New and Recently Renovated Seattle-Area Playgrounds
Written by Andrea Leigh Ptak
Updated, August 2012
Looking for the newest places to swing, slide, and scramble? Here are Seattle-area playgrounds that have been recently renovated for safety, structure and plenty of outdoor fun. See also our related stories: 7 Parks to Discover in Seattle, and Super Spray Parks.
City of Seattle Parks
Thanks to the Parks and Green Spaces Levy, Seattle Parks and Recreation has opened a number of additional renovated play areas.
Jefferson Park - Beacon Mountain
3801 Beacon Ave. S.
Beacon Mountain at Jefferson Park is a new ecologically oriented playscape, with a new state-of-the-art water feature, just a few of the wonderful things about this park in Seattle's Beacon Hill neighborhood.
Matthews Beach Play Area
9300 51st Ave. N.E.
A large project along the lines of Seward Park, this play area has features for the youngest kids, including a new climbing structure, relocated spring toys and a new sand-digging area naturally situated under the redwood trees. Older kids can enjoy a large climbing structure and a new rock climbing experience. There are additional new swings, plus a lookout tower nestled in a grove of redwood trees that overlooks a new family picnic area, complete with barbecue. The entire area is fully accessible.
Lawton Park Play Area
3843 26th Ave. W.
The play area features new play equipment with natural “tree house” features and a faux stone wall, plus access improvements for ADA and safety standards
12718 1st Ave N.E.
Re-opened in the spring of 2012, Northacres now boasts a playground approximately double the size of the previous, and includes other site improvements such as improved entrance, pathways, and site-lines, plus an already very popular spraypark with a re-circulating system, and spray features for multiple ages. Note: The small parking lot fills up quickly, so you may have to park in the street.
Sandel Play Park
9053 First Ave. N.W.
The park now includes a wider variety of play equipment and an expansion of the existing area to provide access and use improvements.
5895 Lake Washington Blvd. S.
You may have read last year's review on the newly renovated Seward Park playground. The play areas incorporated the bones of the old swing set, but added a number of new play structures suitable for various age groups: rocks and ropes for climbing, slides, a merry-go-round, spring toys and an extremely popular zip line. Gorgeous landscaping with native plants, a pristine view of Mount Rainier and interactive art complete the project.
Ross Park Play Area
4320 4th Ave N.W.,
Seattle Re-opened in the summer of 2011, this upgraded play area includes pathway improvements, site furnishings, and play equipment for multiple ages, including a playground with climbing features and monkey bars, baby swings, slide, and bathroom facilities, as well as a large lawn area. You can also rent a shelter house.
Fairmount Park Playground
5400 Fauntleroy Way S.W.
Fairmount’s playground features new play equipment — including a ferry boat play area and rope climbing — and safety improvements for better site circulation.
Golden Gardens Playground
8498 Seaview Pl NW, Seattle WA 98117
Golden Gardens' new beach adventure play area opened in August 2011, with new play equipment that includes a large pirate ship climbing structure and dome with climbing nets. The new play area is located on the lawn between the bathhouse and the parking lot.
Beacon Hill Playground
1902 13th Ave. S.
Adjacent to Beacon Hill Elementary School, the playground features ADA-accessible basketball hoops, a children’s play area, picnic tables, accessible restrooms, a soccer and softball field accessible tennis courts and an accessible wading pool.
910 Ninth St. S.E.
This 32,000-square-foot play space opened in June 2010 and features accessible surfacing; play opportunities that support all levels of development; elevated sand tables, water and auditory elements; cozy spots to gather; and areas to swing, spin, balance, roll and play. Tactile surfaces and a sensory garden include an integrated system of spaces devoted to the five senses: sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell.
13028 S.E. 251st St.
The playfields feature an interactive electronic playground game station, where players move rapidly from one area to another to hit flashing lights on monitors.
Steve Cox Memorial Park
1321 SW 102nd St.
King County Parks created this new playground in honor of slain KC Sheriff Steve Cox.
1605 90th St. E.
Dawson features new playground equipment along with improved access and safety.
at the Tacoma Nature Center
1919 S. Tyler
The Tacoma Nature Center’s unconventional new outdoor play space features a boulder scramble, a slide that runs through a hollow log, a snag climb, a pond with waterfalls and a log crossing, walking trails and rain gardens, and a tree house with multiple entries, including one accessible by wheelchair.
4818 Nassau Ave. N.E.
The entire park received a $1.7 million makeover and reopened on June 4, 2011 with a spruced-up playground, a brand-new sprayground, a skate park, hiking trails and eco-turf.
501 S. I St.
Wright now includes a new sprayground water feature and two new play areas that serve 2- to 5-year-olds and 5- to 12-year-olds, plus a rain garden and a concrete plaza area.
6500 S. Sheridan Ave.
Wapato Park, which reopened in July 2012 after a renovation, includes a new dog park there that has had amazing use already, and a nearly one -mile loop around Wapato Lake.
This article was originally written in August 2011, and updated in July 2012.