Growing up, it was common to stop at McDonald's or Burger King on road trips, stretch your legs, grab some lunch, and let the children play on the outdoor playground for a few minutes. It use to be common to also have a birthday party at one of these places. Time changed and those playgrounds moved to giant indoor ones, which seemed even cooler at the time. Birthday parties were still held, kids laughed and screamed, and parents enjoyed a few minutes of peace while eating their food. Slowly those playgrounds became quieter, the parties disappeared and it was uncommon to see kids playing on the playgrounds. Today, it is tough to find fast food locations that still have playgrounds, and it raises the question, where have all of the playgrounds gone?

Where Did the Fast Food Playgrounds Go?

Credit: Jeff
Credit: Jeff
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It goes without saying, but McDonald's used to have the best playgrounds in the fast-food game, and kids would run to them before ever ordering their happy meals. It seemed that every McDonald's had an awesome playground and it was rare to see one without one. Fast forward to today, it is tough to find one with a playground. In Twin Falls there are multiple McDonald's but none have playgrounds anymore. Chick-Fil-A, Burger King, and Carl's Jr, all use to have playgrounds across the country as well, but they have disappeared too. In Twin Falls, the only fast-food chains that have playgrounds still are the Arctic Circle on Blue Lakes and the Burger King on Cheney. What is the reason for all the fun disappearing at these restaurants? 

Reasons for Playgrounds Disappearing

Credit: Jeff
Credit: Jeff
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It is disappointing to see balls pits, indoor playgrounds, and of course, the hamburger jail all disappear, but there is logic and reasoning behind it. First, technology has advanced and kids rather play on their phones, iPad, or playing video games than playing on a playground. With the advancement in technology and a more healthy environment, all the germs that were being spread in ball pits have made parents want to avoid them. The world moves at a faster pace, and these days it's rare to see people go into a fast-food chain, let a lot take the time to let their kids play. The faster that you can eat, the more time you have to do something else or get to where you are going. It is a sad reality to know what today's kids are missing out on. 

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The pandemic has helped eliminate more playgrounds in the last few years, and for sanitary reasons it makes sense. I am sure many of us got sick from being stuck in a ball pit or severely hurt, but I wouldn't trade those memories for anything. Kids grow up so fast, so if you find a playground, let them run, scream, and enjoy some time, because who knows how much longer any of them will be around. Times are changing, and as they do fast food playgrounds seem to be disappearing in Twin and all across the country. 

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