Rambling over Coffee - but it's really not coffee today. It's a Passion Fruit Truly Hard Seltzer and I guess todays topic is kind of... how McDonalds doesn't have play areas anymore?

This morning I not only decided to run errands but was feeling guilty that we've been rained-in for the last few days and the 3 year old hasn't gotten to go to the playground even though he has sweetly asked every single day.  (And oddly, told my husband last night at dinner that we DID go to the playground.  In which, Mr. Husband turned around to look at me oddly because it was pouring rain allllll day.  Now, I'm a nature kind of girl and yes, I do actually let them go outside and play in the rain, but not at a playground and not where I'll have to haul muddy children back home... in my car!).  So no.
No playground.

Today we did Walmart first.  I only did this Walmart because I wanted to hit up the McDonalds near it as I figured it would have one of those big indoor play areas and the 3 year and 1 year old could both get some playground time that doesn't include mud.  Plus, the three year old is dying to play with other children so I was thinking McDonalds play areas always have children in them, right?

What do I know?

I rarely, almost never ever eat at McDonalds and I haven't bothered to check out their play areas in 20 years.

Well, the original McDonads I planned to go to was... weird? Awful?  Designed by someone on crack and maybe drunk at the same time?  I couldn't even figure out their parking lot.   I drove around the entire building twice before finding a parking spot on the back side, in the 'upper' lot.  Yes, a second lot.  Because there was apparently only curb side pick up and drive-thru's and 'mobile orders' parking on the lower level and NOT ONE OF THOSE MOBILE PARKING SPOTS WERE FILLED and only 2 of about 10 curb side were filled.  So I pulled to the upper lot, and looked back at the building.  Where it had a double drive-thru going on... but no door.  Apparently I'd have to grab a baby and a toddler, walk through the upper parking lot to the lower lot, through the traffic (literally through) the traffic of the double drive-thru's and then around the building to the front where I could finally go through a door.


Oh hell no.
Plus... I couldn't see a play area through the glass so I wasn't even sure they had one.

I pulled out, drove around the building for the third time, but this time I left.

Down the interstate 12 freakin miles just to hit up the next McDonalds.  Horrible traffic, no turn lane or light and me trying to make a left turn against a never ending line of bumper to bumper traffic.

Firetrucks and sirens then filled the air and the already stopped traffic legit had a reason to stop.  Finally got through, around and into the parking lot.  Got a spot, got the kids, watched firetrucks pass by and whew.  FINALLY into the McDonalds.  Greeted by two empty "order yourself" kiosks because everyone, like me, just wanted to give my order to a real, live human and be done with it.

I did.

And then, balancing a baby, holding the hand of the toddler, backpack on my back and big old number placecard in my hand, we went to find a table and....


THAT'S what McDonalds calls a play area these days?


Just... wow.

A tiny little step up to a rubber play mat with some animal shapes painted on a board to the right, a big blue rubberized giant rolling pin type thing built into the floor that not one kid cared to go near (and I couldn't even get the 16 month old interested in the least) and some weird circle on the left with sand or plastic particles in it that I guess you could try to turn the wheel... again... sadly all alone and NOT ONE KID CARED ABOUT THIS CRAP.

3 little rubber square steps that led to an upper level with NOTHING to do but a wide space and an opening for one pathetic slide.

The half eaten chicken nugget laying the floor was the most exciting thing there - which I climbed in (with my shoes on) to scoop up quickly and toss away before any little ones grabbed it to munch on.

The 16 month old found zero interest in anything... which is crazy because he easily spends 2 hours at even the most pathetic of playgrounds.  This, apparently was even worse than pathetic.

The three year managed to go down the slide twice, I told him our food was ready and to come eat, and then went down the slide twice and we left.

THIS is McDonald's play areas now????

Sad.  Sad little areas they would do better to just rip it out and put in more tables and chairs for seating... especially considering how there were more elderly and couples with no children in the children area than there were parents with kids simply because there was NO SEATING in the McDonalds.

Then again, considering that other McD's had 2 drive thru's and the entire lower parking lot reserved for mobile app orders and curb side pickup, maybe no one but the elderly are bothering to go inside McDonalds anymore.