when I was young.
Forest Park holds special memories for me. When the weekend arrived, it usually meant a trip to the park.
We had, as I call it, the little park by 80th Street, but a special treat was making the trek to the “big park” past the carousel. In the 70s, I remember riding the carousel when it cost 25 cents. I think it’s $3 or more to ride one of those spectacular horses today.
We would dash to get the horses that went up and down, and nobody ever wanted a chair seat. I had school trips there, trips with the family and, when I was a bit older, trips with my friends to enjoy a few rides and have a snack afterwards.
I also remember the parking lot at the bandshell hosting free roller-skating events. I don’t remember much about that, just that it was a big mobile van that came and went. It was fun to skate around that parking lot on a Sunday afternoon.
Another fond memory is the pony rides, which were somewhere a little past the carousel area. On rare occasions I got to ride them (the carousel was much cheaper), but mostly I watched others tromping around.
When the family went to the big park, mom would pack a picnic lunch for us and we would stay the entire day, with badminton or frisbee the game of choice.
As I grew a bit older, the popular thing was handball. I loved to play at Victory Field, and I like to believe I was pretty good.
Just a few years ago, I smacked the ball around a bit, but it was much easier in the 80s. I made sure it wasn’t a busy day, as my ball repeatedly soared over the wall.
Today, I still enjoy jogging through the trails by Forest Park and listening to the concerts at the bandshell. The weather is getting warmer finally, so get out and enjoy your park.
And don’t forget the Spring Promotion on April 13, from 1 to 3 p.m. at Forest Parkway Plaza. The GWDC will host pictures with the Easter Bunny and a make-and-take it craft table for the kids. See you then!