You may not know this yet, but someday, perhaps when you least expect it, your children are going to ask you to take them to an amusement park. It might not happen tomorrow, and it might now happen next week, but be certain of this - it will definitely happen. And when it happens, you'd best be prepared, because your children's asking will soon turn to begging, and once the begging starts, you might find yourself too overwhelmed and/or agitated to make a good decision about where to go. Which is why you should probably just choose a park now, because the decision -- let's face it -- isn't going to get any easier. And because we like you, and because we want to save you from your inevitable dilemma, we'd like to help you with your theme park selection. Our recommendation? Just take the kids to Six Flags America, because it's closer than other parks, because it's cheaper than other parks, and because, when you get right down to it, it's got all of the fun, excitement and thematic goodness you need to satisfy your amusement-hungry kids. Here, in a nutshell, is what we love about Six Flags: 1. It's close. Yeah, we know; we already mentioned its close proximity. But when the next closest park is nearly twice the distance, we think that this is an asset worth mentioning again. Located in Largo, right here in Maryland, Six Flags is just off of I-95 and less than an hour from Baltimore. 2. It's fun. And not just for teenagers and other death-defying thrill-seekers, but truly for every member of the family. Little kids will love Looney Toons Movie Town, where they'll find a plethora of kiddie-friendly rides, including junior versions of some of the park's most popular thrillers, as well as Thomas Town, a whole section devoted to Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends. And big kids - and brave grown-ups - will go crazy for the roller coasters, some of which are so high and twisty that they'll make your heart beat faster just to look at them. 3. It's refreshing. Hurricane Harbor, the park's expansive water park, provides another, cooler way for visitors to get their thrills on. Buccaneer Beach and Crocodile Cal's Caribbean Beach House, both of which offer plenty of low-key slides and interactive water features, are perfect for the younger set, while exhilarating slides like Tornado and Tony Hawk's Halfpipe are ideal for anyone seeking terror. The changing rooms are clean, the lounge chairs are plentiful, and there's enough water - and enough fun - to keep the entire family engaged for hours. 4. It's cheap, at least by theme park standards. Even at full-price, Six Flags tickets are, comparatively speaking, fairly inexpensive. But, thanks to tons of Internet, grocery store and other promotions, there's almost no reason ever to pay full-price. Check the Six Flags Web site, as well as your local grocery store and newspapers, to see what kinds of deals you can get. There's always some way to save on admission. 5. It's generally less crowded than other parks. Amusement parks, by nature, are crowded places, particularly in the middle of summer, but Six Flags America, perhaps as a result of poor public perception, doesn't seem to pack ‘em in as tightly as do other amusement parks. It's always smart, if you can, to visit on a weekday, but even if you come mid-day on a Saturday, you're not likely to wait as long for anything here as you'd probably have to wait at another park. And as for the aforementioned poor public perception . . . yes, it's true that Six Flags America, over the years, has been the target of a number of negative reviews. But! We're pleased to report, based on our experience, that Six Flags is clean, well run and family-friendly. Oh, and did we mention how close it is?