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Cheap thrills: Amusement parks make great summer spots, minus the expense

Not everyone has the built in budget to enjoy a vacation that includes airfare, hotel fees or renting a vehicle, thus leaving your summertime options at a minimum.
Without the option of hitting the beach for an extended period of time or finding another warm, inviting destination during the months of June through August, you probably assume that your warm weather aspirations are virtually nonexistent.
But even though the beach or something of that ilk might not be plausible based on your financial situation doesn't mean you have to waive the proverbial white flag on enjoying the summer.
Enter the amusement or water park.
These pit stops serve as salvation for individuals and families that don't have thousands of dollars to spend for a traditional vacation but still want more out of summer than television reruns and hoping to find a public pool that is up to par.

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The amusement park or water park is quite the compromise for this financially strapped group. Rides, games, food and entertainment come standard in these places, all of which pack a punch might be enough to make you forget that you're not lounging on the beach.
Finding the perfect amusement or water park isn't too difficult as most of them fit the bill somewhere between a plethora of rides, roller coasters and places to cool off, along with staples that shouldn't be overlooked: cleanliness and friendliness.
Amusement parks are quite unique in that the age of the park has little to do with their appeal. In fact, you could argue that the older parks feel more nostalgic and have sections of the park that have throwback drawing power.
You ultimately should choose a park based on who's going and the main aspect of a particular park that interests you. If you and your group love the idea of fast paced roller coasters, then a coaster oriented park is your best bet. Kids love amusement parks but only if the park has a section dedicated to them that will hold their attention for more than few minutes.
Water parks often make attendees forget that they're not at the beach, since most of them are filled with slides, pools and spots for lounging both in and out of the water.
One missteps park people overlook is the food and games, and how much those items are going to cost over the course of a day or two. Most prudent visitors of amusement parks pack at least some food to help defer the cost and if they play any games it's usually at the end of the day or trip. If they win, they don't have to lug around a stuffed animal for hours. If they don't, they won't be tempted to play all day to the point that they'll spend hundreds of dollars to win a $5 toy.
Amusement parks aren't cheap by any means, but they're definitely the happy medium for the cash strapped summer sector who wants to soak up the season, minus the inflated cost.

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