Most of the time when we think about playgrounds we tend to conjure up an image in our heads of a safe, fun place where we can sit on a bench and maybe sip at a cup of coffee while our kids screech and giggle on the slide or the swings.
Luckily, that’s because most communities tend to take their playgrounds pretty seriously. People understand that no matter whether you live in the big city or way out in some country hamlet, having a place where children can go to have fun and blow off some steam and do it safely is a huge factor in gaining and maintaining a good citizenry.
However, let’s not mince words here: there are some playgrounds that simply hang their heads in shame when it comes to the things that matter most.
I’m talking about the playgrounds that life forgot, the ones where, for whatever reason, neglect and deprivation have replaced afternoon laughter and childhood memories. They are the kinds of places that are avoided by everyone but certain shadowy figures and their squirrel-y agendas; they are the kinds of places that reek of ‘once upon a time’.
There is, if want to you look hard enough, a unique sort of poetry in these photos I have collected of many of these bruised and battered playgrounds. I think they serve to remind us that nothing lasts forever; that in the blink of an eye things can change more than we ever could have imagined.
And that still counts for something too, huh?
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Tricky Ending 2 of 21
Wow. I always get kind of frustrated when the slides at our local parks are too hot from the sun for my kids to go down them. But this slide takes things to a whole new level.
Electric Fun 3 of 21
Okay kids, after we swing and slide...let's all climb that big cool tower!
Ummmm…Yikes 4 of 21
Jeez. Nothing like a 'Mother' grave in the middle of the playground to remind us that the fun has to stop eventually, huh?
Sandbox Fun! 5 of 21
Ahhhh, now that's better! I mean, if you're going to build a playground in the graveyard at least try and keep the slides and swings away from the tombstones, you know? Now, the sandbox....that can go anywhere.
Honey, Why Are You Crying?! 6 of 21
C'mon! What little kid in their right mind wouldn't want to slide down a tunnel coming out of a vicious looking Bigfoot's boob?
Oh My 7 of 21
What can I say? What can anyone say? It's just ...somehow....so dang wrong.
How To Hurt Yourself 101 8 of 21
Sadly, in exactly 3 seconds, a certain someone in a striped shirt is going to wish he had just stayed home and played X-box on the couch like every other kid these days.
You’re Not Stuck! You’re FINE! 9 of 21
Stop whining, you're only actually three stories up! You kids these days don't know how to have any fun!
Surprise! 10 of 21
Well, I guess a big gaping concrete tomb at the end of a fun purple slide isn't the worst thing in the world, but it's gotta be damn close, no?
Mommy, Who’s Sleeping On The Bike Path? 11 of 21
Oh, the humanity of it all.
Here Lies… Innocence 12 of 21
Haunted playground? That's just plain silly! What the heck's a 'haunted playground' anyway?
Corkscrew Trauma 13 of 21
Hey, don't laugh! Who hasn't been stuck in the middle of a corkscrew ladder down at the park when they were like 14 years old and fully grown? Puberty ain't all mustaches and voice drops, people.
Elephant Poop 14 of 21
Listen up, kids...the moment you've all been waiting for is here. Now get in line and be brave and pretend that you are each a peanut.
Really? 15 of 21
Is this thing actually considered 'okay' somewhere on planet Earth?
A Cheery Place 16 of 21
Look, someone set out to create the saddest place in the universe. Aaaaaaaand....success.
Fun With The Gallows 17 of 21
Oh jeez. Nothing like letting the kids blow off all that afternoon steam with a little noose action, right?
Yay! Plywood! 18 of 21
Hey all you do-it-yourself do-gooders out there making the neighborhood a better place for our children, listen up! Stay in your house. Thank you.
Bullies 19 of 21
Some playgrounds attract bullies and other unsavory types. This playground is one of those.
Wheee! 20 of 21
Look at me, Mommy! I'm sliding into HELL!
Feel Lucky 21 of 21
Next time you take your kids down to your favorite park, make sure you count your lucky stars that it's such a good one. Because children everywhere deserve a safe, cool place to play. But sometimes that just isn't how things work out.