When is the best time to go to Six Flags Great America?

Located in the Chicago metropolitan area, the Six Flags theme park features a total of 51 rides, including 13 roller coasters, and the Hurricane Harbor water park open in the summer.

Six Flags Great America is only open six months out of the year (May – October), so just when is it least crowded? Let’s take a look at what the crowds look like throughout the operating season.


Opening Day – The first weekend of May is typically opening weekend at Great America, and it gets busy. Try to get there early if you can to avoid the longer lines.

Weekdays – Great America starts opening on weekdays in mid-May, and they are perhaps some of the best days of the year to visit the park. Crowds are usually light.

Weekends – Weekends in May are traditionally crowded and it only gets busier toward the end of the month. Sundays are typically least crowded.

Memorial Day Weekend – Crowds start to pick up for the summer season starting on Memorial Day Weekend. Be prepared for big crowds on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday (Memorial Day itself).


Summer Season – Six Flags Great America is open everyday in June, as the summer season kicks off. The earlier in June you go, the less crowded it tends to be, as more and more schools get out later in the month. Weekends (especially Saturdays) are packed throughout June, so aim for going on the weekdays if you can.

The summer season crowds are traditionally out in full force by the last week of June.


4th of July Weekend – The summer season is in full swing by July. Great America is typically very crowded for the 4th of July holiday.

There’s really not much relief from the summer crowds in all of July, as it’s the busiest time of the year at Six Flags. If you must go, avoid the weekends.


Weekdays – The summer season finally starts to wind down in August as schools get back in session. This time around, the later in the month you go the better. The summer crowds are still around for the first two weeks of the month, but start to lighten up by mid-August. Weekdays are least crowded.


Labor Day Weekend – The three-day weekend typically draws big crowds to Six Flags Great America. Get there early!

After Labor Day, the park is only open on weekends in September and the crowds are more manageable than in the busy summer months. The park is closed on some Saturdays and Sundays for private events, so be sure to check with SFGAm’s events page.


Fright Fest – Fright Fest takes over in October on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and select weekdays. The popular Halloween event draws big crowds, so try to get there early.

For crowd predictions of upcoming dates, as well as historical crowd ratings, check out the Six Flags Great America Crowd Calendar.

When do you think is the best time to visit Six Flags Great America? How crowded was it when you went? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!

Image: Hendricks Photos

  • Sam

    I don’t remember if I’ve ever been during Dance Fest, but I’m thinking it won’t affect the crowds too much. That’s a Sunday before the summer season, so it should be manageable.

  • Rochele

    Hi! My sister and I will be going to SFGA on May 22. I didn’t realize that they have a Dance Fest on that day, inviting dance groups to the park. May 22 is one of 4 dates for Dance Fest. How will this affect the crowds? Has anyone been to SFGA during Dance Fest? Thanks!

  • AK

    We went yesterday 10/25. Every coaster was at least 1 1/2 hour wait. LInes for food were even longer!! Buy the flash pass even though I hate giving them any more money than you have to., If you want to spend and extra 120 dollars you never wait in line…. ever!(the GOLD flash pass) and can ride every ride twice, except Goliath.

  • AmyK

    Plan on purchasing the flash pass. 45 extra dollars but well worth it…. IF you don’t buy it,,,, forget it… YOu will ride 4 rides all day…. seriously. NOt to mention, when you are hungry… you will wait 1 hour in food lines!!! NOt KIDDING! They make millions but can’t afford to have enought people behind the counter to get a funnel cake! Spend the extra money and get there early and go straight to flash pass building.(center of park)

  • Sam

    I’d be prepared for it to still be a little busy since it’s a Saturday. Late in the season usually isn’t too crazy though. Get there early!

  • Tiffany Smith

    Me and 3 friends were planning to go to fright fest on Halloween, do you think it will be crowded?

  • Michael

    I was there yesterday (Sunday before Columbus Day) and it was PACKED. 3hrs for Raging Bull, Superman. 1.5 hours alone for Giant Drop

  • Sam

    Crowds usually aren’t too bad on Columbus Day.