It's winter. The ground is snow-covered. Temperatures are cold. New Jersey is bleak.

But spring and summer are just around the corner! And here in New Jersey, that means it is almost theme park season. From roller coasters to ferris wheels, log flumes to carousels, kiddie rides to thrill rides, games to food. Any of the state's 17 amusement parks can make for a perfect day trip or evening adventure for those seeking some adrenaline therapy.

New Jersey's core theme park season runs between Memorial Day and Labor Day, surrounding the popular summer and shore season. Of course, many parks decide to begin a limited operating schedule earlier, primarily to capture Spring Break crowds. Some now stay open through Halloween and Christmas, with special holiday offerings too.

As of this writing, there is exactly one month to go until the first seasonal amusement parks in the state officially open for the 2024 season. First to open will be Diggerland USA in West Berlin and Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson Township, both on March 16. Followed by five more parks starting up for the season on March 23. (Of course, iPlay America in Freehold, Nickelodeon Universe in East Rutherford, and part of Funplex in Mount Laurel are indoors and operate year-round.)

It is set to be a banner year for several New Jersey theme parks. Most notably, Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson Township will celebrate their golden 50th anniversary season, having opened July 1, 1974. In addition to a brand new roller coaster — The Flash: Vertical Velocity — the park will feature upgrades to its fan-favorite Big Wheel and Log Flume rides. The Six Flags Wild Safari Park will switch from a drive-through experience back to guided tours. And an upscale "glamping" overnight experience opens in 2024 too.

In addition, the Land of Make Believe in Hope Township will celebrate its 70th season of operation.

Both Storybook Land in Egg Harbor Township and Steel Pier in Atlantic City have announced the debut of brand new spinning roller coasters in 2024 too.

Many of these theme parks around New Jersey are now hiring for the season. Check out their individual websites for more details.

When will NJ theme parks open for the 2024 season?

Gallery Credit: Dan Zarrow

Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Check out Dan's weather blog or follow him on Facebook for your latest weather forecast updates.

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