1887: America’s First Playground. America’s first playground opened in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. Groundbreaking at the time, the playground included swings, slides and even a ride in a cart pulled by a goat. Most popular, though, was the Roman temple carousel, complete with doric columns. This was replaced in 1912 with another wooden carousel. It was so popular that it even did a turn at the 1939 World’s Fair in New York.