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KIDDIELAND, MELROSE PARK IL - Last Children's Amusement Park in Chicago Area - To Close After This Operating Season!

Old, kids-oriented Amusement Parks.  For the most part, these are relics of by-gone days - days before the Internet, Nintendo or Wii, Game Boy, or 150 Channels of Cable or Satellite TV.

Most featured a merry-go-round, a small roller coaster, little boats, a miniature train running along the perimeter of the place.

Today, in Chicago and Surrounding Suburbs, most are all gone.  Santa's Village.  Adventure Land.  Kiddie Kingdom.  Old Chicago.  A slew of small Kiddielands.  And, of course, the most famous - Riverview Park, at Western and Belmont Avenues in Chicago, which closed nearly 42 years ago this summer.

Add to that list the last holdout -  Kiddieland in Melrose Park IL, a Western Suburb of Chicago.   It will close forever at the end of September.

Kiddieland Melrose Park, in the shadow of the famous Maywood Park Harness Track across the street, at 8900 W. North Avenue, first opened offering pony rides to young children during the Summer, 1929.  It has been in the same family ever since, although, today, one faction of the family owns the 17 acres of land the park sits on, while another part of the family leases the land from them and operates the park each summer. 

The members of the family who own the land will not be renewing the lease for the park operators, due to end at the end of this operating season.  It is unknown what type of new development is being contemplated for the land on which the amusement park sits.

The park has 30 rides, including a small roller coaster, bump-em cars, a kiddie-sized railroad, and a merry-go-round.  All will be sold at auction after the park closes this fall.

Unlike adult attractions, which few remember from their toddler years, even younger adults remember their first experiences at old-time amusement parks such as this one.  I, along with my wife and many of my close friends, clearly remember Chicago Riverview Park and its one-of-a-kind rides and attractions, even though the park closed when we were barely 11 years old!

Progress!  It marches on . . . barely leaving time for us to shed a tear in its wake.

See our post today via BlogChicagoHomes.com.


Comment balloon 6 commentsDean Moss • May 24 2009 11:46PM


It's to bad to see some thing that children enjoy close down. I hope they will replace it with some thing better.

Posted by Elizabeth Benefield (Montana Country Real Estate) about 10 years ago

DEAN: I feel your sadness. Our state has lost 2 well-known family amusement parks, Rocky Point and Crescent Park, all had a kiddieland. My parents would take my brother and sister and me there many times during their opened season I took my sons there also and many memories were created. Condominiums  have replaced these parks.

Posted by Kathleen Ann Pacheco-Corbett, Realtor, RI-MA, CEBA, Master, e-Pro, ABR, ABRM, GR ((FIRST Exclusive Buyer's Office Providence-RI) ) about 10 years ago

Thanks for the comments, gang!

Sadly, there is talk of yet another strip mall - perhaps a Walgreen's or a Lowe's!

No place for building lifelong childhood memories here, however!


Posted by Dean Moss, Dean's Team Chicago IL Real Estate Team (Dean's Team - Keller Williams Realty Partners Chicago IL) about 10 years ago

I remember Riverside Park...was a wee one myself!  Really it is sad to see family owned and operated small attractions close. 

Posted by Allison Stewart, St. Cloud Fl Realtor, Osceola County Real Estate 407-616-9904 (St.Cloud Homes ) about 10 years ago

I too remember Riverside Park, from 1956. For a little nostagia, you can still ride the Blue Streak. It is located and operating in Cedar Point at Sandusky Ohio.

Posted by Ron Tiller (Star Referral - Grand rapids MI) about 10 years ago

Dean:  I am sorry to hear about Kiddieland Melrose Park closing.  I remember as a child and as a teenager going to Euclid Beach Park in Cleveland.  When it closed... I was very sad.  I spent so many wonderful days there.  I could walk to the end of my street, catch the bus, and it took me to the park entrance.  Happy memories of a time gone by.  Thanks for sharing...

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) about 10 years ago

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