Next to the beach, amusement parks might be our favorite place to visit during the summer months. High admittance fees, however, make us feel more nauseous than we do after a ride on the Tilt-a-Whirl. What's a family on a budget to do? Consider local hotels, which often provide discounted tickets with accommodations, or better yet, packages with lodging and tickets at one rate.

1. Hersheypark - Hershey, Pa.
Plenty of hotels in Hershey, Pa. offer discounts to Hersheypark, but our deal pick is actually located at a hotel just 30 minutes away -- Best Western Primier Eden Resort & Suites in Lancaster. The hotel, which has a fantastic pool area and sprayground (your kids could easily spend the entire trip there), offers a $12 discount to Hersheypark.

2. Schlitterbahn Waterpark - Kansas City, Kan.
Are the kids begging to visit Verruckt? Stay at one of four Drury Inn & Suites locations (all lodging partners of Schlitterbahn Waterpark) in Kansas City -- Independence, Airport, Stadium and Overland Park -- and enjoy a $10.99 discount on adult tickets and a $3.99 discount on children's (ages 3 to 11) admission via a Schlitterbahn Waterpark Package, which also includes free breakfast and evening snacks.

3. Cedar Point - Sandusky, Ohio
Cedar Point has expanded its offerings in 2014, and when you stay at one of its affiliate hotels -- Hotel Breakers, Sandcastle Suites, Castaway Bay, Lighthouse Point and Breakers Express -- you'll enjoy a $20 discount on one-day park tickets and a $13 discount on two-day tickets. Plus, you'll enjoy early entry to the park.

4. Six Flags Great America - Chicago
You're bound to find hotel packages near Six Flags parks across the country, and here's one we really like: Courtyard Chicago Waukegan/Gurnee (just outside of Chicago) offers a Six Flags Great America Package with two adult tickets and breakfast for two adults and two children. It's priced anywhere from $173 to $241 per night.

5. Knott's Berry Farm - Buena Park, Calif.
At Knott's Berry Farm Hotel (just outside of Anaheim), families have their choice of discount packages, including a Classic Package, which includes overnight accommodations (select a Camp Snoopy room!), tickets to Knott's Berry Farm, a breakfast buffet and free parking. Plus, rates start as low as $139 per night!

6. Busch Gardens Tampa - Tampa
Planning a visit to family-favorite St. Pete Beach?
In between days on the sand and surf, take a discounted trip to Busch Gardens Tampa, courtesy of Loews Don CeSar Hotel. The historic, pink beauty is offering either two adult tickets with all-day dining at Busch Gardens, or two adult tickets with a free Island Adventure Ticket, plus accommodations, priced from $289 per night.

7. Story Land - Glen, N.H.
Enjoy theme park AND water park fun when you book a stay at Red Jacket Mountain Resort in North Conway, N.H. The popular hotel offers a Story Land/Kahuna Laguna Package, which includes two nights' accommodations; Story Land admission for each guest; access to Kahuna Laguna, the hotel's water park; and breakfast!

More from Family Vacation Critic:
5 Indoor Amusement Parks
14 Water Parks to Visit in 2014

Written by Amanda Geronikos



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