Hoffman’s Playland

Generations of families from New York’s Capital Region have enjoyed Hoffman’s Playland for its fun, safe, and clean atmosphere. It was truly a special place. Unlike larger amusement parks, Hoffman’s Playland charged no admission fee, but instead sold tickets for the rides. This system allowed parents to bring their children to the park for as long as they wanted. Patrons loved the idea of having no admission fee and Hoffman’s stayed in business for over sixty years.

Hoffman’s Playland was a family-owned business. It all started in 1953 when Bill Hoffman purchased a carousel and placed it on his father’s property in Latham, New York, near the family turkey farm. Determined to draw more people to his rural location, Bill expanded his park with more attractions like pony rides. His diligence paid off. The park eventually grew to include more rides, which ultimately brought more people. By the time of Bill Hoffman’s retirement, his son, Dave Hoffman, was ready to take ownership of the park. Dave expanded the park further by buying and refurbishing older rides. From bumper cars to a Ferris wheel, Hoffman’s Playland was famous for its nostalgic attractions.

In 2014, Dave and his wife Ruth retired and Hoffman’s Playland closed its long-time location in Latham. Although the rides were moved to Huck Finn’s Playland in Albany, many visitors maintain a special nostalgia for the original Hoffman’s. Bill Hoffman purchased the ticket booth in 1953 along with the carousel that featured thirty horses and two chariots.

 

Magnifying Glass
Hoffman’s Playland Ticket Booth
1953
Wood, paint, plastic, glass, metal
Courtesy of the New York State Museum, gift of the Hoffman Family
Magnifying Glass
Carousel at Hoffman’s Playland
Photograph by Michael Gallitelli
2014
Digital photograph
Courtesy of David and Ruth Hoffman and Hoffman’s Family