You Can Visit NYC’s Retired Playground Animals at This City Park

published Sep 19, 2023
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People enjoying a beautiful summer day in Sheep Meadow, Central Park. The sun shines through the trees in the late afternoon.
Credit: DW labs Incorporated / Shutterstock

There’s nothing like returning to an old playground that left you with many childhood memories, specifically the swings, merry-go-round, or monkey bars. Eventually, the equipment at your local park can become worn down and develop rust, but where does it go once it’s been replaced? In New York City, six forgotten playground animals have found their forever home at a local park.

Flushing Meadows Corona Park, located in Queens, New York, is now the “Home for Retired Playground Animals,” since the worn-out toys are past their prime. Although their colorful paint is chipped and faded, the memories that these animals have provided will be eternally cherished. Composed of an aardvark, frog, elephant, camel, and two dolphins, the sculptures are adjacent to a handful of benches that serves as a “contemplative area.” 

On the @nycparks Instagram, a heartwarming video was shared of the park’s new not-so-furry friends, and they even celebrated with a cake. If you take a closer look, you’ll see that the animals were given festive hats for their retirement party. 

In a press release, NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue shared that the animals will hopefully inspire “imagination and creativity” to future park goers. “At NYC Parks, our civil servants take many forms: not only park workers but also the beloved concrete animals children have been playing on for decades in our playgrounds across the city,” she said. 

Shrubs, trees, and the aforementioned benches surround the retired animals, so it’ll be a treat to see them if you happen to spend time in Queens. So go celebrate some of New York’s hard-working citizens by paying them a visit at Flushing Meadows Corona Park.