Family Fun at Kennywood Amusement Park

Kennywood amusement park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania offers a glimpse back to the old days of amusement parks as well as cutting edge attractions that are great for the entire family. Opening in 1898 Kennywood is one of the oldest amusement parks in the USA. It’s nostalgic charm makes Kennywood great for families. With so many fun attractions this is our can’t miss list of family fun at Kennywood.

Kennywood has rides for the entire family as well as rides that are for the older kids. They have a great Parent Swap that you can use for families with different ages and it made our visit much easier. Check out the end of this post for a special discount code for my readers and start planning your visit to Kennywood.

Family Fun at Kennywood

We visited Kennywood as part of our Pittsburgh family weekend getaway. Pittsburgh is one of our favorite cities to visit with kids. There are so many awesome places to see and things to do. It is definitely a great family destination.

Family Friendly Rides at Kennywood Amusement Park

Garfield’s Nightmare

Garfield’s Nightmare is a dark boat ride that goes through “nightmares” that Garfield has. It is slow loading so if you want to ride it I suggest riding it first. It is less “nightmare” and more silly fun. My kids were fine throughout the entire ride. Nothing pops out at you and everything is cartoonish. You also wear 3-D glass but they can be removed for kids that do not like them and you can still enjoy the ride. Ride Height Requirement: Any (46′ to ride alone)

Family Fun at Kennywood

The Lego Movie 4-D Experience

If your kids loved The Lego Movie they will love the 4-D show. This is the 3rd time we have seen this show. We saw it at LEGOLAND as well as LEGOLAND Discovery Center. It is a fun 4-D show that the kids enjoyed. Ride Height Requirements: Any (No Infants)

Jack Rabbit

Wooden roller coasters are typically my nemesis. I usually don’t like them and they end up being really rough. The Jack Rabbit is nothing like that. It is a fun and smooth wooden roller coaster. It is the first “big kid” roller coaster we could ride as a family. I love creating those first amusement park memories and riding the Jack Rabbit was perfect. Ride Height Requirements: 42 inches

Kennywood Amusement Park Rides for Bigger Kids

Phantom’s Revenge

If you love roller coasters you have to ride the Phantom’s Revenge. It is one of the best steel coasters in the U.S.A. I wasn’t sure my daughter would want to ride it but she did!! I guess that meant I had to ride it too!! The climb to the top is a little slow but once you go down the first hill it is incredible. It is full of unexpected surprises and a great ride!! Ride Height Requirements: 48 inches

Family Fun at Kennywood

Sky Rocket

Sky Rocket is a launch coaster. It goes from 0 to 50 mph and launches you up the hill. It is a fast ride that has a few loops as well. The height requirement is 52 inches and because of that my daughter was the only one able to ride it. Thankfully Kennywood has a Parent Swap option that helped us enjoy all the attractions. (More on Parent Swap at the end of this.) Ride Height Requirements: 52 inches

Family Fun at Kennywood


Exterminator is a themed indoor roller coaster. It twits and turns and people prone to motion sickness may not enjoy it. My youngest son couldn’t ride this so we utilized the Parent Swap. Ride Height Requirements: 46 inches

Must Try Food at Kennywood Amusement Park

When I visit theme parks I like to check out what is the best food options because honestly it is usually about the food! Kennywood doesn’t disappoint with healthy options like Snack-A-Saurus featuring Bean Sprouts to fan favorites like the Potato Patch. Snack-A-Saurus offers family friendly and allergy friendly options.

The Potato Patch

The Potato Patch is a must visit for Kennywood fans. They have fresh cut Idaho potatoes and are delicious. You can get them with bacon and cheese but we went with the original. We shared an order and it was a good size for a snack.

Family Fun at Kennywood

Golden Nugget

Before our visit I was reading about the chocolate dipped ice cream cones at the Golden Nugget. It was so good!!! They dip the ice cream in chocolate and then cover in nuts or sprinkles(jimmies). Then they top it with a cherry!! Yum!!

kennywood amusement park treats

Things to Know for your Kennywood Visit

  • Park opens at 10:30 but attractions do not open until 11:00. We used this time to get the lay out of the park and got in line for our first attraction at about 10:50.
  • Kennywood Amusement Park has a great Kiddie Land with over 10 rides. All rides are located in the same area making it easy to get around for families.
  • Feel free to bring a backpack or small cooler with water bottles/snacks. They will check your bags upon entering but you can carry things around the park.
  • Kennywood is a small park and it uses its size to its advantage. They have maximized the space by having attractions intersect with each other. It saves lots of walking time for you and makes the park an easy day for families.
  • Parent Swap- I was happy to see that Kennywood offers Parent Swap. When you arrive at a ride tell the attendant that you will be using Parent Swap. They will let you know what to do next. Check the height requirements to help plan your day.

I have to say a huge thank you to the manger Jeff who helped us during our visit. My husband got grease on his shirt from one of the attractions. We were not really sure how or where, and we are still not sure, but when we talked to the manager he was super helpful. He gave my husband a new shirt to wear and had Shout for his shirt!! I was very impressed with the kindness and consideration by the staff at Kennywood.

Family Fun at Kennywood

It was the kids first visit to Kennywood and they didn’t want to leave. They loved the rides and there were rides we missed that we can’t wait to get back to ride again. It was an awesome addition to our Pittsburgh weekend and is on our list for the best things to do when visiting Pittsburgh.

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