small zoo, thrill rides, and live shows featuring can-can girls, outlaws, and magicians. You can also experience some time period activities like gem mining and panning for gold.

Now through May 27th
Friday –  Sunday  9:00am – 6:00pm

May 27 – August 25, 2019
Open 7 days a week 9:00am – 6:00pm

Ages 2 and under: Free
Ages 3-12: $32
Ages 13+: $50

Attractions Include:

  • Rides: Carousel, Ferris Wheel, Boats and Planes, Free Fall, Tilt-A-Whirl and Mouse Mine Train and more
  • Live Entertainment: Wild West Train Adventure, Can-Can dancers, Cloggers, Magician and more
  • Zoo: Featuring goats, emus, llamas, deer and more
  • Activities: Country Fair Games, Arcade Games, Playground, Face Painting, Gold Panning and Gem Mining

Website: tweetsie.com 

2. Paul Bunyan Land

Paul Bunyan Land is located in Brainerd, Minnesota and has gained some recognition from its giant eponymous statue, which was featured in the movie “Fargo.” The park is 23-acres and features a number of rides, a “petting barn,” and the Old Farm Pioneer Village. The village is the largest one-man collection of antiques from the late 1800’s to early 1900’s in Minnesota. Attractions at the park include a dentist’s office that lets visitors imagine how cool it was to have teeth pulled 150 years ago, a schoolhouse with a terrifying teacher mannequin, a replica of an old feed store, and a pumpkin big enough to walk inside.

Open Daily Memorial Weekend through Labor Day
10am – 6pm

Ages 2 and under: Free
Ages 3-64: $21.95
65 and over: $18.95

Attractions Include:

  • Rides: Tilt-A-Whirl, Merry Go Round, Space Shuttle, Train, Ferris Wheel and more
  • Pioneer Village: Featuring a Playground, Saloon, Post Office, Mill, Blacksmith, Log Home and more

Other Amenities: Campground

Website: paulbunyanland.com

3. Fair Oaks Farms Dairy Adventure

Not your typical amusement park, the Fair Oaks Farms Dairy Adventure is located in Fair Oaks, Indiana and is truly unique. The Fair Oaks Farm is a working dairy farm; it’s a bit of city by itself. You’ll know you’ve arrived when you see the large water tower and the miles of buildings while you’re driving on the interstate. The dairy farm features the Birthing Barn where you can watch a cow in birth, see other live animals, play in an interactive lab, and meet their star cows. They also have Mooville, open from Memorial Day to Labor Day, filled with fun kids activities including rock climbing, a kiddie train, and a giant bounce pillow. Visit them this summer and enjoy a one of kind experience.

Monday – Saturday 9:00am – 5:00pm
Sunday 10:00am – 5:00pm

Ages 2 and under: Free
Ages 3-12: $25
Ages: 13-61: $29.95
Ages 62+: $25

Attractions Include:

  • The Dairy Adventure – explore the farms in virtual reality, learn about sustainability, life on a farm, etc…
  • The Pig Adventure – learn all about pigs and piglets
  • The Crop Adventure – learn all about how crops are grown from the bugs in the soil to weather and the hard work the farmers must do
  • 40 Acre Orchard

Other Amenities: restaurant, deli & cafe

Website: fofarms.com

4. Enchanted Forest

Located in Turner, Oregon, the Enchanted Forest might make you think of a magical fairyland reminiscent of Disney, but the forest is more Brothers Grimm, a creepy and dark, yet fun and unique amusement park featuring a larger than life wrinkly old witch and several fun attractions including an interactive target-shooting adventure, the haunted house, rides like their timber log ride and carousel, and tons of shows like their beautifully lighted fountain falls.

Monday – Friday 10am – 4pm
Saturday & Sunday 10am – 5pm

Ages 2 and under: Free (general admission is free, but rides cost extra)
Ages 3-12: $12
Ages 13-62: $13.50
Ages 62+: $12

Regular Ride Bracelets – $27.95 AFTER PAID ADMISSION. Good for all rides for which rider meets height/safety restrictions

Kiddy Ride Bracelet – $17.95 AFTER PAID ADMISSION.

Attractions Include:

  • Rides: Big Timber Log Ride, Ice Mountain Bobsled Rollercoaster, Carousel, Haunted House, Bumper Cars and more
  • Storybook Lane: Enter through the castle, crawl through Alice in Wonderland’s rabbit hole and slide down the Old Lady Who Lived In The Shoe slide. Enter the witch’s castle through her mouth and slide out her hair.
  • Tofteville Western Town: Try your skill at the shooting gallery, pan for treasure, remote control boats, Fort Fearless, The Big Timber Log Ride and Haunted House
  • Old European Village: Step back in time in the Old European Village, home of the indoor target shooting ride, Challenge of Mondor. Relax and grab a snack in the Fantasy Fountains water light show.


5. Ark Encounter and Creation Museum

ark encounter and creation museum

These sister attractions just miles from each other off of I-75 in Williamstown and Petersburg, KY offer two unique experiences for those interested in learning about the ark and creation history from the Bible in a fun and interactive way. The ark, built according to the dimensions given in the Bible, is a full-size Noah’s ark, spanning 510 feet long, 85 feet wide, and 51 feet high. The state-of-the-art Creation Museum allows you to venture through biblical history, stunning exhibits, botanical gardens, planetarium, zoo, zip line adventure course, and much more. Take a weekend and enjoy these two great biblical attractions with your family.

Monday – Saturday 9am – 7pm
Sunday  12pm – 7pm

Ark Encounter

Ages 4 and under: Free
Ages 5-12: $15
Ages 13-17: $25
Ages 18-59: $48
Ages 60+: $38

Ark Encounter + Museum
Ages 4 and under: Free
Ages 5-12: $25
Ages 13-17: $45
Ages 18-59: $75
Ages 60+: $65

Attractions Include:

  • State of the Art Exhibits: teaching exhibits about the Flood, Noah, and the animals
  • Ararat Ridge Zoo: Featuring Tibetan yaks, kangaroos, and ostriches
  • Zip Line: Soar down thousands of feet of zip lines, reach up to 50 mph and 17 stories in the air
  • Fossil Find: Pan for unique fossils at the authentic mining sluice

Website: arkencounter.com

This article is brought to you by Ford Lincoln of Franklin, helping you and your family make road trip memories. Ford Lincoln of Franklin offers new and pre-owned vehicles. Check out their inventory here and visit them in person at 1129 Murfreesboro Rd, Franklin, TN 37064.