Tiffany Doerr Guerzon
New playground alert! Climb, run, swing, picnic, take a nature walk, play a game of pickleball and — bonus for grown-ups — even get in a workout at newly expanded Covington Community Park.
Families in the Covington area probably already know Covington Community Park for its busy soccer fields. But the athletic fields were just the first phase of this park's overhaul. Phase Two projects — the new playground and much more — opened recently and it's all amazing.
Newly opened features double the previous size of the park and include a terrific children’s play area. You'll also find outdoor fitness equipment, a court for tennis or pickleball, an extended walking trail, an open-air pavilion with lawn seating and lots of picnic tables. Wow!
I took two kids there recently to check it all out.
There are two parking areas for this park; to reach the the playground be sure to use the lot off of 180th for easiest access. The first thing you will see is the big concrete semi circle arches at the entrance which look cool and make for fun photo ops.
As soon as we entered the park, my kids ran straight for the zipline. The structure features two lines, one with a disc seat and the other with an oversized seat so littles can catch a ride right next to the big kids.
Near the zip line sits the play area for 2- to 5-year-olds. Kid-sized musical instruments, including a xylophone and several different drums, were getting good use the day we visited: Nearly every kid I saw pass by paused long enough to bang out a tune or two.
Right next to the music area is the spot where new restrooms will open soon. Currently portable toilets are provided and there's a drinking fountain. When your little one needs a break, enjoy a snack or grab a book from the Little Free Library and have a seat at one of the two picnic tables which are under cover, perfect for escaping a rain shower!
Other fun for the toddler and preschooler set includes a teeter-totter, bouncy bugs and a small play structure with a tiny rock wall, slide and climbing net.
Attached to this is the play set for kids ages 5–12. This features a taller, steeper slide and a huge cargo net climbing structure plus lots of other stuff to scale. There is even a big rock for little mountaineers. The play area is on artificial turf, a definite bonus on muddy days.
A separate swingset offers four regular swings plus two gliders with a baby seat and regular swing combo, a sweet way for a caregiver or sibling and baby can swing together, facing each other.
All around the area is plenty of bench seating for parents, plus picnic pavilions. Although the park is bordered by busy streets on two sides, in the background are woods and wetlands, making for a pretty view.
Behind the playset is an open-air stage and pavilion named after Covington City Councilwoman Margaret Harto. The pavilion sports a “green roof,” a roof with soil and plants growing on the surface, which helps to filter rainwater and slow down runoff during heavy rains. Kids will love the lawn seating which is newly filled in with grass and perfect for rolling down the hill or throwing a Frisbee. And don’t miss the new tennis-pickleball court near the parking lot.
Wander down the paved path toward the soccer fields and you will find an outdoor gym on artificial turf. There are four pieces of non-motorized fitness equipment with which you can get a full body workout. Posted on each are instructions for use, plus a link to a YouTube video for more information.
If you would like to get in a walk, or for fledgling pedalers to practice, stroll along the paved path that goes around the area for about a quarter-mile loop. There are also some nature trails in the woods behind the pavillion, a great place to take in some nature and sneak in a little learning by reading the posted plaques with information on the flora and fauna of the forest. These are very short loops, perfect for all ages and some are ADA-accessible.
If you go...
Find it: Covington Community Park is located at 17649 S.E. 240th St., Covington. Covington is a city in south King County, east of Kent and roughly 30 minutes from Tacoma, 40 minutes from Bellevue and 45 minutes from Seattle.
Parking: The park has two lots; use the lot off 180th Avenue S.E. to get closest to the playground.
Plan a party: Reserve a picnic structure with a grill by calling 253-480-2487.
Snack time: Try Bruchelles’s Bagel Bistro at 16340 S.E. 256th St., Suite 400, Covington, a couple of miles from the park, or there is a McDonald's with a playplace a 7-minute drive from the park at 23225 Maple Valley Hwy, Maple Valley.