Pros:Small, clean, reasonably priced
Cons:Summer crowd invasion of my small town
The Bottom Line: Indiana Beach is great for all ages. A wide variety of activities at a reasonable price makes for all day fun close to home!
Having grown up close to Indiana Beach, I felt I needed to offer my own epinion on this fun park. Indiana Beach is genuinely a family fun park, geared to all ages located in the relatively small town of Monticello, Indiana on the not-so-beautiful Lake Shafer. True to its advertising slogan, it does offer more than just the usual corn in Indiana.
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There are two entrances into Indiana Beach. To make your visit all encompassing, I recommend parking in the South lot (free parking) and taking a walk across the huge Suspension Bridge. As much as I hate walking across the bridge swaying over the water, it really is a more interesting way into the park. The other entrance simply walks you through a turnstile and into what I refer to as the backside of the park.
There is a general admission fee into the park for those 4 and over. Once you reach the other side of the bridge (or approach the turnstiles), you will be charged $2.00 to enter the park. For those that wish to ride the rides and experience the thrill can purchase POP (pay one price) passes (bracelets) for a mere $23 for adults and $18 for children. Rides tickets are also available ala carte for those who want to go just to try the newest coaster - The Cornball Express, or just don't have the stomach for all of the turns and twists, bumps and lurches of amusement park rides.
The rides are inclusive of those you will find at the larger theme parks, simply on a smaller scale. Indiana Beach is now home to four roller coasters, The Galaxy (older than I am!!), The Tig'r (I remember when this one was added!!), and the newer coasters - The Hoosier Hurricane and The Cornball Express (new this year and encompassed into the Hurricane due to space restraints). You also have typical amusement park rides, including the huge Ferris Wheel, the Scrambler, Haunted House, Swings, etc. Two rides you don't want to miss are the train - boarding in kiddie land and at the south end mini-golf course and the Skyride - lose a friend or family member? Find 'em using this unique, sky high, ski-lift type ride that takes you from one end of the park to the other -just hold on to your flip flops!! *smiles* Also included is a water park including slides and a lazy river and the beach area. This part of the park can be included in your POP pass for a little extra or you can purchase a water package separately. I've personally never participated in the water park area, although I've lived in this area all of my almost 28 years. No reason, just more of a thrill seeker.
Indiana Beach goes far beyond the rides and water park aspect. It is also home to two miniature golf courses - 9 holes located at each end of the park. If you have teens and are staying overnight at one of the many resorts or the Jellystone Campground located across the way, they might enjoy the teen disco for ages 13-17 open weekend nights and accessible from the park for $5.00. For the adults, there is the Skyroom (ages 21 and over) with a live band every Saturday night. And for the shopper in you, there are many souvenir type shops located along the boardwalk. While the prices are typical of these types of shops, they do offer air conditioning and a break from the hot summer sun. The kids might also enjoy taking a break in the arcade and game rooms. And for the ultimate entertainment check out the stunt ski show, viewable from the boardwalk - check the signs for show times!
The food and drink prices at Indiana Beach are also typical of any amusement park. Actually, perhaps a bit lower, but still not cheap. While some may not want the added expense, where else can you get chocolate covered bananas, huge waffle cones, and super tacos?!!! (My mom and dad loved these same tacos when they were teens!!)
Overall, Indiana Beach is your typical small town fun park. The park is clean, the workers friendly (mostly teens and some teachers on summer break from school) and the atmosphere fun. It proved to be a great place to take our oldest daughter to get her used to riding rides when she reached the minimum height requirement for kiddie land. I look forward to having my daughters make their own memories surrounding the Beach. Perhaps they'll also follow a long line of family members who enjoyed summer employment here.
Now when will all of these summer people go home???!!!! (That being the only con to having such a great summer resort close to home!)