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Last Children's Amusement Park in Chicago Area to Close Without Fanfare


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.  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.


Posted: Sunday, May 24, 2009 10:22 PM by Dean's Team


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