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Storybook Land – A Retro Childhood Delight! Egg Harbor NJ A Retro Roadmap Write-up by Missy Mazzaferro of Enchanted Kiddieland

Posted on: May 23, 2015


  • Storybook Land:
  • address: 6415 E Black Horse Pike, Egg Harbor Township, NJ 08234
  • phone: (609) 646-0103
  • website: https://storybookland.com/
  • Notes: Open Seasonally

This is an especially family friendly Retro Roadmap destination, so if you have liddle kiddles or are just a kid at heart, read on!
Story Book Land - Missy Mazz for Retro Roadmap

In the 1950 and 60s, as more American families moved out of cities and into suburbs, transportation shifted from trains and trolleys, and these new suburban commuters began owning their own automobiles for the first time. When the work week was over, mom, dad, and the kids would pile in the family Plymouth for weekend getaways seeking fun within driving distance.

Story Book Land - Missy Mazz for Retro Roadmap

The trolley parks that entertained families at the turn of the century evolved in response to this new form of recreational road trip culture, and a new type of family entertainment emerged.

In the prosperous years following WWII, Children’s theme parks began to pop up along the roadsides of America. These kiddie parks were built to appeal to children, and promised a fun day for the entire family. They were often built in wooded areas which provided shade and a place to rest for tired parents on hot days, while kids wore themselves out indulging in rides and treats.

Story Book Land - Missy Mazz for Retro Roadmap

The amusement parks were themed after things kids loved: Santa Claus, TV westerns, dinosaurs, and most popularly – fairy tales.Unsurprisingly, the years have not been kind to these quaint parks and, many have sadly shuttered their doors as statues could longer hold the attention of kids who were raised on video games and tablets.

However, in Egg Harbor, NJ lucky visitors to the Jersey Shore can still take a step back in time and experience a simple day of family fun at the kiddie park!

This darling little park still stands today where it has been welcoming generations of travelling families for the past 60 years! Storybook Land opened in 1955, the same year Walt Disney opened the gates to Disneyland.

Story Book Land - Missy Mazz for Retro Roadmap

When you park your car in the (free) parking lot, you’re already in for a treat, as you go through through large castle gates and enter the park. Once inside you can’t miss the larger-than-life statue of Mother Goose (who appears to be holding some kind of giant salad-?) Make sure you don’t rush past her. You’ll want to pose in her story book chair!

Story Book Land - Missy Mazz for Retro Roadmap
Soon enough as you travel through the self guided paths, you will begin to meet all of her cohorts like Red Riding Hood, Humpty Dumpty, Snow White, and (my favorite) Alice in Wonderland.

The park also pays homage to some local characters!

Baseball fans may be pleasantly surprised to learn that this is where 1970’s Phillies mascots “Phil and Phillis” (Who overlooked the ballpark from 1971-1980) have gone to retire, along with 4 original seats from Veteran’s Stadium!
Story Book Land - Missy Mazz for Retro Roadmap

Meanwhile near Santa’s reindeer stables, a child-like Ben Franklin can be found famously flying his key and kite.
Story Book Land - Missy Mazz for Retro Roadmap

The park also features the quintessential train ride, carousel, and even a bubble-blowing roller coaster named after their mascot “Bubbles the Dragon”!

If this all sounds a bit exhausting, take a load off at the Gingerbread House snack bar, which still serves up classic 1950s fare like burgers, hot dogs, and grilled cheese sandwiches, along with a few modern updates like veggie burgers to keep everyone full and happy!

The park is celebrating their 60th anniversary this year and it is clear that the owners still take pride in keeping it clean and well maintained with beautiful landscaping and fresh paint every season.

Story Book Land - Missy Mazz for Retro Roadmap

Although primarily a summer attraction, Storybook Land also hosts some fabulous holiday events at Easter and Christmas. Santa and the Easter Bunny make appearances along with Bubbles who may be decking the halls while decked out in his holiday best!

Story Book Land - Missy Mazz for Retro Roadmap
The park has an Easter egg hunt and Tea parties with Alice in the spring, and after the usual summer season, there are photo ops for the family Christmas card and the extensive holiday lightning display on all of the figures and buildings is an inspirational sight to behold!

Whether you’re stopping for a break on your way to one of the famous seaside towns that dot the Atlantic coast, or you are visiting Storybook Land as a destination all its own, be sure to bring your camera and your imagination! You can expect a memorable experience and a day of good old fashioned retro fun for kids of all ages!

 

Thank you to Missy Mazzaferro of Enchanted Kiddieland for writing up this family friendly Retro Roadmap destination = If parks like this are up your alley, check out her blog for more!

Story Book Land - Missy Mazz for Retro Roadmap