Family Time: Amusement parks offer new summer thrills

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

Tip of the Week

Some 300 million visitors traveled to 400 amusement parks and traditional attractions in 2008, according to the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions. While the big-name parks are always fun, don't overlook some equally exhilarating, but smaller, regional parks. You'll likely find smaller crowds and save on travel costs.

"Often overlooked in preference to household names, these smaller regional parks can sometimes mean shorter lines, a one-of-a-kind adrenaline rush and a welcome escape from the tried and true thrills," says Alistair Wearmouth, family travel specialist for, which recently published its Ultimate Theme Park Guide.

To get you started, here is a list of regional theme parks offering big thrills this summer:


- Silver Dollar City - Branson, Mo.


- Kennywood - West Mifflin, Pa., near Pittsburgh


- Seabreeze - Irondequoit, N.Y., near Rochester, N.Y.


- Family Kingdom - Myrtle Beach, S.C.


- Enchanted Island - Encantado Park, Ariz., near Phoenix


- Legoland - Carlsbad, Calif.


- Elitch Gardens - Denver


Family Screening Room

“Grown Ups”

Rated: PG-13 (for crude material including suggestive references, language and some male rear nudity)

Length: 102 minutes

Synopsis: After their high school basketball coach passes away, five good friends and former teammates reunite for a Fourth of July holiday weekend. Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade and Rob Schneider star in this comedy.

Violence/scary rating: 3

Sexual-content rating: 4

Profanity rating: 3

Drugs/alcohol rating: 2.5

Family Time rating: 3.5. This is a gross-out, immature-humor film full of sexual jokes, so it’s only appropriate for older teens.

(Ratings are judged on a five-point scale, with 5 being “bad for kids” and 1 being “fine for kids.”)

Book Report

“New Adventures of Curious George by H. A. Rey, Vipah Interactive (illustrator)

Ages: Infant-preschool

Pages: 208

Synopsis: More monkey mischief! Curious George is back in this collection of eight new adventures, which will keep the man in the yellow hat on his toes and a new generation of readers enthralled. George causes chaos in a chocolate factory, a movie theater, on the ski slopes and at Mt. Rushmore. His big heart also gets him into a big fix when he tries to help other animals. Even George's dreams become zany adventures! From a pancake panic to puppies on the loose, this cheerful and amazingly resilient little hero has a real knack for getting himself in and out of trouble.

Did You Know

Two recent studies show that children of parents who smoke are more likely to be overweight and misbehave.

GateHouse News Service