If you are looking for sugary food, big prizes and even bigger fun, you do not have to stray too far outside of the Greater Cleveland area. There are plenty of great theme parks close to home. It is difficult to pick just one, but I managed to narrow the choices down to three: The obvious pick (Cedar Point), the one with the fondest childhood memories (Memphis Kiddie Park) and the most accessible one (The IX Indoor Amusement Park). After weighing the options, I had to go with the IX Center’s annual shindig. Sure it only comes around for a few weeks every year but, in terms of having something for everyone without having to take a hammer to the kid’s piggy banks, this park takes the powdered sugar covered funnel cake.
Cleveland’s best amusement park is The I-X Indoor Amusement Park.
If you did not immediately begin singing this amusement park’s jingle, then you must be new to Cleveland and have not been subjected to the catchy annoyance of hearing this commercial for the past decade or so. If you have not heard it or you just want to listen for old times sake, check this out.
Just like its theme song, IX has the perfect blend of cheesiness, excitement and the ability to remain permanently burned into our temporal lobes. The Indoor Amusement Park is a Cleveland classic but you have to catch it at the right time. It only comes around for a few weeks during Spring and towards the end it can wind up feeling a little too much like a nesting place for overly rambunctious teens. But it is definitely something you should experience at least once as a Clevelander.
Do not think for a second that because this park is indoors it is filled with floating teacup type rides. It has some heart stoppers like the Vertigo, Freak Out, and this year’s addition, The Flying Dutchman. For the kids, do not forget to visit the aptly named, Kidzville for, if nothing else, the Five Lane Giant Slide. And of course, what theme park visit is complete without taking a ride on a 35′ Ferris Wheel? While outside food and beverages are not allowed, the IX Center has you covered. You definitely will not find gourmet food here but it has plenty of concession stands filled with your normal food stuffs – burgers, hot dogs, fries, soft drinks, etc. The food isn’t too expensive and neither are the tickets. Prices for admission range between $21 and $9 and parking is only $8. I can remember going there with only $20 in my Minnie Mouse wallet and still had enough money for games, souvenirs and a meal. This is a cash only affair so be certain to stop at the ATM located right outside of the entrance.
Make sure to check out your local Marc’s grocery store and the park’s official website for discounts and more information here.