Insider's Guide: Idlewild & SoakZone

Insider's Guide: Idlewild & SoakZone

No summer is complete without a visit to Idlewild & SoakZone

Idlewild & SoakZone offers something for everyone in the family. From classic amusement rides, a complete water park, live entertainment and unique attractions like Story Book Forest and Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, your kids will be talking about their trip Idlewild & SoakZone for years to come! This popular theme park is your ticket to family thrills and friendly adventures!

Plan Your Visit

Idlewild & SoakZone opens on weekends in May, and begins daily operation June 10 through Aug. 20, 2023, then resumes weekend operation through the end of October!

First time visitor? Here's what to expect: 

Season Passes

If you plan on visiting more than one day, the season pass is your best bet. Depending on the plan you pick, you'll get unlimited admission during those times, a souvenir cup with free refills, discounts on food and merchandise, access to early ride times as announced and so much more.

2023 Special Events

  • Kids Fest (Saturdays-Sundays in June): Enjoy special activities, meet & greets with your favorite characters, new entertainment and more
  • Celebrate America (July 1-4): The park's annual salute to America with fireworks the night of July 4 at 9:30 p.m.
  • Neighbor Days (Fridays-Sundays in July): Celebrate the legacy of Pittsburgh native Fred Rogers with special days with your favorite characters and special activities ranging from story times to dance parties.
  • Ligonier Highland Games (Sept. dates tbd): Scottish traditions and culture come to life through marches, live music, athletic competitions and kids activities.
  • Hallowboo! (Saturdays-Sundays, Sept.-Oct.): A kid-friendly Halloween takeover of the park highlighted by trick-or-treating through Storybook Forest, entertainment and fantastic decorations.

Insider's Tips

As someone who has been going to Idlewild since I was a toddler, worked there in my teens and now bring my family to the park, here's a few helpful tips to help make your visit even better!

Can't-Miss Eats

I always plan my day of eating through the park before I think about rides or anything else. At Idlewild, my go-tos are the BBQ Pit's pulled pork, signature Potato Patch fries (I prefer gravy over cheese, but you do you do), a visit to the Mac Shac for some custom mac & cheese bowls the kids love, and end the night with a Cyclone cone (it's ok to ask for extra whipped cream for dipping those strawberries).

Take the Train

Little legs get tired fast, so use the trains to your advantage! Hop aboard the Loyalhanna Limited Railroad, which stops in the kid ride area and Hootin' Holler, to give the little ones a break and get you to a new section of the park!

See A Show

I love the live entertainment at theme parks, and Idlewild's options do an exceptional job of catering to your kiddos. Make plans to attend the Daniel Tiger's Grr-ific Day show at noon, 1:30, 3 and 4:30 p.m. daily for one of the best photo ops of the day, meet a princess in Storybook forest, or take part in a fun hoedown in Hootin' Holler.

Book a Cabana

Save the stress of looking for the perfect chair in a shady spot. The cabanas in SoakZone come with lounge chairs, deck chairs, an ice bucket and the option for food service, making it easy to give the little ones a rest and recharge from the sun before getting up to more splashing.

Get Great Accessibility Help

I recently visited Idlewild with one child in a cast, and I was amazed at the service from their guest services team. Before I knew it, I had a list of rides they were able to go on and a pass to help them skip lines and ride more. Reach out to their team if anyone in your group needs a little extra help!

Avoid the Pool Rush

In the late afternoon, people pack up their towels en masse and head into the main area of the park to eat and grab treats. Be aware of the pool rush and try to eat beforehand, or in another section of the park, to cut down on wait times.

Pack a Picnic

Picky eaters or special diets? Idlewild gets it. Every day hundreds of coolers are wheeled down to pavilions and tables in case you rather bring your own snacks. Get there early though to snag the best spots.