Though it’s a bit of a drive from NYC (a little over three hours), there’s a compelling reason to make a trip to Lake Compounce this winter. It’s North America’s oldest continually operating theme park, having first opened its doors in 1846.
Fans of history and (modest) heights will enjoy riding the Wildcat, one of the oldest roller coasters in the world. This wooden coaster has been around since 1927. For the more modest thrill-seeker, Lake Compounce is also home to modern coasters like Boulder Dash, a 4,672-foot wooden coaster that takes guests along the lush, tree-lined perimeter of the park that was voted the world’s #1 wooden roller coaster 5 times, according to Lake Compounce.
The entire 332-acre theme park is decked out with festive holiday lights, including the 100-foot tall tree(making it the tallest in the state of Connecticut)! And the best part is you can get an aerial view of all of the holiday lights by hopping on one of the park’s amusement rides. Whether you are daring enough to ride the rollercoaster or want something timid like the carousel, Lake Compounce offers a thrilling holiday light viewing experience that you can’t find anywhere else. Just some of the rides from which you can view the holiday displays at Lake Compounce are:
- Boocifer’s Haunted Holiday at Ghost Hunt
- Wave Swinger- carousel with suspension seats
- Twister-a thrilling spin in a twisted tornado
- Bumper Cars
- North Pole Express
- American Flyers-tiny flying planes
- Zoomer’s Gas N’ Go-1950s racetrack with classic cars
- Fantasy Carousel-a kid-friendly classic carousel
- Kiddie Coaster
Holiday lights admission is currently $24.99 for adults, $19.99 for seniors and $19.99 for juniors. Children 3 and under ride free!
When are the holiday lights at Lake Compounce?
Due to extreme popularity, Lake Compounce holiday lights shows have been extended this season. Holiday Lights at Lake Compounce now run through December 31, with the exact hours listed conveniently for you at the end of the page. Amusement rides will be closed on December 31 for the grand lakefront New Year’s Eve spectacular fireworks show!
Through the end of the month, you can also find a rotating assortment of winter-themed activities! Santa will be on the property until December 23 for a meet and greet! Kids can also try their hand at making their own holiday bear, snow globe, or ornament, according to the Lake Compounce website.
There’s no shortage of fun for the whole family this winter at Lake Compounce. Make sure to return in the summer, as the historic theme park also includes water park sections, perfect for staying cool on a hot summer’s day!
Find Lake Compounce at 186 Enterprise Dr, Bristol, CT 06010
Friday, December 16 and 23 from 5 PM-9 PM
December 17, 18, and 24 from 3 PM- 8 PM
Monday, December 26- Saturday, December 31 from 3 PM- 8 PM
Article written by: Ameera Hammouda