Six Flags Great America Family Guide

When you plan your next trip to the Thrill Capital of the Midwest, here are a few things to know before you go.

When we want to spend a day at an amusement park, we’re lucky enough to have one right here in Chicagoland. Six Flags Great America, located in Gurnee, has been one of the top local attractions to offer rollercoasters, kid-friendly rides and more since 1976.

In 2020, we missed out on the amusement park fun due to the coronavirus pandemic. But it looks like your family can enjoy a Six Flags trip this summer. Six Flags Great America will reopen on April 24, 2021. The new park plans to welcome guests with new COVID-19 safety protocols.

What we love about this amusement park is that it’s not just about coasters. There are plenty of options for kids of all ages, and next door you can enjoy the Hurricane Harbor water park during the warmer months. Plus, Six Flags offers seasonal events such as Fright Fest for Halloween and Holiday in the Park for Christmas.

Not sure what to do at Six Flags? With more than 45 attractions, we broke down what to expect on your next visit in our family guide below. 

Six Flags Great America general admission info for 2021 season 

Photo Credit: Six Flags Great America

This year, all visitors will have to make a reservation online before visiting. Six Flags Great America’s 2021 season begins April 24. Park hours and dates vary. Visit its website to see the park operating scheduling.

Regular one-day tickets begin at $29.99 on selected dates. Season passes and memberships are also available. The park is located at 1 Great America Parkway, Gurnee. Parking is available at an additional fee — you can purchase your daily parking in advance online for $25.

COVID-19 protocols

Photo Credit: Six Flags Great America

In order to help keep guests and staff safe during the pandemic, the following safety protocols will take place for the 2021 season:

  • All visitors, including pass holders and members, no longer need to reserve tickets online.
  • Face coverings are no longer required for visitors. It is recommended for unvaccinated individuals to wear a face mask during their visit.
  • Social distancing measures include distance markers, dining areas adjusted to allow space, limited capacity at indoor venues and on some attractions, and guests viewing outdoor entertainment will be separated by at least six feet.
  • Team members will frequently sanitize high-touch points including rides, restrains and handrails through the day.

Roller coasters and thrill rides

Photo Credit: Six Flags Great America

Six Flags Great America offers a variety of rides for all ages. For thrill rides, the minimum height requirement ranges from 42-54 inches. Depending on the height, some rides require a minor to ride with an adult. Some of our favorite thrill rides include:

Maxx Force

  • Minimum height: 48 inches
  • Location: Carousel Plaza

One of the newer rides at Six Flags Great America, Maxx Force is known to launch passengers from 0 to 78 mph in less than two seconds. Now that’s fast!

Raging Bull

  • Minimum height: 54 inches
  • Location: Southwest Territory

The world’s first “hyper-twister” roller coaster takes you on a ride like no other as you ride up 20 stories then plunge down into the first 65-degree drop.


  • Minimum height: 48 inches
  • Location: County Fair

When Goliath first opened, the ride broke three records as the fastest wooden coaster with the tallest and steepest drop.

X Flight

  • Minimum height: 54 inches, 78 inches max
  • Location: County Fair

You’ll feel like you’re soaring through the sky where riders are swooped into different directions including an upside-down position.

For kids that can’t make the height requirements for the thrill rides, Six Flags Great America offers rides for them. Some family rides include:

Columbia Carousel

  • Minimum height: None with adult
  • Location: Carousel Park

When walking into Six Flags, it’s hard to miss the magical merry-go-round that will delight riders of all ages.


  • Minimum height: None with adult
  • Location: Southwest Territory

Are you up for a dizzy ride in a tea cup? See how fast your family can spin around to get everyone laughing and screaming.

Logger’s Run

  • Minimum height: None with adult
  • Location: Yukon Territory

On a hot summer day, there are plenty of water rides to get your family soaked. One of our favorites is Logger’s Run that ends with a steep, nosedive drop.

Scenic Railway

  • Minimum height: None, lap children with adult
  • Station locations: Hometown Square and Country Fair 

All aboard! When you need a break, enjoy a 15-minute train ride around the park. Also, it’s stroller-friendly attraction.

Find more kid-friendly options with our roundup of the best rides and attractions for younger kids at Six Flags Great America.

Hurricane Harbor Chicago

Photo Credit: Six Flags Great America

The 20-acre water park is located right next to Six Flags Great America. For the first time ever, this year Hurricane Harbor will open as separate attraction with its own entry gate. Guests can purchase single-day tickets online prior to visiting.

The water park’s season begins May 29, 2021. The newest attraction will be Tsunami Surge, which is considered the world’s tallest water coaster.

More family tips

Photo Credit: Six Flags Great America

When visiting Six Flags Great America with kids, here are more things to know before you arrive:

  • Height check: Stop by Main Street Service Center to get your children’s height checked for free. You will learn what rides you can together and kids can receive a wrist band for easy reference.
  • Strollers: Strollers are allowed in the park. You will find areas to park your strollers if your family wants to go on a ride.
  • Strollers and wheelchair rentals: The Main Street Service Center offers strollers, wheelchairs and electronically-controlled vehicle on a first-come, first-served basis for an additional fee.
  • Kid Swap Pass: For parents who want to go on the thrill rides, visit the Ride Information Center for a Kid Swap Pass. The pass allows one or two parents to wait in a designated area as the rest of their party waits in line. Then, they’re able to swap places.
  • Food: There are various food and snack options across the park. If you want to save money and time, we suggest bringing a picnic to eat at your car during lunch time.
  • Lost Parents Center: If your child gets separated from your group, find the nearest team member or security officer for assistance. You can also visit the Lost Parents Center, located in Carousel Plaza near the exit. Tip: Point that building out to your children when you arrive and let them know what to do if they get lost.
  • Attraction accessibility: Six Flags has been designated as a Certified Autism Center. The park will help accommodate the needs and safety for all guests. Visit the website for more information about their Attraction Accessibility Program.

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