Chicago Kiddieland will close after 80 years

Posted Wednesday, May 20, 2009 10:01 AM | Contributed by Jeff

The iconic Kiddieland Amusement Park in the near west suburbs is closing down after entertaining Chicago area children for over 80 years. The owners of the amusement park, at 8400 W. North Ave. in Melrose Park, announced on Wednesday morning that the park is shutting down after this season. Rumors of the demise of Kiddieland have been circulating for a decade, but only now did the park owners and the managers of the trust that owns the land decide it was time to call it quits.

Read more and see video from WBBM/Chicago.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009 10:07 AM
rollergator's avatar

Get that Schmeck credit while you can....hard to imagine another "family" woodie of his being relocated - lightning rarely strikes twice.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009 10:21 AM

I've never been there.

I still find it sad though. That would be like Memphis Kiddie Park closing in Cleveland/Brooklyn.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009 3:29 PM

Sad, just sad.

The trajedy here is that the park isn't closing becuase of lack of business. This place still brings in the people.

My favorite MJ tune: "Billie Jean" which I have been listening to alot now. RIP MJ.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009 3:37 PM
kpjb's avatar

I don't understand why they don't just try to sell the park/land as a whole if it's a successful business.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009 8:56 PM

Sounds like there are waaay to many family members involved in this to come to a viable solution.

Thursday, May 21, 2009 8:17 AM
john peck's avatar

It feels like the Kennywood situation, where the family got so big, they all began bickering over the park.

Lets hope they are open to potential buyers.

Last edited by john peck, Thursday, May 21, 2009 8:17 AM
Thursday, May 21, 2009 11:02 AM
beast7369's avatar

According to the park reps whom emailed me when I asked about the closure, they claimed that the closing is not due to a family feud however it is simply due to the lease on the land is expiring at the end of the year. Just thought I would pass it on. Not sure if it is ok to copy and paste what they emailed me so I didnt do that.

Thursday, May 21, 2009 11:33 AM
phoenixphan :-)'s avatar

^I doubt they will email anyone saying "Well because Uncle So and So is a doody head, we are closing the park". There are always ways to legitimize even the most ridiculous situations, and I am sure that is why you got the response you did. It is sad to see another one of these parks close, now if I could just win the powerball I would take the rides off their hands and move them out here.

Real men ride wood... coasters that is!
Thursday, May 21, 2009 3:35 PM
Jeff's avatar

Here's the synopsis of a 2006 story, but it doesn't offer a lot...

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

Thursday, May 21, 2009 5:28 PM
beast7369's avatar

I realize that the story has been out there for years and now they are finally closing and trying to close the books on the rumor. As far as I am concerned you can decide for yourself if it is just a rumor or not. I am pretty sure the wheels were in motion 3 years ago to close the park probably due to the lease issues.

From the email that I received (remove it if this is considered against TOS):


Perhaps as the buzz subsides a bit I willhave time to speak with individuals.

As part of the third generation of family owners and operators that have owned and operated Kiddieland since 1977, let me assure you that our closing is simply due to the fact that our lease has run out.

All of us here have experienced great joy throughout our tenure as the owner operators of this much beloved and cherished family amusement park and absolutely want to share the love and joy with all of our guests throughout this, our last season in 2009.

I want each of you to know individually how much it means to all of us here to receive your emails telling us your feelings, sharing your memories and offering us your support.

Best personal regards,

Kiddieland Amusement Park

EDIT for spacing issues.

Last edited by beast7369, Thursday, May 21, 2009 5:30 PM
Thursday, May 21, 2009 5:35 PM

I sure hope a buyer pops up, the family changes their mind, or whatever. This place is great. For an adult coaster geek, it's truly an oasis (speaking for myself). Free parking, free pop, a great classic - beautifully maintained, run, looking, - coaster, great flat rides (Intamin Polyp). I would hate to see this place close.

From the big lighted sign out front - perfectly taken care of like it's still the 50's, to the rides, etc. I could see these rides going to someone that would be 'good enough' for them though, like Holidayworld. Heck, anyone who would want them would probably be 'good enough'.

Thursday, May 21, 2009 6:35 PM
Jeff's avatar

I don't buy it. If that's the case, why don't they say that, and for what reason would they not be able to renew the lease?

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

Thursday, May 21, 2009 11:59 PM

The part of the family that owns the land want to sell the land to developers as it will make them more money than any amount that the park could pay in a lease.

That is the long and short of it from what I have been able to determine over the years of following this story.

--George H

Friday, May 22, 2009 1:50 AM

George is right. That basically is what it boils down to. One side of the family is greedy. That is why they tried to break the lease a few years back because of fireworks.

My favorite MJ tune: "Billie Jean" which I have been listening to alot now. RIP MJ.

Friday, May 22, 2009 10:19 AM
Kenmei's avatar

I think the biggest tragedy of all of this is the back and forth closing-not closing-closing-not closing that's been going on for years now. The family is a bunch of greedy snots who are intent on making the place a wasteland, which is sad. Tiny ones need places like this to go in that area of the city, and it's a tradition! I grew up going to kiddieland and often took kids I babysat for in the summers there. It's sad to see the place go finally.

Watch out for flying maps!


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