When I was a child there was nothing more exciting than hearing you were going to spend the day at Kiddieland. A pint-sized amusement park set in the middle of a kind of neighborhood on the northwest side of Chicagoland, Kiddieland had a magical quality as a child. There was a roller coaster, still scary as a five year old, but as an adult probably laughable.
As for me, I always loved the rides where you flew the helicopter, really just moving up and down as the machine went around and around. Then there were the cool cars that went in a circle but had these weird rayguns on them that made noise.
As you got a little older there were bumper cars and those weird hand-cart things you could ride that I don't think I can explain. There were the gas-powered cars that rode on these tracks but you had to steer and push down on the gas pedal. There was the train that looked like a real miniature diesel train.
These days, Kiddieland is falling apart. The family that owns it wants to sell it. The neighborhood around it continues to fall apart.
Sometimes things are better left as memory, I guess. Six Flags has all of those family things even if it costs you $60 to get in. Still, maybe you should stop by to see Kiddieland while there still is one to see.