Thursday, May 20, 2010

Hollywood Kiddieland, June 1966

Today I have four photos from a small (and extinct) amusement park that used to be in Lincolnwood, Illinois (near Chicago) - Hollywood Kiddieland! If it has "Hollywood" in the name, then you know that it is classy. I haven't found too much information about the place unfortunately... only a few articles online in which people reminisce about their childhood memories. And who wants to read those? It seems to have been pretty typical of many small amusement parks, with a Ferris wheel, Tilt-a-whirl, merry-go-round, trampolines, batting cages, and more.

If you've ever been lucky enough to ride in a real helicopter, then you can imagine how exciting this whirlybird attraction must have been. A real white-knuckler! There's Shoppers World beyond the chain link fence; we can buy all the fixins for mustard and marshmallow sandwiches on our way home.


Somebody needs to mow the grass! This looks like a kiddie-car ride crossed with a jungle attraction. Notice the plywood cutout that looks like Mickey Mouse, sorta. And the dual steering wheels, much like the Midget Autopia. In the distance is the Hollywood Kiddieland quonset hut. Ticket office? Storage shed? Missile Silo?


Kids aren't picky. Spin them around in a circle all day long, they won't complain. In this case they are in fabulous rockets designed in the best 1930's Buck Rogers "Tootsie Toy" tradition. If only sparks shot out of the back they would be perfect! Other than the diminutive size, they aren't that different from Disneyland's Astro Jets. I've read about similar rides being built using surplus WWII aircraft fuel tanks (or whatever), I wonder if that's the case here?


Do you think you can handle the high-speed thrills of this motor boat ride? DO YOU? This one is better than Disneyland's boat ride because the kids get to pull on a rope that rings an annoying little bell. You don't want to accidentally run down any cod fisherman in the fog. I'll bet those kids rang the hell out of those bells. Thank the invisible man in the sky that you can't hear them.


We miss you, Hollywood Kiddieland!

22 comments:

Chiana_Chat said...

...but it was nice of them to include 4 non-functional steering wheels in each boat. :) That kid really looks determined: "...Hmm, if I ring this here bell enough, cosh durn it this thing might get a move on..."

TokyoMagic! said...

Too funny! Maybe that quonset hut is the Hollywood Kiddieland Hotel!

This place reminds me of a kiddie park that my family used to go to in Torrance on Pacific Coast Highway. Most of the rides just went around in a small circle. They had a similar rocket ride and a boat ride as well.

Love this post, Major!

Donnie said...

I hope that autopia kid had his tetanus shot....

stu29573 said...

We had that boat ride at the State Fair. My four year old self loved it. And yes, I rang the hell out of the bell, which inspired AC/DC years later to write a song about it....

Andrew said...

Neat images, Major! Looks like a park for roughnecks.

In the news recently was the other Kiddieland near Chicago that just closed last year; the Kiddieland Limited train has found a new home in Indiana, at the Hesston Steam Museum and is being restored for rides! See the site below:

http://www.wbbm780.com/pages/7011705.php?contentType=4&contentId=6077969

Anonymous said...

I remember riding a boat ride with 4 steering wheels, not sure where.

fun stuff.

JG

Regions Beyond said...

Great post, and the images are a blast....the little car ride one is my favorite. Ah, for the days when an overgrown field and a rusty toy car on a circle of track equaled children's amusement park....

Rich T. said...

That is the saddest little car ride I've ever seen! And this is what the park looked like *before* it closed? Maybe it could have worked as Mad Max Land. And, wow, does that little roller coaster look safe or what?

Nancy said...

i always loved that helicopter ride and we had a Cadillac cars ride here in our local park that they took away several years ago...so sad!

these kinds of parks are the stuff of childhood memories. miss them a lot :(

Dave said...

That car ride picture is just an absolute gem.At first glance,as a car guy,I was drawn to that bicthin' Barracuda in the parking lot.Then I looked at all the other nuances.Those forlorn flowers sitting on the bricks,the apparently defoliated shrub near the fence next to what could be 55 gallon drum full of lord knows what,the traffic cone?Who knows,could be covering a sinkhole.My favorite however,is what appears to be another one of the cars taken off the track and unceremoniously left in the weeds (look between the creepy character and the cone).

Anonymous said...

If you want to see more pics from people that actually worked there as kids, you should go to the FaceBook group called I hung out at Hollywood Kiddieland. Some of us actually embraced that place when we were young. The owners gave us jobs and got us off the streets. Many thanks to Jeff and Ray for helping us grow into working adults.

Major Pepperidge said...

Thanks Anonymous, I will check out that Facebook page!

Alan S. Dalinka said...

Wow! I remember that place! I remember being very young and very upset when it was torn down in the mid-70s and replaced with a Golden Bear restaurant and some other restaurant ... and later with that really badly designed Cineplex Odeon movie theater (from the concrete bunker era -- from the folks that destroyed the old Lincoln Village theater by chopping it into three) with the really horrible parking lot. Of course, now in 2010, to look at that shuttered self car wash, movie theater and the remaining strip mall that sits there today is just sad.

Sue Warso said...

I have been looking for info like this for a very long time. It takes me back to an earlier time. I used to go there probably a couple times a week. But I do have a question. Does anybody have a picture of the very very very big roller coaster? I loved going on it, and you went around twice. Oh I loved that ride.

Anonymous said...

The best times of my life were in "Kiddieland". I wish I could go back to that time. A summertime staple If you were a kid growing up on the North side of
Chicago. Best cotton candy ever! I can still taste it......

Bob Gassel said...

Since this was on the south side of Devon, it was technically in Chicago as opposed to Lincolnwood...

Anonymous said...

I grew up in Lincolnwood and visited Kiddieland often. The best memory that resanates with me is winning a plastic racing helmet, taking it home and racing around on my Preschool scooter the rest of the afternoon. Thanx for the photo's and bringing back the memories!

Anonymous said...

I loved the Kiddieland!!! My mother didn't drive so I went to Kiddieland or Riverview. Both were a devastating loss to me as a small child. I'll always remember going on the roller coaster and helicopters. They were my favorites. I also enjoyed a snowcone each time we went.

Shelly Scott Wharton said...

I am from Evanston just up the road from Hollywood Kiddieland. Our parents use to take us there in the early 1970's and we loved it. There was another smaller park
in Skoike Ill that reminded me of kiddieland but i can't think of the name.

Shelly Scott Wharton

Neil Gale said...

Hollywood Kiddieland was in Chicago and not Lincolnwood.

For a brief history and lots of photos:
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.557991657594947&type=1

More defunct Illinois Amusement Parks: https://www.facebook.com/groups/LivingHistoryOfIllinoisAndChicago/doc/557995264261253/

Join in the fun at:
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.557991657594947&type=1

Anonymous said...

BLUE SHIRT WORKER SAYS:
Many of the old work gang at Hollywood Kiddieland are still in touch with each other, including several of the "blue shirt" (uniform) maintenance guys of the early '70's.
I am looking on my desk as I type at a pack of Hollywood Kiddieland matches "save now for summer fun" slogan. We also have an orange uniform t-shirt with the Kiddieland Clown and a blue uniform jacket with the ferris wheel embroidered on it by one of the Kiddieland co-workers I met.
We were there for the arrival of the slide, bumper cars, umbrella ride, paratrooper, rock-o-plane, and octopus.
I remember putting up and taking down the park every year for several years, and driving the firetruck and an occasional spin on the train when we were "alumni".
We have gumball machines, signage, and everything that Jeff let us take with us when the park closed.
Just a few days ago, some of us met to eat at the Chinese buffet that sits approximately wher the ferris wheel used to be.

Anonymous said...

Any idea where the fire truck ended up at?