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Penny Whistle Park Is Now a Nursery

January 18, 2009
The glory days of Penny Whistle Park

The glory days of Penny Whistle Park

For an entire generation, Penny Whistle Park was a nostalgic indoor carnival/amusement park here in Dallas. Rides, games, food, all that. But now there’s a new generation that has no memory or knowledge of it. The building and property has since become a landscaper’s nursery. It’s been a nursery for years now.

Somewhere along the way, Penny Whistle Park lost something and never got it back. I’m guessing that while amusement parks changed and got more sophisticated, the owner(s) chose to cling to nostalgia. Expectations rose higher while Penny Whistle’s delivery on experience didn’t.

This is what Penny Whistle Park has become

This is what Penny Whistle Park has become

This is a post not so much about change as it is about the shifting cloud of relevancy. Being relevant as a church, and remaining relevant, is a moving target. It’s something in constant motion that demands more time and energy … and money … than many (read: most) are willing and able to devote.

Did people in general suddenly lose their appetite for amusement? No. The amusement parks committed to reaching their audience advanced to meet the expectations of a new generation. Is the Gospel of Jesus Christ going to suddenly become untrue? No. The churches committed to reaching lost and “far from God” people will advance to meet a new generation where they are.

Mourning the loss of a beloved amusement park is one thing. Closing the doors of a church that lost its relevancy is quite another. Every day to and from work, I drive right by what used to be Penny Whistle Park … and remember what used to be.

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. January 19, 2009 3:12 pm

    seriously. penny whistle park was heaven when i was five.

    i loved that place with a passion!

  2. January 19, 2009 6:35 pm

    As for relevance and the church, I think it’s so important to remember that the message (Jesus) is always relevant; it’s his messengers that lose touch with relevance.

    The funny thing is that, if you, Christian, are relevant in every other realm of your life, what does that say about your faith?

  3. Angela Calderone permalink
    June 4, 2009 1:58 am

    My sister and I used to go to penny whistle parck and some other park some what like it all of the time as kids. We have SO MANYY wonderful memories there. I would have loved to take my children and let them have the same experience. I am disapointed to here that it is no longer there…

  4. kirstin permalink
    March 9, 2010 4:38 pm

    i think that girl there on the far seat is me, i had the same outfit and was always there with my family. miss that place.

  5. Bryan permalink
    March 28, 2010 6:14 am

    Man I miss this place!!! I used to go there all the time cause I lived in the apts right next to it. :( I used to go there with my grandma on the weekends too haha. Good times!!

    • December 9, 2011 5:19 am

      Yeah? Were the apartments named AMARADA, by any chance? If so, there used to be a gas “service” station nearby. To a 5yr old, it was a huge orange ball in the sky. What was the actual name of this gas staion? Wasn’t it Shell, back in the day? Or, perhaps, it was a union 76 station?

  6. james odom permalink
    April 9, 2010 2:53 am

    I am 68 now, we went to dallas to take my 2 yr. old Grandson to clown around. when we got there it was closed, he cried and i cried, so we had to find a place to take him and lo and behold we found penny whistle park, thank the good Lord for that. He was happy and so was we. what a great place, we were talking the other day and i thought i would look it up. sorry it is closed. glad i had my camera.

  7. sheri nance permalink
    September 6, 2010 4:03 am

    I really miss penny whistle park. my daughter had all her party’s at the park, she is 30 w/ a 15 mos old girl. I wish my grand daughter could have the same experiences. calling for reservation and the lady with that voice what memories. oh well

  8. Kim permalink
    February 17, 2011 2:10 am

    Our family took our now 31 year old sons to Penny Whistle Park regularly from Plano…..we loved it…and we were just talking about it the other day when I decided to google it to just “see” if it may be still up and going if not in the same place but maybe somewhere around….it was great to have a place to go INDOORS on rainy days or even hot weekends…..we too miss it…..but life goes on…those were our memories of those days…Chucky Cheese has nothing on Penny Whistle Park!

  9. Rachel permalink
    July 4, 2011 7:00 pm

    I still remember the best birthdat parties there…and I still have some wooden nickles from there!

  10. Kevin permalink
    February 24, 2012 4:08 am

    Between this old place and Sesame Place in Irving where 2 places I sure remember. I don’t have any pictures, but what a fun place!

  11. James Houston permalink
    July 22, 2012 7:07 pm

    Was just sitting here at the local Chuck E Cheese at a birthday party for my friends children. Started thinking about the bday parties me and my siblings had at Penny Whistle Park and how it was the original fun zone. I am 40 yrs old and I miss being a kid and I miss Penny Whistle Park. I wish I could have been able to share my experiences there with my children today.

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