Saturday, August 15, 2009

Wilson makes a stop at Santa's Village

Santa's VillageOn a trip out to see some family in the western suburbs of Chicago, a strange yet familiar sight caught our eye as we were driving down highway 25. It was the former home of Santa's Village (1959-2006) in Dundee. Where a magical place for the children of Illinois once stood, now a sad and abandoned park almost disappears into the nearby strip malls. The entrance was framed with giant candy canes and multi-colored mushrooms, along with a vintage sign pointing to the way in. We quickly hung a U-turn to take a closer look.

Wilson in a front row parking space at Santa's Village.We pulled into the empty lot and right up to the front gate leading to the "Three Worlds of Fun" (Coney Island, Old McDonald's Farm, and Santa's World). It really was a sad sight. The buildings were neglected and overgrown with weeds. A cold, steel fence surrounded most of the property. It certainly was not the visions I had of Santa's Village when I was a child. In its prime, it probably was not what I envisioned as a child, but it was far worse off now. We stuck around and took a few photographs before driving off.

Mushroom at Santa's Village

Within 5 minutes of driving away, Wilson started bucking and I could not get over 25mph. I pulled over and let the bus rest for about five minutes. The engine fired right up and Wilson drove smooth the rest of the way home. Maybe he was just a little bit sad like I was.

Odometer: 14370


  1. Yes, you are is a sad sight. The park is not abandoned as security is there 24/7. As for your memories, the park was a fantasyland come to life. All you have to do is look at the pictures of gone by days. I always tell people to remember the park as it was not as the shell of it stands today.

  2. Santa's Village has re-opened and is alive and well!


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