Seattle is fortunate to have a wealth of fantastic playgrounds throughout the city. A levy to improve the city's park system was passed in 2008, and it has enabled the city to build new playgrounds, add features, and update play structures in many locations. Check out our list of Seattle's top playgrounds.
Rainier Beach Playfield
8802 Rainier Ave S. Seattle, WA 9811
This playground is an excellent spot if you have a tiny ninja! Its netted climbing structures and bridge are small enough to be accessible to young kids but complex enough to pose fun challenges to older kids and keep them busy. Rainier Beach Playfield also boasts one of Seattle's longest zip lines.
Artists at Play
305 Harrison St., Seattle, WA 98109
Artists at Play is one of our family's favorites. Located between the Armory and MoPOP on the Seattle Center campus, the massive 30-foot climbing structure, merry-go-round and musical instruments can keep the kids entertained for hours. You can easily turn a visit to this park into an all-day outing by having a picnic and visiting one of the museums on the grounds, taking a ride on the Monorail, or playing in the International Fountain.
Powell Barnett Park
352 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Seattle, WA 98112
Kids can cool down on hot summer days in the wading pool at Powell Barnett Park. Play equipment here includes a big selection of spinning toys, a see-saw and a rope climbing structure, and the bathrooms are in a castle! While the kids play, mom and dad can work out on the gym equipment in the playground's fitness zone. This park also has a basketball court that has some lowered hoops for smaller children.
Ella Bailey Park
2601 W Smith St., Seattle, WA 98199
While the playground equipment here is not quite as fantastic as it is at the other playgrounds on this list, the views at Ella Bailey Park in Magnolia cannot be beat. On a clear day, you get a truly breathtaking panorama that includes downtown, the Space Needle, Elliott Bay and Mt. Rainier. You can also see the annual New Year's and July 4 fireworks from this location, but plan to arrive hours in advance or take public transportation. This playground doesn't having a parking lot; the street parking is adequate most times, but not for popular event like the fireworks.
2518 34th Ave. W, Seattle, WA 98199
Magnolia Playfield has really fun and innovative play structures that include spinning chairs, a trolley that kids can move and a see-saw. This park is adjacent to the Mounger outdoor pool and the Magnolia Community Center, and it's just a few blocks away from the Magnolia Village business district, which is full of small shops, restaurants and cafes.
750 S Homer St., Seattle, WA 98108
Georgetown Playfield is the perfect spot for kids who are fans of big trains and planes. Its proximity to train tracks, the airport, and Boeing Field provide up-close looks at trains and low-flying aircraft. (On the other hand, this isn't a great location for kids who don't like the loud sounds or might get scared of the planes.) The playground area here is small and scheduled for replacement in 2018, and it has a spray park that was installed in 2010.
8905 Fremont Ave. N, Seattle, WA 98103
This newly renovated park has separate climbing structures for younger and older kids, along with a large sand pit that's usually well-stocked with fun toys. Because it's nestled in a residential area, it doesn't usually get big crowds, so it's great for a more laid-back outing. You can also bring a cooler with hot dogs and cook them up on one of the park's two grills. Pick pears from one of the park's trees for a sweet end to your meal.
Deane's Children's Park
5500 Island Crest Way, Mercer Island, WA 98040
A bit further afield, Deane's Children's Park is located on Mercer Island. Known to locals as the Dragon Park, the main attraction here is a huge dragon play structure that kids can crawl on and climb inside. The park also has three additional play structures, including a castle and a toddler area. During the summer, older kids can participate in the park's Adventure Playground program in a wooded area of the grounds. Staff provide tools and guidance as children design and build their own structures in the park.
Seattle ReCreative, 8408 Greenwood Ave. N, Seattle, WA 98103
On days when it's just too cold or rainy to let the kids play outside, head to Seattle ReCreative's Paint Playground. Kids ages 1 to 5 can make new friends and paint with brushes or their fingers while parents relax, socialize and enjoy a cup of coffee. After the kids finish creating their masterpieces, they can run, jump and play in a play room that has train tables, a teepee, a puppet theater and enormous chalk boards.'