If you are looking for an indoor spot to rock a play date or entertain your active tween or teen, check out the new All Together Skatepark (ATS), located between Fremont and Wallingford in the Fremont Collective Building below Evo on 35th and Stone Way in Seattle.
The building, with its colorful mural, will be familiar to longtime fans of the popular indoor skate park Inner Space, which closed in 2012. ATS was built by a partnership that included Evo and other partners and crowd funding through indiegoog.com.
I recently took my tween son and his friend to check out the indoor skatepark, which just opened in November. After filling out and signing waivers, renting a skateboard for $3 (popular ripstiks are only allowed at birthday and private parties) and strapping on their helmets, the boys were ready to roll.
The noisy, indoor space is about the size of a soccer field and has two large ramps, several smaller ramps and a metal bar to ride on. The boys warmed up by rolling against a low wall that is adjacent to an area with seats and storage for water bottles, coats etc. After observing teens and 20-somethings doing some impressive tricks, and taking a few spills, they cautiously pushed off to try some of the lower ramps. Both novice skateboarders, after about 45 minutes both had gotten a good workout and were done with the activity and ready for lunch.
Safety is a priority at the park and helmets are required for skaters age 17 and under. A helmet and pad are available for rent for $2, so no excuses. During our visit the park, staff were friendly and looking out for the safety of all skaters. No drugs, alcohol or smoking is allowed at the park and backpacks and bags are subject to search and must be stored in the viewing area. ATS, not surprisingly, is smaller than some popular outdoor skateparks and offers less variety in ramps, but for a rainy day it's hard to beat.
Younger kids and novice skateboarders may feel overrun by the teens and 20-somethings that zip around the park and dominate the large ramp. If you have kids under the age of 12, you’ll want to take advantage of the “11 and under” skate times ATS offers on Saturdays from noon to 2 p.m.
During our visit, the crowd was almost entirely male, but ATS Skatepark Manager Steve Settles is confident that will change over time, as the park’s classes are popular with girls.
- Parking next to the building is limited. You should be able to find free street parking just a block or two away.
- Drop off is an option. ATS offers a “drop-off” option if you sign a waiver for your child.
- Dining options are nearby. After you drop off your skater, grab a glass of wine or a cup of coffee at adjacent Tiny Ninja café or head up the street to Ro Ro BBQ and enjoy a delicious barbeque lunch.
- Bring a water bottle. Skateboarding is an active sport and your kids will get thirsty.
If you go ...
Cost: Drop-in skating is $10 per participant and lessons are $20 a session. There is an evening open skate session from 7 pm to 9 pm, every day, for just $5. You can also save money by buying a yearly membership for $99, which includes a discounted rate on sessions and camps and by buying monthly passes.
Hours: ATS is open Monday to Sunday to all ages, 2-9 p.m., Saturday from noon to 2 p.m. for ages 11 and under only and Sunday noon to 2 p.m. for youth lessons. Winter break hours vary; check the website or Facebook page.
Lessons and camps: The park’s education partner, Skate Like A Girl, offers co-ed classes at ATS. ATS also offers camps, birthday and private parties.
About the author: Writer and mother of two Kathleen F. Miller learned to skateboard as a tween on Bainbridge Island in the 1970s, before it was cool and without wearing a helmet and pads. Her “skate park” was a steep sidewalk.