Not every playground visit is all rainbows and butterflies, but a stop at Everett’s newly completed Emma Yule Park sure comes close. My kids and I visited the new playground recently and fell head over heels for the playscape’s unique equipment.
Sunny skies cast rainbow shadows over the turf, adding a touch of magic to this destination-worthy spot in Everett’s Glacier View neighborhood. Here’s what we found:
Even at first glance, it’s easy to see that the Everett Parks Department prioritized its $600,000 playground equipment budget to create a “wow” factor. One of the most striking things about the park’s layout is how each area of equipment invites age-appropriate collaboration and interaction.
In the toddler area, my 3-year-old sold me fishing supplies at the pretend storefront before joining another kid on the low-height tot climber. While I marveled at my 6-year-old’s climbing skills on the immense obstacle course on the other side of the playground, I overheard some friends encourage each other as they navigated some tricky parts together.
At most playgrounds, you can hope for a few swings at best. Here, you’ll find the traditional bucket and belt swings alongside three expression swings that allow friends to chat while they swing together. My preschooler adored facing his sister on a “big kid” seat rather than the usual molded bucket seat.
The hands-down kid favorite is the TriRunner, which I’d describe as a carousel plus zip line combo reminiscent of the spinning swing rides at a fair. Kids can hop onto one of three molded seats and take turns spinning each other until it feels like they’re flying through the air. This popular equipment always had a line of eager riders, so parents on hand helped enforce sharing.
For kids who love sensory stimulation, this park is a gold mine. Sprinkled around the play structures are opportunities to create music, spin wheels and crawl under a cozy dome. A Sensory Wave climber with a low transfer station allows kids of all abilities to pull themselves through an S-shape using molded grips and handholds.
The layout lowdown
Caregivers of multiple age groups will appreciate that sightlines across the playground are pretty good. So, go ahead, take a seat on one of the benches around the perimeter and crack open a book. Despite a fairly large footprint, I could catch glimpses of my daughter on the obstacle course at the same time I was admiring my son’s vending of pretend pizza offerings on the opposite side. I just wished we’d brought scooters for the trike track that winds around the playground!
The downside to the lack of trees and sight obstacles? You won’t find much shade. Rainbow-colored panels atop the equipment create pretty patterns on the turf, but otherwise you’ll want to bring a hat and slather on the sunscreen if you visit on a sunny day.
Turf surfacing makes it easy for mobility devices to navigate through the play area. Families with kids who might be runners should know that while the playground is not adjacent to a busy street, fencing is limited to a few visual boundary reminders (low wooden fences and benches).
An educational legacy
In 1891, Emma Yule became the first teacher in the budding city of Everett’s new schoolhouse, rapidly earning promotions to become principal and then superintendent. Despite subsequent demotions in favor of men, Yule went on to travel the world and become a published author, leaving behind a student body that grew fourfold during her tenure.
It’s fitting that the park named in her honor rests on former school district property. When the YMCA purchased the land to expand its Everett branch, it gifted an acre of the space to the city for the development of a park.
I think Yule would be thrilled to hear the delighted laughter of kids enjoying the marvelous new playground — and I know we’ll be back for a return visit soon.
If you go …
Find it: Emma Yule Park is located at 4817 Rucker Ave. in Everett (just south of the Everett YMCA).
Open hours: Everett parks are open daily, 6 a.m. to dusk.
Parking: Street parking is available along Colby and Rucker avenues. Owners of electric vehicles will find a ChargePoint charging station in the YMCA parking lot.
Facilities: Portable restrooms were available on our visit, but we politely asked the YMCA to use their restroom and fill our water bottle, and they obliged.
Snack time: Head north on Rucker to reach downtown Everett, where The Sisters Restaurant serves up tasty burgers and sandwiches in a setting that has a casual, hippie vibe. You can also pick up snacks at Sno-Isle Food Co-op, located right next door. Nearby Choux Choux Bakery is the place to go if you are in the mood for French pastries.
Did you know?: Everett residents are eligible to use the YMCA swim center for a reduced price without a membership. Proof of residency is required, and adults must pass a background check prior to entry. More details are available here.
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