Friday, August 13, 2010

Review: Ella Bailey Playground (Seattle, WA)

In our quest for nice playgrounds in Seattle, we had been told that Ella Bailey Park in the Magnolia neighborhood northwest of downtown Seattle had great climbing structures and an awesome view of the city.  (Others are similarly enthusiastic.) And maybe Seattle residents might not care about looking at their downtown repeatedly, but visitors?  With new structures?  Oh, yeah, we were there.

We quite liked the park (we went just with Little Boy Blue as Miss Mary Mack stayed at our hosts' house playing with her friends there).  The structures are new (installed in 2007 according to the park's website) and are from Kompan.  There are 4 different climbing structures, roughly ordered in age-appropriateness.  I was particularly struck by the design of this ladder here on the "oldest" structure.  I don't recall seeing any kids climbing on it during our time here, though.  There's a curvy slide that Little Boy Blue enjoyed, and a lot of other features/design notes on the structures.

In addition to the structures shown in the pictures, there's a tire swing (tire swings seem to be particularly popular in the Pacific Northwest) a couple half-basketball courts, a wide-wide open field of grass, and a porta-pottie.  In other words, this very much feels like a neighborhood park.

A park, I might add, with an awesome view of downtown Seattle.  There are less than a handful of regular swings, which seems to me a waste of vista.  I wish there were a whole bank of swings facing south so that on a clear day kids (and their parents) could swing right at Mount Rainier.

The park was reasonably crowded on a summer weekday morning, and I bet it gets packed on weekends.  With good reason.  It's a clean and lovely place to while away an hour or two with your family, regardless of whether you live in Seattle year-round or are visiting just for a couple days.

What: Ella Bailey Playground
Where: 2601 W Smith St / Seattle, WA 98134 (map)
Parking: Street parking, free.  Neighborhood likely served by bus.
Amenities: In the middle of a residential neighborhood. Just one porta-pottie and virtually no shade.  So even if you'd like to spend 4 hours here, you probably shouldn't.
Bottom Line: Beautiful Seattle views, new playground equipment, and a big field for running around in.  You will likely be jealous.

No comments:

Post a Comment