What is it about zip lining that gets kids (and parents) so excited? Maybe it’s the adrenaline rush you get when you push off the platform or the thrill of soaring through the air before coming to an abrupt stop. Whatever it is, zip lines are the hot item at the playground right now and they are popping up all over Seattle. We’ve rounded up nine Seattle parks that feature fun zip lines that are both easy and safe for big and little kids. So, put on your superhero cape and hit the park. It’s time to fly through the air!
Zip line style: Discovery Park has a large, swing-style seat that zips down from a ramp – kids may need help getting off at the end if their legs are too short to touch the ground. This zip line is best for kids who can go on the big kid swings and can easily zip alone. Littler ones can ride on mom or dad’s lap safely.
Find it: Park at the corner of West Emerson Street and 39th Avenue West (street parking only), then take the trail head that opens on West Emerson. Stay left on the trail and it will lead you to the playground and zip line.
3801 Discovery Park Boulevard
Seattle, Wa 98199
Neighborhood: West Seattle/Fauntleroy
Zip line style: Lincoln Park has a swing-style seat that zips from a platform. Little ones will need you to hold the swing while they climb on and we recommend running alongside, if possible – this one can have a bit of a kick at the end! This zip line is best for kids who are old enough to hold on tight. For little zip liners, try keeping a hand on it yourself to control the way it “zips” until they get the hang of it.
Find it: Park in the lot closest to the Fauntleroy Ferry Terminal and follow the paved walking trail northwest toward the playground.
8011 Fauntleroy Way SW
Seattle, Wa 98136
Madison Park Playground
Neighborhood: Madison Park
Zip line style: Kids at Madison Park Playground sit on a round disk-shaped seat and hang on to a rope to zip down this short line. This is a great first time zip line – they’ll need help negotiating getting on the seat at first, but it’s perfect for little ones.
Find it: On the corner between East Madison Street and East Howe Street. Take East Madison Street all the way to the end, where it intersects with Lake Washington. You won’t be able to miss this colorful playground!
East Madison Street & East Howe Street
Seattle, Wa 98112
Mt. Baker Park
Neighborhood: Mt. Baker
Zip line style: Mt. Baker Park offers zip liners a swing-style seat – little ones may need some help getting on at the beginning, mostly so that it doesn’t zip away without them! Any age zip liner will love this line (yes, it is sturdy enough for you to ride with your tot). And what makes this long zip line pretty awesome is the fact that it’s tame and easy for kiddos to jump off of themselves.
Find it: Follow the bike path toward the swings and you can’t miss it.
2521 Lake Park Drive South
Seattle, Wa 98144
Neighborhood: Ravenna/University District
Zip line style: Cowen Park has a swing-style seat that is low to the ground which makes this one easy for climbing on and off without help. This zip line is best for kids who are comfortable going on the big kid swings and are used to hanging on. Be sure to tell them to wait until the swing stops before climbing off – this thrilling one comes back quite a bit on the line before stopping.
Find it: Cowen Park is connected to Ravenna Park, just across the ravine.
5849 15th Avenue NE
Seattle, Wa 98105
Salmon Bay Park
Zip line style: Salmon Bay Park has a swing-style seat with platform access so your kiddos may need you to hold the seat while they climb on. There is typically a line to zip at this popular park, so make sure your kids stand clear while other children are using it and make sure everyone visits the restroom before they get in line!
Find it: Near the playground.
2001 NW Canoe Place
Seattle, Wa 98117
Wilburton Hill Park
Zip line style: At Wilburton Hill Park, you will find a swing-style seat that is easy for kids to get on and off themselves. This zip line is super versatile – for older kids you can really get it going with a nice push at the start. Or you can let little ones zip gently down on their own.
Find it: At the intersection of Main Street and 124th Avenue NE
12400 Main Street
Bellevue, Wa 98005
Neighborhood: Seward Park
Zip line style: This zip line comes in the form of a round disk suspended from the zip line. While this zip line run may be short, that just means your kids will want to ride it over and over…and over again! And since it’s a gradual slope, you don’t need to worry about the little ones picking up too much speed.
Find it: At the playground; next to the Seward Park Environmental & Audubon Center.
5902 Lake Washington Boulevard South
Seattle, Wa 98118
Neighborhood: Beacon Hill
Zip line style: Jefferson Park has a round disk-style seat suspended from the zip line. The zip line has a bit of a drop to it, so littler kids might find it easier to glide along from the elevated platform by the play structure. There’s also a bed of woodchips so if your little one decides to let go, they will have something forgiving to land on.
Find it: At the playground
4165 16th Avenue South
Seattle, Wa 98108
Where do you take your kids for a quick run on the zip line? Know of any other good spots? Share them with us in a comment below and we’ll add them to our list.
–Kristina Moy & Katie Kavulla
Photo credit: Allison Sutcliffe, Erin Cranston and Silleemee