Repinned via Joanne Mustacchio

Source: Joanne Mustacchio via Pinterest

Any grownups in the area remember running around Peter Pan Playland as kids? It was a kiddie park located at 2609 Emmons Avenue where the unforgettable antics of Johnny Jellybean were frequently on display. Johnny, as shown above, was performed by Bill Britten, who went on to be the world’s most famous clown when he became television’s Bozo the Clown.

Reader John Landers sent us this photo of a genuine Peter Pan Playland ticket that granted access to the Little Dipper.

Photo courtsy of John Landers

Photo courtesy of John Landers


There’s not much info available online about the mini amusement park. We did find this legal brief from when Peter Pan’s owners sought to establish some parking on the site, which reveals that the owner acquired a block-sized vacant lot in 1948, and “installed children’s amusement devices and refreshment facilities” in June of 1954. The lot had split zoning, with the Emmons Avenue portion zoned for retail and the remainder for residential. In 1960, the owner wanted to create a parking lot for visitors, a request that was denied by the Board of Standards and Appeals (today, the concept of the BSA denying anything seems quite quaint). Our guess is without parking or permission to add amusements to the residential section, Peter Pan struggled. A commenter on the Coney Island message board notes that the location moved from Emmons Avenue to Knapp Street at some point before vanishing completely.

How was this place? The next best thing to Never Never Land? Inform us younger folk who never knew of its splendor, and share photos if you’ve got them.

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  • Metsknicks

    Just looked on Google Earth. 2609 Emmons Ave. is the block after Applebee’s if traveling from Bedford Ave. to Nostrand Ave.

  • Lisanne!

    I remember going there, but the specifics are gone from my mind.

  • Matthew Schless

    It was next to a miniature-golf facility, which was fun for kids, families and dates.

  • Brooklyn Tom

    For the longest time, I thought I was the only person who remembered Peter Pan Playland. My most vivid memory was a small scale train ride that went around the grounds.

    • Edward Winn

      I can picture it also

    • John Landers

      Tom You are both correct and incorrect. You are correct about the train ride that circled the park and had a sliding main entrance gate preventing people from crossing the tracks to enter the Playland when the train ride was passing in the front of the park. An employee would slide the gate back and let the people in once the train passed. You are incorrect in thinking you were the only one who remembered Peter Pan Playland. I remember it quite well which is why when I was packing up some books and found this ticket for the Little Dipper I had to send it to this site and hoped they posted it to see if anyone else remembered it as I did. Now if only I can find someone who remembers the miniture golf course and archery range on the corner of Avenue S and Flatbush Ave across from the old Buddies Fairyland. After the miniture golf and archery range folded it became a Strauss Store and is now a Rite Aide Pharmacy. Gosh I am so darn old.

      • Brightonresident

        I remember The train ride at Peter Pan. I also remember the mini-golf course across from Buddie’s. I remember that it became a trampoline “park” also.

  • guest

    Ya know if this stuff were around today I do think the kids would head over instead of sitting on the interwebs all day.

  • Jane

    They sold the most delicious “frozen custard” (that’s what it was called” ) served in big cones. Those of us who lived on Emmons Avenue in the Greenlawn Colony would walk there frequently just for them. As I recall, there was a kiddie train that circled the rest of the park. Even the “older kids” would hop on for a ride. What a great place to grow up!!! Jane Wolz Judd

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  • Frank

    Grew up right across the street, went there often. Also had a mini golf on the opposite corner, and a “Boys Club” behind that! They even had a Carvel type Ice cream shop next door. When I got too old for the place I would take my younger cousin and get her on some rides. Good times!

    • Wayne

      I remember the Boys Club. Downstairs I recall they had comics and knock hockey. I worked at Peter Pan during the summer of 1970 and also at Pappas near Sheepshead Bay Road. When i worked at Peter Pan, Marino Amico operated the train. I believe his brother Joseph married the daughter or granddaughter of the owner. I operated the merry go round and the cars that went around the track.

  • Nick

    I can’t believe these photos.I spent many wonderful times with my parents and family at this park.I am now 56 years old and these pictures of the park are just as I remembered it.There was also a boat ride that went in around in a circle and cars(looked like bumper cars)that went around a track.You thought you were steering them but they just went by themselves.Yes the ice cream or custard was great.They even had soft pistachio.My older sister worked at the mini golf course and gave me this card many years ago to keep for her.I grew up in the projects on Batchelder and W and had a wonderful childhood thanks to my loving parents.I am still trying to find pictures of stores that lined Nostrand Avenue between Z and U during the sixties and seventies.

    • Nick

      Here are the photos of the mini golf business cards.