Stockholm is full of parks and playgrounds. One of my favorites thus far is Bryggartäppan, which is designed to look like Södermalm in the late 1800s.
The buildings include places from Per Anders Fogelstrom’s City of My Dreams, a novel that follows the follows the story of Henning Nilson and his acquaintances as they struggle to work and live during the industrial revolution. (I just finished reading this book, and it’s simultaneously very good and very sad.)
For example, in the photo above, this is the house where the two main families in the novel lived. (In the book, there was no slide coming from Henning and Lotten’s attic room, at least as far as I can remember.)
I was trying to decide if we have anything analogous to this in the United States; a space for play that really focuses on the lives of the disadvantaged during some historical period. We have (romanticized) “wild west” playgrounds, but I don’t think they quite fit.
Another cultural difference is that these playgrounds are generally full, even when it’s hovering near freezing. In Turkey and Cyprus, I was occasionally scolded by well-meaning people for taking Theo out in the cold weather. Here, there is no such scolding; it’s accepted that (well bundled) children play outside in the cold. At every playground we’ve been to thus far, throngs of preschool students have descended, wearing school-identifying vests.