In my neighborhoods, not all kids had a swing set in their backyard. So, for the ones that did, their houses were often gathering points. The backyard swing sets were cool, but they lacked the certain element of danger that the school swings provided.
For one thing, they weren't as tall, so climbing up the support bars was really no challenge. As for me, I could practically jump up and grab the top bar. Still, we all thought they were fun. My favorite part of the set was the glider swing with the two benches that faced each other. Three, or four kids could fit in there. Of course, I'm talking about the big kahuna sets that had all these accessories. Some sets didn't even have a slide.
I can also recall using a hose to wet down the slide to make the going down much easier. We used to always soak the grass at the bottom too, so that when we hit, we splashed down. The slide however, was best for toddlers; for us bigger kids, the trip was so short, it was barely worth the climb!