Thursday, November 2, 2017

Jo-Jo Kiddie Land Amusement Park, Chicago Heights, Illinois (1950-early 60s)

Jo-Jo Kiddie Land Amusement Park, on the northwest corner of Chicago Road and 30th Street, South Chicago Heights, Illinois, was opened in 1950 by Joseph N. Bartolini.

The park opened with a Merry-Go-Round, a Diesel-locomotive miniature railroad, a kiddie Ferris wheel, a buggy ride, boats, airplanes, hand pedal cars, ponies and a shooting gallery. In the 1st year, rides were a bargain at 9¢ each.

Andy Flodin writes, "There was no admission charge Jo-Jo's Kiddie Land. I frequented the park when I was around 10 or 11. I was a little old for the rides as they were for younger children, but the ponies fascinated me. The gentleman who ran the pony ride concession got used to seeing me around petting the ponies and offered me a job.

This was my first job. I honestly can't remember if he paid me, but it was my dream job. I got to feed and brush the ponies, put on and take off the saddles, and lead them when we had a child rider. Sometime in the early 60s, Jo-Jo's Kiddie Land closed, and a shopping center was built on the property it occupied."


  1. My father Joseph N Bartolini was a visionary starting many new business and selling them when they were up and running. According to him he never drew a paycheck the profit was in selling it and starting still another new business. B&B Hardware was also started by him. Two of his brothers worked for him again, Phil and Anthony.

    1. Please provide additional info for your Dad's "Jo-Jo Kiddie Land Amusement Park."

    2. I remember kiddeland well! The train went around in a oval I think. The fun part was when it went into the old tunnel. The engineer blew the horn. Boy thats a sixty year old memory. The cotton candy machine I remember. The sounds and smells still are in my memory. What a great place it was for us. Sad when it closed. I think some of the rides moved over to Dyer kiddeland eary 60s. Thank you Mr Bartolini for those memories


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