Kiddieland, a tradition in Carthage for 70 years, reopens for the summer

What’s cool about Route 66 is you never stop learning something about it.

That includes Kiddieland in Carthage, Missouri, which has been run by the local Kiwanis Club for more than 70 years.

Kiddieland at 2000 Oak St. (aka Route 66) opened for the season during Memorial Day weekend. It opens each Saturday, and Sunday from 2 to 5 p.m. through Labor Day. It also will hold extended hours on the Fourth of July, with free rides.

A recent article in the Joplin Globe contained details about it:

The Carthage Kiwanis Club has operated Kiddieland in Municipal Park since 1951, when the train was first installed. The tub ride, kiddie cars and airplane ride were installed in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

The attraction’s location on Route 66 played a big role in its early popularity, and generations of Carthage residents have fond memories of riding the Kiddieland rides.

Cost has remained at 50 cents per ticket for more than 20 years, and the club donates proceeds from Kiddieland and other activities such as a pancake feed and golf tournament to a variety of charities. […]

The “airplanes” on the airplane ride are made from external fuel tanks carried by World War II fighter planes, and the kiddie cars are run using a differential from a 1932 Dodge.

The park went through a series of major renovations from 2011 to 2016 when the carousel was installed, the train’s engine and cars were rebuilt, and permanent covers were built over all the rides.

In case you’re wondering, Kiddieland rides are inspected for safety annually at an estimated cost of $700.

KIddieland went on hiatus in 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. A longtime volunteer, Marge Rogler, died of the disease.

Here’s a local TV station’s report about Kiwanis Kiddieland from six years ago:

(Image of the Kiddieland train by fe_man via

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