Deer Acres Storybook Amusement Park

Address: 2346 N Huron Rd
City: Pinconning
State: MI
Zip: 48650
County: Bay
Number of visits to this page: 25429
Notes:

This park was operated by the Cederberg family of Pinconning for about 52 years. It opened in 1958. The park featured live animals, a train, a safari ride as well as many other small rides. There were lots of amazing Mother Goose storybook characters throughout. At one point attendance was over 30,000 visitors per year. Eventually the deer were removed due to the expense and the spread of disease among Michigan's deer population.

The Cederberg's wanted to retire so they sold the park to the McDaniel family out of Chicago in Dec of 2008. They moved to the area and began modernizing the park. Some of their updates are still listed below. After investing a large chunk of their savings into the place, the expected attendance failed to materialize due to a wet, cold summer. They had to default on the loan and the park reverted back to the original owners.

The Cederberg's sold the park yet again to another couple who had some ideas about car shows and other events. There were some car shows at the park as late as 2017. For whatever reason, the park never re-opened fully. As recently as 2018 the Facebook page for the park was listing updates about upcoming events.

Info Updates:
4/3/2021 - MLive.com

The Bay City Times - Updated Jan 21, 2019; Posted Apr 15, 2010

"We can not do this forever, " said owner of Deer Acres Storybook Amusement, Rodger Cederberg, on Wednesday April 14, 2010, about selling Deer Acres in Pinconning, Mich. After 52 years Cederberg is deciding to sell the storybook amusement and a factor in deciding to sell came when his wife Sharyl, left, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer January 2010. FRASER TWP. — In the Bible, the book of Ecclesiastes tells us that to everything there is a season.

This summer may be the time for a storied children’s amusement park between Linwood and Pinconning to close for good.

So says Rodger Cederberg, whose family operated Deer Acres Storybook Amusement Park on M-13 in Fraser Township for 50 years. “It’s been a fixture for so many years that you hate to see it close, but there’s a time for everything,” said Cederberg, who finds himself the park’s owner again after a failed land contract purchase agreement fell through last year. One thing is certain at this point: Deer Acres will not open its gates on Mother’s Day weekend in May as it has for decades.

Cederberg and his wife Sharyl are hoping to sell the 15-acre park for $195,000 and say they would be happy to help the next owner get the park up and running again. “Even if it’s less than I’d get at an auction, it’s worth it to me to do it,” said Rodger Cederberg, whose parents established the park in the late 1950s.

According to the Bay County Register of Deeds Office, the park has an assessed value of $88,700, which is about half the cash value of the property.

In its heyday, Deer Acres drew upward of 30,000 visitors each year, Cederberg said. Families came to see the live deer and other animals that roamed the property.

Much has changed at the park, including the removal of the whitetail deer because of concerns over tuberculosis and wasting disease that have impacted Michigan’s deer population in recent years.

The park’s other animals were sold last year so Cederberg wouldn’t have to winterize their enclosures. Auctioning the park piece by piece is another option Cederberg is considering. He said the park’s Ferris wheel, carousel, train and car ride could be sold and used in another park.

But he’s holding out hope that a buyer can be found in the next month or two, and Deer Acres can open in time for Fourth of July weekend, typically the biggest weekend of the year for the park.

That’s the outcome Pinconning City Manager Richard Byrne is hoping for. “It’s always been a place for the little kids, the preschoolers,” said Byrne, who has taken trips to Deer Acres with his grandchildren. “The Cedar Points and such are more for the teenagers. “I hate to see it close, but I hate to see any business up here close.”

When Rodger Cederberg retired in 2008, the future of Deer Acres looked bright. In December 2008, Cederberg sold Deer Acres and 30 acres of adjacent land to Stephen and Crystal McDaniel, a Chicago-area couple who moved to Bay County to operate the park.

The McDaniels paid $525,000 for the park and land and invested additional money to make repairs to some of the park’s structures and add new features, including a miniature golf course.

Crystal McDaniel said a combination of a cold, rainy summer last year and a poor economic climate kept people from coming to the park. Despite giving out free passes and lowering the price of admission, she said the business failed to turn a profit. “When it didn’t rain, it was too cold,” McDaniel said. “People coming in for free couldn’t afford to spend one more dime once they got there.”

McDaniel calls losing the park “the saddest thing that’s ever happened to our family.” She said she and her husband are facing bankruptcy and could lose their home. But she said she would buy Deer Acres back in a heartbeat if she could afford to keep it running.

“We have really good memories of the time we had it and we don’t regret buying it,” McDaniel said. “It really is a beautiful park and it has the potential.” Cederberg said he has shown the park to some potential buyers, but has had no offers to b uy the place. “What we would love to see is somebody come in and run it and take over,” Cederberg said. “That’s why we’re telling people to just come make us an offer.”

8/28/2016 - countrygirl
All the information about Deer Acres opening again, I DO Not see that happening It has been closed for @ least 5 years or more. don't get me wrong they have Car Shows and movie nights there but none of the attractions are up to date and It was a beautiful place to go to with young children so they car learn there nursery rhymes. I will believe it when I see it when families can come back and make memories. Beautiful place gone to waste.
12/3/2014 - Frank
The car show did happen this year and I talked to owner and he is still working on it but is coming along slowly but has done a lot of work but still a lot to be done. I have faith it will be open in a year or two.
7/9/2014 - Beverly Sullivan
When I was a pre teen my parents and sibling along with myself stopped here - then when my sons were small we took them here. My oldest granddaughter is now 13 and we not only took her every year sometimes more than once a year with friends of hers, now she has 2 1/2 yr old twin bro and sis and we are planning on bringing them. Do you still have live animals as I was informed there aren't any anymore?.
1/21/2014 - Former Michigander
How wonderful that this old-fashioned-family-outing park is still in operation! I remember a birthday trip there in (I think) 1963 - yes, I'm ancient. It had some animals and the storybook scenes even then, but no rides. It was really a picnic park rather than an amusement park. And we often drove past it on trips from West Branch to Bay City - my siblings and I were always excited to see that long crenellated wall and the big Deer Acres sign. May it live forever!.
8/11/2011 - Monica
They will be reopening in spring of 2012. they have a new web site deeracresfunpark. com they did have an event in august this year so it looks promising.
6/1/2011 - andrea Muzer
I agree with Derias, My daughter loves it there and we would sure hate to miss this park again this year too. Would love to know when you are opening. Thank you. God Bless Andrea.
6/1/2011 - DericaS
Is there any new news on the park? I was really hoping to come this summer. Please keep us posted on the progress. I wouldn't want my son to miss out on such a cool park.
3/8/2011 - Monica
Kids are finally old enough to go this year. I had no idea of the unfortunate circumstances the park has been facing. I would love to bring the family out this summer if all goes well on Deer Acres end. how do i keep in touch for updates?.
1/27/2011 - Jerry
Does anyone have any idea what changes/improvements will be made to the park? Last time I was there, it was geared towards younger children. Will that still be the case? More of an amusement park or petting zoo? Thanks for any insight.
12/14/2010 - Rick
Regarding Deer Acres. We will assuredly have a couple of events in 2011. Sadly we did not finalize purchase in time to have the annual Car Show this year. We are reviewing possible dates for the CAR SHOW in 2011. There is discussion for a possible art/ antique show also. STAY TUNED! Thanks Rick for comments or to reach the new owners email deeracresfunpark@hotmail. com.
12/14/2010 - Rick
Renovations have been started at Deer Acres!!!! Currently it has been mostly maintenance issues such as new roofing on existing buildings and preparation for some necessary updates. Exact opening / Re opening dates will be announced as soon as possible. It may take until spring of 2012 depending on progress early next year. We will update as we move forward! Rick.
7/6/2010 - Jon C.
We drove by the park about a week or so ago while vacationing in the area. They have a sign up that reads the park will be opening June 2011.
7/2/2010 - brenda ostrom
I recently purchased some gift certificates from channel 25 to Deer Acres that expire December of 2010. We were planning a family vacation to that area in August and were planning on coming to Deer Acres. In reading that the park is closed, will you be able to honor the gift certificates next year when you are open?
6/19/2010 - Rick
The last poster was absolutely correct. There are negotiations underway and the park will be open for sure in SPRING of 2011!!!! It would be very difficult to get all pre-opening maintainance and any planned improvements done to open for this summer (2010). There is a chance that it may be ready for some type of Fall/ Halloween program and possibly the car show this year. Right now a lot of ideas are being discussed but REST ASSURED....every effort willl be made to make it all that we remember and enjoyed from years past and hopefully more.....! OH YES..THE ANIMALS WILL BE THERE TOO!!!!!!!
5/14/2010 - Mrs Thompson
Bob-I REALLY appreciate your update, as we were tenatively planning a trip to ''Deer Acres'' at the end of the month. You saved us a LOT of fuel costs & disappointment for the kids; much obliged!
5/12/2010 - Bob Naismith

I don’t know where the last poster found his information, but it’s totally incorrect. The park has never had a connection with anyone from Texas! The Cedarberg family built Deer Acres in 1959 and owned it until last year, when a family from the Chicago area purchased the park.

These folks didn’t make it and lost the park back to Roger Cedarberg last fall. He has since sold it again to a Bay City businessman. They’re trying to get everything together to close on the sale, but until they do, no one is sure if the park will get open this year. If it does, it will be a short season as the new buyer has big plans to change the park, which requires time when the park isn’t open to the public. He can get a lot done with it closed and the weather is still warm. If I hear an more news about Deer Acres, I’ll post it here.

7/8/2009 - Christa
It''s been years since my kids were small and they so enjoyed Deer Acres . It''s time now for us to take our Granddaughter on our way to Sand Lake. How much is admission for under 5 kids and for grandparents? What are your hours, I don''t want to be late!
8/19/2008 - Stephen McDaniel
Will have new owners in the spring with extended hours, miniature golf, air soft gun area, carnival midway games and in the near future Go karts and bumper boats
8/19/2008 - Stephen McDaniel
Just to inform everyone that the park has been sold to my family and we will be taking over in Feb of 2009 with longer hours, mini golf,soft air gun area, and carnival games. Our future plans are for go karts and bumper boats all while keeping a family orientated theme.
7/20/2008 - Julie Brown
The sign out front says Celebrating 50 years time to retire park for sale! Has been up atleast 3 months that atleast could be longer
2/4/2008 - Unknown
I'm 40 and took my 6yr old daughter here and took identical pictures in the same spots as when i was 6.It hasn't changed much.We always used to beg to go there when we came home from up north.
8/9/2005 - Rich S
I just visited the park with my 3 year old daughter. Great place for young children! We enjoyed the ferris wheel, antique cars and petting zoo. We went on a Saturday afternoon and found the park was not overly crowded, which made the experience that much better. I found the entire park area to be well kept and clean. Park employees were really nice and attentive. I only wish I had more time to spend there!
1/9/2003 - WaterWinterWonderland
From a post card - Located on US-23 16 miles north of Bay City and 4 miles south of Pinconning. Michigans Newest Wildlife Park. Feed pet and photograph the deer. Also, many colorful exhibits in our block long Story Book Fantasy of living nursery ryhmes. Enjoy large wooded picnic area. Refreshments and souviniers available.
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Deer Acres Storybook Amusement Park - OLD BROCHURE 1
OLD BROCHURE 1
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OLD BROCHURE 2
Deer Acres Storybook Amusement Park - FROM THE OLD DEER ACRES WEB SITE ARCHIVE
FROM THE OLD DEER ACRES WEB SITE ARCHIVE
Deer Acres Storybook Amusement Park - FROM THE OLD DEER ACRES WEB SITE ARCHIVE
FROM THE OLD DEER ACRES WEB SITE ARCHIVE
Deer Acres Storybook Amusement Park - FROM THE OLD DEER ACRES WEB SITE ARCHIVE
FROM THE OLD DEER ACRES WEB SITE ARCHIVE
Deer Acres Storybook Amusement Park - FROM THE OLD DEER ACRES WEB SITE ARCHIVE
FROM THE OLD DEER ACRES WEB SITE ARCHIVE
Deer Acres Storybook Amusement Park - FROM THE OLD DEER ACRES WEB SITE ARCHIVE
FROM THE OLD DEER ACRES WEB SITE ARCHIVE
Deer Acres Storybook Amusement Park - FROM THE OLD DEER ACRES WEB SITE ARCHIVE
FROM THE OLD DEER ACRES WEB SITE ARCHIVE
Deer Acres Storybook Amusement Park - FROM THE OLD DEER ACRES WEB SITE ARCHIVE
FROM THE OLD DEER ACRES WEB SITE ARCHIVE
Deer Acres Storybook Amusement Park - FROM THE OLD DEER ACRES WEB SITE ARCHIVE
FROM THE OLD DEER ACRES WEB SITE ARCHIVE
Deer Acres Storybook Amusement Park - FROM THE OLD DEER ACRES WEB SITE ARCHIVE
FROM THE OLD DEER ACRES WEB SITE ARCHIVE
Deer Acres Storybook Amusement Park - FROM THE OLD DEER ACRES WEB SITE ARCHIVE
FROM THE OLD DEER ACRES WEB SITE ARCHIVE
Deer Acres Storybook Amusement Park - FROM THE OLD DEER ACRES WEB SITE ARCHIVE
FROM THE OLD DEER ACRES WEB SITE ARCHIVE
Deer Acres Storybook Amusement Park - ENTRANCE
ENTRANCE
Deer Acres Storybook Amusement Park - FRONT LAWN
FRONT LAWN
Deer Acres Storybook Amusement Park - JUNE 2020
JUNE 2020
Deer Acres Storybook Amusement Park - JUNE 2020
JUNE 2020
Deer Acres Storybook Amusement Park - JUNE 2020
JUNE 2020
Deer Acres Storybook Amusement Park - JUNE 2020
JUNE 2020
Deer Acres Storybook Amusement Park - JUNE 2003
JUNE 2003
Deer Acres Storybook Amusement Park - JUNE 2020
JUNE 2020
Deer Acres Storybook Amusement Park - JUNE 2020
JUNE 2020
Deer Acres Storybook Amusement Park - OLD PHOTO PRINT
OLD PHOTO PRINT
Deer Acres Storybook Amusement Park - HUMPT DUMPTY
HUMPT DUMPTY
Deer Acres Storybook Amusement Park - CROOKED MAN
CROOKED MAN
Deer Acres Storybook Amusement Park - JACK BE NIMBLE
JACK BE NIMBLE
Deer Acres Storybook Amusement Park - OLD POST CARD
OLD POST CARD
Deer Acres Storybook Amusement Park - OLD POST CARD
OLD POST CARD
Deer Acres Storybook Amusement Park - OLD POST CARD
OLD POST CARD
Deer Acres Storybook Amusement Park - JACK AND THE BEANSTALK
JACK AND THE BEANSTALK
Deer Acres Storybook Amusement Park - 2019 ARTICLE ON THE PARK FROM MLIVE
2019 ARTICLE ON THE PARK FROM MLIVE
Deer Acres Storybook Amusement Park - SCREEN CAP OF 2005 HOME PAGE
SCREEN CAP OF 2005 HOME PAGE
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