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20 Abandoned Playgrounds And Parks We'd Never Set Foot In

What’s even weirder than the stories adults tell children so that they’ll behave has to be seeing those stories come to life. Here's what I mean: My aunt could have saved her breath on that very flimsy story about wolves living behind her house (we were on an island, and that patch of trees wasn’t even close to being a forest fit for anything larger than a raccoon), if she had just shown me these next playgrounds and parks. I for sure would have been smarter than wandering off in crowded places, and some of these sights might have even curbed some teenage sneaking-out sessions. Yeah, it gets that weird.

It’s not even the kind of out-there the makes a good season of a great spooky show, so much as making everyone question what kind of people get into playground engineering. How many other careers fell through before this? Kids' toys and parks can be super innovative and awesome, but these are in no way that. They’re more the product of someone very fed up and tired of everything… or an adult who thinks they’re doing a good job and has never met a child? Or been one? Is it possible to be born old?

Check out 20 abandoned playgrounds and parks we'd never set foot in.

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20 Let's Go Anywhere Else

Oh boy — what odd ritual have we interrupted? No, go on, you cross between an alligator and a… bear? A double-decker bus? Oh, and a buffalo whose spine I can see. Well, this is shaping up to be a great day. I fully understand that those ridges on the brown thing’s back (let’s not pretend there’s a word for this species) may not be a very prominent spine. Maybe they’re fur? But they’re shaped just like knuckles, so… I’m going to go hide in that white castle that’s melting into the ground. Yeah, I'll be the person also trying to melt into this weird patch of sand.

19 Or Just Stay Inside

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Nope, this place does not qualify as a cool zone. A walk-in fridge is a cool zone, and some parties hit their peak and become a cool zone. “Cool” is a loosely defined term, just like any slang, and it gets tossed around, but it would never be used to describe this untrustworthy snack shack. Nothing about this is cool, and it very barely meets the definition of a “zone.” Also, gathering storm clouds — you guys have the right idea. This place wasn’t ominous enough when the rust ate away at whatever happiness once lived here if it ever did.

18 Can I Do My Homework Instead?

If it’s not our favorite character — the green car with a face and glasses? Sorry, I take that back. It’s everybody’s favorite faceless car whose eyes are the eyes of whoever is driving this. Nothing like ears where the car door handle would be — that’s not a ridiculous phrase that should point out every flaw in this thing’s logic. Now what kind of person would just dump this in the forest, as opposed to shooting it into space where truly no one can stumble over it? Yeah, this thing isn’t my ride. I’m much happier walking than trusting any part of my body inside the most confusing car.

17 Sorry — May I Do Homework Instead?

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It’s so weird that one of the frogs losing their heads was in no way when this thing got weird. It was so weird well before that. Remember the children’s story about the two frogs and a man keeping a secret? Wait — that one wasn’t read to you at bedtime? I’ll drop the fake surprise. I have no idea what I’m looking at or how small these children have to be to squeeze their legs in between the wooden sculptures just to seesaw. And also I’m scared. That was obvious, right? There’s no point in even stating it because it’s so obvious? Cool, great. We’re on the same page.

16 Chores Would Be Preferable

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I truly would rather try my hand at other people’s taxes (and maybe even my own) before considering why this dragon has faces on his wings. Don’t most dragons, your normal run-of-the-mill dragons, just have spiny, boney points on their wings? Not whole other dragons? Is this some deep-sea nonsense where babies grow on their mother’s body? Because I’m so not on board. I’m not okay with the entire concept, and that’s well before children playing on or around this come into the equation. That’s obviously not okay. Those kids should also be figuring out tax law instead of being here.

15 Oh Wow, Full-On Summer School Would Be Preferable

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We don’t need to bash the saddest attempt to build a dachshund of a zebra ever. Maybe this person wanted to contribute something nice into our world, barely knew what zebras look like or even are and only owned ten pieces of wood. That’s fine. They tried. But then we get to the issue of the head. Um, I understand that drawing and painting and carving faces is probably the most difficult part of the whole thing. But… why? Why do this? Why commit to it and paint it red? Why do any of this? Exactly what nightmares are you trying to give me?

14 Or Just Waking Up As An Adult

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The only possible good thing about being a child living somewhere that this is the local playground is that everyone has the same weird reaction to an octopus. Anywhere outside of that town, the grown-up children have to explain why they’re so antsy around sushi and can’t handle videos of smart squids solving puzzles for treats. But within county limits, everyone of a certain age must share a shorthand of why they don’t like a lot of shades of blue and sea life. That’s what really matters — feeling understood. And not going anywhere near this for-sure-rusty play structure.

13 Not Even An Interesting Adult

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I didn't think I’d have to point this out, but can we enact a general rule against disembodied heads in any product intended for children? I’m going to have to go out on a limb and say metal parts don’t qualify as a makeshift body. That’s so much worse. I don’t know what this woman could possibly be doing besides confronting a childhood memory she can’t shake off. That’s also the biggest swing-bench thing I’ve ever seen. Is that for toddlers who want a group hang? It must be so heavy and difficult to get swinging. How do you mess up swings?

12 Yup, I'll Trade My Entire Childhood To Not Go Here

Cool, so I’ll do whatever to not get on this train. Where’s it going? I truly don’t care. It can go to El Dorado or the new Ikea that’s opening before everyone else gets there. Truly not an issue because I will not be hopping aboard no matter what. Oh, it’ll take me somewhere that I can see everyone I’ve ever loved? Honestly not a surprise and I’ll still pass. Is it possible to catch motion sickness, like the cold? Let’s say I’ve got that. Motion sickness while on land. So, I’m going to go leave this forest of secrets and betrayal, K?

11 Maybe Pretend To Be Sick To Avoid This

Am I interrupting something? I'm so sorry, fox missing a bit of your snout and… guy made of jelly. You two were clearly having a conversation I want no part of. Nope, I won’t lend an opinion to solve whatever you two weirdos are arguing about. Backing away very slowly? Who, me? Trying to make myself wake up from whatever fever dream this is? You can’t be talking about me, could you? Honestly, this fox is so worrisome it kind of makes me forget pictures can’t get past a computer screen. It’s so gross I just developed a caveman’s understanding of technology for like, two full minutes.

10 Or I'll Actually Get Sick To Stay Home

Well, I’m totally stumped on how this counts as a piece of playground equipment. I fully don’t understand how a child is able to play on this. Is it practice for the horizontal bar because we’re trying to turn children into tiny gymnasts? Or is the play element of this supposed to be that you hold unbroken eye contact with the bear for as long as possible, and thus come to understand your own strength? Is this a toy for kids to examine their own souls and the darkness within? Seems like a lot to sign up for just by going to a playground.

9 Drink From A Stranger's Glass- Anything To Stay In

Oh, well if this isn’t just terrific. It’s the neighbors who go on rants about your other neighbors and seemingly need to never take a breath, which would be your chance to make a break for it. And even better, these neighbors seem to have adopted some funky chipmunk. Well, I don’t know if that’s a hat or a styrofoam plate in her hand and I also can’t explain why that male rabbit is wearing sneaks with no pants. Or why his wife has no knees or shoes. You know what? Make a run for it and never look back. Don’t stop for me if I get stuck because I definitely am not going to stop and save you.

8 Oooh, Is That A Documentary About Taxes? Let's Stay In.

We’re at the stage where we stick iron bars between chunks of concrete and call it a day. I’d almost feel bad about mocking those figures and structures actually made for children except I don’t. Those can be bad and weird and this can also look like a weird playground that’s also on the moon. If anything was meant to make the surface of the moon look even less hospitable, this is the unnamed thing for the job. It sends a clear message to stay away, never smile and get plenty of shots against whatever is lurking in that rust.

7 We Could Stay Home And Eat Salad! And Not Do This!

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And we’re back at it. Sure, why give an anti-horse eyes or a nose when they could just have the most anchor-man smile. Yeah, give the yellow thing a Kim Kardashian-tiny waist, a weird backend that fits with nothing and part of a human face. There’s no phrase that’s a recipe for success like “part of a human face.” Can’t go wrong with that in a playground. Just a groovy horse thing with no eyes. Terrific, I’m going home. I have some cleaning to do that would be way more fun than playing on this thing. But it does have gorgeous teeth — I’m jealous.

6 There Isn't Enough Money In The World

Check it out! It's the least fun place to wake up, ever! It’s the one place that doesn’t require the world to end for it to look like the world is ending! Well, that’s just terrific. So I’m going to close my eyes and hope I can leave this place just by my own sheer willpower. That can transport a human, right? These last pictures have involved so much sightless gaze and rust. Those are really some common elements in these pits. Here’s a tip to any aspiring playground engineers — if your invention has eyes that follow you no matter where you go in the room… Scratch that.

5 Yeah, I Don't Recognize This Character

It’s not that these past pictures have made me more confident that I've seen the very bottom of weird playgrounds, so much as made me more aware of my own confusion. So it’s from a place of confusion and really needing humanity to get it together that I have to say, this one is the weirdest. I know — it’s a controversial statement. Weirder than the de-snouted fox? Stranger than those first two animal things doing whatever that was? Yes, because this thing looks like it was baked in some oven as opposed to built. Also, the smeared red lipstick always does the trick. I’m out of here.

4 Oh Boy, Or This Character

Did I speak too soon? Nah, I’ll stick to my beliefs. This may be the weirdest thing we’ve seen for you, but that last guy is still mine. So it’s a very unrealistic depiction of a veterinarian or some commemorative statue to the town’s local Dr. Doolittle. Look, if only the issue with the other ones were that they were too whimsical. That’s absolutely not the issue before. But the thing is, I don’t trust this guy. There's something about the way he’s feeding baby bear a… needle. Yeah, I don’t like him. Can we find out where he got his degree? I have some calls to make. 

3 This Just Couldn't Have Been A Children's Character

Well, it’s something in what appears to be a bear costume, but it’s certainly not any kind of bear. Here’s the thing — I fully understand and acknowledge that everyone’s imagination is different. So it’s not like I’m on the frontlines of saying, hey you don’t get to imagine this thing! The issue is that the character being imagined (so in this case, old-faced baby bear) just isn’t… a thing. It’s like an inventor who invented a piece of rubbish. It’s not a thing. Also, I’m so not going to hug you, bear thing. Maybe that's not what this gesture means but I want to be very clear about boundaries.

2 I'd Rather Do Two Hours Of Squats Than Go Here

I’m genuinely relieved by the sight of a sea witch emerging from the center of the Earth to steal a little girl. You know why? You know why I’ll wave adieu to that little girl as she becomes the witch’s lunch? Because at least I recognize these things. That’s a witch with warts — totally familiar. I can at least identify her. Sure, she’s gigantic and weird, but the great news is that this isn’t a "being worried about the unknown" thing. I mean, totally not okay for a playground. Obviously, this shouldn't have been made. But as an adult, I feel fine.

1 Well I'll Just Never Sleep Again

So I did speak too soon. Should have seen that coming. Well, thank you, inventor of the world’s least awesome amusement park. Not only did you clearly reach financial demise through all manner of unsavory business practices, but I’m also now afraid of the only bear I know is vegetarian. I thought I could be friends with panda bears because of all the videos of the babies playing with handlers. I know I’ll never cuddle a grizzly because that’s out of the question, but I really had hopes for me and pandas. And now I know they have yellow eyes and are to be worried about.

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