Throughout my time in the Baltic states, I was keen to dig out some abandoned places in Lithuania. When I caught wind of a derelict amusement park close to the county’s capital, Vilnius, I jumped at the chance. A short excursion out of the city to the small soviet town of Elektrenai (Elektrėnai) reveals this fabulous deserted theme park.
If you are a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know I have a thing for ruins. Usually, this is in the form of much more ancient places. It’s only recently that my addiction to abandoned places now spans into the 19-20th century. And the Baltic states are full of them! *little excited dance*
The deserted theme park is known as both Jet Star 2 (after it’s rollercoaster) and Children’s World (which translates in Lithuanian to Vaikų pasaulis) was built in 1986 and closed in 2013. It’s taken just a few years for nature to take over the site
In its heyday, Children’s World was one of the most popular tourist attractions in the region, providing entertainment for the families living in the area. But several incidents regarding health and safety on some of the rides resulted in the closure of the park.
The abandoned amusement park in Elektrenai also makes a good alternative to visiting Chernobyl. So if you don’t fancy visiting an exclusion zone, or are shunning how a place of disaster has now become a top tourist attraction, then this could be for you.
Where is Elektrenai?
The small soviet town is situated pretty much smack bam in the middle of Lithuania’s two largest cities, the capital Vilnius (50km) and its slightly smaller sister, Kaunas (55km).
The town of Elektrenai was built in 1961, during the Soviet reign. The building of the new town was for a large electricity plant – hence the name of the town! With the building of an electricity plant, it meant a man-made lake was created, this was achieved by damming the River Strėva. The water is used for cooling down the power plant, so this man-made lake is slightly warmer than others in the area, and now is used for water sport.
The building of the dam meant the flooding several smaller villages in the vicinity as well as engulfing surrounding smaller lakes. In place of these small villages, and to home the families who had been displaced as well as the workers for the electricity plant, ugly high-rise housing in shades of brown and grey were built. The plant is the biggest electricity producer in Lithuania
Children’s World amusement park was built (although 20 years later) for use by the residents of the area. It’s by the waterfront that you’ll find the little wooded area where the abandoned theme park is located.
Map of Elektrenai
How to get to Children’s World Abandoned Amusement Park in Elektrenai using public transport
Elektrenai is located just between Vilnius and Kaunas. It’s easy to get here from both cities by bus
The bus will drop you just outside of the main town. There is just a single drop off point, this is also where you will catch the bus for the return journey to either Vilnius or Kaunas. From the bus stop, it’s about a 10minute walk to the Elektrenai amusement park.
When you see the large clamshell looking building (which is actually an Ice Hockey rink) you are close. The abandoned theme park is in the wooded area along the waterfront.
Check out the map below on how to find the Elektrenai abandoned amusement park
What can I see at Elektrenai Abandoned Amusement Park?
Since its closure back in 2013, nature has taken over the place. Like I mentioned earlier, it didn’t close due to a manmade disaster like the amusement park in Pripyat, Ukraine (Chernobyl). So it doesn’t have such a sad history and eerie feel to it. It just had sketchy past on how safe it was, after several incidents, people began to lose faith in it and stopped visiting Elektrenai amusement park. The nail in the coffin that sealed its fate was the Jet Star 2 ride leaving passengers abandoned at the top, a year before its eventual closure. Eventually the park closed and it was left derelict ever since.
The site is pipped for being knocked down and developed at some point in 2020. At the time of visiting the abandoned theme park (August 2019), the site had fencing around it and a bit of demolition had taken place on some of the concrete buildings and some of the smaller rides. How quickly the demolition of the remainder of the site happens anyone guess, but if you are planning of visiting, I’d do it sooner rather than later.
However, pretty much all the big rides are still intact, and apart from a bit of rust and bit of crumbling concrete, the rides look like they’d actually work! The Ferris wheel carts even still rotate using the big steering wheel in the centre.
The two most iconic rides are the Rollercoaster with it’s big ‘Jet Star 2’ sign above it and the Ferris Wheel. Both still complete with the carriages.
Is the Elektrenai amusement park safe?
Aside from some very flimsy fencing around the outside to ‘try’ and keep people out, there is no deterrent. The gate at the front of the theme park was open and at the time of visiting, so everyone was able to just walk straight in. There were quite a few other people around the Elektrenai amusement park, both locals and tourists. I didn’t feel unsafe at all.
For sure, make sure you are wearing some sensible footwear, the ground is a bit overgrown in places and there are some piles of rubble where some of the concrete buildings once stood, but overall the site is perfectly safe.
Visiting Abandoned Places in Lithuania
A fascinating glimpse into an essentially real-life museum from the soviet times. It satisfied both my addiction for abandoned places and learning about the history of a country. It’s certainly worthwhile taking a trip out to Elektrenai. Like lots of abandoned places, they mostly won’t be there forever. It might well be that by the time you read this article, that the whole site has been flattened.
If you are visiting Lithuania, I highly recommend coming out to see Lithuania’s abandoned amusement park before it’s gone for good.
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