Ava Cottreau, left, and Mikey Imbrascio, both 9 and from Billerica, ride the Starblaster. SUN/JULIA MALAKIE
Ava Cottreau, left, and Mikey Imbrascio, both 9 and from Billerica, ride the Starblaster. SUN/JULIA MALAKIE

Yankee Cannonball

What: A wooden coaster installed in 1936 that features a tall hill and then several smaller hills.

Why: Has all of the classic wooden-coaster thrills, including the dramatic click-click-click of the chain up the hill, without being so jerky that you feel like you are sustaining a head injury.


What: A tower ride where your seat launches up and then back down several times.

Why: Who doesn't love the existential dread of waiting for the ride to fire you straight up into the air without a countdown?


What: Fast-moving steel coaster with a major drop and loops.


Why: Ascending straight up while lying flat and then pitching over at a steeper angle than straight down is a rush, and the use of dramatic classical music outside the ride is a nice touch.

Da Vinci's Dream

What: A theme-park staple: the spinning swings.

Why: Reasonably thrilling without being altogether terrifying, plus the views of the lake are quite pretty.

Boston Tea Party

What: A giant log-flume cousin consisting of simply one large hill and an even larger splash.

Why: The splash really is large -- you will likely get soaked, as do the dozen or so people who hang out near the ride's entrance looking for a quick way to cool off during the summer.




What: Another fast steel coaster featuring two sections where you spin upside-down.

Why: It's right in the name: You do two corkscrews, although that's pretty much the ride's only gimmick.

Pirate Ship

What: A pirate ship that swings back and forth on a pendulum.

Why: You've seen this ride at every theme park -- at this point, either you (and your stomach) like it or you don't.

Log Flume

What: A small boat ride winding through the woods with the occasional hill producing a splash of water.

Why: A good way to digest because the hills are minor, or a good way to cool off because it splashes and much of it is in the shade.

Giant Sky Wheel

What: A Ferris wheel.

Why: Another good way to digest. And what could beat the views from up top out across the lake?

Zero Gravity

What: A giant, spinning wheel where riders stand along the edge and are held in place by centripetal force even as the wheel tilts to different angles.

Why: Judge for yourself: Is your reaction to that description "yeah, sounds like fun!" or "NOPE!"?