Plan a trip to one of the oldest amusement parks in the world. Located in Bristol, Connecticut, Lake Compounce officially opened in 1846 and has been in operation ever since. Bringing back the nostalgic atmosphere of the 19th century, this family amusement park follows the traditional laid back approach to its designs and rides.
This however does not mean that the park is totally ancient. Accommodating newer rides as times changed, the park has today evolved into a truly spectacular vintage park which gives its visitors the impression of traveling down memory lane upon exploring it.
Getting There: Lake Compounce is located about 18 miles from the town of Hartford in central Connecticut. Spread across 325 acres, the park can be easily reached by road. Traveling towards Hartford, guests are asked to move along the I-84 Highway till they reach EXIT 31. Moving towards North along Route. 229, visitors are then asked to follow the signboards that would lead them to the park.
Lake Compounce has got everything from coasters, drop towers and flume rides to thrill rides and water parks. It is probably the last few amusement parks on earth that offer visitors unlimited free sodas. Calling itself “New England’s Family Theme Park”, Lake Compounce takes advantage of the nearby lake and mountain which act as backdrops for most of its rides. The park is also located close to a small beach which enables families to have some fun in the water.
There are loads of exciting rides and attractions in the park for all members of the family. Get into a stern wheeler called The Mark Twain Ride which moves over the lake, and after wards, enjoy a scenic ride to the bottom of the Southington Mountain in a 1911 electric trolley.
Climbing up a mountain can never be more leisurely if you decide to do it in the Skyride’s Gondola cars that take you 700 feet above the ground to the top of the mountain. Once you are done sightseeing, there is no better way to get down the mountain than the Thunder Rapids river raft ride.
Introduced in 2000, Boulder Dash has been recognized as one of the best roller coaster rides in the entire world and uses the mountain as its base. Also called a terrain vehicle, the coaster dashes around the mountain, whizzes past huge boulders at 60 mph and even dives through gaps in trees and rocks. The half mile ride is extremely fun and thrilling.
Some of the other popular rides include the Zoomerang, which is a boomerang shuttle ride; the Wildcat which is a wooden roller coaster ride of the 1920’s; and the Ghost Hunt which enables guests to shoot at targets in the dark for points and special effects while moving.
Located right next to Lake Compounce is its very own water park called Splash Harbor. Though quite small, the water park merges with the lake and the beach to give a complete effect. With several slides and tubes emptying into the lake and the beach, guests would never know where they are going to land until they find out for themselves at the last minute.
The DownTime is a drop tower that takes guests up to almost 185 feet before dropping down at break neck speed. Guests can also enjoy the Anchor Bay Lazy River ride and the Mammoth Falls Flume ride.
Tots can have their share of the fun in the Splash ‘n’ Play adventure zone with several smaller slides, tubes, water squirts and cannons. This area of the park also has some age old amusement park rides like the Ferris wheel and an antique carousel.
The park organizes several stage shows and interactive entertainment programs in summer. In addition to this, the park also operates a special Halloween program in the first week of September. Called the Haunted Graveyard, the program is known to be the largest and scariest Halloween event in all of New England.
Amusement parks are always fun places to hang out at with the entire family. If you happen to be in Connecticut, don’t miss out on Lake Compounce and its spectacular attractions.