IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - Since 1947, Funland in Tautphaus Park in Idaho Falls has operated as a place where the community could come for entertainment and make memories.
"There's nostalgia that comes with Funland, I can't tell you how many people have told me stories now that they know this is happening. About this is where they had their first kiss or their first date or they got engaged here, and so there just seems to be this real connection to what Funland represents and to all of our lives for all of us who grew up in Idaho," said the director of the Funland Restoration Committee, Dana Kirkham.
This is the first year the amusement park, that was purchased by the City of Idaho Falls last year, is closed.
Kirkham told us the city has big plans for the area.
"We're trying to restore it to its original glory, so to speak, and have that connection kind of to 1947 1850s."
Kirkham said the history in things like the miniature golf, Eli wheel, carousel, and swings, will be showcased in the new and improved Funland that will be in conjunction with the Idaho Falls Zoo.
"So hopefully in the future you can buy a pass to Funland or to the zoo or one in combination, something like that. Not all of those things have been decided for sure yet but those are the kinds of conversations that we're having. Trying to open it up a little bit so that there's a plaza in the middle where people can hold corporate events or family reunions or birthday parties, whatever the case," Kirkham said.
The Funland Restoration Committee is still in the early stages of developing the big plans for the amusement area that has touched so many generations, but Kirkham told us the city will be sharing more of what the community can expect in the coming weeks.
Until then, work is still being done to fun land, executive director of the Idaho Falls Zoo, David Pennock tells us they're collecting the old to help the committee determine what they need new.
"We've been cleaning out the buildings, we've been taking down the old worn out parts. So a lot has happened. Anything operational we are storing. So as the plans for exactly how Funland is going to be reconstituted, and that will be announced, we have all the parts, all the pieces, all the fun little things that we all remember from our childhood will all be ready to be used," Pennock said.
The city will be asking for donations from the community to help fund the project that they hope will continue to impact future generations.
Once it’s opened, all financial proceeds from Funland will go to support the Idaho Falls Zoo.