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Amusement Parks: Happy Hollow Park and Zoo – a Potted History

Happy Hollow is an amusement park and zoo which is located inside Kelley Park in San Jose, California.

The idea for the amusement park began in 1956 when the San Jose Junior Chamber of Commerce, known as the ‘Jaycees’ wanted to form a project aimed at local children in the community. After several years of fundraising, the amusement park opened to the public in 1961. 

The amusement park has always been aimed at younger children from the ages of approximately 2-10.  There are plenty of kids’ rides, play areas and puppet shows to enjoy. Special events and birthdays are also well catered for.

It wasn’t until 1967 when a number of exotic animals were introduced to the amusement park which ultimately led to the construction of the zoo area and because of the park and the zoo being adjacent to the amusement park, they decided to amalgamate in 1976. 

Today, the zoo section of the amusement park is home to many rare and endangered species including a jaguar. You can also see lemurs, donkeys, pygmy goats and miniature horses as well as many species of birds and reptiles. 

The amusement park and zoo attracts well over 300, 000 visitors a year. 

As well as the rides at the amusement park and the zoo, of course, there are other attractions to be enjoyed at the amusement park including a house of mirrors, a maze, a children’s play area and an antique watermill where you can read old newspaper clippings about the history of the amusement park and the zoo.

The amusement park and zoo is currently undergoing a major renovation which will include a new education centre, an animal care facility, an animal barn and new rides and new zoo exhibits. It is scheduled to reopen to the public in March 2010. 

See also:
Water Parks: Pharaoh’s Theme and Water Park – a Potted History
Amusement Parks: Children’s Fairyland – a Potted History
Aquariums: Birch Aquarium at Scripps – a Potted History 
Aquariums: Aquarium of the Bay – a Potted History

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