Vintage Playground Equipment

I always get a little nostalgic when I hear Madonna’s This Used To Be My Playground. It reminds me of all the old playground equipment disappearing from our parks and recreationg areas.

…Live and learn
Tell the years they flew
And we never knew
We were foolish then
We would never tire
And that little fire
Is still alive in me
It will never go away…

Vintage Playground Equipment

Old Slide on a playground old monkey bars
Old Monkey Bars

Old vintage playground equipment has all but disappeared. At least Generation X has pictures to prove the dangers we faced every day during recess! Ha!

Old Slide on a playground for sale
Vintage Metal Slide
Old Slide on a playground
Old Slide on a playground | Lexington, Oklahoma Playground | Fall 2011



Old Slide
Old Slide

Playground by the Bethany Public Library | Bethany, Oklahoma | 2012

Old Monkey Bars
Old Monkey Bars


Old Monkey Bars | Bethany Public Library | Bethany, Oklahoma | 2012

old merry-go-round
Old Merry-Go-Round | Scottamos

I was running in circles pushing one of these things one time when I tripped and got caught underneath it. My back was all scraped up. It scared me to death.

In college there was one of these things at the Bethany City Park. My friends and I would sit on it and close our eyes and push each other as fast as we could. Then we’d get off and walk around like the dizzy fools that we were. Yes, I said college…


Abandoned Playground with old climbing structure
Abandoned Playground with old climbing structure | Carlfbagge
Climbing Half Dome for kids on a beach in Michigan
Climbing Half Dome | Odalaigh

I never made it all the way to the top of one these crazy things.

Hippo Playground equipment in sand
Hippo Playground equipment in sand | Kamoda

I came across a few of these hippos in the sand during my childhood.

old rocket slide
Old Rocket Slide | Mutant Mandias

Many memories of slide rockets from a park in California where I once won a Halloween costume contest, and here in Oklahoma City at Stars and Stripes Park.

old playground equipment metal with holes that look like cheese

These ridiculous things were quite popular. There were triangles of gigantic cheese that mimicked the style.

old slide

Burn-your-hiney old metal slide.

Witch's Hat Dangerous Playground Equipment from the 70s
Witch’s Hat | Carlfbagge

This contraption is called a Witch’s Hat. It was evil.

Dangerous old playground equipment octopus with chains

I saw similar things to this Octopus, but I’ve never seen one of these. Nice chains.

Octopus at Happy Hollow Zoo in San Jose, California
Playground Octopus

Another picture of the same dangerous Octopus! This is located at Happy Hollow Zoo in San Jose, California. I think it’s still there.

Turtle playground equipment in the sand
Vintage Turtle Playground | Joe Shlabotnik

Now these things were the biggest disappointment of all. They were cute, but after about five minutes the fun was over.

Old Dolphin playground equipment in the sand
Dolphin Playground Thing


Brown Spring Rider Pony Playground Equipment from the 70s
Spring Rider Pony

These things looked like great fun, too. We hopped on top only to quickly find out we’ll be going nowhere fast. I really liked the blue ducks and yellow chicken versions.

Here are some more original pictures I’ve taken of vintage playground equipment.

Brown Spring Rider Horse Playground Equipment from the 70s
Nicoma Park, Oklahoma | Fall 2011 | Spring Rider Horse Playground Equipment
Yellow Spring Rider Bumble Bee Playground Equipment from the 70s
Spring Rider Bumble Bee, Nicoma Park, Oklahoma
Bike Springer Vintage Playground Equipment
Bike Springer Vintage Playground Equipment
Tricycle, old playground equipment,
Tricycle, old playground equipment, 2014
Tricycle Vintage Playground Oklahoma City
Vintage Playground Equipment
Old Metal Slide
Old Metal Slide and Monkey Bars, NE OKC
Old Truck, Vintage Playground Equipment
Old Truck, Vintage Playground Equipment

Check out Playgrounds from the 70s via Divine Caroline. Also, a proposal for a book, Once Upon a Playground.

Did you have a favorite piece of playground equipment growing up? The Myriad Children’s Playground with their fabulous Grow structure is my kids’ favorite. They also love Thunder Fountain!


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  1. Frank says

    Have an old steel “American” manufacturing company slide from a school playground. It’s still in perfect working condition. Insurance company is making it get taken down. Do you know any sites that buy or sell vintage playground equipment?

  2. Sue says

    If anyone is interested I have several antique pieces of metal playground equipment I want to sell. I have two different jungle gyms. One dome style and one with a fireman’s pole. I have two monkey bars. One with straight bars across and one with swinging rings. Also I have a merry go round and a swing set. You can reach me at my email address.
    I love them but am in need of funds.

  3. says

    I love the new playgrounds. When I was a kid they had two kinds of surfaces, gravel and asphalt at the schools I attended. I remember kids would go flying off the little merry go round and get all sorts of scrapes and abrasions.

  4. says

    The BEST piece of playground equipment in my hometown playground was an old WWII fighter jet that had been gutted and filled with cement. We kids could climb on the wings, sit in the cockpit, and pretend we were the red baron! The plane sat in our town’s playground for something like 30 years before someone realized that it was the only plane of its kind remaining in the world. So it was removed, refurbished, and is now on display in the National Naval Air Museum in Pensacola, FL. Thousands of children played on that plane and it is a great shared memory for all of us.
    I was joyous to see the next-to-last pic you posted of the dolphin statue. My hometown has had an almost identical dolphin at a beachside park for several decades. Multiple generations have played on “Spirit” the dolphin. This is the first time I’ve ever seen another one like it!
    Gosh, I miss playground time.

  5. says

    The first one of course Jen :) ahhh those were the days.

    Liability and litagation gone crazy have nearly taken all the good old stuff out of parks now days … shame …. hugs le xoxo

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