Oakbrook Terrace water slides had good ride in 1980s

Full story: Chicago Tribune

I remember being 10 years old and so excited when a friend called with the invitation.
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1 - 20 of 70 Comments Last updated Jul 24, 2013
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Chicago

Springfield, IL

#1 Jul 9, 2009
I grew up near there in the 80's. Have ALOT of fond memories of that slide! Too bad they didn't just keep it simple. I remember after they expanded the park, adding a couple of tubes that went into the ground and circled around, and some other waterpark type attractions. Totally loved the expansion, but I remember the second time we went, my buddy broke his leg in one of the "tubes" getting his leg caught and bent back. They literally had to make a human chain to pull him out. I'm figuring that probably happened more than a few times over the years, and then HERE COME THE LAWYERS! Anyway, LOVED THAT PLACE GROWING UP! Totally forgot about "The Flame" restaurant too. Thanks for sparking the fond memories!
Fred

Chicago, IL

#2 Jul 10, 2009
I grew up in Elmhurst in 80's. Needless to say, The Flame (restaurant and slide) rules! So does East End and york Commons!
JimBob

Minneapolis, MN

#3 Jul 10, 2009
Just for the record - didn't the Flame Restaurant burn down? I seem to recall seeing the burned-out hulk of the place as my folks drove through the area once.
JEP

United States

#4 Jul 10, 2009
Wasn't there a couple more slides than just the two? I have vague memories of going to a water park in the mid 80's and there being a couple of slides on a hill. I had completely forgotten the place until I went to Elmhurst College and while driving down Route 83 I saw the remnants of the slides among the tres and thinking "I've been there, I think." Now I'm going to have to ask my parents since I remember there being more than just two slides.
DuPage Kid

United States

#5 Jul 10, 2009
I used to go to this water park as well. It was a blast. Then it just closed.

The rumor spread that some kids were hurt on the large winding slides since they were scattered with some bumps designed to flip you out of your inner tube. You did get a little banged up, but you ran back up the hill to do it again. You were a kid after all.

The rumor really did become "the lawyers shut it down".
B Knight

Chicago, IL

#6 Jul 10, 2009
Ebenezer Floppen Slopper's! Seemed like that whole area formed into a kids' paradise. The author mentioned Kiddie Kingdom in a quote, which turned into the Oak Brook Tower. And there was also go-karts and batting cages just down the frontage road from that slide; that spot is a big Wal-Mart now. Was that slide was the first entertainment spot in the area, or did the go-karts or KK come first?
TTT

Hinsdale, IL

#7 Jul 10, 2009
B Knight wrote:
Ebenezer Floppen Slopper's! Seemed like that whole area formed into a kids' paradise. The author mentioned Kiddie Kingdom in a quote, which turned into the Oak Brook Tower. And there was also go-karts and batting cages just down the frontage road from that slide; that spot is a big Wal-Mart now. Was that slide was the first entertainment spot in the area, or did the go-karts or KK come first?
Actually the go-karts are still there, amazingly.
Rex the Dog

Chicago, IL

#8 Jul 10, 2009
The original Flame restaurant is still operating in La Grange on Joliet Road and is as good as ever. Everyone should stop in and have a martini and a steak and say hi to Lori the manager! The Flame in Oak Brook Terrace burned down years ago. I remember going to the water slides and having to sit on mats because the slides were made of concrete. They were a blast!
Jen

United States

#9 Jul 10, 2009
B Knight wrote:
Ebenezer Floppen Slopper's! Seemed like that whole area formed into a kids' paradise. The author mentioned Kiddie Kingdom in a quote, which turned into the Oak Brook Tower. And there was also go-karts and batting cages just down the frontage road from that slide; that spot is a big Wal-Mart now. Was that slide was the first entertainment spot in the area, or did the go-karts or KK come first?
The Go-Karts are still there - at least they were when I drove by 2 weeks ago.
Tony

Roselle, IL

#10 Jul 10, 2009
JimBob wrote:
Just for the record - didn't the Flame Restaurant burn down? I seem to recall seeing the burned-out hulk of the place as my folks drove through the area once.
Yes. It was at the corner of Roosevelt Road (Route 38, 12th Street) and Villa Avenue. My Grandparents have lived down the street since the early 50's so we went past the "ruins" all the time. There is a Chevrolet dealer there now.
Cicero Unga

United States

#11 Jul 10, 2009
I can remember eating cupcakes while going down the water slides - they can keep their 50 million dollar water parks, I'd rather keep it simple.
Peter Smith

Chicago, IL

#12 Jul 10, 2009
We went there with youth groups all the time. Then one of the adults lifted his knee high enough at one point to get it wrenched. Bad enough to need surgery.
Baines

Memphis, IN

#13 Jul 10, 2009
Ebenezer and Kiddie Kingdom........that was my childhood
Fletch

United States

#14 Jul 10, 2009
I grew up in Hinsdale in the early 80s and that place was the greatest. We used to beg to go every day. We even called it the flame. I wish they would post some pictures if they had any. And yes it was right by Spencer's Kiddie Kingdom.
All gone

United States

#15 Jul 10, 2009
They're all gone. Kiddieland. Kiddie Kingdom. There's nowhere to go but Great America. I wish someone would save Kiddieland or open a new, low-key place.
Save Kiddieland

Chicago, IL

#16 Jul 10, 2009
Here's a column from a local paper advocating that the Cook County Board save Kiddieland!
http://www.austinweeklynews.com/main.asp...
Michael

Elk Grove Village, IL

#17 Jul 10, 2009
The potential for bodily injury always makes just about any recreational activity that much more fun. If I recall correctly, the foam bumps weren't installed until later on and slowed the ride down considerably. Prior to them the slide was pretty fast. If you were skilled enough at pumping through the turns you could launch yourself above the lip. I wish someone would renovate and reopen that place. Chicago needs at least one old school, cement waterslide.
Fun Stuff

Plano, TX

#18 Jul 10, 2009
I remember a couple of my friends going to the water slide after hours. They packed a cooler, stripped to their underwear and had a grand old time. Did I mention it was raining out so there was water to slide on.

They had fun til the security guard tried to catch them. LOL.
Christopher

Chicago, IL

#19 Jul 10, 2009
How come these tribune articles never have pictures? Maybe the newspaper would be more relevant in 2009 if they kept up with the pace of technology and provided us with some PHOTOGRAPHS instead of long winded whimsical stories.
Mike

United States

#20 Jul 10, 2009
Christopher wrote:
How come these tribune articles never have pictures? Maybe the newspaper would be more relevant in 2009 if they kept up with the pace of technology and provided us with some PHOTOGRAPHS instead of long winded whimsical stories.
Part of the magic of these stories is that they spark your memory, and pictures really aren't needed. Anyone who went to this place back in the day probably had such a blast that their visions are still firmly ingrained in their memories.

Thanks for writing this column!

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