Seattle's Child

Your guide to a kid-friendly city

7 of the Best Playgrounds for Preschoolers in North Seattle

If you’re looking for a new place to let your little ones swing, slide, bounce, run and otherwise get their wiggles out, you’re in luck—here are some 6 gems in North Seattle (plus one in Kenmore)  that cater to the smallest among us. Grab shoes and snacks, it’s time for fresh air and fun!


Maple Leaf Reservoir Park

1020 NE 82nd St

Located on Roosevelt, this recently renovated park is one of our favorites in the city. The Wee Planet Climber play structure is designed to help teach kids balance and coordination through playful features like a mini suspension bridge. It also has smaller steps for shorter legs and a shorter, less steep slide. There is a children’s butterfly garden, a sand pit already stocked with trucks and toys, rock structures to climb and caves to hide in. Even the updated seated merry-go-round is better suited for younger kids. On a sunny day, we suggest bringing a picnic lunch to enjoy in the shelter right next to the playground, but on colder days, Cloud City Coffee (8801 Roosevelt Way NE) down the street has yummy sandwiches and smoothies and kids play area. Street parking is plentiful and easy to find—an added bonus!


Carkeek Park

950 NW Carkeek Park Rd

Everyone knows Carkeek Park is a great spot to check out the beach and take a nature walk through the wetland area, but and the playground is plenty good too.  The swings have a view of the Sound and the Olympics, the sandbox is enormous, and the salmon shaped slide is a kid favorite. Parents will love the padded ground cover around the slide that cushions little bums when they come down the slide a little too fast. The seesaw is great for preschoolers too—the handle bar and bench seat make it safer and harder to slip off. 


Salmon Bay School Playground

1810 NW 65th St

You may have been to lovely Salmon Bay Park in Ballard, but the Salmon Bay School Playground, just one block south,  is something different and we’re willing to bet you haven’t ever been to a playground like this before. This autism inclusive space is designed with children on the autism spectrum in mind but is a wonderland for any kid. Spacious and colorful, there are smaller play structures, rubberized ground cover, spring riders, and a 300-foot long hopscotch path to follow around the playground like a trail. The concrete starfish-shaped planter in the middle of the playground is also a great spot for little climbers to work on their skills.


Meridian Playground

4649 Sunnyside Ave N

Meridian Playground is a magical place to explore. Children are welcomed into the play area by an entertaining Dr. Seuss circle game, bronze sculptures based on popular children’s book characters are scattered throughout the park, and the wall separating the playground from the rest of the park is engraved with book titles and quotations. The sandbox area is stocked with trucks and includes a water feature in the summertime.  The play structures are on the smaller side,  there are tons of swings and the huge green field to the west of the playground, dotted with lovely old trees that invite climbing let’s kids run to their heart’s delight without parents worrying about nearby streets. What more could you want?  How about a trip to Molly Moon’s (1622.5 N 45th St) for an ice cream cone after playtime? It’s only a few blocks away.


Wallingford Playfield 

4219 Wallingford Ave N

This park offers those highly-coveted rubber ground areas that are ideally suited for new walkers practicing their moves,  along with slides, swings and a merry-go-round.  It even has a play structure specifically designed for 2-5 year olds. The equipment is due to be replaced in fall 2018. Once summer finally arrives, the wading pool is where it’s at. Picnic tables are nearby for sack lunches, and parents will love the sitting boulders for a comfortable perch while the kids run wild. Need dinner before you head home? Tutta Bella Neapolitan Pizzeria (4411 Stone Way N) is close by and a great option for dining out with kids. (Children get to play with balls of pizza dough!) 


Northacres Park 

12718 1st Ave NE

Northacres was renovated not long ago and has all the wonderful features suitable for preschool explorers: smaller playground equipment, spring riders, and a little shelter for imaginative play. The big draw here though is the spray park. Come summer, your little one will love the chance to spend a sunny day dodging streams of water and getting soaked.  ,


And further afield –

Saint Edward State Park 

14445 Juanita Dr NE, Kenmore

This all wood play area is truly one-of-a-kind. Built by a volunteer community group, the playground includes a toddler area that is completely fenced in and secluded from the bigger kids. There are tunnels and a large sandbox, as well as our personal favorite—a large wooden airplane that kids can pretend to fly. Kids will love the spring riders, and there is even a separate set of swings in the preschooler area so you rarely have to wait for a turn. Since this is a state park, you will need to purchase a one-day pass ($11.50) from the automated pay stations in the parking lot or bring your annual Discover Pass ($35) if you have one!


Looking for more playgrounds where you can play and eat without going far? See  "6 Seattle Playgrounds Near Parent (and Kid) Approved Lunch Spots"



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