Take Flight at This New Expanded Park & Playground

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In the days before kids, you may have considered Westcrest Park for your four-legged family members because of its great off-leash area. But now thanks to the just-opened 20-acre park expansion—which includes a new playground, walking paths and panoramic views of the city— your kids will be begging to go here as much as your furry friends. Read on for the scoop.


photo: Helen Walker Green

Once a Reservoir
Six years in the making, the Westcrest Park expansion is located on the lid of the West Seattle Reservoir. In 2009, Seattle Public Utilities began channeling the reservoir underground—to give the area cleaner water and to provide more space for the community to enjoy. After a lot of hard work, the underground reservoir is now complete and this super playground and public gathering space is ready to be enjoyed. View photos of the reservoir construction by Vantage Point Photography here.

High-Flying Art
David Boyer’s stunning Flyers greet you from every direction as you enter the park. These fun kinetic wind sculptures were inspired by Seattle’s history of aviation (and the many planes that pass over West Seattle on their way to and from Sea-Tac Airport and Boeing Field) and by the birds in the West Duwamish Greenbelt that border Westcrest Park. The sculptures act like weathervanes—see if you can spot which group of flyers has movable tails.


photo: Helen Walker Green

Ready to Play
Climb, spin, zip, swing or slide. This new Seattle Parks and Recreation playground has it all, plus a huge lawn for playing or picnicking and winding paths and native prairie just waiting to be explored. Little monkeys will love conquering the Explorer Dome with a rope ladder, nets, loop bridge, tippy slide and other challenges. Psst! There are lots of different routes up. Once there, check out the view from the top (and do a bit of plane spotting) before sliding down the pole for an easy way down.


photo: Helen Walker Green

Gettin’ Dizzy With It
If your kids like to go ’round and ’round, this modern-day merry-go-round is sure to be a big hit. With room for several tots, there’s plenty of space to climb up and hold on. Just make sure there’s a grownup nearby to give everyone a big push!


photo: Helen Walker Green

Zipping Along!
If your little daredevil enjoys the adrenaline rush of being pushed off the platform or the thrill of soaring through the air before coming to an abrupt stop, these two speedy zip lines are both easy and safe for big and little kids. The disc-shaped seat zips from a cushy elevated platform, making it easy for little ones to get on. Psst! Give your superhero a push, so he or she can experience a bit of a kick at the end.


photo: Helen Walker Green

Going Downhill
Walk past the climbing structure and discover the two “secret” slides set in the rocky hillside. Take the rock steps back up or scramble up the hill and go again and again!


photo: Helen Walker Green

A Traditional Play Structure
Everyone loves the classic monkey bars, swaying bridge and spirals. The park’s turreted play structure has two little kid slides, two wavy slides and one spiral big slide. The play structure is a great place to play a game of Freeze Tag or seek some shade on a hot summer day.


photo: Helen Walker Green

In the Swing of It
Get a push in the basket swing and see how high you can soar. The design of this swing is great for sensory development and for kids who don’t like traditional swings. As kids swing back and forth, the swing will stimulate their vestibular nerves—a great physical gross motor exercise that can have positive emotional benefits.


photo: Helen Walker Green

Little ones will enjoy swinging in the tot-sized swings. There are no big kid swings here, but perhaps that’s for the future—there’s certainly enough space. Psst! You can find big kid swings in Westcrest’s original playground located south of the playground, past the P-Patch.


photo: Helen Walker Green

Wide Open Spaces
Since Seattle Public Utilities replaced the open reservoirs with grass, there’s plenty of room to play catch, Frisbee, stomp rockets – you name it! In fact, the Great Lawn and native prairie areas are so big you could host two soccer matches and several birthday parties and still have room for more. The park is a great place for an afternoon picnic as there are several picnic tables and plenty of benches along with tons of room to spread out your picnic blanket on the grass.


photo: Helen Walker Green

Bike, Scoot or Stroll
There are smooth winding paths all around the park, great for little ones on a tricycle or big kids on a two-wheeler. Sneak in a run or a relaxing stroll while your kids burn off some energy in the big grassy lawns.


photo: Helen Walker Green

Good to Know
1. Bring your own shade. While there’s plenty of shade in the greenbelt that borders the park, the new expansion is quite exposed. Bring a hat or a portable sun/wind shade. BYOS also stands for bring your own shelter. Although we haven’t experienced the park on a rainy day yet, we definitely recommend umbrellas or a portable tent when the skies are unforgiving.

2. The parking lot is quite a walk (or toddle) to the playground. Plan on bringing your stroller or wagon for tired feet.

3. Since there are no trees or bushes blocking the playground or grassy areas it’s easy to keep an eye on wandering tots. And for dyno-tots on the run, there’s plenty of time to catch up to them before they get anywhere near traffic.


photo: Helen Walker Green

Getting There and Parking
The new expansion has its own entrance (separate from the dog park) with 60 parking spots, two ADA accessible restrooms and two water fountains. The entrance to the parking lot is on 8th Ave. S.W. between Cloverdale and Trenton. Map it (although Google Maps hasn’t quite caught up with it yet – we assure you the playground is there). Psst… You can easily walk to the new playground from any other part of Westcrest Park too.


photo: Helen Walker Green

There’s More to Westcrest
If you’ve never been to Westcrest Park before, you’ll find there’s a lot more to explore than just the new playground. Westcrest is bordered by the West Duwamish Greenbelt – a lovely leafy place to go for a short hike (you might even find a geocache). There’s also P-Patch next to Westcrest’s original small playground and of course, the Off-Leash Area with 4-acres of fun for the pooches in your crew.

Westcrest Park Expansion
8th Ave. S.W. (between S.W. Cloverdale St. and S.W. Trenton St.)
Seattle Wa 98106
Online: seattle.gov/parks/projects/west_seattle_reservoir

Have you visited this new playground? What do you and your family like best about it? Tell us in the Comments below.

— Helen Walker Green

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