As restrictions begin to loosen and vaccinations increase across the New England area, residents are now seeing the light at the end of the long, dark COVID tunnel.
Amusement parks in Connecticut and Maine are now allowed to open at 100 percent capacity, while state guidelines in New Hampshire require parks to limit attendance to allow proper social distancing between groups.
Theme parks in Massachusetts, on the other hand, must remain closed until the state enters Phase IV, Step 2 of its reopening plan.
So, when will amusement parks and water parks reopen? How will they enforce social distancing amid the pandemic?
Here’s what you need to know as you begin to plan your theme park visits in New England.
Six Flags New England - April 10th
Six Flags New England is welcoming back guests this weekend with a new prehistoric attraction.
Dinosaurs: A Walk Thru Experience transports guests hundreds of millions of years back in time to when the colossal creatures walked the earth. The new adventure features 20 life-size dinosaurs with realistic movements and sounds, unique photo opportunities and dino-themed games and activities.
The not-so-great-news: no roller coasters or other rides will reopen at this time.
“Pending the state’s approval, Six Flags New England eagerly awaits the reopening of its world-class rides for 2021,” the company said in a statement.
An official reopening date for theme park has not been announced.
Following state mandates to open with limited capacity, reservations are required to meet social distancing guidelines and help control the flow of visitors into the park. Guests are also required to wear masks and have their temperatures checked.
Click here for more information on reopening, tickets and safety protocols.
Quassy Amusement Park - April 24th
Quassy Amusement Park is set to open Saturday, April 24th and will operate between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. for the first two weekends of the season.
Officials say the park will follow COVID safety guidelines from state and local health departments, with mask mandates and social distancing measures in place.
The park will reopen with not only COVID safety in mind, but also the community.
“With so many families struggling during the COVID crisis, the park decided to dedicate its first two weekends to causes that will assist in a number of ways,” said Quassy President Eric Anderson in a statement.
Guests can receive discounted all-day ride passes when they donate items for local charitable organizations. There is no general admission fee to walk through the amusement park.
For more information on tickets, park schedule and safety guidelines, click here.
Lake Compounce - May 8th
New Year. New Look. New Rides. New Reopening date.
Lake Compounce is celebrating its 175th birthday with a “massive transformation” and by pushing up its reopening date to May 8.
Despite the celebratory fanfare and excitement around reopening, Lake Compounce will enforce COVID safety measures including mask requirements, social distancing and temperature checks for guests and employees.
The highlight for many new and returning park guests will be the new, six-story waterslide called the Venus Vortex. In addition to the new attraction, the nation’s longest continuously operating amusement park will also feature a new main gate area and updated logo.
Theme park officials say Lake Compounce will adhere to Connecticut’s the state’s reopening guidelines and strongly encourage guests to make reservations ahead of their visit to the park.
Click here for more information on tickets, safety protocols and park upgrades.
Water Country USA - May 22th
Water Country, New England’s largest water park, will reopen to the public on May 22nd – weather permitting.
In response the COVID-19 pandemic, the park says it will operate under modified conditions Wednesdays through Sundays, with several attractions remaining closed.
Guests will be required to wear face masks and have their temperatures checked upon entry. In order to facilitate proper social distancing, the park will open at limited capacity and require advanced ticket purchases and reservations to enter the park.
Click here for more details on tickets and safety protocols ahead of the parks reopening.
Canobie Lake Park - May 29th
Canobie Lake Park in New Hampshire announced plans to safely reopen its doors to guests on Saturday, May 29 for the park’s 2021 season.
The park will be open from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. throughout the spring and summer.
To limit attendance in accordance with the state’s reopening guidelines, guests must purchase tickets and make reservations to enter the park. Guests should also be prepared to wear masks, practice social distancing and have their temperature taken during touch-free readings before entering the park.
“We will still encourage personal responsibility for hand washing, general touch points and will have sanitizer available throughout the facility,” the company said on its website.
Click here for more details on tickets, park times/dates, and social distancing guidelines.
Story Land - May 29th
Story Land – “where fantasy lives!” – is set to reopen Saturday, May 29.
The theme park will operate between the hours of 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. with enhanced health and safety measures in place to help protect guests and employees.
Visitors will be required to wear facial coverings, practice social distancing from groups not in their party and submit to temperature checks upon arrival.
Tickets and reservations are required for entry to limit park attendance. Season pass holders are not required to make reservations. Park officials say certain rides, attractions and food areas may be closed as the park opens with limited operation.
Click here for more information to help plan your visit.
Funtown Splashtown USA - May 29th
Funtown Splashtown USA will celebrate Memorial Day Weekend by reopening its doors to guests on May 29th – with safety measures in place.
Anyone over the age of two will be required to wear face masks in the park’s common areas, changing areas, restrooms and at the Tiki Bar. Facial coverings are not required in while swimming, waiting in lines or riding down water slides.
Park officials say tickets are now available for purchase and reservations are not be required for entry as the number of vaccinations rise in the New England area.
Due to closing last year as a result from the coronavirus pandemic, 2020 season passes will be honored and transferred to the upcoming 2021 season.
For more information on park admission, social distancing and health guidelines, click here.