Chuck E. Cheese

Chuck E. Cheese

To a parent with a headache, it was a preview of purgatory. To the millions of rambunctious kids that have come through its doors over the years, Chuck E. Cheese was instead the nearest thing to heaven. Fluffy animals, yummy pizza, an assortment of arcade games - all the essentials needed for an afternoon of glorious fun were within arm’s reach. In other words, it was a place where a kid could be a kid. Continue reading...

Haunted Houses

Haunted Houses

In childhood, few things are as delightfully frightful as a spooky old home in the neighborhood that, according to legend, is inhabited by ghostly spirits. For decades, our entertainment has happily helped condition us to believe in the validity of such places, as evidenced by the overwhelming number of books, films, television shows, and attractions that not only convinced us, but painted a vivid image in our heads as to what a haunted house is supposed to look like. Continue reading...

The Enchanted Tiki Room

The Enchanted Tiki Room

“All the birds sing words and the flowers croon, in the (tiki, tiki, tiki, tiki) Tiki Room”.So sayeth the theme song to one of the most beloved attractions in Disneyland, located at the entrance to Adventureland. With over 250 animated birds, flowers, and statues to serenade and delight guests, it isn't any wonder that people have been flocking to see The Enchanted Tiki Room since 1963. Continue reading...

Roadside Attractions

Roadside Attractions

The end of summer is a traditional time for families to pack up the car and head out on the nation’s highways for a good, old-fashioned road trip vacation. Perhaps grandma’s house is the final destination, or perhaps it’s Wally World, or just a relaxing jaunt down Route 66, but millions will be traveling the nation’s highways this summer. And depending on where one’s travels take them, folks may even pass a few of the strange and wonderful roadside attractions that have dotted the landscape of rural highways over the last century. Today, we thought we would take a look at some of these classic spots that have lured more than a few families to make a quick detour on the way to grandma’s house. Continue reading...

Drive-in Movies

Drive-in Movies

They may be disappearing from the landscape one-by-one, but Drive-in movies certainly aren’t forgotten. Enormously popular in the 50s and 60s, there were few places that could compete with the local drive-in when it came to a great place to take a date - mainly due to the privacy that an enclosed theater just couldn’t afford. They were also popular with families, providing an affordable night out on a hot summer's night. Continue reading...

Stuckey's

Stuckey’s

If your family ever took one of those summer road-trip vacations, you likely encountered Stuckey’s somewhere along your route. An oasis for highway travelers of any sort, Stuckey’s offered a place to rest, gas up, or have a 99-cent breakfast (back in the day, at least). If you had a sweet tooth, they had plenty of their famous pecan rolls on hand; if you needed a quick souvenir, they offered a wall-to-wall assortment of trinkets, from rattlesnake earrings to coffee mugs, Mexican rugs to t-shirts. Stuckey’s was a welcoming sight to many a weary family. Continue reading...

Sea World

Sea World

The public has long held a fascination for the plethora of aquatic critters lurking below the ocean surfaces. Shows like The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau captivated millions in the 60s and 70s by offering a glimpse of this sparsely explored environment from the comforts of their own living room. For those a little more adventurous, Sea world has offered a way to get up close and personal with these majestic creatures for over four decades. They aren't the first oceanarium (Marineland holds that distinction), but over the years they have grown to become one of the best known providers of undersea entertainment, while always keeping their emphasis on research, education and conservation efforts. Continue reading...

Fotomat

Fotomat

Somewhere in a parking lot near you, there might just be a tiny old shack, perhaps converted into a drive-up coffee stand or some other small business. Chances are, this was once a Fotomat and, in its glory days, was painted a brilliant sky blue with a pyramid-shaped gold roof. Cars waited in line impatiently, eager to relive their memories of a graduation day, or a vacation, or a baby's first steps. Fotomats once dotted the landscape of our nation. Then, almost overnight, technology swept in with little mercy and Fotomat became as extinct as the film they once developed. Continue reading...