Creating smiles since 1952

Memphis Kiddie Park has specialized in putting smiles on children’s faces since 1952. We offer 11 amusement rides designed especially for our young customers, a concession stand, and an 18-hole miniature golf course for the whole family. Generations of families have made Memphis Kiddie Park a landmark in the Greater Cleveland area by including us in their summer tradition for more than 70 years.

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. After more than 70 years, Memphis Kiddie Park is still owned and operated by the next generations of their families.

In the 1950s, 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 Park): Memphis Kiddie Park; Kiddieland on Northfield Road in Warrensville Heights; and later, Kiddieland at the Zoo. By the mid-1960s, kiddie parks across the country – including the other two Cleveland-area parks – began to close 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. Our flagship ride, the Little Dipper, was certified as the oldest continuously-operating steel roller coaster in North America by American Coaster Enthusiasts in June 2000.

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

Memphis Kiddie Park originally opened with nine mechanical rides: Train, Merry-Go-Round, Airplanes, Hand Cars, Boats, a Ferris Wheel, Jeeps, Sky Fighters; and, of course, the Little Dipper.

Memphis Kiddie Park also had live ponies and a little corral in the area where the party tent stands today. The live pony corral was eventually replaced with an archery range, then electric animal cars.

Gas-powered, self-drive farm tractors were added where the pony carts are today, but they didn’t last long as maintenance was a nightmare. They were replaced with the Electric Cars. Later, the 11th ride to be added was the Pony Carts, which ran on a new track inside the Little Dipper. Eventually, the Electric Cars and Pony Carts were swapped, as the windy track inside the coaster was more fun with the cars, which is where both rides remain today.

The Memphis Championship Miniature Golf course was added to the Park for the 1963 season. Also that season, the original “diesel” train was replaced with the current Big Creek & Memphis Railway.

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. The newer Hand Cars ride again wore out – and proved to no longer be very popular – leading to its removal. In its place is now the Turtle Chase, another 1950’s era favorite ride that some may remember from Euclid Beach Park as the ‘Bug’.

Our Concession Stand has been serving classic carnival favorites including hot dogs, cotton candy, popcorn and more since opening day.

Our story continues. Come start your own Memphis Kiddie Park family tradition today!