Seattle's Child

Your guide to a kid-friendly city

Example of what will stay closed as Seattle reopens in summer 2020

Public swim at the Colman Pool, which may not open this summer. Seattle Parks and Recreation Photo.

Dreaming of playgrounds? Here’s what to expect as Seattle reopens

As Seattle reopens, what can we expect from libraries, parks, playgrounds, pools and museums?

It feels great to be shedding coronavirus restrictions. Our kids are seeing their best friends again, we’re bundling up for patio gatherings in abominable June weather, and a few things are starting to open. But still, there are things we continue to miss. Here’s what to expect as Seattle reopens.



Libraries may open for curbside service in Phase 2. When they open, there’s going to be a lot of happy parents. Keeping up with kids’ appetites for books has required a lot of adjustments. If your household has computers or phones for all, then older kids can access the libraries’ electronic books. Those who can’t do that have very few options. And for younger kids, there really isn’t any electronic substitute for a vividly illustrated physical book.



The state department of health hasn’t given cities any explicit guidelines about playgrounds, so for now parks departments are waiting until Phase 3 to open them.


Pools and swimming beaches

It’s not just the virus keeping Seattle’s outdoor pools closed and swimming beaches free of lifeguards. There’s also a city hiring freeze. That means that very likely, there will be no hiring the seasonal employees that in other years, keep these places going, says parks spokeswoman Rachel Schulkin. So no trips to the wading pool this summer, and no lifeguard at the beach.


Destination parks

All of Seattle’s parks are open, but that doesn’t mean they are easy to get to. Parking lots at the most popular parks, including Volunteer Park, Green Lake Park, Seward Park and Discovery Park, are closed, so if you don’t live close enough to walk there, biking or public transit are your only options. We can expect this to continue until Phase 3, says Schulkin.



Seattle’s museums have been great at providing online learning opportunities for kids, even when closed, but after a certain point, it makes us wish all the more Phase 3 would arrive and they would open. Will they be as they were before? If the rules at newly opened zoos are anything to go by, we can expect timed tickets, closed areas, mask requirements and signs directing foot traffic to go only one way.

About the Author

Fiona Cohen

Fiona Cohen lives in Ballard with her husband, two teenagers, a big vegetable garden and an absurd cat. She is the author of "Curious Kids Nature Guide," and is working on a new nature book for kids, to be published by Little Bigfoot in 2022.