Friday, February 17, 2012

Vintage & Retro McDonald's Playground

I loved the McDonald's
playground in the late 1970s.

Growing up on suburban Long Island, there was nothing more exciting than a McDonald's birthday party. It was basically a rite of passage. My brother and I both had one when we turned six. I remember the choice of cheeseburger or plain hamburger with fries. They did not have nuggets back then.

I LOVED the phenomenally delicious chocolate cake with white icing. If I close my eyes, I can still see Ronald McDonald’s smiling clown face staring back at me. His gloved hand wrapped tightly around perky colorful balloons. I remember making a wish that Ben would fall in love with me that year. Instead he tore up my birthday invitation. Oh well. I was a weird kid even back then. Who has crushes in first grade? Me of course.

I remember my classmates happy faces and fun gifts. Best of all, I remember running through the McDonald’s playground on my sugar high. Today the playground is indoors and made almost entirely of plastic. Back in the 1970s and ‘80s, the McDonald’s playground was outside of the restaurant. Oversized McDonald’s characters such as Grimace and Mayor McCheese in the form of slides, monkey bars and more created a fun place for kids to play. Such simplicity ... Such joy.

Anyone remember having a birthday party at McDonald’s or playing in their hometown’s old school retro McDonald’s playground?


Old school, vintage McDonald's
Playground items.


8 comments:

Sabrina said...

I had McDonald's parties for at least three years in a row; I believe they were when I turned 6, 7, and 8. I have photos in my scrapbook from the first party. You can see one of them here: http://i1212.photobucket.com/albums/cc445/WriterGirl79/Miscellaneous/CIMG9516.jpg

b-chica said...

Our McDonald's didn't get a playground until the late 80s or early 90s. I know I went to a McD's b-day party at some point, but I think it was for a friend's younger sibling.

Kato said...

I remember everyone else having a McDonalds birthday party, but not me! And I don't think I was ever invited to one (I was weird too!).

I don't remember the playground being outside though!!

meglou222 said...

I loved McDonald's parties and playgrounds! I remember playing Hot Potato with a wrapped hamburger and trying to throw ketchup packets into a bucket at McD's parties.

I was going to share a fun pic of me at one of the playgrounds, but guess you can't post pics as a commenter.

BTW, love this blog!

Ally said...

Meglou, feel free to post a pic on the FourthgradeNothing.com Facebook page!!! We would love to see it!

Ame Conine said...

Sorry I'm super late on all of your posts. I've just discovered you, and boy am I enjoying the bajeebies out of your blog! I think I'm a couple/few years younger than you. But, I found you as I was searching for the word 'psych'. It popped into my head and I couldn't stop laughing.
My best birthday party EVER was on my 6th birthday, a surprise party at McDonald's! Oh, what a tiny slice of heaven it was;) The play area was nothing short of phenomenal! I got a warm, tingly feeling when I read this one. But, those pictures really sealed the deal! I've since secretly hoped for a comparable birthday party every single year, to no avail ): womp! womp! :( I mean Geez...it wouldn't even have to be at the golden arches, just a super-awesome surprise party.... Haha!
Thanks for the smiles!!!

helen725 said...

My 2nd grade class went on a trip to tour our local McDonald's- the best part was when they gave us our hamburger and fries for lunch. I don't think they would do that for my son's class these days, with all the health conscious stuff they promote at the school.

J.M. said...

those were memorable, however if it rained, your parents wouldn't allow you to play there.

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