Travel Pennslyvania: Day 8 Pet-Friendly Amusement Park on The Red Roof Road Trip with the Dog

amusement park dogsVictor, my 12-year-old schnoodle, is sitting on my lap while we whiz around on a miniature train, between trees and around bends. He’s been on novelty trains a few times now, though sometimes he’s not sure why.

Today, I think he likes the wind whizzing over his face – a relief from the heat.

Is there a pet-friendly amusement park in the U.S.? You bet – you can take your dog to Knoebels. 

The Pioneer Train at Knoebels Amusement Resort is one of three rides you can do with your dog. I found this out from a couple also traveling here with their dog, just before the three of them climbed on the boat ride. The Grand Carousel is apparently the third.

Knoebels amusement park is dog friendly (on a leash but can’t go in gift stores or museums) and that’s widely publicized. What rides are available to them isn’t, so I took my fellow dog traveler’s advice, lined up for the train with Victor, and climbed aboard to see who would say what.balloons knoebels

Nothing was said. Well, except for one fellow rider who mutter, “Oh, the dog’s riding too.”

Yup. He is.

However, we weren’t here for the rides, though I do regret not riding the historic Grand Carousel, hand-carved in 1913 and still one of North America’s largest with 63 horses and 3 chariots.

Located in Elysburg, Pennsylvania, the dog-friendly, family-owned 90-year-old Knoebels Amusement Resort has been updated throughout the years with 60 bigger and faster rides and a waterpark, but no bigger or faster prices – admission is free and you can buy single or multiple ride tickets or an all-day pass for $40.

dogs talkingParking is also free and food is reasonable and varied. Be daring and try the deep fried pickles on a stick, though I recommend pierogi and potato pancakes. Of course, there are hamburgers and pizza, and corn on the cob for a dollar – Yo mate, a buck an ear (buccaneer, get it?)

People can bring picnics and make use of the many, many sheltered tables and charcoal barbeques, which I think is a welcome change from the too common ‘no outside food allowed.’ We’re stocked with our own water bottles.

Family-owned for 90 years, Knoebels is refreshing old-school charm with modern value. There’s no alcohol, a dress code and signs clearly prohibiting foul language. What I love is the absence of chains, brands, and license characters. Great value and less stress means reducing the number of family meltdowns I usually witness at places like this.

Wait, it’s dog friendly. That’s what I like best. Family includes pets.

Knoebels started in 1926 with a concrete swimming pool on a popular farm site already dotted with concession stands. It grew into a midway, and in 1942, the hand-carved 1913 Grand Carousel was added. The oldest ride in the park is the merry-go-ride in kiddie land carved in 1912.

The park remains current by adding ‘thrill rides’ including harrowing metal roller coasters such as 30-metre high ‘Impulse’ new last year, a haunted house and a water flute ride. Warning, if you stand on the bridge overhead, you will get soaked. Victor wouldn’t go up there. He did love cooling off in the stream that separates the park from the campgrounds.

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Yes, you can stay on-site (with the dog) at the campground equipped for tents and RVs. However, after our active day – which Victor loves – we checked into the Red Roof Inn in Dansville, PA, about 30 minute drive from the park.

The Red Roof Inn front desk clerk said hello to Victor. When I told her where we spent the afternoon, said, “I love that place. It’s like going back in time. Plus, they don’t soak you for food.”

Food seems to be top of everyone’s mind … except Victor’s. He’s not eating dry food on this trip, and luckily, I’ve stocked up on single-serve wet portions. Hopefully, he’ll return to normal when we get home, because I can’t entice him with take-out hamburgers much longer, even if they are a good value.

NOTE: If you’re in the area, don’t miss Knoebels’ Doggie Dive the second Sunday in September, 10 am to 3 pm. For only $10, your pooch can jump in the pool and you can enjoy the other canine events going on. All $ is donated to local shelters. Register your dog at Knoebels.

Thanks to Red Roof Inn where pets stay at no charge, for providing accommodations during our journey. (click on the RED ROOF BANNER BELOW and  save 15% until the end of September 2016 with VIP CODE 621277.) 

Missed the previous stops on our Red Roof Road Trip with the Dog? Don’t fret. Checkout our start and our adventures in Lexington.

Know of anywhere else in Pennsylvania that’s dog friendly? Let us know in the comments below.


  1. […] No surprise, you can’t take your dog (unless he’s a registered service dog) to theme parks, but several of the major ones offer kennels services while you visit. (Side note: if you’re looking for a dog-friendly theme park elsewhere, check out this one – click here) […]

  2. […] Find out what a Knoebels dog experience looks like here. […]

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  5. How fun! There is a place not far from us that has dog days at their amusement park during October!

    1. Can you send (or post) the name? I’d love to check it out.

  6. I think it’s great that more places are becoming dog friendly. It’s important that the owners know how to work with their dogs in these environments for the safety and happiness of everyone around.

    1. Yes. Good point. I’m not sure my dog fits this catagory but he’s just small enough that if he acts up I can pick him up and remove him – kinda like a toddle.

  7. I love that there are so many dog-friendly venues in the US, the concept really hasn’t caught on in Australia to the same extent. We love our pets, but it’s hard to pet-friendly hotels and venues.

    1. I feel the same way about Canada – I have a lot better time finding dog-friendly places in the U.S. Too many regulations in Canada.

  8. Really?! That’s amazing!! I wish more places were pet-friendly!!

    1. It is pretty fun taking your dog somewhere you didn’t expect you could.

  9. Thank you for the review this is so lovely an amusement park that lets you take your dog along. What a perfect way to spend with your family

    1. I can imagine families travelling in RVs or camping really benefit from not having to leave the dog in the camper.

  10. This sounds like a fun place to visit. I love it that more and more establishments are becoming dog-friendly. It’s about time. Stay safe in your travels, and thanks for putting together this post.

    1. I went for about 9 days then wrote the posts one week at a time. I can’t write ‘on the road.’ I’m old-school. I need to focus.

  11. Sounds like a great place to visit. Love the fact that it is dog-friendly.

    1. More places like this should be. It really wasn’t an issue dogs were walking around.

  12. What a fun, dog friendly place. It looks like fun was had by all! Great post and pictures!

    1. Thanks, one draw back about taking the dog is that it does make it harder to take pics.

  13. That sounds like a terrific day! I think my dogs would love a train ride provided it wasn’t a hot day. Red Roof Inn seems like a very nice to stay with dogs.

    1. Honestly, it was so easy to stay there with the dogs and I met other people doing the same at each one.

  14. Dolly the Doxie · · Reply

    Can’t believe someone had a problem with a dog on train, like above better behaved than kids! Love Dolly

    1. He didn’t really have a problem – he was just surprised.

  15. I think this is the first dog-friendly amusement park I’ve heard about! Love the look of that carousel.

    1. The carousel was beautiful. The one thing I regret is I couldn’t go in the small carousel museum because they wouldn’t let the dog in.

  16. raisingyourpetsnaturally · · Reply

    Oh, wow! Now PA is doable from Ohio! Thank, you so much.

    1. Well, I got to PA via Kentucky, and North Carolina – kind of took the long way around.

  17. 63 horses. OH MAN!! I would love to see his place. It sounds a good doggy destination too. Being comfotable where you travel with your dog makes it so much better!

    1. It was nice to see things not over-priced. I could tell families around me were less stressed – especially when they can bring a cooler of food.

  18. All these travels are making me want to do it also BOL

    1. You know, as I was writing these and going through the photos, I said, “ya know Vic, We had a pretty cool trip.” And he said, “Am I getting dinner today, or what?”

  19. So much fun! Those pumpkins are cool too!

    1. The pumpkins are really cool and I regret not cramming some in my car. I think it’s the owner’s father who’s really into carving so they give him space there to do it. Really good prices too.

  20. I love hearing about dog friendly places, the more the better! I think it’s great that more and more businesses are taking pet lovers into consideration. I’m much happier if I can bring my dogs, then having to leave them behind.

    1. Victor’s much happier not being left behind. He’ll even tolerate shopping if it means he isn’t home alone.

  21. I love learning about new dog friendly places, I’ll add this one to my list, thanks!
    Love & biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

    1. I’d go back to this one.

  22. Wow, I’ve never heard of an amusement park that allows dogs. That is so awesome! And it looks like it was a lot of fun.

    1. My dog did have fun because he likes chaos, kids and stinky stuff. All three were there.

  23. I wish more places were doggy friendly! I think my boys behave better than some kids 😉

    1. They likely behave better than all kids… it’s a nice place and even families brought dogs.

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