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The 'Last Gen X playground' has been found, and people can't contain their nostalgia

Dangerous? Sure. Super fun? Absolutely.

gen x, gen x childhood, gen x nostalgia, gen x tiktok, nostalgia, kids, palygrounds
@over40slbmom/TikTok

Feeling nostalgic yet?

It seems like so many iterations of unfettered joy from our childhood haven’t made it to the modern age, and playgrounds are no exception.

Gone are the days of metal slides that scorched the derriere in the summertime, seesaws that doubled as human catapults and the notorious merry-go-rounds that separated the weak from the strong. Good old fashioned character building—safety be damned!

As it turns out, a few of these old relics are still standing. And footage of kids playing at one of these bygone parks is filling adults—particularly Gen Xers—with sweet nostalgia.

Dubbing it the “Last Gen X Playground” by Ronda Schofield filmed a video of the local haunt in all its rusted glory.

As the iconic 80s song “Maniac” plays in the background, we first see some kiddos swinging on a very odd contraption that sports a generic clown face.

Then the camera pans out to reveal a metal slide weighted down by a concrete cinder block (classic), dilapidated rocking horse swings, and a spinning seesaw that’s certainly seen better days.

But you know what? The kids today seem to like it just fine.

@over40_slbmom Last GenX Playground!❤️ #genx #genxtiktokers #over50#bestgenerationever #genxkid ♬ Maniac (Flashdance Version) (Re-Recorded / Remastered) - Michael Sembello

While plenty of these staples have been replaced by safer alternatives, viewers on TikTok couldn’t help but reminisce about their childhood favorites.

“The lunch ladies at my elementary school would give us waxed paper so we would slide faster down the slide,” one person recalled.

The horse swings were my favorite,” add another. “Impossible when you get bigger, no knee room!”

One even quipped “Metal slides on a hot summer day... getting blinded and burnt at the same time.” Ah yes, a simpler time.

As people shared their recess war stories, it became all the more clear why many of these fixtures are no longer around.

“Broke my leg on the spinning thing and got stitches in my chin from the teeter totter,” one person joked.

Still, folks definitely felt their childhood come alive again after Schofield’s clip. Many felt it should be restored and kept a historic landmark of sorts.

The pre-internet days might have been a little rough around the edges, but there was an undeniable rugged charm about it all. In many ways, it was easier for kids to just be kids, allowing for social interaction, reckless abandon and learning that a few knee scrapes doesn’t signal the end of the world.

Those days might be behind us—and probably for the better, ultimately—but it’s still nice to hop back in from time to time.

Now, where’s the vintage mall with cheesy glamor shots, vinyl shops, video game arcades and RadioShacks?


This article originally appeared on 9.21.23

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