If your kids are experiencing the winter stir-crazies and you’ve already hit your neighborhood indoor gym more than a few times, listen up Seattle parents! There’s a brand-new playground in town where active kiddos can zip, slide, swing, climb and get the wintertime wiggles out seven days a week. The best part? The newly redesigned Discovery Park playground is one of those places that is doable on rainy days thanks to the thick towering trees above that keep the slides and play structures relatively dry. If you and your kid crew are ready to burn off some energy, bundle up and read on!

Swinging and Zipping and Sliding. Oh My! 
The new brightly colored playground features tons of fun equipment designed for ages 2-12. In the space designed for ages 5-12, you will find a multi-level climbing structure where kids can test their strength and endurance, a covered tower from which a long (and super speedy!) slide descends, fun rope structures where kids can test their balance, another climbing tower with a two-channel slide and several climb-through platforms. There are also plenty of places where your little Ninja Warrior can crawl under and over bridges or try their strength on the hanging bars. If you’ve got little ones in tow, there’s a smaller structure designed for tots ages 2–5 that boasts a small slide, climbing steps, drums and bells. To the left of the play structures, you will also find a set of four swings which include two baby swings, one regular swing and one ADA accessible swing. Psst…the ADA swing did not have straps at the time of our visit.

The new zip line sits in the same location as the old one, but offers several improvements. In addition to being a bit speedier and a whole lot sturdier, the zip line has a redesigned cargo netting launch pad and a seat that can be accessed without the help of an adult. Yay!

Play Equipment Appropriate for Children of All Abilities
In addition to the separate plays areas for ages 2-5 and 5-12, this new playground was designed to accommodate kids of all abilities. There is ADA access to the playground area from the surrounding park pathways, curb ramps and accessible seating at the picnic tables and benches that surround the playground, plus both of the climbing structures have ADA compliant transfer platforms.

Take a Break  
If you need to dry off, warm up or take a bathroom break, head over to the Environmental Learning Center. Here you can explore some of the park’s inside exhibits (remember, it’s closed on Mondays and holidays), visit with a naturalist who is always on hand to answer questions from your curious kiddos, participate in hands-on experiences (think: games, props and activities to enhance your learning adventure) or pick up a park map that will guide you on a walk to the sand dunes or to the lighthouse at the beach.

Additional Activities 
With nearly 12 miles of paths and 534 acres to explore, Discovery Park is Seattle’s largest city park and offers stunning views of Puget Sound and the Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges. If your kid crew still has energy to burn, take the 3-mile loop trail for a nice overview of the park and sights of open meadows, beautiful forest groves, impressive sea cliffs and active sand dunes (perfect for your little diggers). Or bring a kite and a picnic lunch to spread out in the meadow, and walk off your meal by taking a hike on the South Beach Trail to look for the lighthouse and sights of wildlife on the beach. This park is the epitome of urban hiking!

Find It
The new playground is located in the same spot as the former one—behind the Discovery Park Environmental Learning Center and next to the tennis courts and basketball court. Follow the signs to the Learning Center and then the “foot prints” to the playground. Psst…the parking lot fills up fast on nice days, so you might need to park in one of the other lots near the The Daybreak Star Cultural Center or on the street near the park’s east entrance. You can also access the playground by parking in the north or south parking lots and following the trail signs to the Environmental Learning Center.

Discovery Park Playground
3801 Discovery Park Blvd.
Seattle, Wa 98199
206-684-4075
Online: seattle.gov/parks/find/parks/discovery-park

Have you visited the new playground at Discovery Park? Planning to visit soon? Tell us about your experience in the comments below. 

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— Kristina Moy (all photos courtesy of the writer)

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