Memphis Kiddie Park has been putting smiles on children's faces since 1952. We offer 10 amusement rides for children, a concession stand, arcade, and miniature golf course. We are truly a landmark of the Greater Cleveland area serving generations of area children.
Memphis Kiddie Park opened on May 28, 1952. It was designed and built by Stuart Wintner, a native Clevelander. In its second year of operation, Bill Applegarth came to Kiddie Park as a ride operator. The next year he became manager. Both Stuart, with his wife Lanny, and Bill, with his wife Delores, continued to run the park together until their respective retirements. And, the family tradition lives on. Now operated by Stuart and Lanny's son and daughter-in-law, Russell and Elli, and managed by Bill and Delores' son-in-law, Mike, the park continues to carry on much as it did when it first opened.
In 1952, kiddie parks were fairly popular. Cleveland had three in addition to kiddie rides at Puritas Park and Euclid Beach. The other kiddie parks have long since closed: Kiddieland on Northfield Road in Warrensville Heights and later Kiddieland at the Zoo. Across the country, kiddie parks closed as land became more valuable and owners lost interest. Today, Memphis Kiddie Park is one of less than a handful of survivors, flourishing in Cleveland.
Kiddie Park opened with 9 mechanical rides: Train, Merry-Go-Round, Airplanes, Hand Cars, Boats, Ferris Wheel, Jeeps, Skyfighters and, of course, the Little Dipper, now recognized as the oldest steel kiddie coaster in North America. Kiddie Park also had live ponies and a little corral which can be seen in some of the old pictures in our photo gallery. Gas powered, self-drive farm tractors were added where the pony cart is today but didn't last too long as maintenance was a nightmare. First, it was replaced with the Speedway which was later moved to a longer track within the Little Dipper and Pony Carts were purchased to run on the original Speedway track. The live ponies were replaced with an Archery Range, then electric animal cars and now it serves as our party picnic area. The original "diesel" train was replaced with the current train in 1963 lending a more traditional look to Kiddie Park. Finally, the original Hand Cars wore out so badly they couldn't be repaired forcing a replacement with the newer aluminum track and locomotive-style bodies. And now, they too have worn out, and will be replaced soon with another bringing us back to 11 rides.