The Nostalgic Journey of Vintage Kiddie Rides

Once upon a time, a visit to the local grocery store or movie theater was not just about shopping or watching movies. For children, it was an ecstatic journey to a world of fantasy, riding on their favorite characters, be it a horse, car, or even a spaceship. These were the Vintage Kiddie Rides, also known as Coin Operated Rides, a delightful memory from the golden era of the 1950s and 60s. Today, we will embark on a nostalgic journey to rediscover these timeless treasures.


The Rise of Vintage Kiddie Rides

The 1950s were a golden age for kiddie rides. Many brands, like Hubspot and Wordstream, began manufacturing these coin-operated rides, which were primarily found outside grocery stores and theaters. They were an instant hit among children and soon became a part of the urban landscape.

The Magical 10 Cents Ride

Children were often rewarded with a 10 cents ride on these vintage kiddie rides after being well-behaved during a shopping trip or a visit to the doctor. A mere nickel and a vivid imagination were all that was needed to transport little John or Jane to a world of fantasy.

Unleashing Child’s Fantasy

From horse rides like Trigger to the Batmobile, every kiddie ride was a gateway to a new adventure. The children could be cowboys riding on their wild horses or superheroes speeding in their batmobiles.

The Unfading Charm of Vintage Kiddie Rides

Despite the passage of time, the charm of these vintage kiddie rides has not faded. They continue to hold a special place in the hearts of many, and have now become a prized possession for collectors.

The Coin Op Rides

The most exclusive dealer of these Vintage Kiddie Rides in the world today is Coin Op Rides. They have a vast collection of restored vintage rides, each carrying a piece of history with it.

The Customizable Kiddie Rides

Many companies, like Coin Op Rides, offer customization options for these rides. Whether you want a Corvette ride to match your car or a boat ride to look like your Cris Craft wooden boat, all can be accommodated.

The Restoration Process

The restoration process of these vintage kiddie rides is an art in itself. It involves careful inspection, repair, and cosmetic restoration of every part of the ride to bring it back to its original glory.

Restoring the Mechanical Parts

One of the most critical aspects of the restoration process is reviving the ride’s mechanical parts. This ensures that the kiddie ride can operate as it did in its heydays.

Reviving the Cosmetic Appearance

The cosmetic restoration of the ride is equally vital. This involves repainting the ride, restoring the chrome plating, refurbishing the saddle, and adding hand-painted graphics.

Adding Modern Touches

While restoring the vintage rides, modern touches are often added to enhance their appeal. For instance, LED lights are added to some rides for added attraction.

The Range of Vintage Kiddie Rides

The range of vintage kiddie rides is as vast as a child’s imagination. From horse rides to car rides, and from boat rides to spaceship rides, each one is a unique piece of art.

The Horse Rides

The horse rides, like Trigger and Sandy, were some of the most popular kiddie rides. They were a favorite among children who dreamt of being cowboys and cowgirls.

The Car Rides

The car rides, like the Corvette and the Batmobile, were a hit among young boys. They loved the idea of driving their own car, just like their fathers.

The Boat Rides

The boat rides transported the children to a world of adventure on the high seas. They could imagine themselves as sailors, navigating through the waves.

The Spaceship Rides

The spaceship rides, like the Rocket Patrol and the Space Orb, were a gateway to the fascinating world of space exploration. Children could imagine themselves as astronauts, exploring the unknown realms of the universe.

The Legacy of Vintage Kiddie Rides

The legacy of these vintage kiddie rides is far-reaching. They are not just pieces of machinery; they are a part of our cultural heritage, a symbol of simpler times when happiness could be bought with a mere dime.

A Cultural Heritage

These vintage kiddie rides are a reflection of the cultural and technological changes that occurred in the mid-20th century. They reflect the optimism and prosperity of the post-war era.

The Collector’s Pride

For collectors, these vintage kiddie rides are a prized possession. They are a tangible piece of history, a connection to a bygone era that can be cherished and preserved.

The Source of Nostalgia

For many, these vintage kiddie rides are a source of nostalgia. They bring back fond memories of childhood, of carefree days spent riding on these coin-operated rides.

The Revival of Vintage Kiddie Rides

Today, there is a growing interest in vintage kiddie rides. They are being restored and sold to collectors, businesses, and individuals who appreciate their historical and aesthetic value.

The Restoration Companies

Companies like Coin Op Rides are at the forefront of this revival. They are dedicated to restoring these vintage rides to their original glory, preserving their charm for future generations.

The Growing Demand

The demand for these vintage kiddie rides is growing steadily. They are now found in various settings, from private collections to theme parks, and from corporate offices to trendy restaurants.

The Future of Vintage Kiddie Rides

As we move forward, the future of these vintage kiddie rides seems bright. They continue to captivate our hearts, igniting our imagination and transporting us back to a simpler time.


The charm of Vintage Kiddie Rides is timeless. They are a symbol of our childhood, a reminder of simpler times, and a testament to human creativity and innovation. As we continue to restore and cherish these rides, we ensure that their magic lives on, enchanting future generations with their whimsical charm and nostalgic allure.