As warmer weather begins to take hold, many people start looking forward to taking family vacations or simply traveling the country. The United States is great for traveling and exploring because of its large size. There are also many hidden gems throughout each state that afford you the chance to have a lot of family fun.
While there are big tourist attractions, such as the Grand Canyon and Mt. Rushmore, there are also smaller places that attract crowds. It is these smaller attractions that are lovely finds when you travel. However, doing some research beforehand can help you scope them out and ensure that you aren’t missing out on something that could provide your family with a wonderful stop.
One such place is Sandy Lake Amusement Park. This park is located in Texas and has been around for decades providing great family fun. Learn more about this park and what to expect when you visit. Get specific information on operating hours and tips on how to best enjoy your time when you visit.
What Is the Sandy Lake Amusement Park?
Sandy Lake Amusement Park is a traditional amusement park, meaning that it is family friendly and offers older and milder forms of entertainment when compared to larger, more modern amusement parks. It is family-owned and -operated and located off Sandy Lake Road in Dallas County Texas. The park is well-known for the annual FunFest.
The park's roots are found in Oklahoma where the founder, Franklin S. Rush, began his path towards the park's creation. Eventually, Rush found his way to Texas and established Craterville Park in 1923. He had a ranch here also, which was home to a fair operated by his Native American friends.
After Rush died, his son took over and started operating Craterville Park. It wasn't much to begin with, but over time, it grew. It started out as a place to camp and gather, but soon, regular powwows were held. The federal government took over the land, though, forcing the family to move.
They then created New Craterville Park, which didn't see as much success until eventually, the younger Rush found the Sandy Park land and opened the park in its current located in 1971 as a family amusement park and fun center, and it hasn't changed much over the years since. It is still old-fashioned in many ways, but it remains a big attraction in the area with steady visitors throughout the season.
Things To Do
The park offers plenty of fun things to do for all ages, with the biggest attraction being the swimming pool. It is huge enough to accommodate a large number of guests who wish to cool off from the hot Texas sun on any given day.
In addition to the pool, you can also enjoy over 20 different rides designed for children and adults. Rides include traditional options, such as bumper cars, and common fair rides, such as the Scrambler, Tilt A Whirl and Rock O Plane. There are also bigger rides, such as the Space Shuttle and the Paratrooper. Some rides are designed for families to enjoy together. These include:
- Paddle boats
- Little Dipper
There are also kiddie rides designed for the smallest guests to enjoy. They feature low-key thrills and fun for those who are not tall enough to enough the larger rides.
The park also has a full mini golf course that offers challenging fun for all ages. It is located in a shady area, so it provides a cool atmosphere for family enjoyment. Other shaded areas in the park offer picnic areas where you can rest, relax and enjoy some good food.
The arcade is another big attraction for guests of all ages. There are tried-and-true classics, such as SkeeBall, along with newer options. Video, shooting and racing games sit alongside plenty of sports-related games offering something for everyone.
The park also has a refreshment stand serving a wide range of items. You can pick up popcorn or cotton candy or go for something more filling, such as pizza or a Frito pie. You can also bring a grill and make your own food. Although, do note outside commercial food is not allowed.
Other activities at the park include the following:
- Face painters
- Sack races
- Dunking machine
- Shetland ponies
- Petting zoo
You will find Sandy Lake Amusement Park north of the I-635 and I-35 interchange at 1800 Sandy Lake Road in Carrollton, Texas. The park is open for operation on weekends from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm from mid-March to May. During April and May, group reservations are available during the week. The regular season hours run from June to mid-August. The park is closed Mondays, but open every other weekday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm and weekends from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. Memorial Day and Labor Day have regular operating hours.
Admission and parking cost $2.00 per person. Guests under the age of three are admitted for free. Easter Sunday provides special admission with a rate of $20 per car, but activities cost extra. Rides require tickets in varying amounts, as do the paddle boats and miniature golf. Golf can also be purchased for $3.00. Tickets cost $0.50 each. The pool charges a $5.00 admission fee for the entire day, or it can be bought with tickets. The food stand and arcade are not payable with tickets.
When planning your visit, it is a good idea to get a feel for what to expect. We want to help make it easy for you to plan your trip by providing you the following frequently asked questions:
1. What are the general rules for the amusement rides?
Rules for the rides are in place to ensure safety and enjoyment for all guests. The general rules include that all riders must adhere to height restrictions, wear shoes, and follow all instructions given by the operator and posted on the ride. In addition, there is no food or drink or alcohol or tobacco use on the rides or in the ride area.
2. Are there restrooms on site?
Yes. There are four modern restroom facilities located both in the pool area and near the ride area, paddle boats and miniature golf course. Portable restrooms are also available throughout the park.
3. Are there guest services?
Guests have access to various services to help make their visit more enjoyable. These include a first aid station near the swimming pool and areas in the ticket office and ride area. There is an ATM near the pool as well. Lost and found is in the ticket office of the ride area and in the pool area. The park office is also available in the building with the swimming pool entrance for business matters.
4. How is misbehavior handled in the park?
While guests are encouraged to have fun at the park, horseplay and other unsafe activities are not tolerated and may result in removal from the park. Guests under the influence of substances may also be asked to leave without a refund.
5. How busy is the park?
That depends on the time of year, but during the peak summer season, the current owner has remarked that the park sees an average of 3,000 guests per day. To put that in perspective, larger theme parks typically host almost 30,000 guests a day.
6.What is FunFest?
FunFest is a musical event where students from bands, choirs and orchestras come together to enjoy and play music. Prizes are awarded to top performers, and they come from five different states to join the activities. Students participating range from elementary to high school age. It is a huge event, often welcoming over 65,000 students.
When it comes to having some family fun without spending too much money and ensuring there is something for everyone, you can't beat Sandy Lake Amusement Park. This is not a modern amusement park like Six Flags, but it can be compared to a state fair. There is plenty of fun to be had and something for everyone. You can stop by the pool, play in the arcade, enjoy a little mini golf or go wild on the rides The littlest of guests are sure to love the animals and rides made especially for them.
This is a great place to stop if you are in this area of Texas and looking for something to do with your family for the day. It is hard to find such a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere in today's high-paced world, but Sandy Lake Amusement Park has found a way to hold onto the past and make it just as fun now as it was back then. So, if you find yourself near Carrollton, Texas, plan a stop at the park and see what all the fuss is for yourself. You’re sure to be glad that you added the stop to your itinerary.