Friday, July 05, 2013

Adventureland Amusement Park. (Gone.) Addison Illinois USA. 1961 -1977.

I found this wonderful historic photograph on the internet.

For many years primarilly during the 1950's and 60's era, the greater Chicagoland area was the home to several seasonal family owned and operated amusement parks. The names included Riverview Park in Chicago, Santa's Village in East Dundee, Fairyland in Lyons,Playland Park in unincorporated Justice, Kiddy Town in Norridge, Kiddieland in Melrose Park, and many more. These little establishments often marketed for parents with small children...were sometimes refered to as "Kiddy Lands", and often were not much larger in size than a traveling carnival midway.

From 1961 until 1977, many families would spend a pleasant afternoon or evening during the summer season, at a place known as Advernture Land in northwest suburban Addison Illinois. I visited Adventure Land once back in 1976 when I was 14 years old.

Adventure Land was a former picnic grove, that became a small family amusement park known as Storybook Park in 1958, and would later become Adventure Land in 1961.

The 1970's were pretty much the "Swan Song" for many of Chicago's little amusement parks, as real estate values on commercial property were worth very big money, liability insurance costs were rising, and these little parks were strictly a seasonal operation that would close and lose money during the fall and winter seasons due to cold wet weather and snow.

In 1976, the huge mega theme park Marriott's Great America opened in Gurnee Illinois, and Adventure Land lost a huge amount of business. Not being able to compete for business with this new giant theme park which is now known as Six Flags / Great America, Adventure Land closed for good at the end of the 1977 season.

One by one during the remaining late 1970's and in to the 1980's, several more of the once popular and numerous little Chicago area amusement parks would close, and the properties redeveloped for other commercial uses.

The Kiddieland Amusement Park in Melrose Park Illinois was the very last of these establishments in the greater Chicagoland area, and closed for good after a family dispute on Sunday, September 27th, 2009.

It was a fun era while it lasted.

Eddie K.

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