Why You Should Visit California's Great America This Summer

As a child I went to California's Great America several times. It was the closest amusement park with thrilling rides and fun for the entire family. Blake went to Santa Clara University and I went to San Jose State and we even visited California's Great America a few times while we were in college. One of my favorite memories about California's Great America was meeting the group O-Town and watching them perform live on July 7th, 2001! The kids love rides and they adore the Peanuts characters, so I thought what better place to visit than California's Great America this summer. I want to share with you all the fun we had, explain why you should visit this summer, and why it is perfect for the entire family and all ages!

California's Great America is located in Santa Clara, California and you are minutes away from great restaurants, a movie theater, shopping, and hotels in case you want to stay and enjoy a few days in the Bay Area.  Blake and I lived in the Bay Area for several years, so if you have any questions don't hesitate to ask.  For the entire month of July California's Great America is open from 10 am to 10 pm.

California's Great America is probably best known for their thrilling coasters (they have 9 roller coasters) and they have some great ones, but there are rides the whole family can enjoy too. Gold Striker is ranked as one of the best wooden coasters in the world. Older favorites like Flight Deck (formerly Top Gun, which I loved riding), Vortex, Grizzly, and Demon are still thrilling, but Rail Blazer is a brand new single rail steel coaster. Rail Blazer is the first coaster of its kind on the West Coast featuring a single rail track throughout. My kiddos did not ride any of these roller coasters, but they did enjoy Lucy's Crabbie Cabbies, Woodstock Express, and Psycho Mouse.  These three coasters are miniature and perfect for kids, which introduces them to a lifelong love of roller coasters.

Some great family rides that everyone can enjoy are Barney Oldfield Speedway, Carousel Columbia, Delta Flyer/Eagles Flight, and more.

What we really enjoyed the most and where we spent most of our day was Planet Snoopy! There are over 13 rides, a playground for the kids to play, Peanuts character meet and greets, and more. The rides were all themed so cute. Plus, this summer there is a new show called Snoopy's Dog Days Of Summer and it will be playing through September 16th. You can see the show at Peanuts Showplace in Planet Snoopy. My kids loved the show and it plays 3 different times every day.

Throughout the park you can find rechargeable game play card kiosks.  These are great because you can load money onto a card and play all the games you want throughout the park.

We had Fast Lane passes and they were amazing. Make the most of your day and speed past the regular lines and get right on almost every ride in the park! You can use the Fast Lane bracelet on 18 rides and it was totally worth it.

Spend the day being entertained by California's Great America. There are 11 shows, so make sure you pick up a Summer Show Guide so you can read all about the shows and times. There is The R&B Boys, Elevation Extreme, Hot Rhythm Nights, The RailBlazer Big Basin BlueGrass Band, Hometown Jam Band, Cable Car Connection, Big Easy Sound, Patio Piano, Mardi Gras Party Band, Snoppy's Dog Days Of Summer, Peanuts Block Party, and more!

One of the best features of California’s Great America for families is that a full water park is included within the park and is included in the price of theme park admission. The water park offers everything from a wave pool to a lazy river to some serious water slide choices.  They also provide life jackets, which I think is wonderful.

Strollers are available to rent at California's Great America if you find yourself in a pinch.  I brought my own, but I love knowing that they offer strollers to rent.  Similar to Disney’s Baby Care Centers, California’s Great America has a private area to change or nurse your baby in the Planet Snoopy area of the park.  It was very nice.  Also, make sure you download the California's Great America app on your phone because it will tell you events and activities, ride wait times, and more.  This was so helpful to have throughout the day.

Spending the day at the most exciting amusement park in the Bay Area can work up an appetite. Luckily at California's Great America, there is a wide variety of dining options to choose from. Whether you crave funnel cakes, fresh cut French Fries or gluten-free options, they are sure to have something for every taste.  I also love that they have a Subway, Panda Express and Starbucks inside California's Great America.  There are also dining plans to fuel your fun!

The entire park was so clean and we really enjoyed the day.  I would highly recommend California's Great America if you are looking for a fun filled day with the family.  California's Great America has something for everyone.  You can shop, ride rides, eat, watch a show, explore and walk around, visit the water park, and more.  Make sure you visit California's Great America this summer!

There are also special holiday events like The Great Pumpkin Fest, which begins September 22nd.  We can't wait to visit the park for Halloween.  Click here for more information about The Great Pumpkin Fest.  There is also Winter Fest, which runs from November 23rd through December 30th.  Click here for more information about Winter Fest.

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