09 April 2011

Leschi Park swings are back!

Leschi Park swings are back!
Or actually, there are new swings, the oldies have been replaced. I previously reported that the swings had been taken out. I also posted long ago of the old swings, which I really loved.
This new swing set is more in line with the newer playgrounds of Seattle, wood chips and all. They're still fun, in a great place, but lack the olden charm of the previous.

Location of swings: On S. Leschi Pl. right after it comes off of Lake Washington Blvd S.
Number of swings: 2 regular, 1 baby bucket, 1 baby seat
Ground material: Wood chips
Chain length: Long.

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How to get there: Bus route #27 takes you right to the park.

01 April 2011

Loyal Heights Playground

Location of swings: 22nd Ave NW and NW 77th St.
Number of swings: 2 regular, 1 tire
Ground material: Wood chips
Chain length: Long.

Just north of Ballard, you find Loyal Heights Playground (of course, you'll probably notice nearby Salmon Bay Park along the way). It's adjacent a community center and school, so it's pretty busy. A quaint little park, but its swings dangle too low and close to the ground for my liking.

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How to get there: Bus routes 18, 75 and 81 stop nearby on 25th Ave NW, the 15 stops on 15th.

20 March 2011

Brighton Playfield, Brighton

Happy Vernal Equinox 2011 to you all! Spring is finally here! It's been a very wet, miserable winter here in Seattle, so it was nice to enjoy some swinging in the sun today. I bring you today the TWO (¡2!) swingsets of Brighton Playfield.

Location: 39th Ave S and S Juneau St
Number of swings: 2 regular/2 baby buckets, and 4 regular/1 baby bucket/1 baby seat
Ground material: Wood chips
Chain length: Medium and Medium-long.

As I've said before, South Seattle is a mecca of playgrounds with swings. Brighton Playground has 2 swingsets, one near the entrance of the main playground with 2 regular swings/2 baby buckets and another older set a little away with 4 regular swings and 1 each of the baby styles. This older set is my preferred set of the 2, as the chains are longer, there's a nostalgic creaking of the old swingset, and it seems like it would be the less busy of the two. But who knows, I imagine this is a popular park on some days.

Children are invited to play the "Paleontology Game" posted at this playground, which involves looking for pictures of fossils, as seems to be the theme of the park. This is similar to the posted "Hot Lava Game" from Cascade Playground.

How to get there: Bus route 8 stops nearby on MLK, route 7 on Rainier.

09 January 2011

Kinnear Park, Queen Anne

Kinnear Park is on the SW slope of Queen Anne overlooking Elliott Bay and Puget Sound. Absolutely lovely.

Location: W Olympic Pl & 7th Ave W on Queen Anne
Number of swings: 1 regular, 1 baby bucket, 1 baby seat
Ground material: Wood chips
Chain length: Medium-long.

What lovely swings! They get going really quickly, seat high off the ground, and provide a nice slightly obstructed view of water. The seats are the slightly more comfortable version of other seats found in Seattle playgrounds.

This is the view from the viewpoint at the park. Hello, Seattle :)

How to get there: Bus route #1 stops right at the park along Olympic Pl.

01 December 2010

OUT-OF-TOWN SWINGS: MiklatĂșn Park, Reykjavik, Iceland

So this Seattle Swinger spent his Thanksgiving 2010 in Iceland. And you can bet he found some swings. Check it out:

Location: Langahli∂ & Miklabraut, Reykjavik
Number of swings: 1 regular, 1 tire; 1 zipline
Ground material: Pebbles
Chain length: Medium.

Oh my, Reykjavik. Sleepy little Reykjavik. This park is where you'll find the Kjarvalssta∂ir branch of the Reykjavik Art Museum. The park is pretty big, and although I visited in the winter, I imagine the greenspace is beautiful during the warmer season. There are many walking trails through the park, and one of these trails leads past a sad-looking skateboard ramp towards a little playground.

The swing is pretty good! The chains are covered in hose material (to provide comfort?). If you jump off the swing, your landing is softened by pebbles. This was a happy little pit stop for me on my way to hiking up the next hill to check out the Perlan.

Oh look! A zipline! This zipline, due to its tilt, outperforms all ziplines in Seattle, although it is nearly identical physically. Fun times.

30 November 2010

Golden Gardens Park, Ballard

Forgive me, friends. It's been far too long since I gave you an entry. Sorry. OK enough apologizing, more swinging!
What better way to return from hiatus but an entry about one of Seattle's most popular and beautiful parks?

Location: 8498 Seaview Pl NW (think NW 80th St and Puget Sound.)
Number of swings: 2 regular, 2 baby
Ground material: Sand
Chain length: Medium short.

These swings are standard short-ish chains, but the view is hard to match. Golden Gardens was one of the first parks I found upon arrival in Seattle, and I have many happy memories from there, so it's funny that my first time visiting their swings was just recently. In the summer it's a very crowded playground, and the park is filled with family barbecues and general population. In the winter, it's bitter cold and you'll have the park to yourself. It's always excellent. Great view while swinging, albeit not-so-noteworthy swings.

How to get there: Bus route 46 stops at the park. The 17 stops nearby on 32rd Ave NW.

31 August 2010

Othello Playground, Brighton

Othello Playground is located in one of those gems of parks in Seattle. We are so lucky to have so many quality green spaces.

Location: S Othello St. & 45th Ave S
Number of swings: 4 regular, 2 baby
Ground material: Wood
Chain length: Long.

Standard good all-around swings. The chains are thicker than other chains in Seattle. I had a really enjoyable time swinging here back when it was sunny here in Seattle. Look at this great swingset as you shield yourself from today's cold. Let it warm you.

How to get there:

22 August 2010

NEWS: Leschi Park swings are gone! (UPDATED)

UPDATE 4/9/11: New swings are in! And they're good!

UPDATE 8/22/10: According to Seattle Parks and Recreation, there is a Play Area Safety Program underway (and very behind schedule). The swings in Leschi Park are being replaced, and the ground material is being switched from sand to wood chips. I hope they put good swings in!

Originally posted 8/21/10:

I was riding my bike along Lake Washington Blvd today, and when I decided to make a detour to some of my favo(u)rite swings at Leschi Park, all I found was a taped-off dirt pit:

Are they being replaced? These were older, wonderfully long-chained beauties of swings, and it pains me to see them gone.

I will post updates when I get more information.

Location:35th Ave S,Seattle,United States

18 August 2010

Laurelhurst Playground

Atop a high hill overlooking Union Bay and tippy tops of skyscrapers in the distance sits Laurelhurst Park/Playground, one of many gems in Seattle.

Location: NE 45th St & 48th Ave NE
Number of swings: 4 regular, 2 baby, 1 tire.
Ground material: Wood
Chain length: Long.

Oh, what joy. These swings give a nice view and the long chains provide a smooth ride. Since I live nowhere near Laurelhurst, it was quite the pilgrimage getting there, but it was very much worth it. I would rate these swings and this park among the top in Seattle.

How to get there: Bus route #25 stops along 45th.

26 July 2010

Richmond Beach, Shoreline

Richmond Beach is my favo(u)rite beach in Seattle. I think. I really like Alki and Carkeek, but Richmond has a nice southern stretch where you can get a more isolated patch of sand. And after all these trips to this beach, I finally noticed the swing. Don't come here [just] to swing. But if you find yourself next to the swing, and it is empty, enjoy that view. Oh my.

Location: End of 20th Ave NW (basically 185th & Puget Sound + follow signs)
Number of swings: 1 regular, 1 baby
Ground material: Wood chips
Chain length: Medium

As I said above, not the greatest swing, but a nice seat. A nice view. Perhaps a perfect moment of zen? There's only 1, so be sure not to spend too much time if there are others waiting. Besides, you'd rather be down on that beach anyway.

How to get there: Bus routes 304 and 348 will bring you to the nearest bus stop, 195th & 20th NW. That's kind of a long walk, but that's ok, walking is good for you.

13 July 2010

OUT-OF-TOWN SWINGS: Whitney Elementary, Yakima, WA

I was visiting my mom in Yakima recently. Over the years of visits like these, I've noticed that many of the schools in Yakima have swingsets. There was a weird exodus of swingsets from schools everywhere else at one point, not sure why, it's not like they're ever unsafe or anything... and yet the swings in Yakima schools remain intact. Right now the children are on summer vacation, so the general public can with less worry enter this space for general recreation.

Location: 4411 West Nob Hill Blvd., Yakima, WA 98908
Number of swings: 6 medium-length, 4 long.
Ground material: Pebbles
Chain length: medium/long.

Oh so much sky to see while swinging in Yakima. The long-chain swings looked awesome, for they are slightly longer than average, but they did not feel very safe. The chains are too close to the bar of the swingset, and every pendulum swing results in a click-clack moving motion of the swing attachment. Unnerving. Hopefully they will fix that.

30 June 2010

South Park Playground, South Park

Sorry it took me 1.5 months to make a post, the only post from June 2010. The sun is shining in Seattle these days, and many parks will be soon visited. Today I was one of the last to drive across the South Park Bridge. (It closes as of 7pm today) Of course, I stopped by for a swing.

Location: 738 S Sullivan St.
Number of swings: 4 regular, 2 baby buckets
Ground material: Wood chips
Chain length: Long

Good, classic swings. Pretty fish and world map painted on the concrete in the playground to peer at while swinging high. More sentence fragments. Even though the South Park Bridge is closed now, you should make the trek down to South Park. There are other bridges.

How to get there: Bus routes 60 and 131 run along Cloverdale St. and the 132 runs along 8th Ave S.

15 May 2010

Salmon Bay Park, Ballard

Salmon Bay Park, these have become my favo(u)rite swings in Ballard.

Location: 19th Ave NW and NW Sloop Pl.
Number of swings: 4 regular, 2 baby
Ground material: Wood chips
Chain length: Long.

Wow. Rolling hills, very complete playground, quiet neighborhood surroundings. This park just feels right, for some reason. It's not an in-the-middle-of-everything location, but there's a strange nostalgia hanging over this park. The swings are the older style, so they've probably been there for a while. There is also a zipline, for those of you who love that sort of thing:

Come one, come all.

How to get there: Bus route 15 stops along 15th Ave NW, and the 18 and 75 stop along 24th Ave NW.

05 May 2010

Green Lake Community Center

Green Lake is a very desirable and busy Seattle destination. My neighbor growing up was from Ballard, and said that back in the 30's, Green Lake would freeze over every winter, and they could ice skate. Nowadays it's perpetually liquid and honestly kind of weirds me out with its murkiness, yet I see people swimming in it all summer. There's a zoo on it; it must be full of flamingo poo. Go run around it or something.

Location: 7201 E Green Lake Dr N, eastern edge of Green Lake.
Number of swings: 6 regular, 2 baby seats, 6 baby buckets
Ground material: Wood chips
Chain length: Long.

Notice that 4 of the regular swings are the regular seat, and 2 of them are hard seats. Variety! And long chains. And lake views. All these things are good things. 6 swings means higher chance of snagging a seat, but this park is quite busy on nice days, so maybe you'll have to wait. Being in one of the most prominent parks in Seattle, these swings set a more-than-acceptable standard.

How to get there: The 48 runs along Green Lake Dr., and the 16 and 316 run along Woodlawn.

01 May 2010

Sandel Playground, Greenwood

Why hello there, Sandel Playground. You are rather lovely.

Location: NW 92nd St & 2nd Ave NW
Number of swings: 3 regular, 2 baby buckets, 1 baby seat
Ground material: Wood
Chain length: Long.

Sandel Playground is the proper destination for your Greenwood park needs. Compared to its neighbo(u)r, Greenwood Park, the chains are longer, and the swings more plentiful. There's quite a large area of open grass as well.

How to get there: Bus routes 5 and 48 stop along 90th.

30 April 2010

Greenwood Park, Greenwood

Greenwood Park is pretty cool. There's some Seattle-Everett railway information. Do you like trains?

Location: Fremont Ave N and N 87th St.
Number of swings: 2 regular, 1 baby bucket, 1 baby seat
Ground material: Wood chips
Chain length: Short.

Yeah, there are swings too. They're pretty decent short-chained swings.

How to get there: Bus route 5 runs down Greenwood Ave, and the 48 runs along 85th.

29 April 2010

Lakewood Playground, Columbia City

Lakewood Playground is tucked away in a residential part of Columbia City, before you fly down the hill into Seward Park. It's one of the older-style playgrounds in Seattle; I'm sure a previous generation once enjoyed these swings.

Location: 5013 S Angeline St.
Number of swings: 2 regular, 2 baby
Ground material: Wood
Chain length: Long.

Seats are low to the ground, but when combined with the long chains, it makes for a nice SWOOP. Oh, the joy. And so continues my love affair with Columbia City.

How to get there: Bus routes 34 and 39 run along 50th.

28 April 2010

Lakeridge Playground, Rainier Beach

Lakeridge Park, last park in the Seattle city limits before you're in *gasp* Renton. I felt like I was far, far away from home when I rode my bicycle all the way down Rainier on this day. It's quite nice down there, despite being so close to *gasp* Renton.

Location: 10145 Rainier Ave. S
Number of swings: 2 regular, 2 baby
Ground material: Sand
Chain length: Medium short.

Not the classiest, prettiest park, but oh lordy, what a nice lake view. Check it out.

How to get there: Take the 7 all the way to the end. Get off along 64th, perhaps Ryan St. That's as close as you're going to get on a bus.

27 April 2010

Beer Sheva Park, Rainier Beach

Beer Sheva Park, known as Atlantic City Park prior to 1978, is in Rainier Beach between Rainier Beach High School and Lake Washington. It is one of the many parks in Seattle named after Seattle sister cities, in this case Beer Sheva, Israel. Other sister cities with parks in Seattle: Kobe, Japan; Tashkent, Uzbekistan; and perhaps Perugia, Italy, if they do decide to name the new Park at Summit & John after the city of Amanda Knox fame. Sister city parks may deserve a post of their own some day.

Location: 55th Ave S & S Cloverdale St.
Number of swings: 2 sets: 2 regular/2 baby, 3 regular/1 baby seat/2 baby buckets.
Ground material: Sand and Wood.
Chain length: Short/Medium short.

Good park. Expansive grass. Two swingsets, each with different ground material, so you can get a more comprehensive swinging experience.

Note that this second swing set is obviously the better of the two. Its chains have rubber grips, the chains are slightly longer, and the seats are the more comfortable style.

How to get there: Bus route #34 runs along nearby Seward Park Ave S.

07 April 2010

Rainier Beach Playfield, Rainier Beach

Rainier Beach Playfield = swing jackpot. I was on a little bike excursion down through Rainier Beach recently, and after hitting up so many parks, I came across this playfield behind Rainier Beach High School. So. many. swings.

Location: 8802 Rainier Ave S
Number of swings: 12, 2 sets of 6 regular.
Ground material: Wood chips
Chain length: Long.

This park is adjacent to the Rainier Beach Family Center and Dunlap Elementary, so maybe that's why this is such a great playground. Or is it? There are 12 long-chained swings, so that's all I really care about. The swing sets each have about 50% regular seats and 50% the more ergonomic kind (see seat discussion). Note the broken tire swing (may be fixed at some point):

Go to Rainier Beach if you want to get your swing on. Just sayin'.

How to get there: Bus routes #8, 9, 106, 107 stop along Henderson. You can also take LINK Light Rail to Rainier Beach on MLK and walk 2 blocks over.

29 March 2010

Rainier Community Center, Columbia City

Rainier Community Center, another park in the park chain of Rainier Playfield (to the north and west), Genesee Park and Genesee Playfield (both to the east).

Location: 4600 38th Ave S.
Number of swings: 4 regular, 2 baby
Ground material: Wood
Chain length: Medium long.

Located behind the community center, in the chain of Columbia City parks I've been blogging about lately, I felt that this park was slightly higher quality than its neighbo(u)rs. It's a relatively new park, in the grand scheme of Seattle parks. Note that there are 2 types of seats:

The rounded-end seats are a little more comfortable/ergonomic (as noted in the post from Beacon Hill Playground).

How to get there: Bus routes #7, 39, 42 all stop a couple blocks away on Rainier.

27 March 2010

Mt. Baker Park, Mt. Baker

Mt. Baker Park is one of those cozy little nooks of Seattle (there are so many of those). It's situated behind a ridge/hill from Lake Washington, and not many blocks off of Rainier. There's a nice path running through it, and the playground is pretty decent. I again apologize for the quality of the images, I will try and take new pictures at a time that isn't twilight.

Location: S Mt Baker Blvd & S McClellan St.
Number of swings:
Ground material: Wood
Chain length: Medium short, short.

Note the inconsistent chain length. Hey, something for everyone, right? Follow the scenic bike trail, the swings are just off of it, just past the zipline. (OMG ZIPLINE)

The zipline is fun, but not as exciting as the one in Cowen Park. It's better than the one in Denny Park, though.

How to get there: Bus route #14 stops right in front of this park. (hey! That bus goes all the way to Capitol Hill!)

Oh, and (¡)Happy Birthday(!) to Doug, Seattle Swinger transplanted to Minneapolis. Read his guest entry here.

26 March 2010

Genesee Park, Columbia City

Genesee Park, a park in a chain with a few others, be sure to walk the path through them all! These swings are at the end of the parking lot.

Location: 42nd Ave S & S Genesee St.
Number of swings: 4 regular, 1 baby bucket, 1 baby seat
Ground material: Wood
Chain length: Medium short.

Good swings. Pretty basic. View of lots of grass and/or a parking lot. There are some nearby athletic fields. Follow the path in either direction and you'll run into more parks, swings, lake.

How to get there: Bus routes #34 and 39 stop along S Genesee St.

25 March 2010

Order a Park Guide

Guess what I got in the mail today?

A Seattle Park Guide! It's an awesome map of parks within the Seattle city limits.

Request your own at the Seattle Parks and Recreation website.