Memories of Livonia's Wonderland Mall (Part 2)

Mall closed in 2003

Photo: DetroitYes
Photo: DetroitYes

DETROIT – If you grew up in Metro Detroit between 1960 and 2000, you likely remember Wonderland Mall.

Wonderland Mall, originally named Wonderland Center, sat on Plymouth and Middlebelt (or Middle Belt) roads in Livonia, Michigan.

The mall closed in 2003.


We asked you to tell us about your favorite Wonderland Mall memories. We received nearly 1,000 submissions!

Here are some of the memories you shared:

I remember going to Sanders for hot fudge sundaes. I was too little to eat at the counter, so they would put a little tray extension onto it so I could reach! - Janet Z

I worked at the mall during my teens and early 20's while going to school to be a teacher. I worked at Hallmark and Pretzel peddler. I loved the mall, both for hanging out and for work.

My Dad took me to the grand opening at Wards. He held my hand tightly, the store was jammed, I was 6yrs old. Later, I got Johnny Gingers (WXYZ kid show) autograph while shopping at HHS. I loved the fish/mobile fountain. I still have the PowrKraft torque wrench that Dad got me from Wards about '67. My wife worked at the Swiss Colony shop inside Wards before we got married. Kevin D

Wonderland Mall was an original. I think it had more personality, if a mall can have personality, than other area malls. I have many pleasant memories of going there myself and taking my kids there. it did indeed have aFederals, Wards and Woolworths. I miss the place.

I remember the little bridges with the water fountains that sprayed up. As soon as my mom parked the car, we took off to run back and forth over those bridges. I loved going shopping at Christmas time walking from store to store with the snow falling. And sitting at the Kresge snack bar with my mom eating french fries and drinking my pop in those paper cone cups in the metal holders. Warm precious memories.

The Anchor stores i Remember were Montgomery Wards at the Middlebelt end and Federal Department store at the west end spent a lot of time there in the 60's also had a spaghetti Factory Restaurant there and a Red Barn Hamburger Joint in the Parking Lot

There was a Federal's department store there in the early '60's. I bought the Beatles first album "Meet the Beatles" there in like 1964 or so. They set up a square kiosk near the entrance of the store with cases and cases of the albums and there were 2 people inside the square: one ringing up the sale (.99 cents + .4 cents tax) and the other handing out the album. I remember it vividly!

I remember using my babysitting money to buy a wool skirt at Lerners in the early 60's. Usually a friend's mother would drop us off. Sometimes we walked home to the West Chicago and Hubbard area.

Moving to the west side of Detroit from southwest Detroit was a big adjustment as a kid. Thankfully Wonderland was just a bus ride away and helped alot during that transition. From seeing movies, to trick or treating at Halloween, to even getting my ear pierced, I spent a considerable amount of time there with friends and family. Even though everything must change, was sad to see it go, but glad to see that corner has been rejuvenated-Rob G.

They used to have seals/otters outside in the center of the mall. Back in the mid-70's. I loved seeing the animals as a young child 

I went to franklin high school in the late 80's. It was one of my favorite places to skip school and hangout with fellow high school friends at the arcade....

1988ish Olga's Kitchen opened when the mall was enclosed, Next door was Office Max and a pet store. Dunhams and Service Merchandise were two other anchors joining Wards and the new AMC. Harmony House was the place to buy your Ticketmaster tickets.
I remember to celebrate the opening of the enclosed mall - General Hospital's Duke Lavery Ian Buchanan was there, with hours long lines, most people didn't get to meet him as the line was so long.

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