These Are The 5 Best Amusement Parks And Water Parks In New Hampshire For 2018

We used science and data to determine which amusement parks and water parks in New Hampshire are the best to spend a day or weekend with the family.

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Just imagine:

You get off your favorite ride, jazzed up by the excitement, and on your way to get a uniquely American snack at your favorite amusement park.

Alright, now, open your eyes and come back to me for a moment as we go into where best to have that same experience in New Hampshire. These are the water parks and amusement parks in {state} that have everything you could hope for in a day out with the family.

Using data from The Park DB, we were able to take a look at over 250 amusement and water parks across America, which includes New Hampshire of course. After pouring over reams of data, Water Country emerged as the best park in the Granite State by a hefty margin.

Here’s a look at the best amusement parks and water parks in New Hampshire for 2018:

  1. Water Country
  2. Kahuna Laguna
  3. Whales Tale Waterpark
  4. Canobie Lake Park
  5. Santa’s Village

There are a whole lot of smiles and good memories wrapped up in those parks. Not to mention corn dogs, popcorn, roller coasters, and water slides.

Before you go out and buy your ticket to {first}, let’s take a look at how we ranked the parks on this list and what each of the top dogs has to offer.

If you’re looking for other family friendly things to do, check out the best farmers markets in New Hampshire or the best cities for families in New Hampshire.

How We Ranked The Best Amusement Parks And Water Parks In New Hampshire

If you haven’t check out The Park DB, we recommend it. It has all kinds of data on amusement parks big and small throughout the world.

Fortunately for us, they opened up their data set and let us take a look. So how do you rank the best amusement park in New Hampshire? We looked at the following criteria:

  1. Size (How big is the park and how many rides are there)
  2. Price (Perhaps counter-intuitively initially, we did the higher the price the better. More on that)
  3. Age of the park (The newer the better)

We know your probably thinking ‘why is more expensive better?!’

Well, we believe in supply and demand and a higher price means that people must really want to go to the amusement park. It normally also means there’s either a strong brand associated with the park and/or plenty of things to do.

We also recognize that many water parks and amusement parks get renovations and additions throughout the years, but we still think newer is generally better.

If you disagree with our criteria, no offense taken. We are just trying to get the ball rolling on great places to spend a day or weekend in the Granite State.

So, with that out of the way, we ranked each park from best to worst for each of these criteria with one being the best. (If a park was missing criteria, it got the lowest score for that criteria).

We then averaged the rankings of each criteria to create an amusement park score and normalized it to 100.

For New Hampshire, Water Country took the top spot with a score of 64.0.

Here’s a bit more on what the top parks have to offer.

1. Water Country

Score: 64.0

Water Country is a water park located in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, United States. It opened in 1984 and was owned by the Samuels family until they were bought out by Festival Fun Parks in 2000. The park is now owned by Palace Entertainment and has a number of slides and swimming pools that range for all ages. Their commercials feature a jingle that has remained the same since the park opened in 1984. The melody is reminiscent of Mungo Jerry\’s 1970 hit ‘In the Summertime’. It was composed by Tom Roussell in 1985 while working for Kevin Tracey Productions and later re-recorded when the original 10 year license expired.

Water Country allows its guests to bring picnic lunches into the park. A number of picnic areas are available at various points throughout the park. Alcoholic beverages and smoking, however, are prohibited in the park, as are glass containers. Water Country\’s mascot was a polar bear named Patches, but Patches was given to Water Country\’s sister park, Lake Compounce in Connecticut. Water Country no longer has a mascot, but now operates with a surfing theme.

2. Kahuna Laguna

Score: 40.0


3. Whales Tale Waterpark

Score: 36.0

Whale’s Tale Water Park is a 17-acre (6.9 ha) water park located in Lincoln, New Hampshire, United States. The park has a number of rides that the whole family can enjoy. Operating for more than 25 years, Whale’s Tale has been pronounced the Best in Class Waterpark in America by Aquatics International magazine.

4. Canobie Lake Park

Canobie Lake Park

Score: 32.4

Canobie Lake Park is an amusement park in Salem, New Hampshire, located about 31 miles (50 km) north of Boston. Founded as a trolley park on the shore of Canobie Lake on 1902, the park most prominently featured botanical gardens, with few amusement rides. Three local families currently run the park, which draws visitors from throughout the New England region. Canobie Lake Park’s age and history have inspired author Stephen King to use rides and elements from the park in his Joyland novel.

After the automobile became the most popular mode of travel in the United States, the trolley line serving the park was closed. Attendance in the park declined until it was purchased by Patrick J. Holland. He installed a wooden roller coaster named Yankee Cannonball in 1936, a ride which was designated as an ACE Roller Coaster Landmark by American Coaster Enthusiasts in 2016. The park recovered, and the Canobie Corkscrew was installed in 1987, after being relocated from the Old Chicago amusement park in Illinois. Arrow Development designed the Canobie Corkscrew, which was known at the time as the Chicago Loop. Untamed, a Euro-Fighter coaster, is the only other coaster in the park besides the Corkscrew with an inversion.

5. Santa’s Village


Score: 32.4

Santa\’s Village is a Christmas-themed amusement park located in Jefferson, New Hampshire, United States.

Most of the 23 rides have Christmas or winter-themed names, such as ‘Rudy\’s Rapid Transit Coaster’ and ‘The Great Humbug Adventure’. The rides are designed for families with children under age 13. There are also three theatres, two of which present live shows and a third that features a 3-D movie called ‘A Tinkerdoodle Christmas’. Visitors can visit Santa\’s home, sit in his rocking chair, and have a picture taken with Santa.

Closing Out The Souvenir Shops In New Hampshire

There you have it — a look at some of the best amusement parks and water parks that New Hampshire has to offer. The Park DB constantly updates their data, so we’ll update the data as they update theirs.

Now go out there and have as much fun as humanly possible — your favorite ride is always waiting for you.

For more New Hampshire reading, check out:

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.