Hollywood Kiddieland

Hollywood_Kiddieland

If I haven’t yet convinced you Hollywood Park was the best thing that could happen to a Chicago kid during the 1950s and ’60s, this photograph should do the trick. We had, right in our neighborhood, the Hollywood Kiddieland amusement park.

It was no week-long carnival that came and went under the cover of darkness. I’m not sure when it opened, but at the 1948 zoning hearing for the proposed Lincoln Village Shopping Center, Hollywood Kiddieland was mentioned as being adjacent to the undeveloped parcel.

ride_jockey

In the late sixties, ride tickets cost 20 cents each, six for a buck. Earlier on, Kiddieland offered free tickets in exchange for the cardboard caps from glass milk bottles. My mother saved them over the winter, and she never had to remind me to drink my milk. Each glass went towards more rides.

Opening day we arrived at the Kiddieland ticket booth with our pot of gold–a large, clear plastic bag bulging with milk bottle caps. On summer nights, we stayed so late my mother made my sister and me change into pajamas in the car because we fell asleep before she made it home. We lived six blocks away.

boat-ride

Birthday parties held at Kiddieland meant free pickup from the birthday child’s house on a big red fire truck. At least I remember it being big. I’d hear the jangling of the bell before seeing the fire truck coming down the street, and though the sound was a sad reminder that I had never been invited to a Kiddieland birthday party, I always ran out front to catch a glimpse of those lucky kids who looked as though they were sitting on top of the world.

Hollywood_Kiddieland

train

I also remember the first time I went to Kiddieland–we never called it Hollywood Kiddieland–without a parent. I arrived in a pack of sixth and seventh-grade boys and girls. We roamed the grounds, all of us pretending to be much too old for baby rides. We hung out at the arcade and the batting cages, then played a round of miniature golf, but what I really wanted to do was ride the Ferris wheel one more time.

Hollywood_Kiddieland

About that other, larger and more famous Kiddieland? Until 2009 it was located in the Chicago suburb of Melrose Park. Back in 1950 they sued Louis Klatzco, the owner of Hollywood Kiddieland, in a bid to gain exclusive use of the Kiddieland name.

Big Kiddieland, which had been operating in Melrose Park for 13 years, claimed little Kiddieland,  which must have been open nearly that long, copied their name to take advantage of their success. Why Big Kiddieland waited so long to sue Little Kiddieland is a mystery, but Klatzco won and got to keep the Hollywood Kiddieland name. Oh, did I mention Klatzco was a Chicago cop, a captain? In court he claimed he no longer owned Hollywood Kiddieland. His wife, two sons and sister-in-law did.

Geoffrey_Acciari

Geoffrey Acciari, one of the five brothers who owned Hollywood Kiddieland

In 1955, the five Acciari brothers bought Hollywood Kiddieland. Their purchase included 18 rides and the refreshment stands. They added the arcade for the 1958 season. The original owner kept title of the land, plus the batting cages and miniature golf course.

For forty years the Acciari family also owned Roma’s, the pizza joint that was on the corner of Sheffield and Webster. I sure wished I had known that back in the late 1970s and early ’80s when I used to eat Roma’s pizza regularly. I would have told the Acciari family how much I loved Hollywood Kiddieland.

Kiddie_Ferris_Wheel

I talked to Karl Reins, Jr., who worked at Hollywood Kiddieland as a teen. He told me his father also worked there for a number of years and did the demolition job when the park closed in 1975. Karl remembers it all fondly: his co-workers; the neighborhood kids who hung out at the park; and the owners, who, Karl recalls, made a big difference in the lives of the underaged kids who worked at Kiddieland.

Kiddieland_ride

If you enjoyed Hollywood Kiddieland, check out the Facebook page I hung out at Hollywood Kiddieland. It’s mostly a group of people who worked there as kids and they’re sharing their memories. They’d like to hear yours.

Photo credits: Thanks to Gorillas Don’t Blog for permission of the top, third and bottom photos. All other photos courtesy of Linda Trotier.

Sources: My thanks to Karl Reins, Jr.

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74 Responses to Hollywood Kiddieland

  1. Caryn Kuznitsky Sipari October 25, 2010 at 10:56 am #

    Thanks for sharing this story with us. Like Karl, I was also a part of the crew when when we had to tear down the park. Jeff, actually gave me a job when I was about 12 because he got tired of me hanging around every day. I asked all the time to work there. He finally said as long as you’re showing up every day and I have your mom’s permission so you can work, I’ll start you tomorrow. I beamed when he gave me 2 official Hollywood Kiddieland tee shirts to wear there. Packed away, I still have my time cards from there. When we tore the place down, they let us take what we wanted. For many of us, it was our first job, our new found family (better than a gang) and whether we knew it or not, friendships to last a lifetime. Working there was the best days of my young teenage years.

  2. Frances Archer October 25, 2010 at 11:13 am #

    Thanks, Caryn, for visiting. It was so hard to get jobs when we were in our early teens and you were lucky to get such a great one.

  3. Jackie October 25, 2010 at 11:48 am #

    When I saw the photos of Hollywood Kiddieland, flashbacks from my childhood came in rapid succession. Oh, how I remember my Dad taking me to this place on weekends! The little boats that spun around in a small pool of water, the kid – friendly roller coaster. And does anyone remember the cage – like ride that required a considerable amount of exertion from those inside to lift it off the ground. Of course, there was the merry – go – round, tilt – O – whirl, and mini – cars.

    After a long day at Hollywood Kiddieland, my Dad would take me to a popcorn shop in Lincoln Village and buy me a bag of carmelcorn. Delishhh!

    Jackie
    West Rogers Park

  4. Frances Archer October 25, 2010 at 12:10 pm #

    Jackie, thanks for visiting. I love hearing your memories–and knowing I’m not the only one who was crazy about Kiddieland!

  5. Zev Shandalov October 25, 2010 at 3:43 pm #

    WOW!! I am SO happy you printed this…and the picture with Shopper’s World in the background is priceless!!! I remember Kiddieland as being SOOO big, and the Tilt-a-Whirl….wlll let’s just say my stomach and it, did NOT get along.

    Thanks again SOOOOOOOO much! (HAs it really been almost 35 years since we were neighbors!?!?)

  6. Bob Bartlett October 25, 2010 at 3:45 pm #

    Where do I start ?? O.K.,here goes….Kiddieland was the first job I had…and the most fun I ever had…I didn’t really care about the pay..as long as I had a few bucks to buy the latest record…(for a teenager,it was WAY better than slingin’ newspapers..) They started me off slowly,(the boats,the race cars,etc.) then I was allowed to run the good stuff..(the ‘trooper,Rock-o-plane and finally: the bumper cars !!)
    Karl Jr. and I were best friends and classmates during that time,and it was Karl Sr. that spoke up for me,and got me the job there….I came to know the entire Reins family,and they were like a second family to me…and the friends that I came to know while working there is something that I’ll never forget. (And the steady diet of cherry sno-cones and popcorn didn’t hurt,either !
    I agree…tearing the park down was kind of sad,but we had a job to do,and we got it done…some rides just got demolished,but others were sold to other amusement parks, I believe..I still have a souvenir from the tear-down- cutting torch+ hot metal = burn scar on forearm…!
    So many good times,good friends (then AND now)..Kiddieland-the best of times !

  7. Frances Archer October 25, 2010 at 3:59 pm #

    Hi, Zev. I agree about the Shopper’s World sign. I can still picture the store layout in my mind. One of the other shots has the Weiboldt’s sign. I guess it was actually hiding one of those water tower structures.

  8. Frances Archer October 25, 2010 at 4:00 pm #

    Bob, it’s great to hear your recollections. Popcorn I could pass up, sno-cones were great but the cotton candy was my favorite.

  9. Bonnie McGrath October 25, 2010 at 5:22 pm #

    Boy, does this bring back memories.. even thought i lived in uptown, my dad brought me to hollywood kiddieland on a regular basis.. and bounceland. and amy joy donuts. (do i have my geography straight?? were they all there near each other). i sure loved that tiny ferris wheel where you got into a little screened in cage. kiddieland was totally my thing..

  10. Frances Archer October 25, 2010 at 5:33 pm #

    Yes, Amy Joy donuts was on the corner of Lincoln and Kimball/McCormick. I can picture the sign, big block letters.

  11. carol sandler October 25, 2010 at 9:25 pm #

    he frances great job,ive been in the i hung out at hollywood kiddieland group for a little while,the pictures are wonderful i still have my jacket i will post a picture of soon. i just got back in my house after 6 months…its a long story. but again thanks for doing this my step father was manuel everybody knew him, i worked there from the age of eleven to sixteen if you could call it work, i thnk we had to much fun to call it work. if anybody remembers me please let me know,thishas been a great trip back intime

  12. Frances Archer October 25, 2010 at 10:00 pm #

    Thanks for your comment Carol. I think Karl did mention your stepfather–he’s the one people called Manny, right? And he was a manager at Hollywood Kiddieland. I’m sorry I accidentally left him out of the story. But now he’s in the comments.

  13. Dave Gudewicz October 26, 2010 at 9:39 am #

    Being a south-sider, I don’t believe we ever made it to this Kiddleland. Too bad, looked like a fun place and I especially liked the fire truck b-day pickup.

    Another thing. The girl in the second to last photo above reminded me of one of the History Detectives on PBS.

  14. Frances Archer October 26, 2010 at 9:41 am #

    Dave, you miss a good time.

  15. Marv October 26, 2010 at 10:46 am #

    Frances,
    You’ve covered all the bases in this great post. Not only kiddieland, but the Wiebolts sign, Shoppers World, and the long forgotten Amy Joy donut shop were all touched upon in this piece. A lot of good times were found around Lincoln and Mc Cormick back in the day.

    Thanks

  16. Sheila Linderman October 26, 2010 at 2:01 pm #

    Hi, Frances,
    Marv got it right–it’s not just about KL, but the background! Wieboldt’s, SW (as we called it), Amy Joy (Puff-Luff on Pratt and Western was better). I even remember going there one Sunday with Rabbi Twersky (from Lev Someach) and his kids (all dressed traditionally)! What memories!

  17. william horberg October 26, 2010 at 5:15 pm #

    Frances – the trek from Belmont and Broadway to Hollywood Kiddieland felt like a journey to a distant land back in the ’60’s, and we more often than not would go to Riverview when “amusement park” was the activity of choice, but my I remember with pleasure the many times we visited Kiddieland and enjoyed the rides and refreshments. I don’t know if you’ve seen the movie “Adventureland” which I worked on a few years ago, but it did a wonderful job of capturing the daily life of a not-so-prime-time amusement park, in our case filming at Pittsburgh’s Kennywood Park.

  18. Frances Archer October 26, 2010 at 5:47 pm #

    Bill, I was totally thinking of Adventureland as I wrote this post, particularly because I had interviewed people who worked at Hollywood Kiddieland as teens.

  19. Ellen Chernoff October 26, 2010 at 7:03 pm #

    Way to go Frances, another great article about my past. All the pictures bring back fond memories of those days when the biggest problem in your life was how late could you stay out. Kiddieland was a Chicago institution, like Riverview. Can’t wait for your next article…excellent writing!
    Ellen

  20. Mark Cohen October 27, 2010 at 11:08 pm #

    I worked at Kiddleland in the mid-sixties. At that time they paid 75 cents an hour but paid a bonus of 15 cents more an hour if you stayed on to close the park at the end of the season. It was my first real job and being underage I was lucky to work then. I think the worst ride to tender had to be the boat ride. Each boat had a bell with a dangling rope that the kiddies would clang endlessly as the vessel circled around and around and around. Not a pleasant memory.

  21. Frances Archer October 28, 2010 at 9:20 am #

    Hi, Mark, belated apologies. Depending how early in the sixties your started working there, I may have been one of those kiddies clanging the bell. But you are right about the job in one sense. There’s nothing today in the way of job opportunities like underaged kids back then had.

  22. Mike Fisher October 29, 2010 at 9:55 am #

    Frances – Wow! I used to run the boats at Kiddieland.
    Great job! Outside, by the water.

    Amazing you were able to get these images. It brings back many memories and that Shoppers World sign in the background is great! My mom used to work there.

  23. Linda Trotier November 6, 2010 at 5:39 pm #

    Great article, Frances! I have so many fond memories and met so many great people working there. I, too, remember working the boats, probably one of my first rides I operated, and it was not that exciting. I remember those irritating bells too.! I do remember a guy named Steve that actually claimed that as the ride he always wanted to be assigned to! Anyone remember him?
    I do also remember working another kiddie ride that had horns and bells and was controlled electronically by the ride operator and many times the parents would ask about the sounds (which I had turned off intentionally) and would pretend I didn;t realize they were turned off!

    Remember the huge slide, and the moonwalk?? I remember Ernie Banks brought his daughter there one day when I was assigned to the moonwalk, and I didn’t take the ticket, (like he couldn’t afford it!)

    I started out working in the “foodhouse” serving hot dogs, and soft drinks, along with making popcorn, cotton candy (which actually required some practice to do it right), and snowcones.

    I remember we used to work 12pm to 10pm, (or was it 10am?) Everyone would arrive at least an hour or so before the park opened and we would hang out in the arcade, playing the juke box and some of the games. I worked 6 days a week, and would always be there on my day off too! It just was so much fun!

  24. Frances Archer November 6, 2010 at 7:07 pm #

    Thanks, Linda, for sharing your recollections of working at Hollywood Kiddieland. It’s great knowing it was as fun for people working there as it was for kids who visited. Not too many jobs like that anymore.

  25. Donna Schwartz November 6, 2010 at 7:16 pm #

    Unbelievable, I spent my childhood there. First with my parents taking my brother and I there when we were good, then as I got older hanging out there with the girls, then eventually with the gang.

    I remember all the other places mentioned above too. It takes you back to good times, free of worries and responsibilities. Thanks for sharing.

  26. Frances Archer November 6, 2010 at 8:44 pm #

    Donna, nice to hear from you. I feel the same way.

  27. Bill Tong November 7, 2010 at 1:39 am #

    Thanks for the fantastic trip down memory lane. My father had a collection of pictures of me at Kiddieland (many/most of them in black and white) during the 1960’s. The photos are most likely still at my parents’ house. My cousins lived near “Big Kiddieland” but they loved going to Hollywood Kiddieland when they would stay overnight at our house during the summer.

  28. Sarah Fayerverger November 7, 2010 at 9:57 am #

    I met my husband at Kiddieland in 1968, I was a junior and Von, and he just came home from Nam. What memories. :)

  29. Frances Archer November 7, 2010 at 2:01 pm #

    Sarah, very romantic. I wonder whether a lot of couples met at Kiddieland.

  30. Frances Archer November 7, 2010 at 5:23 pm #

    Bill, I know how busy you are, but if you ever get a chance to dig up some Hollywood Kiddieland photos, please share them here. You can send me .jpgs by email or post on Facebook and I can copy here (with your permission of course!)

  31. denise henderson November 8, 2010 at 6:37 pm #

    I attended 2 or 3 bday parties that began with the firetruck. It was so special. The precursor to limo rides. There is similar setup to Kiddieland

  32. Frances Archer November 8, 2010 at 7:36 pm #

    Denise, thanks for your comment. I’m guessing Little Kiddieland copied a lot more than the name of Big Kiddieland.

  33. LFS November 12, 2010 at 1:47 am #

    I remember they had trampolines in the ground for a while. The “cages” were called Swinging Gyms – you stood in a metal cage and rocked up and back – until you could make the cage swing in a full circle. Thanks for the photos – especially the Shoppers World – where I used to buy all my phono albums 33rpms, and Beatle Music books. I believe Wiebolts had the S&M trading stamps that you put in a “book” and then when you had a number of books could get household items such as a toaster, etc.
    Did anyone go to Morrie’s Hot Dogs on Lawrence and Lawndale?

  34. Frances Archer November 12, 2010 at 8:10 am #

    Thanks for visiting and adding your memories. The tramps were across the street at Bounceland, though. It was in the parking lot of Shoppers World. You’re right about the Swinging Gyms, and Weibold’s did have the Green Stamps redemption center. I also remember buying 45s at Shoppers World. Several people did recall Maury’s when I wrote about Chicago hot dog stands.

  35. Dave Gudewicz November 29, 2010 at 9:50 am #

    Over the Thanksgiving weekend, WTTW ran a marathon Remembering Chicago series. The final episode was entitled “baby boomer years”, the profile many here fit.

    After the Riverview segment, the Hollywood Kiddieland was shown, complete with the birthday fire truck and clanging bells on the boat ride. I’d guess dating the time frame, late 50s early 60s.

  36. Frances Archer November 29, 2010 at 10:14 am #

    Thanks for letting me know. I’m going to look for that segment.

  37. Andy Richter December 16, 2010 at 9:59 pm #

    The view of Shopper’s World really takes me back. Then it was Community. I remember before that was built and the whole west side of Kimball was Mini-golf. How about AmyJoy Donuts???
    Thanks, Frances, this is priceless!

  38. Frances Archer December 16, 2010 at 10:13 pm #

    Hi, Andy. It’s funny that the Shopper’s World sign is so memorable. Hard to believe we haven’t seen it for 40 years. I remember buying 45’s there.

  39. mike holzer March 6, 2011 at 8:20 pm #

    great job frances. I worked at the roma for many years. I wound up working with Geff after the kiddieland closed. I still have 2 brand new Hollywood Kiddieland tee shirts.

  40. Frances Archer March 6, 2011 at 10:00 pm #

    Mike, glad you liked the story. Roma was a great neighborhood joint.

  41. Moshe March 14, 2011 at 4:14 pm #

    Of course I remember Kiddie Land ! I was so upset when they closed it. Community opened up later across the street and Rabbi Nayman’s Shul moved in diagonally across the street.

  42. Robyn March 31, 2011 at 9:02 pm #

    I was lucky enough to have one of the birthday parties at Kiddieland. My mom even brought an ice cream cake along for us. She always claimed to have invented the recipe! One of the comments was about the trampolines…..I thought they were located where Novelty Golf is, near the Bunny Hutch? Your articles are appreciated. I think they take us back to a simpler time, one which we can look back fondly upon. Thanks!

  43. Frances Archer March 31, 2011 at 9:32 pm #

    Robyn, thanks for yourkind comments. Bounceland was in the parking lot of Shopper’s World, but there may have been trampolines by the Bunny Hutch as well, but I don’t know. Did you know the Bunny Hutch is still open and hasn’t changed much.

  44. Rich Whitman May 23, 2011 at 1:29 am #

    Wow Frances – this is an amazing journey back in time that you have created. The Tilta-World was probably the most challenging ride by far. Or maybe more exciting were those capsules you could enter, which,elevated, then spun around in mid-air for a number of seconds and then turned upsidedown before returning rightside up to the ground!! The roller coaster was also great but didn’t come close to Riverview’s Bobs or Comet! Kiddieland also had a cool train ride and pony rides! I do remember buying my first Beatles LP at Shoppper’s World, or it might have been at Harmony Hall in Lincoln Village where I bought subsequent albums.

  45. Frances Archer May 23, 2011 at 8:47 am #

    I bought 45s at Shopper’s World, along with white lipstick and black eyeliner. I’d forgotten about Harmony Hall carrying records as well, but I do recall getting my first album at Flip Side. The prices were 3.27 an album my freshman year at Von, and if I didn’t buy lunch all week, I could buy a new album every week.

    I never rode the capsules, and I guess I never will.

  46. Mindy White May 24, 2011 at 5:00 pm #

    Harmony Hall; Flip Side. I’d totally forgotten about those places. Frances, the white lipstick must have been by Yardley. Didn’t most of us want to look like Jean Shrimpton or Twiggy? My wavy, frizzy hair was such a burden at the time. As for Kiddieland, I have a photo of me at around 18 months with my mother and aunt. I don’t look as happy as they do, maybe too much cotton candy–or not enough.

  47. Roberta Rudy Kurtz June 1, 2011 at 7:23 am #

    I wonder if anyone has a pictures of the Batting Cages. That was our destination point every night during the summer. Everyone walked, even those coming from Albany Park. Life was good. Saturday afternoons at the Terminal Theatre, another walking destination no matter how north you lived. And who can forget summer evenings in Peterson playgound – that is until they kicked us out.

  48. Mindy White June 1, 2011 at 9:34 am #

    The Terminal Theatre–that’s another name I haven’t thought about in years. Weren’t the movies something like $.25 for a double feature! It is amazing how much walking we did then and didn’t think anything of it.

  49. Richard Jacobson November 1, 2011 at 7:58 pm #

    Kiddieland was the tool my parents used to teach me the subject of “psychology.” When I wanted desperately to go to Kiddieland and whined in the back seat of the car about it, my mom would say, “If you keep asking, we won’t go, but if you don’t say anything more, there’s a chance we will. That’s called using psychology.” So I generally never asked for anything. Rarely got anything, but hey, at least I learned psychology.

  50. Bob Gassel July 5, 2012 at 5:50 pm #

    Here’s a page devoted to Shopper’s World…

    http://pleasantfamilyshopping.blogspot.com/2008/06/its-mad-mad-mad-shoppers-world.html

  51. Frances Archer July 5, 2012 at 7:13 pm #

    Ha! Ha! Pandemonium at the opening of Shopper’s World. Thanks for the link.

  52. Big Duke February 1, 2013 at 9:43 pm #

    I remember “bounceland” as Trampolineland. 1st job at Novelty golf which is still there!!!!

  53. Frances Archer February 2, 2013 at 7:56 am #

    Thanks for stopping by. Very possicle they had more than one name. Novelty Golf still in the same family last I heard.

  54. Ben Kirman February 27, 2013 at 12:44 pm #

    Hello to all
    I recently posted an item about my time at Hollywood Kiddiewood in 1958 on another blog, not knowing that there was this special site. My name is Ben Kirman and I would love to hear from anyone who might remember me. I had a “legal” job since i was already 16. I did a variety of tasks, including at times the firetruck when it used on the property. I never did the truck for party pickups; only when it was a ride on the property. I already had a drivers license and that may have qualified me. If anyone can remember me or my close fiends, Eddie Piltz and Sam Spector who were also there at the time (Summer, 1958) would love to hear from you.

  55. Steve Skolnik May 26, 2013 at 9:24 am #

    Hi Frances,

    You’re blog brings back fond childhood memories of the neighborhood places we hung out at. Like you, had many fun days at Kiddieland. I’m sure I was one of the “pack of sixth and seventh-grade boys and girls” roaming the Kiddieland grounds with you. Great pictures!!!

    Regards
    Steve

  56. Frances Archer May 29, 2013 at 1:34 pm #

    Hi, Steve. And don’t forget ice skating, lighted schoolhouse, bar mitzvah parties. It’s great to hear from you and we should catch up at length. There’s a Hollywood Park Reunion on June 30 at 2 pm if you are in the neighborhood.

  57. Nan Drew August 15, 2013 at 2:06 pm #

    At Kiddieland there was a ride – a small flatbed-like thing on a track and you sat in it with your legs straight out and pedaled with your hands going around and around. Anyone remember that? Thanks for the pics. I remember the fire truck going through the neighborhood for the birthday parties. The train pic brought back fond memories. We just called it Kiddieland, not Hollywood Kiddieland. Thanks!

  58. Frances Archer August 28, 2013 at 12:28 pm #

    I never called it Hollywood Kiddieland either! It was only when I started writing this blog and wondered if the the other Kiddieland and our Kiddieland were related.

  59. Don Battaglia August 28, 2013 at 6:58 pm #

    Wow – I stumbled onto this site and what a find! I worked at the park for 3 Summers in the late 60s, set-up to tear down, and hung out at the ‘canal’ for many years after. Managed the food-house my 2nd year, and ran mostly the ‘wheel’ my third. In fact, that’s me in the 6th picture relaxing between rides. The post from Manny’s daughter-in-law also brought back memories — he took me to Edgewater Hospital the night I got too close to the wheel’s “elephant ears” and had to get my head stitched up. He was quite a guy — keeping all of us delinquents in line while managing the park. And Geoff Acciari couldn’t have been a finer first boss. That place taught so many of us about the real world, I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything.

    Best times, best friends, best memories. Thanks, Frances, for making my day.
    Anyone still out there from that era that we hung out with, let me know.

  60. Frances Archer September 1, 2013 at 9:02 pm #

    Hi, Don! Very cool to hear from you. You will find many of the people who worked at Hollywood Kiddieland on facebook. There’s a page called “I Worked / Hung Out at Hollywood Kiddieland.”

  61. Ralph September 20, 2013 at 9:42 pm #

    For everyone’s info, I found this on Facebook about Hollywood Kiddieland from Neil Gale. More pictures of the park rides and the fire engine. Check out the picture of the pony rides! You were riding the pony by yourself!

    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.557991657594947&type=1

    Neil also has info on other DEFUNCT ILLINOIS AMUSEMENT PARKS on his Facebook page if you interested in other parks around Chicago.

  62. Frances Archer September 23, 2013 at 4:48 pm #

    The source for Neil’s photos was this website. I don’t mind, but it would be nice to be listed as the source for his work.

  63. For you Frances January 10, 2014 at 10:59 pm #

    Some family just getting off the train at station

    One of 2 Volkswagen firetrucks for birthdays
    Found on a website for restoring classic vehicles
    Possibly truck from Hollywood Kiddieland

    An ad for the old kiddy ferris wheel
    New one ran on 220v 3-phase power.
    The old Kiddieland phone number
    is shown here. The one we all knew
    was KEystone 9-0866.

    Rear view of Volkswagen firetruck

    The Hiawatha at Main Entrance station.
    The boats are seen off to the right.

    Rare photo of original Jeep “Willys” firetruck used for birthday party pickups before the park acquired 2 Volkswagen custom kiddy firetrucks. Rumor has it that this truck came from the old “FUN TOWN” park in Skokie. (reportedly near “PAR-KING” golf.)

    Helicopter ride sat in between Ferris wheel and Midget Racers ride.

    Notice “Shopper’s World” in background on McCormick, which became Community and many other names in the park’s history.

    “Old Man Louie” seen running the Electric Roadway car ride with the arcade in the background.

    Notice awning of old kiddy Hand Car ride which was replaced by the Octopus ride seen here.

    If you wanted to be tortured on a hot summer day, you were given either the “Buzz Bombers” or the Boats to operate, with your choice of loud buzzers or bells.

    A view looking approximately South from the entrance gate of the Ferris Wheel.
    Arcade side entrance is in immediate foreground right and in the distance you can see the Swingin’ Gyms and the old Wiebolt’s sign that we used to time the rides on the gyms.
    Beyond that are the batting cages, part of “Buddy’s” Hollywood Golf operation.

    The Hiawatha train passes the arcade crossing with the Electric Roadway car tracks in the foreground. Note the side gate to the park which lead’s to “Buddy’s” (Hollywood Miniature Golf) and side parking lot with the batting cages out of sight to your left.
    Buddy & Dick’s family still own and operate Novelty Golf at Lincoln & Devon.

    Marty H. running the Ferris wheel with the Tilt-a-Whirl in the background.

    Geff Acciari in the food house with cotton candy machines on your right.

    The always beautiful Debbie Z. in front of little wheel & roller coaster.
    Debbie worked at the ticket office and in the food house.

    Looking out over electric car course from the station. Note the older cars in the side parking lot by the quanset hut and no Rock-O-Plane, Bumper Cars, or even The Slide!
    Front Cover of “Kiddieland Matches” with new phone number.

    Rear cover of same matchbook stating “Save now for summer fun.”

    Who remembers pony rides at Kiddieland?

    A driving range? From unknown date.

    View from site before Kiddieland was there

    Manuel (Manny) Blanco at south side of food house

    Original artwork for employee t-shirts

    Sign near Geff & Ray’s office door

    Geff & Nick Acciari

    One of the 2 Volkswagen fire engines loaded with kids on
    their way to a birthday celebration at Hollywood Kiddieland

  64. Frances Archer January 12, 2014 at 10:06 pm #

    Thank you! So nice to have all the captions. I will be adding them to the photos so it’s easier to see which is which.

  65. Bill Worley February 3, 2014 at 8:36 am #

    I agree with Don Battaglia, what a find this site is. I also worked there when Don got hit in the head. Glad to see he survived this long. I got a foot stuck under a car on the swinging gym. Not seriously hurt but I got the sit down job of running the train as a result. I haven’t been around any of these types of amusement rides in years but I’m pretty sure OSHA would frown on a lot of our practices then.

  66. Frances Archer February 3, 2014 at 11:12 am #

    Bill, thanks for stoping by. OSHA would not only disapprove of kiddieland but our school playgrounds as well. BTW, you have wonderful photographs on your website.

  67. Bill Worley February 3, 2014 at 11:49 am #

    Frances, I agree. I lived near and attended the Mary Gage Peterson School. Playground equipment on a gravel lot and that tobaggon slide we rode our bikes down. Thanks for your efforts here, also enjoying the Bryn Mawr Business thread as I lived in the 5600 Block of Spaulding and spent a lot of time on that street. Also thanks for complimenting my work, I started back then with a black and white Polaroid however apparently none of those images survived.

  68. Frances Archer February 4, 2014 at 10:16 am #

    Bill — did we know each other back then? Your name is very familiar to me. I graduated from Peterson in ’70.

  69. Bill Worley February 4, 2014 at 10:49 am #

    Frances, Could be as I graduated in ’68 we would have been in different grades but attending at the same time. I think I started there in 6th grade. As best as I recall that wasn’t a large school although the satellite photos indicate there have been additions to what I remember.

  70. Frances Archer February 4, 2014 at 11:07 am #

    Bill, there was an addition in about 2003 or so. Remember that tall chimney? I remember looking up at it from the playground and how high it seemed. they lopped off a good bit of it. There is a story or two on my blog with recent images of the interior — it really hasn’t changed much except for new lighting and a paint job. Thanks again for finding my blog and getting in touch.

  71. Laurel Semcek July 24, 2014 at 12:36 am #

    Hollywood Kiddyland 65th Anniversary party. On Facebook check out, Novelty golf and games 65th anniversary party. Which is for Hollywood Kiddyland. On August 2 2014.

  72. Frances Archer July 30, 2014 at 10:43 pm #

    How cool to celebrate the anniversary. I’ve got to try and make it. Thanks for stopping by!

  73. Howard Korengold December 9, 2014 at 2:02 pm #

    Hi Frances, I remember taking my kids to Kiddyland in the early 1960s. It must have been the right thing to do as they turned out great. I also recall reading an interview with Hillary Clinton recalling her visits to Kiddyland as a child. If she ever becomes president we can all say we went there with her.

  74. Frances Archer December 9, 2014 at 2:50 pm #

    Howard, thanks for that bit of information about Hilary Clinton. I didn’t know Hollywood Kiddieland had fans as far away as Park Ridge.

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