For over 165 years now, Lake Compounce has been entertaining visitors from near and far. With a rich history dating back to its official opening as a type of picnic park in 1846, Lake Compounce has continued to grow and engage thrill seekers for over a century. The nation’s oldest continuously running amusement park is still going strong today, as the boys and I found out during our visit to Connecticut as part of our #90DayRoadTrip. With one of the world’s best wooden roller coasters, Connecticut’s largest water park and thrills for all ages, Lake Compounce is the perfect place to spend an afternoon or an entire vacation.
Bear Creek Campground
On the day of our visit the skies looked threatening, but since we only had limited time in town, we decided to chance a visit. In fact, I doubt I could have held the boys off longer if I had wanted too. See, we were staying at Lake Compounce’s Bear Creek Campground, which is located just across the parking lot from the park. If you plan to visit Lake Compounce, there is no more convenient place to stay, and you don’t even have to rough it in a tent. They have spacious one and two bedroom cabins, a smaller cabin hut, campground spots for tents or RV’s, and even tipis with electricity and wood floors.
We stayed in a two bedroom cabin during our visit, and there was more than enough room for our family of five. In each bedroom there was a large bed, and shelving for your belongings. There was also a full bathroom with shower and toilet, as well as a set of bunk beds in the hallway.
The full kitchen would be a huge money saver during a longer stay, and the dining area had enough seating for a large family as well as access to a television with cable. Up in the loft, there would be room for 2-3 more people to sleep with their own sleeping bags or bedding. The cabin comes with sheets on the bed, but you will need to bring any additional bedding as well as pots, pans and dishes for the kitchen.
The campground store is stocked with all of the essentials, and special activities are held throughout the weeks at scheduled times. The boys took part in making an adorable paper cup crab when we got rained out of the park and the morning we left, the campground mascot was making his rounds greeting children as part of their “Wake up with Kyle the Crocodile” program.
For current rates or to check availability for your stay, visit CampBearCreek.com.
Even though we had a while in the park without the rain, the sky did eventually open up into a downpour. After a while the decision was made to close the park for the day, since many of the rides are not able to operate in bad weather. However, passes were handed out to guests so that they could come back and enjoy the park the next day.
In the time that we did spent at Lake Compounce, we explored a wide range of family rides and activities. One of our favorites was the new Dino Expedition that opened this year. Here, children can explore a world of life-like animatronic dinosaurs, explore the fossil dig area and even pretend to be hatching dinosaurs themselves.
My oldest even braved the insane Zoomerang, which launches you through twists, turns and loops both forwards and backwards. The younger boys enjoyed the simpler rides like the American Flyers, Pirate Ship, Ghost Hunt and Zoomer’s Gas and Go.
Water rides are also a favorite at Lake Compounce. The Saw Mill Plunge is a great option if you don’t like to get drenched on theme park rides, you hardly get wet at all.
Want to get really wet? Lake Compounce can help with that too though. They are home to Connecticut’s largest water park. Of course, there are traditional favorites like Giant Wheel, Bumper Cars and the famed Boulder Dash wooden coaster, one of the best rated wooden coasters in the United States. With something for everyone, you are sure to have a great time at the oldest amusement park in the United States.
Lake Compounce’s season traditionally runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day. To check their hours or to buy tickets, visit LakeCompounce.com.