"Benson's Wild Animal Farm (1927-1987) was a long-running private zoo and amusement park in Hudson, New Hampshire...Benson's Wild Animal Farm has reopened as "Benson Park", a 165.8 US acre passive recreational use municipal park in the Town of Hudson, NH for free use to the public..."
York's Wild Kingdom prides itself on being New England's only zoo and amusement park, but apparently, this wasn't always the case.
What made Benson's Animal Farm such a popular destination?
Well, it's safe to say that there was a lot to do. This map alone promises a fun-filled day at a joyful place filled with music, rides, shows, and of course, animals.
Guests could ride on a carousel, elephant, or both. In addition to the kid-friendly rides, a handful of thrill rides were also added to bring in more customers.
Benson's looked like such a lively place, and a perfect spot to make lifelong family memories.
Take a look at this old photograph of a packed parking lot during a sunny day at the Park. It's clear that this place was special and one-of-a-kind.
What does Benson's Animal Farm look like today?
It's a shame that Benson's is no longer open, but parts of some attractions are thankfully still standing and keeping the Park's memory alive.
Efforts have been made to repair these decaying structures, and they've since been given new life.
For instance, here's the newly-refurbished Old Woman in the Shoe...
...along with the elephant barn and a ticket booth.
In 2020, Exit the Norm posted the below video to YouTube, which shows more of what the Park looks like today.
What are your memories from Benson's Wild Animal Park? Was there a favorite attraction you loved, or an animal you really wanted to see?
Let's take a look back at other New Hampshire things you'll remember if you lived in the '80s.
10 Things You Totally Remember If You Lived in New Hampshire In the 1980s
If you lived here in New Hampshire in the 1980's, there's no way that you didn't know about these events, people and places. They were part of our lives and some, still are. Sadly a few are no longer with us, but enjoy this list. I know I enjoyed remembering all these things from back in the day.
These Items Will Give You Nostalgia for Yoken's Restaurant in Portsmouth
Take a look back at these Yoken's family restaurant items from a menu to the famous treasure chest and "Thar She Blows" whale sign.