Keep McDonald's and Burger King Playgrounds Open!

Keep McDonald's and Burger King Playgrounds Open!

October 5, 2022
Petition to
CEO, McDonald's Kris Kempczinski and
Signatures: 170Next Goal: 200
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Why this petition matters

Started by Jeryn Cambrah

Fast-food playgrounds (indoor and outdoor) serve a vital purpose in the communities they're part of. Many of us have fond, nostalgic feelings about the play areas at McDonald's and Burger King.

But McDonald's and Burger King are planning on removing the play areas in many of their restaurants across the U.S., some as soon as by the end of this year. The pandemic shut down these play areas and now restaurants are refusing to open them due to company red tape and their impending removal. Chick-Fil-A has yet to reopen most of their play areas and if they have, it's limited to certain days of the week. Many McDonald's and Burger King play areas are closed, too, and some of the ones that are open won't be around much longer.

They plan to remove these play structures and replace them with more seating.

But we don't need more seating! We need places for our children to play.


Here's why fast-food playgrounds are important:

  • For special needs children like my autistic son, they're a safe place to play. Fast-food playgrounds are completely fenced and have few entry points. This means I can let my son play without constantly worrying about him. I've met other parents who bring their autistic or ADHD kids for the same reason.
  • It's a place kids can socialize; particularly kids who are homeschooled, not old enough for school yet, or special needs kids like my son who need a bit of help with social situations.
  • It's a place for kids to gather, especially in rural communities which may not have activities for kids.
  • Indoor play structures are the perfect bad-weather activity, but not all communities have access to those. But nearly every town has a fast-food place!
  • They get kids off of technology, which we know is just rotting all of our brains.
  • They encourage families to eat together. You can't make memories like that in a drive-thru. (Experts say eating meals together as a family is important for a child's mental health and well-being.)
  • These play places are iconic. I've heard so many stories all over the country from parents there with their kids, playing on the same equipment they played on. It's cultural. It's sentimental. It's nostalgic. It's one way we can share our childhood with our kids.
  • These structures encourage play. In a world where our kids are being pulled in every direction and told to grow up so fast, these structures let our kids be kids -- even if it's just for a few minutes.
  • It's an affordable play option for parents and caregivers. Not every family can afford theme parks or movies or expensive indoor play places. But for the price of a Happy Meal, you can give your child a fun afternoon.
  • It's another place for parents to connect. To have a little break. To go on a play date. Make friends. Breathe. I've been able to connect with other autism parents through these play areas that I would've never met otherwise.
  • For homeless families, these play structures are a godsend. They allow you to fulfill several needs at once; you can eat, let your kids get their energy out, use the WiFi, the bathroom, and just get out of the car or off the streets for a while.

These play areas serve an important purpose, and removing them will deprive kids and parents of their benefits. For me personally, that means not having a place to take my son to play without him running into the road.

We drive an hour and a half at least twice a week to the closest PlayPlace so that my son can play without me having a panic attack. They're planning to remove that specific play structure at the end of the year, and then where will I take my son to play? Taking him to the local (unfenced) playground results in him running into the road. But he's always happy and content at the PlayPlace.


Here's what we're asking for:

  1. Open all the play areas. I know they're a liability and employees hate them, but the cleaning and upkeep can be outsourced to make it easier on employees. This will provide our kids with safe, clean, well-maintained play structures they can enjoy for years to come.
  2. Don't remove existing play structures. Not only is it a potentially horrible business decision, it's alienating some of the most devoted customers: parents and their kids. These structures are expensive -- what good would they do in a landfill? Keep the play structures. We need them. Kids like my son need them.


If they absolutely MUST remove them, because they enjoy killing the joy of small children...

Donate play structures to the communities they're in, so they can re-purpose them to create their own indoor play areas or playgrounds!


I'm legit getting freaked out the closer we get to January because I know after that, I won't have a safe place to take my son to play.

Please join me in asking these fast-food giants to consider our kids, keep our playgrounds, and LET THEM PLAY! 

Losing these play areas will have a negative effect on the communities who use and benefit from them. An effect we may be feeling for years to come.

#ConsiderOurKids #KeepOurPlaygrounds #LetThemPLAY

Link to our personal story and why I'm so passionate about this. (If you're interested!)

a boy stands next to a slide; his face has been replaced with a smiling emoji to protect his identity.
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Signatures: 170Next Goal: 200
Support now