Artists at Play at Seattle Center
Artists helped design this next-level playground (pictured above) in the shadow of the Space Needle, but clearly someone diabolical came up with that 30-foot-high slide, which can be accessed only via a spiderweblike climbing structure. Littler, less-fearless kids will appreciate the interactive musical play area and sculptural swing set.
Planes buzz constantly overhead, skyline and mountain views are everywhere, and the Delridge park’s recent expansion bestowed a new rope-climbing dome, some aviation-inspired public art, hillside slides, and tons of space for general running around. Best
of all, there are two ziplines—kids can learn the fine art of waiting their turn another day.
Lake Sammamish State Park
A brand new playground rises up against Lake Sammamish’s south shore like a micro Las Vegas strip—an oversize toadstool, a replica mining camp, and all manner of structures to spin, climb, zip, and swing on. When the adjacent beach restoration wraps up this spring, this place will be unstoppable.
Powell Barnett Park
This grassy swath in the Central District brings together the best features of any good park: a wading pool, basketball hoops for full- and mini-size players, an ample toddler playground and a climbing-and-slide situation for older adventurers who are so over basic monkey bars. Not to mention some exercise equipment for adults on the off chance you have energy to burn too.
Saint Edward State Park
The former seminary grounds in Kenmore feel like summer camp, from the winding drive through the woods to the bevy of trails. But mostly because of the giant wood playground (a rarity in an increasingly plastic world), perfect for acting out various explorer or pioneer scenarios. Reminder: Bringing your car into a state park requires a Discover Pass ($30 per year, or $10 for a single day).
And for more...
Linnea Westerlind’s excellent blog, Year of Seattle Parks, chronicles her visits to public spaces around Seattle, with searchable categories like waterfronts, picnic spots, or particularly epic playgrounds.