I remember driving by Kiddieland several years ago. I don't know what I was doing in the neighborhood, but I remember thinking, "Holy crap! It's a permanent amusement park from a bygone era!"
According to their website, Kiddieland has been around since 19-freakin'-29. Wow.
I later learned that my wife had been there as a young girl a few times. I knew that at some point we had to go. We're actually quite close to the park now -- it's basically just a couple miles due north of us.
So on Friday, a cousin of ours calls my wife and says their family is heading to Kiddieland (they have two small children the same age as ours), and asks if we would like to go. HELL YES WE WANT TO GO.
Kiddieland is a little on the pricey side. We got a coupon out of Chicago Parents magazine, and a nice man gave us an extra ticket as we waited in line to pay for our admission, but even with this it cost over fifty dollars for two adults and three children under five. But I am a miserly sort, I guess, so sue me. On second thought, don't sue me!
Once you get in the park, the rides are free. There are also stations sprinkled throughout the park that have free fountain drinks, along with the requisite swooping bees.
We had our share of meltdowns in the park, but overall a fun time was had by all. I went with my eldest son on the bumper cars. My wife was right behind me in line, taking our eldest daughter. My son and I got the primo bumper car I had spotted as we were waiting in line. Our cousin and her daughter took the car right next to us, but my wife and daughter were nowhere in sight. I asked where they were, and was told that my daughter didn't meet the minimum 42" height requirement. Oh, man. The tears and the crying. My son had barely made the cut. He probably made it and my daughter didn't because he was wearing sneakers and my daughter was wearing sandals.
I solemnly swear that the next time bumper cars present themselves, my daughter and I will haul ass in one of them.
My daughter did get a large moment of joy at the park, however. She got to meet Bob The Builder. Sure, he was a sweating Kiddieland employee rendered essentially blind, deaf and mute by an oversized wobbly head, but when you're a kid, your heroes don't need all their senses working.
Here's a few pictures.
An octopus-like ride called The Polyp. The Polyp? Yes, The Polyp.
Ferris wheel and ads for the provider of the free soft drinks (no, I didn't have any soda).
Close-up of Ferris Wheel
The Little Dipper, With A Scary Clown For Bubs
Bob The Builder Is Menaced By/Menacing To A Small Boy