Kate LaMaina, 9, brings a serious attitude to a fun place like an amusement park.

Earlier this spring, LaMaina’s parents, Nick and Linda LaMaina of Egg Harbor Township, planned to stay at Morey’s Piers & Beachfront Water Parks in Wildwood until it closed at 6 p.m., but Kate LaMaina still wasn’t wasting any time.

In her first hour at Morey’s, she managed to take rides on the Tea Cups and Kite Flyer on Mariner’s Pier and the Tilt-A-Whirl and the carousel on Surfside Pier.

The LaMaina’s are amusement pier fans. They visit the rides on the Ocean City or Wildwood boardwalks at least three times a year.

And they take the phrase “I can’t wait for summer” literally.

On their first visit to Morey’s this year, Kate woke her parents up at 6 a.m. and talked them into a day of amusement rides even though temperatures were in the 50s.

“The weather doesn’t matter. I know Kate doesn’t care. It could be snowing out, and she would still want to come,” said Nick LaMaina, 42.

For the rest of us, summer is the time to visit fun piers and be spun, jostled, rolled and otherwise amused. And with Memorial Day’s unofficial start of summer at hand, it’s time to start planning to get your ride on.

And you’ve got choices. Cape May and Atlantic County are home to some major amusement parks and piers.

In Atlantic City, the Catanosa family is working to revitalize the iconic Steel Pier. In Wildwood, Morey’s Piers & Beachfront Waterparks dominate the skyline. And Ocean City’s Boardwalk features two impressive collections of rides, Gillian’s Wonderland Pier and Playland’s Castaway Cove. They are all open today to give visitors a taste of the summer of 2016.

Contact: 609-272-7202

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Where: On the Boardwalk at Virginia Avenue in Atlantic City.

How much: Single tickets, $1; 50 ticket book with coupons, $40; 80 ticket book with coupons, $60; wristbands, valid 1 to 6 p.m. weekends, unlimited rides, 42 inches and under $30, over 42 inches, $40.

More info: Call 609-345-4893 or go to steelpier.com


Where: 1020 Boardwalk, Ocean City.

How much: Individual ticket, $1; 47 tickets for $32; $90 tickets for $60; 130 tickets for $80 (Family Book); 220 tickets for $125 (Mega Book).

More info: Call 609-399-4751 or go to oceancityfun.com


Where: 600 Boardwalk, Ocean City.

How much: 25 tickets for $20; 70 tickets for $50; 150 tickets for $100, which is the super family bonus book.

More info: Call 609-399-7082 or go to gillians.com


Where: 3501 Boardwalk, Wildwood

How much: Ride passes, under 48 inches tall, $45, adult ride pass $57; ride & water park combination passes, under 48 inches tall, $59, adult combo pass $79.

More info: Call 609-522-3900 or go to moreyspiers.com

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Staff writer

Twenty years as a staff writer in the features department, specializing in entertainment and the arts at The Press of Atlantic City.