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Take your pick of parks

When most people think about theme parks, they think of Orlando. But really, that's nearly 1,000 miles and a plane or train ride away. Who needs those hassles?

For a quick spring weekend getaway, there are several amusement parks less than a three-hour drive from Baltimore: Six Flags America in Bowie, HersheyPark in Hershey, Pa., Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom in Allentown, Pa., Sesame Place in Langhome, Pa. and my personal favorite, Dutch Wonderland in Lancaster, Pa. Busch Gardens and Kings Dominion in Virginia are probably just a tad longer drive, but still within proximity.

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Hershey and Six Flags opened last weekend. This weekend brings more season openers and more new rides, including Voodoo, a rollercoaster at Dorney Park, and the all-new Sunny Day Carousel at Sesame Place. Dutch Wonderland opens too with a new live show and singalong featuring Thomas the Tank and Friends.

Kings Dominion's newest coaster, the Dominator, opens May 24, but the park is already open for weekend visitors. So is Busch Gardens. So park yourself closer to home.

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(Photo: Sunny Day Carousel ride. Photo courtesy Sesame Place)


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