When the Pixieland amusement park opened just outside Lincoln City on May 15, 1969, it did so when theme parks were captivating the American imagination. Disneyland opened in 1955 and quickly became an enthralling escape in Southern California. Closer to home, the long-running Jantzen Beach Amusement Park was past its heyday and in its final days on Hayden Island, but the Enchanted Forest Theme Park was under construction just outside Salem.
Jerry Parks and his wife, Lu Parks, had enjoyed success on the Oregon Coast with the Pixie Kitchen, a playful restaurant noted for its cartoon pixie mascots and massive portions of fresh seafood, and the duo saw an opportunity to join the fray. The communities and beaches that make up what’s now called Lincoln City were growing as tourist destinations, and Jerry Parks figured they needed something to stay busy after fishing trips and between meals.
So in 1969, he opened Pixieland just north of town, near the intersection of US 101 and Highway 18, calling the magical theme park a “fairytale story of Oregon.” Befitting the park’s fantastical name, attractions included a thrilling Ferris wheel, steam train, Wild West–themed town, and even an opera house. A “rest hut,” topped with a towering replica loaf of Franz bread, overlooked the log flume ride. Alas, by the mid-1970s, unpredictable weather and poor attendance doomed Pixieland to closure, and Pixie Kitchen followed roughly a decade later.
Still, the restaurant and park live on in the memories of those who were there and, decades later, remain a storied piece of local lore. A recent hour-long documentary, The Forgotten Story of Pixieland: The Oregon Coast Amusement Park—from filmmaker Peter Dibble and now available on YouTube—chronicled its rise and fall. Remnants of the restaurant and park are scattered across Lincoln City today, from refurbished rides in hotel courtyards to museum exhibits with one-of-a-kind curiosities.
So if you want to sprinkle a little pixie dust on your next trip to Lincoln City, here’s where to savor the history of the community’s beloved Pixie Kitchen and Pixieland.
Pixieland History on Display at Local Museum
History buffs and Pixieland die-hards should start with a quick visit to the North Lincoln County Historical Museum, which hosts a small exhibit that brings together a variety of vintage artifacts including a Pixie Kitchen dining table, funhouse mirror, scale-model replica of the restaurant building, historic photographs, and original pixie cutouts.
On your way out, pick up a copy of the 24-page Pixie Kitchen Cookbook, which features stories and original recipes from Sharon Parks Walters, the daughter of Jerry Parks. Recipes include the restaurant’s beloved crab au gratin and hearty clam chowder.
Pixieland Keepsakes on Display at Local Antique Malls
Pixie Kitchen hasn’t served Tillamook Bay oysters or 50-cent highballs since the mid-1980s, and the last of Pixieland’s aging infrastructure was removed from the Salmon River Estuary more than a decade ago—yet artifacts, souvenirs, and curios occasionally pop up in antique malls around Lincoln City.
Granny’s Attic, which features toys, trinkets, and more from nearly three-dozen vendors, displays a handful of vintage, Pixie-themed items and sells a few modern mementos that celebrate the restaurant and park. Next to the store’s cash register is a display case chockablock with Pixieland ride tokens and tickets, ceramic pixie figurines, and other trinkets; the items aren’t for sale, but visitors can buy a reprint of the restaurant’s original menu, the Pixie Kitchen Cookbook, and other collectibles.
A little farther north, you might find the occasional dish, tray, figurine or cup tucked amongst vintage jewelry, old-school paintings, and Rudy Fernandez bobblehead dolls at Little Antique Mall—but those sell out fast. Even if your treasure hunt comes up empty, take a second to look toward the ceiling, where wooden cutouts of an elf and a pelican (both of which hung outside the restaurant) watch over the store.
Of course, Pixie-themed items can be found in unexpected places throughout Lincoln City. Pixie Kitchen and Pixieland pennants, for instance, adorn the walls at Robert's Bookshop, where the cockpit of a 1967 Boeing 727-100 aircraft juts out from the north side of the building—and where nearly 1.7 miles of shelves hold some 200,000 new and used titles.
Hotels Pay Tribute to Pixieland and Pixie Kitchen
Can’t get enough Pixie magic? Stay at the right hotel in Lincoln City, and you won’t even need to leave the grounds to enjoy a little nostalgia.
The Whistling Winds Motel, for instance, is owned by a family who grew up visiting Pixieland and eating at Pixie Kitchen. Today, the motel pays tribute with a Pixie Kitchen–themed room, complete with photos of the iconic restaurant, vintage artwork, and an original menu on display. The spacious room, perfect for family getaways, features two queen beds and a full kitchen; it’s among the motel’s most popular offerings, so consider booking a midweek trip to give yourself the best possible shot at enjoying a trip down memory lane.
Just north of Siletz Bay, meanwhile, Anchor Inn Resort hosts Pixie and Captain Kip—a pair of playful fiberglass whales that were once part of a ride at Pixieland. Now fully restored, the colorful creatures sit in the courtyard just outside the hotel's main entrance, providing fodder for countless photo ops.
If you can't snag a room or can’t make it to Lincoln City this summer, fear not: the Kiwanis Club of Lincoln City hosts an online store where visitors can purchase replica Pixie Kitchen postcards, a reprint of the restaurant's menu, placemats, and even a T-shirt featuring the Pixie Kitchen’s famous restaurant overrun by (you guessed it) cheerful pixies.