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Affordable Amusement Parks

The summer and fall are great times to head to an amusement park for a day adventure, but while large theme parks offer state-of-the-art rides, they also come with long lines and high ticket prices. However, if you know where to look, you can get the same thrills, while being mindful of your time and money.

One of the most interesting amusement parks is called Lake Compounce, which is located in Bristol, Conn. This gem actually started out as a lakeside picnic area in 1846, and is the oldest, continuously-operating amusement park in North America. Over the years, $40 million has been invested into the park, bringing classic and modern rides to the site.

Lake Compounce includes Connecticut's largest water park, as well, but its largest attraction may be its Boulder Dash roller coaster. The 13-year-old ride is known as one of the best wooden roller coasters in the country, and soars at up to 60 miles per hour over a 4,672-foot undulating track.

To make this off-the-beaten-path destination really worth your while, you can find park discounts online. For instance, AAA has a deal for its members that can reduce admission by $2 for kids and $10 for adults. If you're a local and think you'll want to visit the park multiple times this summer, consider a season pass for extra savings.

Of course, there are plenty of other attractions that your family will love, including Magic Waters in Cherry Valley, Ill.; Little America in Marshall, Wisc.; and Kiddie Park in San Antonio, Texas -- just to name a few. Each offer something different for you and your brood, but all of them are guaranteed good times, that is, if you're game.


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