What will a Trip to Kennywood be Like This Summer?

The amusement park is planning to open its gates, with limited capacity, in early May.
Racer Jason North


The first few warm days of the year in Pittsburgh inevitably bring thoughts of favorite summertime activities — ballgames, fireworks displays and trips to Kennywood Park.

Now, there’s good news for anyone hoping to get back on the Jack Rabbit as soon as possible: After a year of pandemic-related closures, the West Mifflin Park is set to open on schedule in early May.

Kennywood’s opening day is less than two months away, the park announced this week. The first day of operation will be Saturday, May 8.

Sandcastle Waterpark, one of Kennywood’s sister attractions, is set to open May 29.

Nick Paradise, Kennywood’s director of corporate communications, says that the park is planning to reopen with capacity limits still in place. “Right now, we’re following the [CDC] recommendations and an abundance of caution … We’re right now planning pretty much the same policies when it comes to health and safety.”

Unless further state guidelines increase the amount, that includes capping attendance at 50%. Masks will also be required in the park for the foreseeable future.

Kennywood is planning on reviving some of its long-running events, including the annual Fall Fantasy marching band parades. A new event series, the Bites & Pints Food Festival, will offer hungry parkgoers special menus of food and drink tastings on weekends in June.

While no official decision has been made about after-season events such as Phantom Fright Nights or Holiday Lights, both of which were cancelled due to pandemic restrictions last year, Paradise says there are ample possibilities for 2021.

“We’re certainly optimistic and hopeful for the season to extend further into the fall and winter; exactly what those look like could certainly change.”

For locals looking to engage in what has become a right of passage for many Pittsburgh teens — as depicted in the comedy “Adventureland” — the park is currently hiring staff for the summer, seeking more than 1,500 employees. Positions are available for all ages, beginning with select job opportunities for those as young as 14 or 15.

Categories: The 412