Creating smiles since 1952

Memphis Kiddie Park has been putting smiles on children’s faces since 1952. We offer 11 amusement rides for children, a concession stand, 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 Memphis 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 his wife, Russell and Elli, and overseen by Bill and Delores’ son-in-law, Mike, Memphis Kiddie Park continues to carry on much as it did when it first opened.

In 1952, kiddie parks (also known as “kiddielands”) were popular across North America. Cleveland had three in addition to the kiddie rides at Puritas Park and Euclid Beach. The other local kiddie parks have long since closed: Kiddieland on Northfield Road in Warrensville Heights and later Kiddieland at the Zoo. Across the country, kiddie parks also closed as land became more valuable and owners lost interest. Today, Memphis Kiddie Park is the oldest of the few remaining “kiddieland” parks in the United States.

Memphis Kiddie Park Sign From The 50's
Historical Photo of Guests At Memphis Kiddie Park

Memphis 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 continuously operating steel kiddie coaster in North America.

Memphis Kiddie Park also had live ponies and a little corral which can be seen in some of the old pictures in our photo gallery. The live pony corral was eventually replaced with an Archery Range, then electric animal cars, and now it serves as our party tent. Gas-powered, self-drive farm tractors were added where the pony carts are today but didn’t last too long as maintenance was a nightmare. First, it was replaced with the Electric Cars. The 11th ride to be added were the Pony Carts. Originally on the track inside the Little Dipper, the Electric Cars and Pony Carts we’re swapped as the windy track in the coaster was more fun with the cars.

The original “diesel” train was replaced with the current Big Creek & Memphis Railway in 1963 lending a more traditional look to Memphis Kiddie Park. Finally, the original Hand Cars wore out so badly they couldn’t be repaired forcing a replacement with newer aluminum track and locomotive-style bodies, which have again worn out and had to be removed. In its place is now the Turtle Chase, another 1950’s era favorite ride that some may remember from Euclid Beach as the ‘Bug’.

The Memphis Championship Miniature Golf course was added to the Park for the 1963 season. Meanwhile, our Concession Stand has been serving classic carnival favorites including hot dogs, cotton candy, popcorn and more since the Park opened.

Come start your own tradition today!