Forgotten Houston for Kids: AstroWorld, the One That Got Away

Categories: Houston 101

astroworld-field.jpg
Photo by Jeff Balke
The dirt lot of my childhood dreams.
When I was compiling the Houston Bucket List in July and August, I found myself returning to places in my mind that no longer existed. Because so many of these were memories from my childhood it's no surprise that most of them were specifically for kids. It got me thinking we should remember these places of our youth and pay tribute to them in some way. This series will focus on forgotten Houston landmarks made especially for kids.

First up is the mother of all losses for kids of all ages, AstroWorld.

Name: AstroWorld
Description:Classic Amusement Park
Location: South Loop at Main Street
Features: Texas Cyclone, Southern Star Amphitheater, Water World

Not long ago, I put together a bunch of old AstroWorld commercials in a blog post and it got a great response demonstrating just how popular that place still is. A friend of mine has a ton of AstroWorld memorabilia, some of which he bought at an auction Six Flags held after the park closed. Virtually everything he has, I remember...vividly.

When you live in a city with an amusement park, it's hard to imagine life without it, particularly when that park is as cool as AstroWorld was. From the Texas Cyclone to Thunder River; from Fright Night to the Souther Star Amphitheater; from Water World to the tram car speaker that were impossible to understand when riding from the parking lot to the main entrance, everything about it was a fantasy for a kid.


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16 comments
Joshua Adam Hunt
Joshua Adam Hunt

Until the thugs took it over. Anything nice is this city is ruined by thugs and I'm sick of it. Hopefully the new theme park in porter will jack the prices up to keep me out.

Katie Heim
Katie Heim

The Viper, Grease Lightning. ..those giant sunglasses.

mark.t.tran
mark.t.tran

my friends and i were just talking about astroworld driving to the depeche mode concert.  how when we were kids, we'd all get season passes and spend our summer days at the amusement park and our summer nights at southern star amplitheater which had free general admission for season pass holders.

René Espinoza
René Espinoza

To think our kids will never know the joy of a season pass.

Eligio J. Garza
Eligio J. Garza

This literally made me almost cry!!! To never know those joys of an amusement park on a weekend!

Obscura
Obscura

Met my wife at Waterworld, we were lifeguards in 1988. I wish we could take our daughter there to see where we met. :-( 

Puller58
Puller58

Fell in love with the Coney Island Cyclone.  Shame the park closed, but when Bally bought them, they'd been losing money for years.  Judge Hofheinz's dream is dead.

Charlene Bigham
Charlene Bigham

I also liked the dinner theatre that TUTS had in the ballroom during the 70's.

Michelle Mower
Michelle Mower

You and my hubby both. He's always waxing nostalgic about swimming in their pool and watching movies there during the summer.

Merch77
Merch77

The reason Astroworld ended up for sale can be contributed to two Groups. The Livestock Show and Rodeo Group and the Texans, because they forced the county to cancel the parking arrangement with Astroworld. The park could never really interfere with them. TGhat the reason I'll never go to a Texans Game or  Any Houston Rodeo events. oLok out Astrodome your next on their list.

lakers392003
lakers392003

I can close my eyes and walk my way through that park. I miss that place all the time. The cyclone, the XLR8, the vipor, the log ride...man I literally grew up there. We would get season passes (for $16!!) and our parents would drop us off and we would spend a day there every week! We always stopped and got those small loafs from the Mrs Bairds shop to eat on the way home. 

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