I grew up going to Conneaut Lake Park, and believe me, it was a big deal back then. They have some great rides for a first timer, or for the person who loves some nostalgia. Some of my favorite rides have been torn down, and others put in the place. It's hard for such a small park to compete with the name brand parks and the mega rollercoasters within a days drive. But, if you are looking for a great way to spend an afternoon, and want a taste of more than a carnival, then this is the place. Don't forget to ride the Blue Streak. It's a kiddie ride to most coaster enthusiasts, but, when you are a kid it can make or break your love for rollercoasters. You can use tickets for the rides, or you can buy and all day pass. It's entirely up to you. There are also games, and lots of park type food.
There is also access to a small beach on Conneaut Lake, which is a nice place to watch the boaters.