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.