The United States is pocked with eerie forgotten sites where the march of time and cultural changes are on display to see and explore. These abandoned places are fascinating in any form, but perhaps no more so than the ruins of old theme park attractions. It’s as though the more cheerful and grand something was in its glory days, the more haunting and strange it seems when empty and deteriorating.
From fairytales and Santa Claus to more esoteric themes like biblical Bethlehem and Li’l Abner, the crumbling infrastructure of abandoned amusement parks can be found from California to Connecticut. Here are 21 essential stops on a cross-country tour of America’s forgotten fun parks.