A visit to Bay Beach Amusement Park

Posted by Rene Schweitzer
on Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Over Labor Day weekend, husband Jim and I visited my parents in northeastern Wisconsin. After we left their house, we drove to Green Bay, about an hour's drive east. We had two destinations for the day: The National Railroad museum (see my blog post about last year's trip there) and Bay Beach Amusement Park.

I have fond memories of visiting Bay Beach as a child. It was a popular "end of the school year" excursion. I hadn't been there in 15+ years, and was in for some changes!

Bay Beach Amusement Park dates back to the 1890s and is owned by the City of Green Bay. In the 1910s and 20s, it was a popular destination for dancing and public gatherings. My maternal grandmother told me stories about dancing all night in their dance pavilion, and then walking to church in the early morning!

The park has free parking and no admission fee. To get on a ride, you need to buy tickets. Each ride costs between one and four tickets. Tickets never expire--so my parents would save tickets from year to year. When I was a kid, each ticket cost .10. Now they are .25. Still a bargain! Even the concessions are inexpensive--$2 for cotton candy, for instance.

You may be wondering where the trains in this post are. Well, here they come! Since 1956, the park has had a small, ride-on train that goes circles near Green Bay (the bay of water, not the city) and back. Since I last visited, the mainline has expanded significantly--there are TWO trains that run and even a "depot." One train is a Santa Fe F3 style and the other a steam-locomotive (though it isn't actually steam powered). 

There are other classic rides in the park--a carousel, ferris wheel, bumper cars, Tilt-a-Whirl, the giant swings, even a wooden roller coaster (though this is a relatively new addition from 2011).

I had not ridden amusement park rides in many years, but boy, they are just as fun as I remembered! I felt 10 years old again. Wheeee!

While I was waiting in line for rides, I sent my sister with my iPad to take photos around the park. I hope you enjoy this "tour" of the park. If you are ever in the Green Bay area, make sure to stop in (note: they are closed in the winter). The park is visible off of Interstate 43. For a few bucks, you'll enjoy a blast from the past!

Click on any photo to enlarge. If you get to the bottom of this post, there is a bonus for you. :-)

Instead of paying admission, you buy tickets to board each ride.

The front of the former dance hall.

Side of the dance hall.

Bumper cars. Some of the doors were open, but these were closed due to high winds that day.

The Zippen Pippen has a sign stating it was 'Elvis' favorite roller coaster.' Not this one, which didn't open until 2011.

A full-size railroad crossing signal greets you near the railroad depot.

A photo of the depot while I was in line to ride the Scrambler.

Another shot of the depot.

The 'F3' type locomotive runs on the park's original loop of track.

The shell of this diesel has changed since I last saw it.

Heading down the line!

On display in the park is this old baggage wagon.

Off in the distance is the newer 'Union Pacific' locomotive. The water in the background is the Bay of Green Bay.

These cars are covered.

A colorful engine!

Passengers board.

My niece and I ride the Scat.

BONUS PHOTO: Taken later that afternoon at the National Railroad Museum, an Alco S-6. It is painted in Green Bay Route, but never actually ran for that line. It was originally was Southern Pacific's no. 1203.

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