Summer Fun: Visit one of Westchester's oldest amusement parks Playland Park

RYE, New York (WABC) -- For thousands of New York families, a trip to Playland Park in Westchester County is a decades-old summertime tradition and this year, Eyewitness News paid the park a visit to see the action first hand.

"This is tradition," said Richard Bolding, a park guest. "Playland is a place to come with family and friends. It doesn't matter. Come have a good time."

The theme park opened in 1928 and while it isn't the country's oldest continually running amusement park, Lake Compounce in Connecticut opened in 1846, Playland is the country's first totally planned amusement park.

Park managers credit Playland as having served as an early model for some of the country's largest theme parks today.

"You have a place in your backyard that is family friendly," said Westchester County Executive George Latimer. "I think it brings back a nostalgia which sometimes people look for."

The park was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1987 and many of the parks 50 rides have been named landmarks as well. Those historic rides include the Dragon Coaster, Derby Racer, Grand Carousel, Whip, Ye Old Mill, and the Kiddy Coaster and Kiddy Carousel.

Parks staff said the Derby Racer is one of the last remaining functioning rides of its kind in the country. Playland has also been used in several films including the movie 'Big' starring Tom Hanks and a music video by artist, Mariah Carey.

"It's close, the price, everything is great," said Marcie Sanchez, a park guest who brings her family every year. Playland Park is open Tuesday - Sunday through August and hours vary.

For more exciting happenings in and around New York, visit In Our Backyard.
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