Lake Compounce, shortened to just "the Lake" by many people, is a 158-year-old 325-acre theme park in Bristol, Connecticut.
It's not terribly huge, but it's a great place to bring the kids or significant other on a hot day. For the roller coaster lover, there are two fantastic traditional wooden coasters (Boulderdash and the Wildcat) as well as a new-fangled upside-down and reversing rocket coaster (the Zoomerang). Your standard theme park rides have not been forgotten: there's a log flume, a Viking ship and a Music Express, among others. There are many carnival rides, like the spinning gravity-defying stick-you-to-the-walls ride, a big spinning horizontal-to-vertical disc with passenger cabs around the circumference, and a large ferris wheel, as well as a few carnival prize games (you know, like Whac-a-Mole). There are also a few specialty rides, like the Ghost Train (a cab ride in which passengers shoot scary targets) and the Sky Coaster (a 180' 70-mph cross between skydiving and hang gliding; worth every penny!). There is also a free show offered many days: I've seen an animal stunt show and, last time I went, heard the telltale signs of a variety show. "The Lake" is not a misnomer: it's built right next to a small lake and has a water park complete with a big jungle gym-type contraption, several water rides (individual, tube, and raft) and a portion of the lake itself is roped off for swimming. There are even many smaller sized pools for younger visitors and as well as a two other areas just for toddlers and their parents. Speaking of the littler visitors, the whole lower part of the park is full of pint-sized rides for those under the 36", 40", 42", 46" or 48" height requirements for some bigger rides/activities. There are many places to eat, and though the prices are a bit high (but what theme park has cheap food?), it's pretty good eating; I recommend the Croc Pot (a cafeteria, but there's also a pizza place, a 50s style diner, Italian and Mexican food and more). Furthermore, they also do catering for large groups I first learned about the place because a friend's father's company had a picnic there. And, of course, there are several souvenir shops with shirts and other memorabilia.
Regular admission is (last I checked) $29.95, $20.95 for those under 52" (kids under 3 years are admitted free of charge), and $15.95 for seniors. Season passes are available for $69.95. Parking is $5 for any amount of time, unless you're attending an event with a catered meal. Groups over 25 are eligible for group discounts.
It can be reached via I-84, exit 31, then to Route 229 until you see the sign near the ESPN building.
Personal experience and memory
The Lake: http://www.lakecompounce.com/