22 December 2009

OUT-OF-TOWN SWINGS: Don Morse Memorial Park, Chelan, WA

Don Morse Memorial Park, also known as the "City Park," is the main park in the small town of Chelan, WA, where I spent my childhood, ages 3-18. Right now I happen to be visiting family for the holidays, and I thought I'd document some swings from my hometown. Apparently Google Maps calls it "Lakeshore Park," which is the name of the adjacent RV camping park. Notice how there isn't much snow here right now... so odd.

Location: Highway 150 & W Nixon Ave, Chelan, WA 98816.
Number of swings: 4 regular, 4 baby buckets
Ground material: Wood chips
Chain length: Medium, Medium-long.

As you can see, these swings seem to be a variety of heights off the ground. I'm not sure if this is intentional or not, but I like the variety. The swing lowest to the ground is a good compromise of medium-long length: long enough to reach nice heights, but short enough for the chains to stay tight and not buckle so much on the return swing. The higher-off-the-ground swings are actually high enough to allow my feet to dangle and not smack the ground at any point of the swinging experience.

These are not the swings I swung on in childhood; this playground has undergone quite a few transformations over the past 20 years or so. Back in elementary school, I lived across the street from this park on Gibson Ave., and the swings had super long chains; these are the swings that set into motion the exciting life of a "Seattle Swinger." A giant robot slide also once lived here; it was eventually deemed unsafe and removed from the park. Those swings were probably what sparked the swing-o-philia of my adulthood, and I greatly prefer [the memory of] them to the swings that currently stand. However, the current swings are still atop a hill, presenting a beautiful lake and mountain view for the swinger.

How to get there: First get to Chelan. Link Transit bus routes #21, 31 and trolley route #34 stop along Chelan-Manson Highway (SR-150) next to the park, but most people in Chelan would probably drive. Or you could even walk, this town is really small.

*City of Chelan webpage on Don Morse Memorial Park
*GoLakeChelan, a community blog

19 December 2009

Kayu Kayu Ac Park, Shoreline/Richmond Beach

Kayu Kayu Ac Park is one of the newest parks in the Seattle area, having been renamed and dedicated in June. I stumbled upon a local blog article on the occasion. This park is amazing, mostly because of it's perfect location next to Puget Sound.

Location: 19911 Richmond Beach Drive NW, in Shoreline.
Number of swings: 2 regular, 2 baby
Ground material: Wood chips
Chain length: Medium.

I really love this park. It's newer, so everything is still mostly unspoiled. The swings aren't the best as far as chain length, but you can look out over the Sound, and that's something I consider a trump card. All that separates this park from the water is the railroad tracks, so some well-timed swinging can be accompanied with locomotion sights and sounds.

How to get there: Bus route #348 stops on somewhat-nearby 24th Ave NW.

11 December 2009

Seward Park

Seward Park, located in the neighborhood of the same name, can easily be considered one of the best parks in Seattle. The park contains old-growth forest, lake shoreline and views of Mt. Baker and Mt. Rainier on clear days. And I saw an eagle there during my last visit, so it got me really excited about the place. There are two playgrounds, a lower playground near the park entrance/lake shore and an upper playground in the interior of the park.

Location: 5895 Lake Washington Blvd S
Number of swings: 1 regular, 1 baby seat, 1 baby bucket (lower playground); 4 regular, 2 baby buckets (upper playground).
Ground material: Wood chips at both playgrounds.
Chain length: Medium-long (lower playground); Long (upper playground).

The lower playground is located near the lake shore at the entrance to the park. It's a smaller swingset with only a single regular swing, a baby seat and 2 baby buckets. The baby seat is big enough for an adult to sit in, but it's not quite the same. This part of the park is amazing; there are amazing views of Mt. Rainier and Lake Washington as you swing.

The upper playground has a bigger swing set: 4 regular swings and 2 baby buckets. It's at the top of the hill after you enter the park and go up into the peninsula. It is surrounded by trees and your swinging view is of a grassy clearing and the meandering trail that enters the forested area. The swings are a little low to the ground, but the seats are of the wider variety, giving one a more comfortable swinging experience.

How to get there: Bus route #39 stops at the park entrance.

05 December 2009

OUT-OF-TOWN SWINGS: Minnehana Park, Minneapolis (Guest Entry)

Today's post is a guest entry from my good friend, Doug, who lives in Minneapolis, MN. Doug is a swing enthusiast as well, and when we attended UW together, we had many a swing adventure, planting the seeds of this very swing blog.
So enjoy the guest entry, it is my hope to occasionally show you, my dear Seattle Swingers, the beauty of out-of-town swings. Oh, and for the record, I have indeed swung on these swings, back in September 2008 when I was in Minneapolis visiting Doug and attending another good friend's wedding.

(post written and photographed by Doug)

In my (limited) explorations of Twin Cities parks so far, this one easily stands out as having both the best swings and the best swinging experience. The swings themselves are great fun, though I wish the chains were a bit longer. The chain length (which seems to be endemic to parks here from what I have seen) prevent you from getting up too high, but it's a smooth if sometimes squeaky ride with a terrific overview of the park grounds. The park itself is easily my favorite in Minneapolis, though. So: well-above average (but not perfect) swings + incredible park combined make this a must-visit spot if you find yourself in Minneapolis. Notice the many lovely oak trees. They are beautiful in all the four seasons.

Of course another highlight of the park is the waterfall, currently ensconced in icicles. There is also a system of trails leading to the Mississippi River. Come here with friends for some lovely swings, and then take a short hike. If you come here at the right times you can be sure to avoid too many people as well. Winter apparently scares plenty of people off since I was there on a Saturday afternoon and the place was practically deserted.

Location: 4801 S. Minnehaha Park Dr. Minneapolis, MN 55417
Number of swings: 5 regular (bring a group!), 2 baby buckets
Ground Material: Sand or snow depending on time of year
Chain Length: Medium

How to get there: Once in Minneapolis, the Hiawatha Line light rail (route #55) stops right by the park.


25 November 2009

Flo Ware Park, Leschi

Check this place out! Located just out of the Central District, climbing the hill into Leschi, the whole playground is covered in the rubbery stuff (is it recycled tires as rumored?) that's at Cal Anderson and other parks. But these swings are better than at Cal Anderson, simply because they are not too close to the ground.

Location: 28th Ave S & S Jackson St.
Number of swings: 2 regular, 2 baby buckets
Ground material: Rubber
Chain length: Medium.

There is an amazing view from here, on a slope in the southern part of town. If you swing facing east, you can scope out the tops of downtown skyscrapers behind a foreground of Seattle's hilly neighborhoods. If you swing facing west, a big red house fills up your entire field of vision.

How to get there: Bus route #14 stops along Jackson St. and route #8 stops along nearby Martin Luther King Jr. Way.

24 November 2009

Pratt Park, First Hill/Yesler

Originally posted on 04 Sept. 2009, I have updated this post with a photo of the awesome water sprinklers, although it's a post-water-shut-off winter photo.

Location: 18th Ave S & E Yesler Way on the Yesler Terrace area outside the Central and International Districts.
Number of swings: 2 regular, 1 baby bucket, 1 baby seat.
Ground material: Wood chips
Chain length: Medium-short.

This place made me a little excited, but not because of the swings. The swings were just ok. Short chains, but good momentum. I actually cut my swinging short here because I got distracted by the water.

There's a little children's water park adjacent to the playground: this horse shoots water, you can swivel to aim it, and you can play with other sprinkler water guns or stand under a shower...!!! This place is probably very fun in the summer during one of those few hot hot days here in Seattle.

How to get there: Bus route #27 stops along Yesler Way in both directions. Route #14 stops nearby along S Jackson St.

06 November 2009

Firehouse Mini Park, Cherry Hill

This park is so cute. It was once a firehouse, and now it's a community center/small park... that would explain the obvious name.

Location: 18th Ave & E Cherry St on the ridge of Cherry Hill
Number of swings: 1 regular, 1 baby
Ground material: Wood chips
Chain length: Short.

This swing is very similar to the swing at Cascade Playground, although it is much higher off the ground, and the baby option is bucket-style. It's short, but you get going pretty fast, so that can be enjoyable for a bit. The park definitely outshines the swing. Gather up some children so you have a good excuse to visit! This has been my favo(u)rite area of Seattle to walk around this fall... a lovely ridge providing delicious views in all directions.

How to get there: Bus routes #3, 4, 84 stop along Jefferson St.

31 October 2009

Meridian Playground, Wallingford

First of all, Happy Halloween! Today's post will be of a place we once dubbed "Scary Park," since it seemed really creepy at night. That could be because it is a(n) historical landmark full of signs of the creepy past, like the remains of an orchard. (Wikipedia article: Meridian Playground/Home of the Good Shepard)

Location: Meridian Ave N & N 50th St. in Wallingford
Number of swings: 6 regular, 4 baby (2 sets of 2)
Ground material: Wood chips
Chain length: Medium-long.

I really like these swings. It's nice to have 6 regular swings in a row! The chains are pretty long, and the seats are high enough off the ground for an adult to use. As you swing you can view out to the big grassy field and find some joy.

Another gem of Seattle, this park has enough interesting components to keep anyone happy. There's plenty of grass, there are remnants of an old orchard (as mentioned above), and a old creepy building lurks in the background. The playground is one of the newer types in Seattle, similar to the toys at Madison Park.

How to get there: Bus route #16 runs along Meridian Ave in both directions.

30 October 2009

Pinehurst Playfield, Pinehurst

I've somewhat neglected the northern reaches of Seattle as of yet... there are lots of nice parks up there. If you're ever at Northgate and have a few moments available to swing, this park is pretty close.

Location: 12th Ave NE between 123rd and 120th St NE.
Number of swings: 2 regular, 2 baby
Ground material: Wood chips
Chain length: Medium-short.

Rubber grips. Yes. I love it when the chains of swings have those nice rubbery grips, giving your hands much traction and alleviating the fear of slipping off. Plus it makes it so your hands don't smell like nasty public park metal afterward. However, swinging on these swings is not for the shy, each swing of the pendulum brings about a loud "CLANG!" from the less-than-tight connecting component. So each swing experience is "CLANG! CLANG! CLANG! CLANG!" And this can be fun, but sometimes one doesn't feel like making loud noises and would rather swing in peace.

How to get there: Bus routes #73, 77, 347, 348 all run along 15th Ave NE.

27 October 2009

Beach swing, NE Vashon Island

It's fun to find random cool swings when you're just wandering around.

Location: beach along NE Vashon Island. Just north of Winghaven King County Park/Northeast Vashon Park, and on what is probably private property.
Number of swings: 1
Ground material: Beach sand/water, depending on tides and weather.
Chain length: Medium-short.

If I had a tree and some beachfront property, I'd have a swing like this. It was surprisingly sturdy and fun. You can't swing too hard, the tree branch prevents any crazy shenanigans. But it's a nice place to sit, swing lightly, and peer out south along Puget Sound. Note: an adult butt will not fit in the seat. I'm scrawny, but my bone structure does not fit. I slid back and sat with my thighs.

How to get there: Walk north along the beach from the Winghaven/Northeast Vashon Park (appears to be a kayak stop) and trespass at your own risk.

16 October 2009

Maple Leaf Playground, Maple Leaf

The Maple Leaf Playground is adjacent to the Maple Leaf Reservoir. This is a gem of a playground in Seattle. It's nice and big and there's plenty of things to play on, as well as plenty of grass. It's very popular with the neighbo(u)rhood.

Location: Roosevelt Way NE & NE 84th St
Number of swings: 4 regular, 4 baby
Ground material: Sand/Pebbles
Chain length: Long.

Spectacular playground. These swings are older, but classic. The chains are nice and long, and the swing ride is quite smooth. This playground seems to be crowded quite often; there must be nearby pre-schools. Pick off hours if you want to guarantee a spot on the swings.

How to get there: Bus route #68 runs along Roosevelt Way.

11 October 2009

Lincoln Park (lower playground), West Seattle

This post is about (the lower playground of) Lincoln Park in West Seattle. (The street-level "upper playgrounds" are in another post.)

THESE ARE THE BEST SWINGS IN SEATTLE. Ok, not the best swings, but the best SWINGING EXPERIENCE. And I believe one would have quite the challenge finding someone who disagrees. If you disagree, you are wrong.

Location: Lincoln Park, which spans a portion of Fauntleroy Way SW in West Seattle.
Number of swings: 3 regular, 1 baby bucket.
Ground material: Wood chips.
Chain length: Medium

Seriously. Look at that. You can swing and watch the ferries come in and out on their way to Vashon and Southworth. Sniff that Puget Sound air. Go ahead, take a stroll next to the water when you're done swinging. These swings have always played a very important part in my love affair with Seattle. They aren't the best swings, but they are standard good swings, and there is no other place you can have that view while swinging in Seattle.

I love this place.

How to get there: Bus route #54 stops along Fauntleroy Way SW.

10 October 2009

Lincoln Park (upper playgrounds), West Seattle

This post is about (the upper playgrounds of) Lincoln Park in West Seattle.

An introduction to Lincoln Park: it is huge; it is massive. It is synonym after synonym for big. It has 3 play areas: 2 occupy the higher/street level elevations of the park, in the extreme north and south. A third (and special) playground is at the south end of the park along the shore, and it will be featured in a separate post.

Location: Lincoln Park, which spans a portion of Fauntleroy Way SW in West Seattle.
Number of swings: The southern play area has 4 regular swings, 2 baby buckets. The northern play area contains only baby swings, 3 of the bucket type and 1 baby seat.)
Ground material: Wood chips in southern play area, Rubbery squares in the northern.
Chain length: Medium

These swings in the southern play area are great. The play area is nestled in the trees, and you can catch glimpses of sky and water behind the thin forest veil. The swings are comfortable, and the ride is smooth. These are very standard good swings, but to be honest, I rarely spend time at these swings because of their AMAZING SWING NEIGHBORS AT THE SHORE.

There is also a [broken] zipline up here.

The isolated northern play area contains nothing but baby swings. Oh the joy.

How to get there: Bus route #54 stops along Fauntleroy Way SW.

07 October 2009

Loft Swing, Georgetown-ish

Now THIS is why I created this blog. Anyone who has a swing INSIDE THEIR HOME is a hero of mine. I welcome any and all invitations to observe, try out and write about special swings.

Location: a loft near Georgetown
Number of swings: 1
Ground material: Cement floor
Chain length: Super long.

This swing is the perfect indoor swing. The rope is tied around a long/wide beam, and the physics of the situation keeps the swing from being a normal, out-of-control playground swing. It is a very smooth, controlled ride. The seat is hard wood, lending to a more old-fashioned, hanging-from-a-tree experience, like that one painting... I think it's called "The Swing?" (actually I'm not a fan of that painting, or really any Rococo painting of lewd French aristocrats)

How to get there: by lucky invite :)

05 October 2009

Innis Arden Pool/Clubhouse, Shoreline

Are you way up in Shoreline? Go to this playground! The swings are great! I think this is a private club, however, so tread with caution.

Location: 1430 NW 188th St in Shoreline
Number of swings: 2 regular, another set with 1 regular, and 1 baby bucket.
Ground material: Wood chips
Chain length: Medium

I was very impressed with these swings. The park isn't crowded, as it isn't a public park. Perhaps if the clubhouse is reserved by a resident, the playground might get crowded... but enjoy until then! These swings are older, nicely high off the ground, and provide plenty of excitement. Check them out.

How to get there: The nearest buses are the 304 and 348, and they stop at 15th NW and Richmond Beach Rd. You might want to find other transportation.

01 October 2009

Roanoke Park, Eastlake/Portage Bay

You know this park if you've ever had to ride the bus between the U-District and Capitol Hill. It's next to the 10th Ave bridge up the hill and over 520. And yet, when you're inside the park, it's like a little oasis you never expected.

Location: Broadway E and E Roanoke St
Number of swings: 2 regular, 2 baby
Ground material: Wood chips
Chain length: Medium

I really like this park. The swings are pretty standard, nothing too special, but also nothing to contraindicate people of any age from enjoying the joy.

How to get there: Bus route #49 stops on Roanoke right in front of the park. #25 and 49 both stop along Harvard Ave.

27 September 2009

Madison Park North Beach, Madison Park

EDIT 3/25/09: added name of park, as noted on Seattle Park Guide and no where else.

What majesty! (I feel that I say that a lot about parks in Seattle) This park is great. It's a little patch of grass next to Lake Washington, just a few blocks north of Madison Park (home of some of the greatest swings in Seattle).

Location: E Lynn St & 43rd Ave E
Number of swings: 2 regular, 2 baby
Ground material: Sand
Chain length: Short

So these swings are pretty standard short-chains. This park is mostly just grass, usually full of sunbathers... that is, when the sun is actually out in Seattle, and that has been very very often this summer. The swinging is ok, but you may be tempted to sit and just stare. Stare out at that lake. Mmmm, how nice. This park doesn't seem have a name posted anywhere on any Parks or maps website, nor is there a physical sign at the park... if you know the name, please let me know!

How to get there: Bus routes #11 and 84 stop right in front of the park.

26 September 2009

Volunteer Park, Capitol Hill

Volunteer Park is one of the nicest parks in Seattle. There are large expanses of grass, and you can walk up the tower and get one of the best views possible. Oh, how majestic.

Location: 15th Ave E & E Highland Dr.
Number of swings: 2 regular, 1 baby seat, 1 baby bucket
Ground material: Wood
Chain length: Short

Standard short-chain swings. This playground is pretty cool though, there are some interesting dinosaur-vertebrae-shaped objects to climb around on. Maybe they're not dinosaur vertebrae. Maybe they aren't vertebrae at all. Whatever. This park overall is greater than its playground, but if you happen to be here and need to get a little swing in, you should be okay. The playground is located near the northeast corner of the park, next to the cemetery. Yes, you get to look at graves while you swing!

How to get there: Bus route #10 runs along 15th Ave NE.

25 September 2009

Madison Park

Madison Park. A neighborhood. A park. You may be familiar with Madison Beach, which is across the street. I swam there once, but I find Lake Washington slightly disgusting. That's because I grew up on Lake Chelan, and it doesn't get much cleaner than that. Anyway... these swings are really really really good. Really.

Location: 43rd Ave E & E Howe St.
Number of swings: 4 regular, 1 baby seat, 1 baby bucket, 1 zipline
Ground material: Wood
Chain length: Long

Wow! These swings are GREAT! They are extra long, nicely hanging high off the ground, and they are new! This whole park is nice and new. Madison Park is a neighborhood full of money, so it's good to see that its public playground reflects that. I did witness some horror at this park, however. A baby was placed in the bucket-style swing, having a good time, then his guardian/nanny/caretaker walked away for a moment and WHOA SCREAMING! I looked over to see this baby hanging from his foot on this swing! Upon further inspection, we realized this baby bucket-style swing is BROKEN. Hopefully Seattle Parks gets on that soon.

Note that there is even a zipline at this park. Wow, this park is awesome. Just fix that baby swing, please!

How to get there: Bus routes #11 and 84 encircle this park.

Washington Park Arboretum

I love trees. I love plants too. I love the Arboretum, and guess what? You can swing there!

Location: Arboretum Dr. E & Lake Washington Blvd E, near the Stone Cottage and Japanese Garden
Number of swings: 4 regular, 2 baby
Ground material: Wood
Chain length: Medium-long.

Wow. Great swings. Park can be busy, as it was on the day I arrived... I think it was a toddler soccer lesson? Dozens of toddlers running around with soccer instructors speaking British English. Hmmm we must be near Madison Park. Anyway, these swings are a good chain-length/ground-height ratio, and are good for my personal classic swing experience. I love it, I love it!

How to get there: Bus routes #11 and 84 run along Madison Ave in both directions.

24 September 2009

Cal Anderson Park, Capitol Hill

I guess Google Maps prefers to use the Bobby Morris Playfield to label this park. But whatever, I go by City of Seattle physical signage!

Location: 11th Ave & E Pine St. on Capitol Hill
Number of swings: 2 regular, 2 baby seats, 2 baby buckets
Ground material: Rubber (from recycled tires?)
Chain length: Medium. (low to ground)

This park is nice. I like parks with rubber ground material. This is also one of Seattle's busiest parks, since it's in the heart of Capitol Hill. But I don't really like these swings. They are the lowest to the ground in all of Seattle. They are also very busy, so good luck getting a swing at any daylight time. But the fountain that runs through this park is my favorite in all of Seattle. I wonder how this park will evolve when the new, adjacent light rail station opens in 2016...

How to get there: Routes #4, 43, 49 and 60 stop along Broadway. Routes #10, 11, and 84 stop along Pine.

22 September 2009

Montlake Playfield, Montlake

Good swings. Great park. Lots of grass.

Location: 18th Ave E & E Calhoun St
Number of swings: 2 regular, 1 baby seat, 1 baby bucket
Ground material: Sand
Chain length: Medium

The Montlake Playfield is great. It's tucked away in this residential neighborhood. Mostly your playground competition will be non-school-age children in the daytime and maybe a few stray high schoolers at other times. This is a very nice playground in general. We used to trek to this park late at night back in the days of living in Mercer Hall at UW (4W4L!).

How to get there: Bus route #25 stops along 19th/W Montlake Pl.

17 September 2009

Eckstein Community Park, Ravenna

Awh, what a cute park, tucked away in NE Seattle. There's some really nice grass here, they must take good care of it.

Location: 21st Ave NE & NE 68th St in Ravenna.
Number of swings: 2 regular, 2 baby seats, 2 baby buckets. 1 tire swing.
Ground material: Wood chips
Chain length: Medium.

These swings are pretty good. The seats are nice and new, and I found the chain length and height off ground favorable. This really is a pretty cool playground, there's all sorts of fun toys for the kids to play on. Oh, and there's a tire swing. Can you tell I'm not really that excited about tire swings?

How to get there: Bus routes #64, 71, 76 and 83 stop at 21st & 65th.

16 September 2009

Bayview Playground, Magnolia

Don't let the name fool you, there is no view of any bay. This is just a sad little playground forgotten in a quiet corner of Magnolia.

Location: 24th Ave W & W Armour St. in Magnolia
Number of swings: 2 regular, 2 baby
Ground material: Sand
Chain length: Short

The seats are high off the ground to better facilitate the occasional long-legged adult swinger. However, this was also the first park I've come across with stickers attached to the playground equipment reading "This play equipment is designed for children 5-12 years old." Oops, missed that memo. This is a sad, small playground, but you can get some good swinging in, even if you're over the age of 12.

How to get there: #31 and 33 bus routes stop along 22nd Ave W.

15 September 2009

Ravenna Park, U-District

Take a little walk through the forested area in back of Cowen Park, and you'll find Ravenna Park on the other side.

Location: Ravenna Ave NE & NE 55th St. near U-Village.
Number of swings: 2 regular, 2 baby seats, 2 baby buckets.
Ground material: Wood chips
Chain length: Medium-long.

These seats are high off the ground, so if you're a swing gymnast, your belly can ride the seat and your extremities have proper space to hang. And the seats feel really sturdy. I think this playground is newer than other Seattle playgrounds.

How to get there: Bus route #30 stops along 55th and Ravenna, #74 stops along 20th, and #68, 83, 243 and 372 stop along 25th.

13 September 2009

Magnolia Community Center, Magnolia

Henry Peck Children's Play Area at the Magnolia Community Center...

...and this one isn't even labeled on the map. Oh, how shameful. This park is a much more comprehensive play environment than almost every other Seattle playground.

Location: 34th Ave W & W Smith St. in Magnolia
Number of swings: 5 regular, 1 baby seat, 4 baby buckets.
Ground material: Wood chips.
Chain length: Long.

Long chains! Get really high! However, the seats are VERY close to the ground, so don't hurt yourself. This park is adjacent to Catharine Blake K-8 School, so of course many children come included. But there are plenty of swings for everyone! I really like this park.

How to get there: Bus route #24 stops along 24th. #1, 31 and 34 stop along nearby McGraw St. All Magnolia buses seem to go along there somewhere.

11 September 2009

FAQ Basics

I've never really explained myself here. No one's ever asked, but maybe if I post this no one will need to.

Location: This is usually an intersection of either familiar-seeming streets, or the corner of the park where the swings are located.
Number of swings: QUANTITY
Ground material: Hey, it can make a difference depending on how you are feeling at a given moment.
Chain length: Not scientific. Maybe even contradictory. I go by whatever it feels like to me, judging from previous swing experiences and such.

Why? Going to parks always was a Seattle hobby of mine and those around me. And we all like swings. And sometimes we go to certain parks because of certain swings. This gives me the chance to archive it, at the very least for myself, and do something productive with the swing times.

How to get there: Sometimes there are a million ways to get there. I just look for the nearest buses, but I usually get there by walking.

And when I tag neighborhoods, sometimes I tag adjacent neighborhoods because it makes sense to me at the time. Some neighborhoods don't have swings of their own, but they are very close to swings that are technically in another neighborhood.

Feel free to ask me questions, suggest local parks, or invite me to your secret swings.

09 September 2009

Georgetown Playfield, Georgetown

Georgetown is great. It's really isolated from the rest of Seattle, but it's a neighborhood that I enjoy. This swings in this park are very close to the door of Georgetown Liquor Company.

Location: Padilla Pl S & S Homer St in Georgetown
Number of swings: 2 baby seats, 2 regular, 2 baby buckets
Ground material: Wood chips
Chain length: Short. Maybe medium-short.

These are fun swings. Short chains, but it's a great location to swing. There's nothing but sounds of I-5 and the trains. Aaah, Georgetown.

How to get there: #131 Bus stops along Airport Way. So does #134. #60 Bus stops along nearby Bailey St.

08 September 2009

Maplewood Playfield, Beacon Hill

Here are some nice swings tucked away next to I-5 on Beacon Hill, pretty near to Georgetown.

Location: Corson Ave S & S Snoqualmie St. on the southwestern side of Beacon Hill.
Number of swings: 4 regular, 1 baby seat, 1 baby bucket
Ground material: Wood chips
Chain length: Medium-long.

I had an enjoyable time here. There are lots of trees surrounding and a huge grassy hill behind. It's a mostly residential area, but that means you're more likely to swing in peace.

How to get there: Bus route #60 stops along 15th Ave in both directions.

06 September 2009

Magnolia Park, Magnolia

Surrounded by blackberry bushes, and peering out to Puget Sound atop a bluff, Magnolia Park is a beautiful Seattle destination. It's swings aren't that great, however. But I've never really come to this park for the swings, I usually come here to look at that amazing view, just as I previously described.

Location: Magnolia Blvd W & W Garfield St, in Magnolia
Number of swings: 2 regular
Ground material: Wood chips
Chain length: Short

So this was the first time I've ever had to wait my turn for swings because other adults were using them. OK, maybe it wasn't the first time, but it did leave an impression on me. But after waiting my turn, I got on a swing, and there were other adults peering, waiting their turns as well. There was one child seeming to want a swing at one point, but she obviously knew the competition was stiff. These swings are short, but give you some good momentum. The chains and their attachments to the pole squeak and click, and every moment is full of excitement from the thrill of thoughts like "maybe this will break, and I will die or be injured!"

How to get there: Bus routes #24 and 33 stop along 28th Ave W and Thorndyke Ave W. Routes #19 and 31 go down Condon Way.

05 September 2009

The Bluff swing is dead.

The rope swing at the bluff in Shoreline has been cut down. I originally wrote about it in this post. My friend was there recently and has informed me that it is now a dead swing. Sad day.

West Queen Anne Playfield, Queen Anne

West Queen Anne Playfield, Queen Anne

Location: 3rd Ave W and W Howe St, Queen Anne
Number of swings: 2 regular, 2 baby
Ground material: Wood chips
Chain length: Medium-long.

My first memories of this park are from my college days, somehow we stumbled upon this park in the middle of the night. What were we doing on Queen Anne? I have no idea. Maybe visiting someone. When I first moved to Seattle, I was intimidated by Queen Anne, but now I feel more comfortable there. This is a nice park, and the swings are pretty good. It's like most of the parks on Queen Anne, very good upkeep, lack of graffiti, happy children overflowing the park right after lunchtime... why do I choose mid-afternoon to go to parks sometimes? Oh the things I've learned since embarking on a swinger lifestyle.

How to get there: Bus routes #4, 13, and 45 stop along Queen Anne Ave.

04 September 2009

Judkins Playground, Atlantic

According to Wikipedia, the Atlantic neighborhood "is the northernmost neighborhood of the Rainier Valley, between Mount Baker Ridge and Beacon Hill. Atlantic is in turn located in the Central District of east-central Seattle, Washington, though it may also be considered part of South Seattle and the Rainier Valley. Atlantic contains the Judkins Park neighborhood." I'm a geography nerd, so sentences like the previous are like talking dirty to me. Maybe you find it a little dry. But anyway, Judkins Playground has some nice swings!

Location: 23rd Ave S & S Judkins St
Number of swings: 2 regular, 2 baby
Ground material: Wood chips
Chain length: Medium-long. (low to ground)

I really enjoyed these swings, once I was able to get a turn from the children who also enjoyed them immensely. The chains are long, so you can get pretty high, but they are also low to the ground, so sometimes pumping your legs causes some flying wood chips.

I was greeted very nicely by a mom at this playground. It went something like "How are you today?" "I'm good, how are you?" "Very well, thank you." What a nice lady. What a crazy guy to type all this right now, when it's completely irrelevant. I'm kind of awkward when approached sometimes, so her "How are you today?" sent messages into my head like "What you doing at this playground? My children need a safe place to play away from the likes of hoodlums like you!" Actually I think it's pretty obvious I'm one of the least threatening people in the world. There ARE nice people in this world who really just want to greet you on a beautiful, sunny day.

How to get there: Bus route #48 stops along 23rd, #7 and 42 stop along Rainier.