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.

23 March 2010

Lowman Beach Park, West Seattle

Lowman Beach Park has one of the first swings I came across when I first moved to Seattle for college way back when. Tucked away along Beach Drive, just after the uphill turnoff for Lincoln Park, this park is also connected to Lincoln Park (and my favorite swinging experience) and Alki via the bike/trail route that encircles West Seattle.

Location: 7017 Beach Dr. SW
Number of swings: 1 regular, 1 baby
Ground material: Wood chips
Chain length: Short.

Yet another amazing place in Seattle to swing and watch the sunset. And water. I always find myself called towards waters wherever I am. The chain on this single regular swing is short, although quite high off the ground, allowing my super-long legs to dangle. Not the most invigorating swinging experience, but a nice place to sit and peer out to the shore.

I caught the sunset on this day. It was glorious. I also found the adjacent trees inviting.

How to get there: Bus route #37 stops along Beach Dr., right next to the park.

20 March 2010

Rainier Playfield, Columbia City

Happy first day of spring! Vernal Equinox! Nowruz! Come to Rainier Playfield, gateway to a string of parks with swings that will be documented today and in upcoming entries.

Location: Rainier Ave & S Oregon St.
Number of swings: 6 regular, 2 baby
Ground material: Sand, Wood chips
Chain length: Medium long.

Two (2) swingsets, on the corner with 38th! 4 regular swings over a sand pit and a playground with wood chips containing a 2:2 regular:baby set. I like this park, you can follow the trail and come across a few more between Rainier and Lake Washington.

How to get there: Bus routes #7, 39, 42 stop along Rainier. 42 turns on to Oregon and gets you closer to the swings.

06 March 2010

Twin Lake Elementary, Federal Way

I don't recommend prowling around elementary schools if you aren't an elementary student or at least accompanied by one. But on a No School Day, the playgrounds are fair game. I came across these swings on a spooky foggy morning.

Location:SW 320th St & 45th Pl SW
Number of swings: 8 regular, 2 sets of 4.
Ground material: Rubber below swings, wood chips around.
Chain length: Inconsistent. Some are medium, some medium-long. Length of chain corresponds to height off ground.

Good swings. Many swings. It's inconsistent, the chain length/length off ground factor, but I suppose people enjoy selection. There aren't many chances to enjoy these swings unless you're a student at the school, but summer will come soon enough. This morning that I went was quite spooky with the fog and empty school. I'm glad I made it out of there safely.

How to get there: Bus route #187 stops along 320th.

05 March 2010

Beacon Hill Playground, Beacon Hill

SPRING HAS SPRUNG IN SEATTLE! I've been taking some majestic bike rides up and down Seattle's hills lately. Beacon Hill Playground is at the top of... yep, Beacon Hill. It is adjacent to Beacon Hill Elementary. Along 14th. It's really easy to find. I apologize for the bad quality of these photos, probably not a good time of day for the phone. UPDATE 04/07/2010: I have a better photo to share!

Location: 14th Ave S & S Holgate St.
Number of swings: 4 regular, 2 baby
Ground material: Wood chips
Chain length: Long.

First thoughts upon sitting. Butt ergonomics. Is there a specific term for that? These seats are comfortable; it might be due to the shape. Overall, these are pretty good quality swings. On this night, I faced SW and got the nice trailings of the sunset over West Seattle.

How to get there: Bus routes #36 and 60 stop along 14th Ave S.

01 February 2010

Happy February!

Happy February, everyone! And happy 2010 as well...

2010 will be an exciting year for Seattle Swingers. First of all, I will finally post about my *favo(u)rite swings in Seattle.* Check back around the beginning of spring for that one...

I visited many swings in 2009. This has been a great project, and it has also been well received. Swings really do have a strong, positive impact in one's life, if one allows them to. You can bet that there will be some amazing posts this year, as I continue to canvas Seattle's playgrounds.

Thanks for all your support!

31 January 2010

Celebration Park, Federal Way

And we end January with a post from... Federal Way? But that's not Seattle! Well, my friends, I have some news for you. This Seattle Swinger spent all last summer desperately unemployed, which is why I was able to visit so many beautiful swings! And now, well, I have a job, and it's in Federal Way. But I still live on Capitol Hill, and Seattle will always be the focus of this blog. However, since I'm spending so much frickin time in Federal Way, I might as well post about some of the swings!

Location: 9th Ave S, where it curves into S 330th St., in Federal Way.
Number of swings: 2 regular
Ground material: Wood chips
Chain length: Short.

Hard seats. Just like at Powell Barnett Park in the Central District. Actually these two sets of swings are very very similar. I like a good hard, inflexible seat once in a while. It's a nice change-up from the usual.

Celebration Park is a rather large park, filled with swampy natural flora areas and a walking/dog walking trail that runs under the electrical lines. Hummmm you hear overhead. It's creepily comforting. So if you ever find yourself in Federal Way...

How to get there: Bus route #903 stops along 11th Pl S, which turns into the street this park is on.

22 January 2010

Dahl Playfield, Wedgwood

Dahl Playfield is pretty cool. It's next to University Prep, but don't hold that against it. There's some nice nature-y landscaping present.

Location: NE 77th St & 25th Ave NE
Number of swings: 2 regular, 2 baby
Ground material: Pebbles
Chain length: Long.

Note that the ground material here is pebbles. I think I prefer this kind of ground material. Most of Seattle's parks contain wood chips as a ground material, and I like that as well. Wood is absorbent of forces, soft, wood-smelling, but I do appreciate a good alternative. Sand is hard and gets into your shoes and every crevice of every thing you have. Rubber material is soft and cushiony, but it's a single piece, with similar shearing-action pain as asphalt. Pebbles provide a similar cushion-like absorbency without the stick/slivery mess of wood. And the sound of jumping on them! Kssssh. I like pebbles. (yeah, pebbles get stuck in your shoes too, but whatever. What do you think of ground materials? Feel free to discuss in comments section.)

I really liked Dahl Park. or Playfield. or Park adjacent to Playfield. I like the landscaping, with the pond and all, and it makes me wonder if it's natural. Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised either way. This park is spacious, away-from-it-all, and the playground seems like a relatively recent version/upgrade compared with other Seattle parks.

How to get there: Bus route #68, 378 run along 75th & 25th. The 72 runs nearby on Ravenna.

01 January 2010

Richmond Beach Community Park, Shoreline

Happy New Year! Richmond Beach Community Park is a nice big grassy field with a nice playground. The playground contains one of Seattle's more unique/special swings.

Location: 2201 NW 197th St., in Shoreline
Number of swings: 2 regular, 2 baby, 1 interesting hand-pump swing
Ground material: Wood chips
Chain length: Medium-short.

The swings are pretty standard. Medium-short chains giving good momentum, and I like the long expanse of grass to view while swinging. But hey, look at that weird swing:

Whoa! Hand pumps? This swing was pretty fun to try out. Some day, after I lose my legs in a tragic accident, I'll remember to return to this park so I can still get my swing on.

How to get there: Bus route #304 stops along NW 196th St.