This is what The Boy calls Kiddieland: Cat-land. The Dad and I have tried explaining to him that the "kiddie" in Kiddieland is for little kids, like him, and not about kitty-cats, but he keeps missing the point, perhaps deliberately ("But, I'm not little, Mom. I'm big!").
Un/fortunately, our friend J. was sick on August 23, the day that we had planned to make a joint family outing to Kiddieland. It was just as well that we missed it on the 23rd with the weather in Chicago that day, as Kiddieland does not offer rain checks or refunds. But, since we had such fun there last year, I didn't want to let the summer end without a trip to the amusement park. So The Dad and I took The Boy, The Girl and The Baby there today to spin in circles, eat greasy food, drink free Pepsi-Cola products, and inhale gas fumes.
Although I never went there as a child, going to Kiddieland is one of my favorite summer things to do with small kids in Chicago(land). It is a small park, within 20 minutes' drive from our house, and everything is geared for small children. It is not as big as Great America, but honestly, that is part of its appeal to me. At $22.75/ticket for adults and $19.75/ticket for The Boy (The Girl and The Baby were free), it is not a cheap outing, but watching The Boy and The Girl enjoy themselves thoroughly was well-worth the price of admission (and lunch).
The Boy remembered going to the amusement park last year, and his first question/comment was whether he was tall enough to ride the bumper cars ("Scooters") this year. He was, and he rode them with The Dad. Not only was The Boy tall enough to go on more rides this year, he was more adventurous as well. He rode the Little Dipper roller coaster twice, the small/cage Ferris Wheel, and capped off the visit with a trip down the log flume ride.
The Girl, The Baby and I stuck to tamer pursuits for the most part. (I did take The Boy on the Little Dipper and am such a scaredy-cat that I was shaking after the little drop on the 24' tall ride.) The Girl really liked the vehicular carousel and rode it about eight times. She also rode the racecars, drove the antique cars (twice, initially under duress), and sat in the bench in the carousel with the rest of us (even The Baby!). The Girl, The Boy and I rode the flying elephants all together, and also rode the Kiddieland Unlimited train. The Boy talked The Girl into riding in the mini Ferris Wheel with her, but she was really scared and got out after about two revolutions. After that, she was really tired and asked to go home.
There were lines everywhere at Kiddieland today, including buying tickets and getting in, but it wasn't too bad. There were longer lines for many of the rides that The Boy wanted to go on, which was good because he had more patience for such things. We stayed for about 4.5 hours; I feel like we got our money's and the kids' stamina worth out of the park.