Stacy Mattas and her children look forward every summer to the opening of DelGrosso's Amusement Park in Tipton. The Duncansville mother takes her three children to the park as often as twice a week and holds season passes for her two oldest kids.
"I started going to the park when I was a little girl. So now I take my kids down there as well," Mattas said. The fact that there is an amusement park with rides and water park only half an hour from their home is great for the family, she said. "We really love it. I think the prices are decent and are fair for everybody, based on what you want to do."
The park allows her son, Gil Barton, 10, and daughter, Riley Barton, 8, a chance to do something they can enjoy together. They love to spend hot summer days swimming and doing the water slides, but they also love to ride the park rides just as much, Mattas said.
Mirror file photo
Lakemont?Park’s Skyliner delivers a fast ride to visitors.
"It's a time for them when they actually have something in common," she said. "They enjoy the whole entire park. It's a benefit to them. They love it."
She enjoys the park for the chance to get out of the house and share time with the kids during the summer while she's off work from teaching school.
"I like it because there's always a place to sit in the shaded areas.
If you go
DelGrosso's Amusement Park
Where: Tipton, off Interstate 99 Exit 45, Tipton/Grazierville
Open: 11 a.m. daily through Aug. 26, Sept. 1-3 and 8-9. The ride park is open Sept. 15-16, 22-23 and 29-30.
Admission: All-day Fun Pass Rides and Water Park is $16.95. Sundowner Fun Pass after 5 p.m. weekdays is $9.95. Miniature golf and Altoona-Tipton Speedway Go-Karts are $4 each. Individual ride tickets are 50 cents. Parking and admission is free. Coupons for discounts on passes are available on specially marked jars of traditional DelGrosso's pasta sauce.
More information: Visit www .delgrossos.com or call 684-3538.
Where: 700 Park Ave., Altoona, off Interstate 99 Frankstown Road exit
Open: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays June 6 through Aug. 18; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays June 10 through Aug. 19; noon to 8 p.m. Aug. 22-26 and Sept. 1-3. Altoona First Festival 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sept. 8 and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 9.
Admission: Wednesdays through Fridays, admission is $5 which includes an All-day Ride & Slide Pass. Saturdays and Sundays, admission is free and passes are $9.95. Leap-the-Dips, Motor-way Go-Karts, paddle boats and miniature golf are extra.
More information: Visit www.lakemontparkfun.com or call 949-7275 or 800-434-8006.
With her 1-year-old daughter, Payton Mattas, she also appreciates the child care center with a changing table, a station for warming bottles and a section for nursing mothers.
Being season pass holders also allows Mattas'children to bring a friend along for free on Buddy Days on Tuesdays and free admission to Harvestfest in September.
DelGrosso's is celebrating its 65th anniversary this year, said Amy Mearkle, director of marketing and advertising for the park. She added that a new ride was added this year, The Swing Buggy. It replaced the Flying Bobs ride.
"It's really colorful. It has thousands of flashing and strobe lights. It has a very rock-n-roll feel," she said.
The Swing Buggy has 16 small cars that seat two riders then move up and down while they swing side to side and in reverse, she said.
There is a height requirement - riders who are 42 to 48 inches tall must be accompanied by an adult.
DelGrosso's will host a number of special events this year, starting with a birthday celebration for a special friend. The park's mascot will have a starring role at Buddy Bear's Birthday Bash June 21.
Mearkle said Buddy Bear has been a staple at the park, but not many visitors even know there is a mascot. So, the park is partnering with humane societies in six area counties to celebrate Buddy Bear's birthday and help the area's four-legged friends, she said.
Each humane society will list the top four items they need in donations, and if a park visitor donates one of those items on June 21, the visitor will get half off the price of admission. The lists of needed items will be posted on the park's Facebook page and website.
Another Buddy will be on hand on June 23 which is WPSU Kid's Day with Buddy the Dinosaur. This year's theme will be Nature Trackers. Mearkle said each child will get a special treat, including a compass, so they can follow the four directions to different points in the park. At each point, there will be a station where kids can enjoy a nature-related activity. The first 500 kids in the park that day also will get dinosaur pizza sauce to take home.
DelGrosso's also will host a number of free concerts, with country artist Hunter Hayes at 4 p.m. today. Country singer Mark Chesnutt will take the stage at 4 p.m. Aug. 5. The annual FrontLine YouthFest "The Last Blast of Summer" will host two contemporary Christian concerts Sept. 2. Reilly will perform at 3 p.m. and For King & Country at 7 p.m.
Other special events include: The 22nd annual Blair County Antique Auto Show July 8; the 15th annual Native American Pow Wow and Dance Competi-tion July 21 and 22; the Altoona Corvette Club Car Show Aug. 5; the 23rd annual Italian Food & Heritage Festival Sept. 23; and Harvestfest Sept. 29-30.
Of course, summer wouldn't be the same without an Independence Day celebration, and DelGros-so's will hold Summer Thunder 2012 on July 4. Mearkle said this year's theme is a welcome-home tribute to the military troops returning from service.
DelGrosso's will continue to serve its food at the park and hold its Spaghetti Wednesdays. Mearkle said the only change this year is they will offer only one size of the meal for $6.75, which includes a drink and dinner roll. The Italian meals are served from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 to 7 p.m. every Wednesday through Aug. 22, with the exception of July 4.
The park will offer more credit card locations for Mastercard and Visa at the food locations and Spaghetti Wednesdays.
Things will be much the same this summer at Lakemont Park, which claims to be the eighth oldest amusement park in the U.S.
Park Manager Bob Larson said the park is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.
The park has new paddleboats for cruising around the lake, Larson said.
This year, "the park is taking over the food we used to have vendors for," he said. "We can get a better handle on it and offer better food."
Lakemont also will host family movie nights for the second year on a huge, outdoor screen. Larson said he hopes to attract more families this year.
"It was spotty," he said of attendance during the first year. "We had lots of people who were already here stay, but there weren't a lot of walk-ins."
Families can take chairs or blankets for seating to the movies that are shown in the large field at the end of the main walkway in the park. The schedule for movies is the animated "Puss in Boots" on June 29, "Cars 2" on July 20 and "Grease" on Aug. 17.
Lakemont will offer Dollar Days every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday through Aug. 24. The cost of admission gives guests an all day ride-and-slide pass for $5. The cost of admission on Saturdays and Sundays is $9.95, which includes the pass.
On July 4th, the park will be open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. That day, the $10 admission fee will include an all-day ride-and-slide pass, free miniature golf and, of course, admission to see the Fireworks Spectacular that night.
Wing Fest returns on Thursdays July 12 through Aug. 16.
Other special events include the 23rd annual Kruisin' Hot Rod & Classic Car Show on Aug. 17-19.
The season will wrap up Sept. 8 and 9 with the annual Altoona First Festival, Larson said.