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Adventure City

This budget-friendly Anaheim theme park is a charmer for little kids

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For little kids who are just getting used to rides—and for families who want a bite-size theme park visit—Adventure City is an old-fashioned crowd-pleaser, with its small coasters, a 1946 carousel, and a create-your-own train layout. Most rides at the Anaheim theme park are geared to the 4-foot-and-under set, so little ones will definitely feel like this is a place is for them. 

The park gets creative with those rides, though. At the photo-op-magnet Rescue 911, kids can try on real firefighter helmets and jackets, board little vehicles, and then respond to silly-style emergency calls from the dispatcher. A few rides are great for kids who are growing into bigger thrills, like the 45-foot-drop tower called the Drop Zone, or the 40-foot-high Rewind Racers, which is the country’s first forward-and-reverse–style family coaster.

There are numerous attractions beyond rides, too. Go to the petting farm to canoodle with bunnies, pet a goat, or meet a pig. Watch one of the daily shows at the Kids’ Theater, or play games in the arcade to collect toy tickets. Let kids scale the 20-foot climbing wall (meant for ages 4 and up), where reaching the top is heralded by bells and sirens. And for some visitors, the biggest enticement may be the Thomas the Tank Engine zone, where you can create an infinite number of layouts with the little tracks, trains, and bridges.

You’ll find family-friendly theme park cuisine—from pizzas and salads to curly fries, frozen lemonade, and churros—and nice conveniences, like single- and double-stroller rentals at the park entrance. One of the biggest family perks, though, is the low-key admission price: just $19 for adults and kids ages 1 and up, and $15 for seniors.

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