Retro Play on the Farm

Dempsey Corner Orchard in Nova Scotia’s apple belt is a gem of a place. In the gentle rolling hills of the Annapolis Valley’s North Mountain an old playground standard and some do-it-yourself offerings take pride of place in the working farmyard.

Far from the unforgiving eyes of municipal insurers, from the exacting measurements and impact calculations of playground inspectors, this is a place where kids can still have some exhilarating, retro fun.


There’s some no holds barred spinning on one of the few remaining roundabouts in a radius of hundreds of miles. Once a playground stalwart, the roundabout is now a very rare sighting in our small corner of the world, definitely on the endangered list and not likely to be making a comeback.


It’s like a magnet for kids who are pulled to it immediately on arrival. Most of them would have never have experienced the delicious centrifugal force of a whirling roundabout. Apparently the sheep even like to get a spin in now and again too.

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I finally get up my courage and hop on board. Just a short ride brings back fine memories – happy, smiley faces all around.

Add a circle of tires sand pit and there’s no end to digging and jumping fun.


Sailing through the air with the greatest of ease.


And crossing chasms with bold steps.


Just as we are packing up, we discover some antique transportation à la Flintstones. There’s a snappy bespoke convertible…


…and a pick up ready to haul wood, apples, corn.


I’m interested in hearing from readers who know of simple yet magical, tucked away places like this that they’d like to share.

Do you remember when?

This was our second trip to Dempsey Corner Orchard. I wrote about the first trip in Harvest Playground three years ago. How quickly the kids are growing…

2 responses to “Retro Play on the Farm

  1. Mr. Pish (the traveling terrier who promotes outdoor learning & literacy) has an entire section of his website dedicated to fun places that you might enjoy looking at. You can find them listed here:


    • Thanks for the introduction to Mr. Pish. My, that dog gets around to some interesting places. Hope you’ll be back for more PlayGroundology. Always pleased to share new info with our readers. Cheers, Alex


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