Work It Out: 7 Seattle-Area Parks That Help Parents and Kids Stay Active

Parents spend hours at playgrounds watching their little ones run, climb, jump and kick. Now a new type of equipment is popping up around play areas at parks throughout our region, but this time the focus is on getting parents active.

Ranging from gliders to boost cardio activity to strength equipment for arms, legs and abs, these mini outdoor fitness gyms are a great way to work out while your children play within sight. Here are seven parks with excellent playgrounds that also have adult exercise equipment.

Montlake Playfield, Seattle

For kids: A fabulous new playground opened this spring with climbing equipment for kids from toddler to preteen. The play structures have a lot of fun elements that you won’t find on the typical playground. The biggest structure is set up like an obstacle course with challenging nets for climbing and exciting rope bridges.

For adults: Norwell adult equipment sits along two sides of the play area. In addition to gliders, you’ll find equipment to work the quad muscles, back and chest. This park also has a track if you can convince the kids to run with you.

Location: 1618 E. Calhoun St., Seattle. Free parking in the lot.

Also nearby: Bike or walk the secret trail that starts at the northeast corner of the park and crosses under the 520 Bridge to more waterfront parks on Foster Island.

Atlantic Street Park, South Seattle

For kids: Atlantic Street Park in South Seattle is a cute neighborhood park with a bright orange play structure with slides and tunnels geared toward kids ages 5 and up. Younger siblings can explore the interactive gears and dials near the bottom or take a turn on the baby swings.

For adults: One of the first to have fitness equipment installed, this park has some of the best variety of adult exercise equipment with five stations set close around the playground that include a mix of stretching, strengthening and cardio. Several of the apparatuses allow you to adjust the resistance, and the exercise bike and arm pedal machine are particularly good.

Location: 21st Avenue S. and S. Atlantic Street, Seattle. Free street parking is available.

Also nearby: Walk or bike the I-90 Trail, which runs right by this park, a half mile east to reach Sam Smith Park, which also has a play area.

Marymoor Park, Redmond

For adults: The Seattle nonprofit MOMentum, started by Seattle moms Paige Green Dunn and Kelly Singer, raised the funds to have Kompan equipment installed around one of the two playgrounds at Marymoor Park. You’ll find gliders called free riders that provide a light cardio workout, plus sit-up benches and equipment for leg lifts, abs and arms.

For kids: The playground with the adult fitness equipment is located near Lot K and has two large play structures that feature slides, climbing nets, bridges and tunnels. Also nearby are swings and other small play equipment including a popular dinosaur kids can ride on.

Location: 6046 West Lake Sammamish Parkway N.E., Redmond. Park in Lot K. $1.

Also nearby: Explore other parts of Marymoor Park, which has another playground, as well as flat trails perfect for biking, a large off-leash dog park and a climbing pinnacle where it’s fun for kids to watch expert climbers.

Les Gove Park, Auburn

For kids: One of the best playgrounds in the south end, Les Gove Park has a large play area with plenty to do; it was carefully designed to be accessible to kids with disabilities. Kids will especially love the steep slides, musical instruments and a large sand play area that includes a man-made creek. A very popular spray park also operates in the summer.

For adults: Parents and caregivers will find fitness equipment (also donated by MOMentum) to work abs, obliques, and arms set along the north side of the playground. There are also several gliders that face the play area.

Location: 12th Street S.E. and Deal’s Way, Auburn. Free parking in the lot off Deal’s Way.

Also nearby: This 20-acre park has more to explore, including a flat, paved walking/biking path, bocce ball court, gymnasium with drop-in programs and public library branch. The White River Valley Museum is also adjacent.

Bataan Park, West Seattle

For kids: This small park in the High Point neighborhood of West Seattle has one climbing structure with a tall slide, a tunnel and an attached climbing wall. You’ll also find swings and a dome climber. Kids can bike the short paved path that circles the park and the adult fitness equipment.

For adults: Eight pieces of adult fitness equipment are set within close view of the playground at Bataan Park. Exercises range from abs and arms to gliders and leg presses. Pamphlets explaining how to use each piece of equipment are available near the park’s entrance.

Also nearby: This cute neighborhood has two other playgrounds and the High Point Library branch within walking distance.

Location: High Point Drive S.W. and Bataan Place S.W., Seattle. Free street parking.

Bitter Lake Reservoir Park, North Seattle

Bitter Lake reservoir park

For kids: A large domed net climber, a colorful play structure and a few smaller freestanding toys provide plenty for kids to do while adults sneak in some exercise time at this small corner park.

For adults: Kompan equipment (donated by MOMentum) frames both sides of the playground and includes two gliders and several pieces to work primarily your arms and abs while kids play within sight.

Location: Linden Avenue N. and N. 143rd St., Seattle. Free street parking.

Also nearby: Explore Bitter Lake Playfield on the other side of the reservoir, which has a pleasant shoreline and an additional playground. It is located a half-mile to the south. 

Green Lake Park, North Seattle

For kids and adults: You won’t find adult fitness equipment here, but the classic Seattle exercise spot offers a 2.8-mile flat, paved trail that is ideal for a family bike or scooter ride. Stop near the Green Lake Community Center for a rest and some fun on the large playground.

Location: 7201 E. Green Lake Dr. N., Seattle. Free parking in several lots and on side streets.

Also nearby: If you’ve exhausted your activities at Green Lake (which with the playground, two swimming areas and even a pitch-and-putt golf course is difficult to do), check out the new play equipment located close by at the Woodland Park Playground. It is located at the north end of the Woodland Park Zoo at the corner of N. 59th St. and Phinney Avenue.  


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