So Long, Gigglebees

Entrance to GigglebeesAs kids, Dad would take us to Sioux Falls in August to go shopping for school supplies.  (He’s a teacher, so he had summers off too.) Then we’d get to eat out for supper and do something fun. It was called “Kids’ Day”, (since our parents each had their own parental day). More often than not, our Kids’ Day celebration was at Gigglebees. As my brother, Adam, and I got older, we ventured on to other things like Thunder Road or a movie, but since my sister, Marissa, was 5 years younger than me (8 years for my brother), we still went to Gigglebees every few years, and still enjoyed it. We all had birthdays in April, and we’d get a coupon in the mail from Wilbur, so many of our early birthdays were spent there as well.

I was fascinated by the robotic raccoon-like animal on the tricycle. I remember the day I figured out that the robot was controlled by the guy behind the mirror – and that was a sad day. I had grown up. I also remember all the useless trinkets I would get as prizes for games like skee ball. Like the chinese finger trap I accidentally broke many years after I forgot I had it.

Dad recalls memories of Gigglebees adventures: “I remember the tradition of going to Gigglebees on many birthdays. The video games and bumper cars were fun. And you kids either loved or were terrified of Wilbur!” Our feelings toward Wilbur are confusing for us too, Dad.

Adam remembers, fondly: “My Gigglebees memory is when dad was playing a racecar driving game and I needed money. So he gave me his wallet and I took out some money. Then I put his wallet on the floor next to him. Well, either he forgot this or he never knew I put it there, but anyway after we left Gigglebees he realized he didn’t have it, so we went back to that spot and the wallet was still there. Unfortunately, none of his cash was.” What a great place.

Marissa struggles: “I tried to think but I can’t remember any.” It’s OK, sister. Life’s tough.

I’m sure Mom would have something to share, but I’m too impatient for her to get home from work and reply to my email for memories. She’ll comment if she has any to share.

The last day Gigglebees is open is Thursday, July 3rd. According to local blogs I have been reading, the land is being redeveloped and so the building will be gone soon. They are looking for someone to purchase the entire business and those persons would need to find a new building to restart Gigglebees in. We ate there today for lunch. It wasn’t like I remembered it, and I probably shouldn’t have gone because of that.

I wonder what they’ll do with the games. And if they’ll be selling Wilbur.

Photo courtesy of Adam Bubolz.