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Kiddieland is Closing

Discussion in 'Events and Announcements' started by tim, May 21, 2009.

  1. azzy

    azzy Yes, We Have No Bananas

    That's true. It's only good for those who actually remember the place to keep a little bit of it alive. I can't imagine they can take down and move the Little Dipper, although it would be great at Navy Pier.

    Then again, I can't imagine it going to Navy Pier either, with manually-operated brakes and all.
     
  2. azzy

    azzy Yes, We Have No Bananas

    Six Flags is great and all, I love the thrills, but it doesn't have the character :p
     
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  3. Sir Toony Van Dukes

    Sir Toony Van Dukes Well-Known Member

    I never made it to Lamb's Farm. What do they have?
     
  4. azzy

    azzy Yes, We Have No Bananas

    Lambs isn't really a theme park, they have a petting zoo and it looks like a train and a carousel. My aunt used to work there when I was a kid, but I never thought much of the place. I might have missed out though because I don't remember much.

    There's a really nice train that they decorate with Christmas theming in Waterman IL. We went there a couple years, and it was great, but there's really nothing else in Waterman and it's an hour ride even from here so it's hard to drive that far and only stay a half hour or so.

    Home - waterman & western railroad
     
  5. tim

    tim Have red nose, will travel

    A couple of neat places I recall going to as a kid (which apparently aren't around anymore) in the general vicinity of Chicago were Pioneer Park and Honey Bear Farms. Does anyone else remember these? I was young and can't tell you all that much about them, unfortunately. One had hay rides. Another had the hand cart train thing. They were fun and I wish that places like this were still around.

    I thought that Great America had more character when it first opened. It even had all those Warner Brothers characters like Bugs Bunny as an essential part of the experience. Eventually, it just became about having the biggest and wildest roller coasters and is now more of the cool thrill ride park for teens. It's neat on that level, but (though there is a small section for young children) really isn't especially suited for little kids or even anyone under, say, thirteen. That's the gap which is now missing. Genuine family oriented entertainment where parents can bring everyone out for a good time at an affordable price. Condos and malls just suck the life out of everything else, especially in suburbia (which ever expands into what used to be exurbia.)

    Polk Brothers was a great store and asset to the area until they, too, closed with the expansion of other types of retail outlets that made them expendable in the economy. Of course, one of their key locations used to be kiddie corner from Kiddieland.

    Does Milwaukee have anything? It would seem to be a good place for such a park and could probably draw a fair amount of customers from the Chicago area, also. I suppose that between land value, taxes, insurance rates, and initial investment for actual rides and all there is little ability to actually start up a new business like this these days. Which is what makes the losses all the worse.
     
  6. tim

    tim Have red nose, will travel

    That's a nice train. I think that there is like a little museum in Indiana that has a bunch of these smaller ones (mostly in steam.) It's neat to discover on lists of steam locos around the country that they actually list these small scale railroad engines.
     
  7. tim

    tim Have red nose, will travel

    Here's another neat mini-train park in the region which I discovered recently via this video:

     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2009
  8. tim

    tim Have red nose, will travel

    Last edited: Nov 24, 2009
  9. tim

    tim Have red nose, will travel

  10. CHOPPER

    CHOPPER New Member

    I just got through looking at the auctin brochure....i am sitting here typing this shaking my head. Where has america gone. Where is it heading. It is things like this that should have been kept...auhhhh. To be a bill gates at a moment like this...my only prayer is that most of this was bought so that it will be somewhere where others will be able to still enjoy it. Instead of some idiot that wants to decorate a pool house or some stupid thing like that....tim if it is any consolation....if i would be bill gates.. I would have bought it all and kept it there for the preservation of human fun...
    I have never been there. And have followed more or less this thread since it got started.. But i feel a part of my heart even being an outsider being torn from me...i will repeat myself at this time....
    What a shame... And what has happened to america that we dont treasure things like this??
     
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  11. tim

    tim Have red nose, will travel

    It is rumoured that Costco is purchasing the property and will build a store on the site. Somehow, it seems that they could have done a greater good by purchasing the property and putting their name on the park. It would have produced marvelous positive relations to market "Costco's Kiddieland!"

    Reports from the auction suggest that many of the rides and attractions are getting sold off for a song. $16,000 for bumper cars. $10,000 for each ferris wheel. The carousel was selling in pieces for the kind of big bucks which those carvings tend to fetch, however.

    Yes, individual parts might get preserved by collectors. Perhaps some attractions will even be re-used elsewhere (I guess the train went to a pumpkin farm and the German Carousel - a real treasure in its uniqueness of historic vehicles on a wheel rather than horses) was bought by the proprietor of Volo's antique auto museum. Still, there is something to the sense of place and purpose with everything all compactly together which can never be ultimately recreated.
     
  12. tim

    tim Have red nose, will travel

    I wonder how many old Polk Brother's Santa's are still around.

    (Polk Bros., for the out of towners, was a locally noted appliance store chain. They used to have a store kiddie corner from Kiddieland - which is how it got into this discussion. Like the amusement park, the chain is fondly recalled by many Chicagoans. The Santa outdoor decorations were a promotional giveaway at one time which came with a more significant purchase. People share stories about strapping Santa to the roof of cars to get them home.)

    Someone I know used to have some of the old Toy Soldier and Snowmen ornaments from the city Christmas tree preserved and lit up out on his lawn every December after Chicago disposed of them. It was always cool to pass by and see the decorations there - knowing what it was.
     
  13. CHOPPER

    CHOPPER New Member

    I truly and sadly think that our generation has been witness too and seen the best of what the world has had. I know each generation kinda says that, but in the state that the world as a whole is in...it will take more then one or even 3 generations to make things better. If it happens at all.
     
  14. tim

    tim Have red nose, will travel

    It would be nice if our onsetting bankruptcies returned us to a certain simplicity and resetting of priorities. "Growth" isn't always good.
     
  15. CHOPPER

    CHOPPER New Member

    Amen to that.. We all need to be put back in check once in awhile just to keep us honest.. Only problem is the dishonest people handling our country keep all the crooks afloat by bailing them out.
    Kinda like our court system with all the slaps on the wrist...we need to hang a few..
     
  16. tim

    tim Have red nose, will travel

    ... lawyers and judges? ;-)
     
    • Laugh Laugh x 1
  17. tim

    tim Have red nose, will travel

    Turns out the German Carousel went to some collector in Georgia who intends to keep it in his backyard. Well, that's a nice attraction for friends of your children, I suppose. Though do think that Volo would have made a more appropriate home.

    Six Flags actually bought the "Lil Dipper and intends to install it in the kid's section at Great America. I didn't think anyone would manage to salvage that coaster, so this is positive news.
     
  18. tim

    tim Have red nose, will travel

    This line from one article I came across seems to sum it all up:

    "Loosing Kiddieland just shows how hard it is to make history but how easily it can be lost forever."
     
  19. tim

    tim Have red nose, will travel

    There are many articles and news presentations on the auction. I'll just link to this one as I think it says a lot - as well as has a neat picture of the marquee sign outside the park:

    http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local-beat/kiddieland-auction-72808277.html

    And a little more detail of the story at this site:

    http://cbs2chicago.com/local/kiddieland.ride.auction.2.1331126.html
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2009
  20. CHOPPER

    CHOPPER New Member

    The lawyers judges, criminals...line them up., but who am i to judge...
    I keep waiting for the pendilum to swing back and have people wake up, but i think someone on the other side snatched it up and has it tied back.
     

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