PITTSBURGH – Kennywood, Sandcastle, and Idlewild and SoakZone will offer free admission to military service members over the Independence Day holiday weekend, officials announced. The parks will feature extended hours, extra entertainment, and a special fireworks display in the Laurel Highlands.

All three Pittsburgh parks will honor active duty and retired military members and veterans with free admission when they visit July 2 – 5 for the extended holiday weekend. Service members must have received an honorable discharge and have a valid ID. They will also be able to purchase up to three discounted tickets for family and friends for $20 each. Non-military guests will find discount ticket opportunities as well.


“As we approach the July 4 holiday, honoring our military members is one of the most important things we can do,” says Mark Pauls, Kennywood/Sandcastle General Manager. “We’re proud to offer military members and their families a chance to come to our parks and enjoy a day of family fun!”

This weekend, all three parks celebrate America in their own, unique way. At Kennywood, attendees can expect musical performances throughout the weekend, with the always-popular Wiener 100 dachshund races scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday. Plus, the region’s wildest rides, from Steel Curtain, 2019’s Best New Roller Coaster, to the century old classic Jack Rabbit and many other family favorites. Beginning on July 4, Kennywood will add an hour of fun to Sunday through Thursday operations, closing at 8 p.m. The park is open until 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.


At Sandcastle, guests will get extra time to unwind with the return of Pittsburgh’s most relaxing ride: The Lazy River. After extensive repairs due to offseason flooding of the Monongahela River, The Lazy River reopened June 29, just in time for a Sandcastle schedule expansion. From July 2 – 5, the waterpark will be open from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Then beginning July 9, Sandcastle will extend operating hours on Fridays to 6 p.m.

The grand finale this year will be at Idlewild & SoakZone, exclusively hosting the Pittsburgh parks’ fireworks celebration in 2021. Idlewild’s rides and attractions will remain open until 9 p.m. for bonus riding on Sunday, July 4, with the fireworks spectacular scheduled for 9:30 p.m., weather permitting.


“We are thrilled to host this year’s fireworks show,” says Brandon Leonatti, Idlewild & SoakZone General Manager. “Following a challenging 2020, we can’t wait to welcome Guests for a truly memorable Independence Day at Idlewild!”

For tickets, a complete activities schedule, and more information, visit each park’s website: Kennywood, Sandcastle, and Idlewild.