Kiddie Acres owners retire: 'We've done our part in Austin to make children happy'

Kiddie Acres owner Joseph Herring says his business began when he started his family back in 1970s when there weren’t as many options for his three-year-old to go and play.

He never expected the park would become the heart of the Austin community. 

From the Ferris wheel and carousel to the 1953 miniature train, Herring believes the simplicity of these rides is what kept the park alive.

“A lot of times, when they're flying one of the airplanes or riding a horse, they're not just riding a horse or flying an airplane, they're chasing cattle or after the Red Baron or something like that,” Herring said.

For generations, Kiddie Acres held birthday parties and family outings, and although they will miss bringing joy to the little ones, they feel it's time to put their 14-hour shifts and busy weekends behind them.

Herring and his wife, Marina, plan to travel across the country and fish.

“I’ve never seen the Pacific Ocean before,” he said. “And I wanna go up where Louis and Clark expedition first saw it  - stuff like that - I think that’d be cool,” Herring added.

The couple also wants to carve out more time to spend with their son and daughter, both of whom live outside of Central Texas.

“We've done our part in Austin to make children happy,” the 67-year-old said.

He hopes the new owners buy the entire set-up to continue the tradition.

“Hopefully we'll have grandchildren one day and take them to a park like this,” Herring added.

By September, the land has to be cleared of the items for the new land owner, Herring says it will be taken over by a landscaping company.

As for the rides and machines, the auction catalog will be posted online on July 11, the bidding will end on August 8, everything sells with no reserve. 

© 2017 KVUE-TV


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