4 new playgrounds to explore in the Seattle area
Now that we’re finally free from the school routine, it’s the perfect time to get out and explore. You don’t have to go far to find adventure in the Seattle metro area. We defined four new playgrounds and used them as starting points to discover new areas for us.
These neighborhood gems are smaller parks, which means quieter, less crowded fun. They’re so good you’ll want to add them to your playground circuit.
Kennydale Beach Park in Renton
3601 Lake Washington Blvd. N., Renton
Should we go to the beach or to a playground? Can’t make up your mind? At Kennydale Beach Park, you don’t have to. There are two play structures and covered picnic tables in the sand right at the water’s edge. There is a shallow wading area, a jetty that juts out into the water, and a swimming area bounded by log dams.
At just 1.8 acres, this park, which reopened in late May, is one of the smallest we’ve visited. But it’s all about location. We saw a bald eagle go by, then a heron and ducklings following their mother on the beach. The swings were removed during the playground renovation, but the kids loved the sand diggers and the vintage concrete turtle, Tommy. And of course, the sand. You can sit anywhere and play.
However, it is not a playground where caregivers can sit and disconnect. The tallest slide descends just 6 feet from the falls into Lake Washington. Kennydale Beach Park is a designated swimming beach, but there are no lifeguards on duty. Put down your phone and watch your children.
There are a dozen parking spaces in a small lot on Burnett Avenue North, across Lake Washington Boulevard. The toilets are located on the beach.
When you’re done at Kennydale Beach Park, drive four minutes south on Lake Washington Boulevard to our all-time favorite, Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park. The parking lot fills up on nice weekends, and for good reason: walking paths, a beach and, best of all, a fantastic new playground with 12 slides.
Fairmount Playground West of Seattle
5400 Fauntleroy Way SW, Seattle
Since the West Seattle Bridge closed in March 2020, getting to West Seattle is a bit like venturing into another country. An island nation with beautiful parks, beaches and a downtown strip known as Junction – why would you want to leave?
Long after construction was completed, the fencing around the Fairmount Playground remained in place in a purgatory of inspection. When the fences finally came down in February, students from nearby Fairmount Park Elementary School rushed to test out the new play structure. access to the long play fort.
Park restrooms are open for the summer and there is free street parking along Fauntleroy Way Southwest.
Fairmount Playground is less than a mile from The Junction, where a summer staple is ice cream at Husky Deli. There’s nothing mini about the $4 mini scoop!
Four doors south of Husky Deli is the best French bakery in Seattle, in our very biased opinion. These buttery, flaky croissants from Bakery Nouveau are reason enough to make the trip west from Seattle.
Lakeridge Playground at Rainier Beach
10145 Rainier Avenue South, Seattle
The new Lakeridge Playground packs a lot of punch into a small footprint! The tired old playground has been replaced by three impressive play structures with seven slides.
Park in the gravel parking lot and you’ll be amazed: the park is much bigger than it looks from the street. Start with the swings, check out the play forts and out back there are new pickleball and basketball courts. The playground itself is on grass, not the usual woodchips, which makes it suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs.
The new playground opened in December, but the ball diamond is still fenced off to let the grass grow. Only portable toilets are available; the washrooms are closed pending construction this summer. Once the restroom is done, this place is going to be ah-mazing.
We used Lakeridge Playground as an excuse to visit Kubota Garden, a Seattle gem just a mile away. Kubota Garden is a 20-acre Japanese-inspired public garden that is open daily and totally free. Parking is also free, although only portable toilets are available.
Westside Park in Redmond
5810 156th Avenue NE, Redmond
If you love playgrounds, you’ll love the new Westside Park in Redmond. It’s a nice little neighborhood park (read: no restrooms) with climbing logs and the first zip line in Redmond’s park system. There is also a new picnic pavilion and pickleball and basketball courts.
The kids ran over the logs, which look like a giant pick-up stick set. It sounded so fun that this middle-aged mom gave it a try — and rediscovered her fear of heights. These logs are slippery!
Westside Park, which opened last November, is located in the Overlake neighborhood of Redmond. There are a few parking spots along 156th Avenue Northeast.
Use Westside Park as a starting point for exploring the playground. Make it a day of five playgrounds by visiting two other fantastic parks nearby: Marymoor Park (which has three playgrounds) and Grass Lawn Park. Marymoor Park was designed for large gatherings: tons of parking and $1 restrooms. If your kids love climbing nets, then Grass Lawn Park is a must.