Seattle kids will take their outdoor play any day of the week, even if the wet stuff is falling from the sky. If you’re looking for a good excuse to venture outside and burn off the crazies, grab your rain jackets and head over to the newly opened Lake Sammamish State Park playground at Sunset Beach. This imaginative, sprawling new play area is chock-full of interactive activities for kids of all ages and abilities, making it well worth the drive to the Eastside.
A Play Area Designed for Everyone
Expansive and creatively designed, this 10,000 square-foot unique play area has a little something for everyone. Designed for ages 2 to 12 (but all are welcome to play), the rubberized ground cover makes for safer running and tumbling and the wide walkways, wheelchair-accessible picnic benches and flat location make it accessible to everyone.
The whimsical, coal mining town theme delights visitors with its oversized mushroom cottage, hidden woodland creatures, mining town cubbies and cabins, and even a painted stream that runs through the playground complete with leaping salmon. Psst… be sure to look for the giant blue heron at the entrance of the playground—it serves as a playful reference to the park’s heron rookery, even spraying water with the press of a button during warmer months!
A Place for Climbers
A range of climbing pieces will delight small hands and feet and a towering 17-foot tall geodesic climbing dome will challenge the bravest of climbers. Various small and medium-sized slides also dot the playground, along with a netted carousel and bright interactive displays where curious minds can learn all about mushroom types or hear animal sounds.
Swings Designed for Two!
Beyond your basic swing set (it has those too), the park features two mommy-and-me-swings, where adults can sit and pump while facing their tiny tots—so much more fun than just standing and pushing little swingers back and forth—and an accessible saucer-style swing.
Calling All Thrill Seekers!
If you’ve got a little daredevil, the other side of the play area boasts a cool challenge course where kids can tackle a variety of nets, twisted ladders and wacky log steps. There’s also a fun zip line where kids (and parents!) can race the width of the play area by starting on a raised platform, with a gradual incline, and zooming over the “stream” with a dock bridge in the middle for safe departure.
Good to Know
1. The playground includes ample seating for caregivers and parents.
2. A large bathroom and changing facility is located at the Sunset Beach bathhouse, just a short walk away.
3. While the newly redesigned beach and water access is still underway, we understand the spray water feature is likely to be reinstalled come warmer weather, so stay tuned for even more activities coming to this fun new playground.
4. The playground likely won’t see much shade in the hotter months, so plan to bring your own.
5. Since this playground is located at a state park, a Discover Pass or paid parking permit is required. The cost is $10 for the day or $30 for a year-long pass good at any state park. Psst… go for the yearly pass. Believe us, the Littles will want to come back to this park again!
6. There’s a lot to do at Lake Sammamish State Park, so plan to make a day of it by walking the trails, hitting the smaller play area near Tibbets field and packing a lunch to enjoy by the lake.
7. Gilman Village is just a five-minute drive away and the perfect spot for a post playdate snack.
7. The new playground is located in the south area of the park at Sunset Beach, which is the second major left off the main road when you enter from N.W. Sammamish Rd. to the south.
Lake Sammamish State Park
2000 N.W. Sammamish Rd.
Issaquah, Wa 98027
Hours: Dawn to dusk
Cost: Parking fee ($10/day or $30 for the annual Discover Pass good to all state parks)
Have you visited this awesome new playground at Lake Sammamish State Park? Tell us about your experience in the Comments below!
— Jennifer B. Davis (all photos courtesy of the writer)