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New Snoqualmie Playground Welcomes All With Mountain Views

Centennial Fields Park encourages creative, inclusive play for kids of all abilities

Sharon Mead headshot

Published on: May 08, 2024

A new playground in Snoqualmie features inclusive playground equipment for kids of all abilities.
Sharon Mead

In the shadow of Mount Si, Google Maps pointed me directly to fun — the kind of fun for all ages and abilities. During my visit to the newly dedicated Centennial Fields Park playground with my 4-year-old daughter and her preschool friend, I could see that the city of Snoqualmie had done this park right. As my van door slid open, the girls were quickly off and running to the play structure.

What grabbed these girls’ attention? Well, just about everything, but they were especially engaged with the labyrinth of walkways, the slides and the open space to run. And they certainly weren’t alone. A small crowd of children, roughly preschool through upper elementary age, were busy swinging, climbing, playing hide-and-seek and spinning.

A view of the new playground in Snoqualmie with adaptive playground equipment.
Kids can play on the bright green play structures at the new playground. Photo: Sharon Mead

An accessible playground for every kid in the community

This inclusive playground is a space for kids of all abilities, originally championed 10 years ago by local parent Chelsea Robinson and supported and created by the community. I was glad to see that the large playground is nearly fully fenced and is a secure space for a variety of children, with wheelchair-accessible play structures and ramps, Braille boards and sensory-appropriate musical instruments such as drums and chimes. In fact, the new playground exceeds American with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards.

Sensory musical playground equipment for kids of all abilities.
Interactive playground equipment engages kids at the new Snoqualmie playground. Photo: Sharon Mead

This is no “one and done” playground. Instead, the structure gives kids ample opportunities to get their wiggles out and run or roll to their heart’s content. Smooth surfacing gives way to ADA ramps, which felt expansive and long — in a good way. In fact, these ramps kept me busy moving on my way to completing those 10,000 steps to close my daily activity ring. I’d say this would be a great place to play “The Floor is Lava” because you can easily traverse around the play area above the ground via ramps and bars.

A young boy plays on the adaptive playground in Snoqualmie.
A young boy tries out the accessible play structures at the Centennial Fields Park playground. Photo: Sharon Mead

Climbing is definitely encouraged at Centennial Fields Park. While one girl was quick to try a challenging curved ladder reaching up to a tower landing, the other attempted the horizontal monkey bars. The girls were game to see what they could master, but I think both could use a few more years before they perfect these challenges. In fact, this area of the playground is designed for kids ages 5 to 12, so there’s room to grow.

Kids climb, slide and play on the smaller structure at a new Snoqualmie playground.
Young kids can climb, slide and play on smaller playground equipment. Photo: Sharon Mead

Overall, I felt pleasantly surprised by the large space and the variety of playground equipment: climbing walls, obstacles, climbing bars, “mushrooms” to step on, sliding poles, rope bridges, balancing challenges, tunnel slides, merry-go-rounds and swings. The girls ran from one end to the other and everywhere in-between. I’d say of all the things, the slides were a magnet for them both. Up and down, down and up — it didn’t seem to matter which way they went for fun to ensue. I noticed the wider slide, designed to serve all kids, made for so much more fun, too.

Centennial Fields Park is ideal for playing hide and seek, with the caveat that I lost sight of the girls from time to time within the fenced area. Parents that need to keep a close eye on kids would likely want to stay vigilant. Speaking of being near your children, I loved that this inclusive playground allowed adults to play right along with kids. While I was there, the ground-level merry-go-round offered seats for some grandmas to join in the play without having to do anything but twirl contentedly in the enclosed structure.

Parents, grandparents and caregivers of young kids play on the merry-go-round at Centennial Fields Park.
Parents and grandparents easily join in on the fun with a ride on the merry-go-round. Photo: Sharon Mead

Two sections offer endless opportunities for play

You’ll find that the playground is divided into two areas, with a wide, smoothly paved path running between the sections. The girls happily jetted back and forth to both areas, but each was fenced on three sides. The fencing is also situated so the openings face the path, keeping the impulse to dash to the parking lot or nearby fields in check.

The larger play section is more appropriate for the older kids and includes the various ramps for wheeled access. The second and smaller area is designed for 2- to 5-year-olds and includes a smaller play structure, an inclusive swing that allows for a wheelchair or limited mobility access, as well the sensory musical chimes and an age-appropriate merry-go-round. By the way, I was amused that the swing could accommodate a lot of children of a variety of ages as they rocked to-and-fro, smiling.

An adaptive swing at the new Snoqualmie playground accommodates mobility aids and wheelchairs.
The inclusive swing has room for wheelchairs. Photo: Sharon Mead

Other park features include a sensory garden and picnic shelter

Beyond the smaller play area outside of the fencing is a surprise feature: a sensory garden with winding path. The garden’s plantings have been carefully selected to engage the senses with different colors, scents and textures. The flat, paved path allows anyone to meander through this area and enjoy whatever delights their senses most. These plants are newly planted, but I look forward to seeing the sensory garden when it’s established and in full bloom.

A sensory garden at Snoqualmie’s new playground offers different smells and textures for park goers.
A sensory garden at Snoqualmie’s new playground offers different smells, sights and textures for park goers. Photo: Sharon Mead

A large picnic shelter, which is also available to rent for parties or events, provides a place for lunch or an escape from the elements, rain or shine. While we were at the park, a beautiful sunny afternoon quickly changed to a gray sky and became a soaking downpour. Be prepared for weather of any sort in the mountains. The picnic shelter might be your best friend one afternoon.

The adjacent concession stand for the baseball fields — which sells snacks during games — provides bathroom facilities and a water fountain.

Beautiful green baseball and soccer fields spread out next to the playground with gorgeous views. I could have sat there for a while just to enjoy the lush beauty and Mount Si, but kids do not sit still well, so back to playing we went. Older kids could certainly have a field day here, kicking a soccer ball or tossing a Frisbee.

Snack time

There is nothing better than a post-playtime ice cream on a sunny day. Just a couple miles from the park is Friends & Co Ice Cream in North Bend. They serve all-natural Snoqualmie ice cream in a variety of flavors that just might entice you to come to town more often. If you need more than a snack, try Copperstone Family Spaghetti Restaurant on Railroad Avenue in Snoqualmie, with an array of Italian standards from pasta to subs to pizzas.

Other nearby things to see and do in Snoqualmie

In addition to nearby Mount Si, Snoqualmie is home to some unique attractions you won’t find anywhere else. The Railroad Park and Centennial Log Pavilion, which showcases an enormous old-growth Douglas fir log, is located in downtown Snoqualmie, adjacent to the Northwest Railway Museum. Train lovers will be in heaven.

And I personally think Snoqualmie Falls is a must-see, even if you’ve seen it before. In the spring, you can observe the winter runoff, which is especially spectacular as the water cascades over the 270-foot waterfall, from an upper viewing platform or from the bottom via a walking trail.

If you go …

Find it: Centennial Fields Park is located at 39903 SE Park St. in Snoqualmie.

Open hours: Centennial Fields Park is open dawn to dusk.

Parking: There is ample parking in a dedicated lot.

Facilities: Men’s and women’s bathrooms with a water fountain are adjacent to the playground in the concession stand.

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