I always read these lists of best playgrounds in the world and there are never any west coast, North American playgrounds in them. Maybe people think we get too much rain here? Or maybe we keep our parks a secret. But lately we’ve had endless sunny skies and we’ve been outdoors all the time and even on days TOO HOT to go to the playground, I’ve noticed all these new playgrounds have been popping up-EVERYWHERE. We love the Terra Nova playground up north in Steveston, BC, maybe a 3 hour trek from Seattle and McEuen park in Coeur D’alene Idaho a 3-ish hour drive to the east is also quite cool. But now in Seattle, right in the heart of our city, we have an amazing playground that is definitely worth traveling here to see.
Artists at Play is one of the highest playground structures we have ever seen and it’s full of climbing nets and places for kids to perch and pull themselves in the sky far above their parents’ heads. I avoided it for a little while because I am a scared of seeing my guys so high up in the air. But my boys assured me that they were quite safe and told me about all the ways they would be protected if they fell. (This is questionable safety theory coming from two 6-year olds but I bought it-at least they thought about it.) We just made one safety rule: DO NOT FALL or mommy won’t come back. And because they love this place that’s all the rules they need.
If you get there before 10am it’s not that busy and I was really thankful that there was a staff member when we visited picking up litter around the area so it felt like even though the playground is in the city center there is an attention to cleanliness and safety for children here. The EMP behind the playground and the Space Needle also provide striking backdrops for pictures. And there is no shortage of things for the kids to explore.
From grassy little knolls to roll on.
To intriguing music-making targets kids can throw pebbles at and hear rewarding ‘plink plonk’ sounds.
My guys loved climbing and climbing.
And spinning on a merry-go-round.
They loved just being kids and exploring and adventuring and this was the perfect place for that.
And when it gets crowded or you’ve had enough of adrenaline rush so far below on the ground there are places like the Science Center and Children’s Museum and yummy places to eat in the Armory nearby that make it easy to convince kids that we can move on and come back another day.
And we will be coming back a lot. My guys are almost seven and I realize their playground days are numbered and even though playgrounds terrify me I know we are racing against the clock. So I’m totally thankful for this amazing place, this Artists at Play place for kids; a totally pin-worthy fabulous playground, right in the heart of Seattle.