Kinderland Memories

Kinderland was a children’s activity park that stood on Burniston Road, Scarborough between 1985 and 2007.

You can read more about it by checking out the following links.

Remembering Kinderland (brief history and introduction)

The Kinderland Protest (the fight to save the park)

The Historic Water Chute (the oldest part of the attraction)

Great Crested Newts at Kinderland and Marvel’s (links with local wildlife)

The following post contains a selection of wonderfully detailed memories contributed by Mark, who has been holidaying in Scarborough since around 1989. His account focuses on the parts of Kinderland he remembers most clearly, starting with the cafe.

The Café, I remember fairly well, as we ate there pretty much every time we visited! Often, hiding from the wasps that always seemed to hang around the picnic tables outside. The main memory of eating there, was actually the little cartons of ‘five alive’ and ‘umbongo’ juice. Along with (usually) a sandwich (which kind of reminded me of the sandwiches we got on railway stations… Looked nice enough, but never quite tasted as good.) and a bag of crisps, shared with mum because I couldn’t manage the whole bag.

In addition to the cafe, Kinderland had an ice-cream kiosk and a gift shop, the latter of which also featured in Mark’s memories:

The Gift shop, again, is somewhere I seemed to be quite insistent that we visited every time. I didn’t buy so much towards the later days, but when I was younger I tended to acquire things such as bouncy balls, pencils, rubbers and Frisbee’s. However, having gotten the rubber or pencil, I missed Scarborough so much by the time we got home, that I would refuse to use them till I knew we were going back the next year!

Kinderland had its own range of merchandise, including clothing, bookmarks, and as Mark mentions, frisbees, all of which were stocked in the park’s ample gift shop. However, more importantly, Kinderland featured a diverse range of outdoor play activities – some of Mark’s highlights were as follows:

I remember the giant chess pieces quite well, I basically learnt to play chess with them! Not the most practical method, and I did wind up asking dad to teach me properly, on a normal size board, in the end. The roller skating area I tended to look at with longing, but never try, as my sense of balance was not very good, to say the least. It still isn’t, really!

The pedal go-carts were a personal favourite as I got older, and therefore able to pedal them – I could be on there for some time and I remember it being something of a free-for-all to actually get on one, when someone else vacated one. They had the strangest steering system I’ve come across, ‘T’ shaped handles on each side of the seat, from what I remember. I also remember coming off of there nearly every time, with a cut across the shin – a foot would slide off the pedals, usually on a ‘downhill’ section, and they would be spinning so fast that a smack to the shin seemed inevitable.

I remember there was also a series of rope ‘bridges’, made of something like netting – can’t have been more than a foot off the ground, but it felt like a lot more to me! I could spend a fair amount of time occupied on those, till I got tired or fell off!

Further regarding personal favourites, aside from the pedal carts as mentioned, it would likely be the ‘zip wire’, with the seat hanging down from it, when I was young enough that my feet didn’t catch on the floor… and there was a particularly good slide that took you down the length of the stairs near the entrance. Got very warm during the day, as it was made entirely of metal!

Memories like these really bring Kinderland alive, and a huge thanks to Mark for kindly putting them in writing. Stories From Scarborough looks forward to sharing more memories of former Scarborough attractions in coming weeks.

Until then, does this post spark any memories for you? Do you remember Kinderland? Memories of the indoor play area and water chute are particularly welcome, and recollections of any of the other play activities and apparatus not yet mentioned. Colours, materials, emotions, food, drink – everything and anything is relevant!

Alternatively, please also get in touch if you remember the Kinderland Protest, or remember what the site was like before Kinderland. What do you think of it now? Should it be developed? Should Kinderland return?

All opinions, memories and information welcome.

8 thoughts on “Kinderland Memories

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  4. i have fond memories of kinderland and holidays there as a child, i am still friends with a guy i met when we were about 6 in the giant ball pool, it became a regular thing meeting up with his family every year when we went on holiday and going to kinderland. i lost a tooth on the giant slide, and i remeber constantly nipping fingers in the go carts and losing golf balls on the crazy golf, i have hundreds of pictures of me and my sisters in the plastic castle and dressed up in the saftey gear to go rollerskating.
    i loved the massive climbing frame and the fact that you could almost get from one end of the park to the other and not touch the floor.
    firm fave was the water splash ( chute) que go on go round que go on go round all day . and hoping that the chute hit the water as the train went past.

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  6. It must have been about 1998 when I was old enough to go. I remember these dangly swings that went in a circle with others attached which was my absolute favourite!! I rememebr always getting burns from the slides inthe indoor play area but it was a nicemix to the outdoor areas!! Up until about 3 years ago I had a cap with the kinderland logo on the front. I miss that place so much and I wish it was still around for kids nowadays. If we carried on the values that we had as children and had places like this to go to still then maybe 6 year olds would be out skinning their knees instead of on eyephones. -From a nostalgic 20 year old!!
    Kind Regards, Lucy

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