King's Castle Land

Once upon a time, there was a magic portal to an extraordinary realm
where adventure and playtime merged across a vast landscape of fairy tales incarnated.
This portal was, in reality, a mere ticket booth.
And the extraordinary realm beyond that ticket booth was the independently owned
family amusement park known as King's Castle Land* of Whitman, Massachusetts.
Over four generations, King's Castle Land hosted and fostered the imaginations of youngsters and the young at heart.  

Through this coloring activity website, we hope to recapture just a bit of that magic and share it with the world.

*Not to be confused with more famous  amusement parks such as Maryland's Enchanted Forest,  New York's Story Town,
New Hampshire's Story Land, or the Storyland  franchise!

The lost kingdom

A complete history of King's Castle Land is difficult to come by.
The story goes, around 1946, a fellow by the name of Joe King put up roadside attractions
alongside his King's Restaurant  on Bedford Street, part of Rt. 18 through Whitman, Massachusetts.

Rt. 18 was a big deal circa the late 40s, the dawning of the great travel era,
when station wagons and road trips were fast becoming an integral part of the American lifestyle.
Bedford Street was a hot-spot on the way to Paragon Park and Nantasket Beach.
Not far from King's Restaurant was the famous Toll House Inn,
where the recipe for chocolate chip cookies originated in Ruth Wakefield's kitchen about 10 years earlier.
Rt. 18 bustled with tourists.
Property owners like Joe King planned to offer those tourists a unique hospitality.

Joe had bigger ideas than his neighbors.
He wanted to stand out from the heritage related attractions like the Toll House Inn
and Peaceful Meadows Ice Cream Farm, and so flanked King's Restaurant with big, colorful displays
of life-size models based on famous fairy tales and nursery rhymes.

Such as

  • The “shoe house” of The Old Woman Who Lived In a Shoe
  • A “pumpkin house” having something to do with Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater
  • A great “whale pond”, in which one could walk into a whale's gaping mouth and see Pinocchio's Father, Geppetto, down in the bowels of the beast.
  • The infamous houses of straw, sticks and bricks of The Three Little Pigs
  • The court of Old King Cole and his merry band of fiddlers
  • The strange, uneven abode of The Crooked Man
  • A life-size dragon that belched actual flames
  • A “Jack and the Beanstalk” inspired giant even bigger than the dragon

King's Castle Restaurant becomes
King's Castle Land

Indeed, the property and its wonders would remain a hallmark of Whitman, Massachusetts, for over four decades, but just what King's Restaurant was like during the 50s and 60s is a mystery nowadays.
There are only a couple of photographs from this era making the rounds on the internet - and not much else to go on.

What we do  know is that, sometime in 1967, there was a fellow named Clarence Whitney,
the owner of a little toy store, appropriately called Hideaway Toys.
Clarence was eager to change his "hideaway" image when he found out the King's Restaurant property was for sale
and eagarly acquired the 2.5 acres including its famous attractions.

By decade's end, Clarence and his family expanded the premises to 5 acres,
supplanting the dining experience succinctly with a whole new "Castle Land" family theme park!

Complete with

  • Premium toy store
  • Candy store and souvenir shop
  • Drawbridge style ticket booth over a “moat” hosting a “live” alligator
  • Pond with ferry and paddle-boats
  • Petting zoo
  • Classic style carousel
  • Choo-Choo train ride through the park
  • Kid sized cars (on rails) “drive” through the park
  • Amusement park style rides for older kids

...and plenty more.

Thanks to Clarence's rebuilding and rebranding, Joe King's old fire-breathing dragon became more famous than ever.
King's Castle Land and Toy Store hosted families from far and wide across America.

By the time my brother and I (about us) were cutting our teeth, King's Castle Land had expanded to 7 acres.
Circa 1970s, King's Castle Land was the consummate childhood paradise - and only minutes from our home.
Needless to say, we visited King's Castle Land often - and enjoyed it immensely!

all good things...

It was bad enough, entering our early teenage years, leaving behind our appreciation for King's Castle Land,
but worse still - Clarence wasn't getting any younger and times, they were-a-changin'.
As the 1980s pressed on, King's Castle Land grew no more.  Rather, it started shrinking.  Decaying.

The King's Castle Toy Store, once considered the best in the area, fell by the wayside among new corporate chains
who had no interest in maintaining a full scale amusement park.

Tourism waned and nobody seemed to care about King's Castle Land anymore.

One fateful day, the glorious dragon's flame went out, never to burn again.
In its last throes of death, the old boy saw the toy store's brief resurrection as a video games arcade
before the entire property was demolished and bulldozed in favor of a Super Stop&Shop in 1994.

Here's a link to another video
interview with Clarence Whitney
the owner of King's Castle Land and Toy Store !
(We're unable to embed the video into this page)

the princess of coloring books

We make Coloring Books and Printable Download Pages!
Have a look at our growing line-up of coloring books (and printable pages) for kids of all ages!

Free Samples, Right This Way!

About the photos in the above videos:

All in all, there are enough older photos going around the internet to show the scope
and general atmosphere of King's Castle Land Theme Park and Toy Store in its heyday.
However, most photos you'll find seem to be from the 1980s when mechanical kiddie-rides
dominated the park and the older attractions were being closed off due to lack of renovation and/or maintenance.
Of course, Clarence doesn't mention that in his interviews, but that's what went down.
The toy store had to compete with new corporate chains such as Kay-Bee Toys  and Toys-R-Us, mind you.
Alas, it's the way of things.

We just wanted to point out that the writing was on the wall in the 1980s and photos from this era
only show what appears to be your average, run-o-the mill amusement park - which is fine and all,
but King's Castle Land was a lot more of a unique playground experience than an average,
run-o-the mill amusement park during the 60s and 70s.

You can find more photos of King's Castle Land (and submit your own, if you have some!) 
on Instagram 

The surviving pictures you'll find are real gems that give you just a hint of what King's Castle Land was like!

And Now... here's a word from our sponsor!

Just kidding!  It's us again!

the royal knight of coloring books

We just want to make sure you know where to get
some fun coloring books!

Free Samples, Right This Way!

We hope you enjoy our growing line-up of coloring books suitable for kids, adults, families and friends!

king's Castle Coloring Books