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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!


Gen X Blog Jennifer Chronicles

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  1. Wendysue

    Does anyone remember the giant jack o lantern you could sit in? I loved it in my pinecrest preschool. Circa 1970s. Can not find anything online about them. Any info would be fun!

    • Jennifer X

      That sounds like a blast. I could go for that. LOL.

  2. Erin T. Aardvark

    I remember the dolphin and the turtle. Ours weren’t in nice colors, though, just brown. My dad would take me and my sister to Baskin Robbins and then he’d take us to the little playground (and I mean little playground) behind the shopping plaza to eat it and climb around. We nicknamed the dolphin “Fred” and the turtle “Francine.” No clue why.

    • Jennifer

      I remember some in brown, too, Eric. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Tom

    Hi I found an old horse and young kids swing . If I sent a pitcher . Could you give me your thoughts . said to of come out of an old drive in in mass .

    • Jennifer

      Sure, I’d love to. Send it to jenx1967 at gmail dot com.

  4. Andi

    Ahhh, this totally brought back GREAT memories!

  5. Yogi♪♪♪

    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.

  6. HeyRay

    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.

  7. le@thirdontheright

    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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