Decades before Valley Fair and Nickelodeon Universe opened, there was the Wonderland Amusement Park, the first of its kind in Minnesota.

Not only did it have all of the traditional things you would expect out of a theme park from its day, but it also had an exhibit that was a bit of a head-scratcher, although it was quite popular at the time.

Wonderland opened on May 27, 1905, located on 20 acres of land, between Lake St. and 31st Avenue. It had a rollercoaster, with speeds up to 45 mph, a giant boat that went up a hill, before splashing into a lagoon. It had an ever-popular petting zoo, a miniature railroad for the kiddos, and even a beacon tower, standing 120 feet tall, lighting up the Twin Cities Metro every night.

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An Incubator?

Credit: Fox 9 Minneapolis-St. Paul via YouTube
Credit: Fox 9 Minneapolis-St. Paul via YouTube

However, the number one attraction for this theme park wasn't a ride at all, but rather, an incubator. It was called an infantorium, and for just 10 cents, parkgoers could walk in, and watch premature babies being saved with the latest incubator technology, which was quite groundbreaking for the period. It was hardly the first of its kind, as these public incubators were immensely popular during the early 20th century. In fact, it's the only part of the park that is still standing today, as it is currently used as an apartment complex.

Sadly, Wonderland Park closed permanently after just seven years of operation, citing high repair costs and harsh winters as the cause. The site was demolished back in 1915, but if you look closely, a few remnants of the old park remain.

Check out the YouTube videos below for a more, in-depth look at the majestic, Wonderland Park.


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