By Kim McNeill
Lake Compounce Theme Park
186 Enterprise Drive
Bristol, CT 06010
Hours: July to August Mon to Thurs – 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Fri – 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Sat – 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Price: $35.99 for those over 52” tall, $25.99 for those under 52” tall, $17.99 for 60 and over, 3 years and under are free. Parking is $8 per day for each car. Admission to the park after 5 pm is reduced to $17.99.
Make sure to hit Lake Compounce before summer comes to an end. Billing itself as “New England’s Family Theme Park”, Lake Compounce provides shows and rides for adults, teens, and even little kids. Included in the admission are shows, rides, the water park, changing rooms for the waterpark, and free fountain beverages. Lockers, strollers, and wheelchairs are available to rent.
Enjoy two wooden roller coasters at Lake Compounce, Wild Cat and Boulder Dash. Boulder Dash is not-to-be-missed for roller coaster lovers. The track is almost a mile long and is tucked into the wooded hillside. The Zoomerang is a newer roller coaster that offers upside-down loops that are experienced backwards, too.
Reach for the sky with big drops or calmer attractions. The two tallest rides in the park are Down Time, a 185-foot drop, and Sky Coaster, like a giant swing which drops 185 feet, with only a harness and guide wires. A nicely scenic view can be had without the sudden drops by checking out the Sky Ride and the Ferris Wheel. The Sky Ride is a leisurely journey 750 ft up and then down the mountain—like a ski lift without any skiing.
For some nice water mist without changing into a swimsuit, there are water rides in the main park. Thunder Rapids is not a water park ride, but it is one fun ride on water. The log flume is another classic.
For the main park rides, the minimum height to ride ranges from 36” to 52”. Many rides have an unaccompanied height restriction and a height restriction to ride with a responsible individual. The website, under attractions and a board at the outside of the entrance tunnel, can help plan what rides are suitable for your kids.
There are rides for the younger set (ages 3-10) at Kiddieland. The kids can feel big with their own roller coaster, mini pirate-ship style boat, drop tower, and even bumper cars and eight other rides. There is even an outdoor theatre right in Kiddieland with a singing show or a fairy tale. It is close to drinks, a restroom, and snow cones. Some rides don’t allow adults. These are best suited to kids who are OK on their own.
Bring a towel and a bathing suit to change into for Splash Harbor, the water park in Lake Compounce. There are changing rooms behind the rentable lockers. If you forget anything, there is a store with bathing suits and other necessities. When it is time to rest or warm up, there are a number of lounge chairs available to watch the action.
Lake Compounce doesn’t allow food or beverages to be brought in. Food can be purchased throughout the park. Food choices range from fun, fair-type food to healthier options depending on where you eat (check the food selections for each location on the website under attractions). The fountain beverages are free. Along with soda, there is carbonated water, water, and ice along with free cups. Additional types of drinks, like milk or bottled water, can be purchased at some food stands.
If you can head over to Lake Compounce during the week, Friday looks like the day to go. You’ll avoid the bigger weekend crowd and Friday is one of the non-weekend days for the Cirque en Vol shows and also has evening concerts for the whole family.