was a theme park
that operated in East Dundee, Illinois
from 1959 to 2006. It was built by Glenn Holland
, who also built two other Santa's Villages, in California
; one located in San Bernardino County
and the other in Santa Cruz County
. The Illinois park, the third to be built, was projected to be the hub of a chain of Santa's Villages across the country. However, parks planned for Richmond, Virginia
and Cherry Hill, New Jersey
, were never built, and the park in East Dundee became the last of its kind.
The buildings were modeled on what an average child might imagine Santa's Village would look like. When it opened, it was a very prominent theme park. Over the park's history more than 20 million people passed through the front gates.
One addition to the park, opened in 1963, was the "Polar Dome" which provided an ice skating and hockey venue under a forced-air supported dome. On November 28, 1966, a strong wind caused the "Polar Dome" to collapse. The dome was then replaced by a flat cedar roof.
During the 1960s, the park featured short Amphicar
rides, which simply drove the riders about to the edge of a small lake, then out about another 100 feet, circling a pier, and returning to land.
In 1983 the park owners added Racing Rapids Action Park
to the north end of Santa's Village.
Although the parks were connected, there were separate admission gates to either one. A combination ticket was... Read More