Hey, kids, next time you visit an amusement park, look around. If you see groups of adults everywhere – without a single kid in tow - don’t be surprised. Why? Because theme parks aren’t just for families anymore.
These days, adults without kids are flocking to amusement parks in droves, wanting to escape, blow off steam, de-stress, and get in some rollercoaster “air time” – that weightless moment when it feels like you’re floating.
According to a study by International Theme Park Services, half of all amusement-park visitors between 25 and 49 arrive in adults-only groups, and the number of adults going on organized theme park tours has quadrupled. In fact, the number of thrill-seeking adults sparked the creation of reality TV shows, like “Insane Coaster Wars.”
And theme parks are welcoming adults with open arms. They work hard to design rides that are thrilling enough for adults, but not too terrifying for kids. Some theme parks are even playing the nostalgia game - adding retro rides that baby boomers and empty nesters grew up on, like bumper cars, flying elephants, and high-tech versions of spinning carnival swings.
They’re also adding grown-up amenities, like fancy restaurants and spa facilities, as well as nighttime activities to attract the over-20 set once exhausted families start to head home - like concerts, dance parties, and beer gardens. And the gift shops also stock non-kid items, like fine jewelry and fancy throw pillows.
So, parents, do you head to theme parks without your kids? And kids, would it be fair if mom and dad left you behind? Weigh in at Twitter.com/JohnTesh.