Magic Forest

The magic of Magic Forest was its willingness to mix roadside wonders from wherever.

The Lake George, New York, attraction opened in 1963 as the storybook variant of a postwar passive park, a children’s park relying on static displays, tableaux and baby animals to pet rather than being a ride-driven action park. But Magic Forest never limited itself to the pages of fairy tales as depicted in this postcard advertising its Indian Village, as well as projecting sign icons for Santa, Bambi, Indians and Spaceships. You want to tell Santa what you want for Christmas, pet Bambi, then run around the woods with a six-shooter and a ray gun looking for Indians? Have at it. Magic Forest survived a surprisingly long time. When it finally closed for good in 2018, the park probably appealed more to SCA-minded adults looking for remnants of their childhood than kids searching in vain for the water slides. The plan for Magic Forest is to be reinvented as Lake George Expedition Park with dinosaurs as the main attraction.

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