“Artists at Play” Playground in Seattle, WA
Seattle has an incredible number of attractions for adults to enjoy, but the one that is most likely to make you feel like a kid again is Artists at Play. Located in the Belltown neighborhood near Seattle’s famous Pike Place Market, this Playground will have you feeling young and free once more!
Seattle-based artist Laura Kicey created the artist’s Playground with help from other local artists, including Jessica Haggett, who has made several large-scale pieces just like what can be seen at Artists’ Playground right now!
History of “Artists at Play” Playground
“Artists at Play” is a playground in Seattle, WA, designed by artists for children and adults. The Playground opened to the public on October 30th, 2013. It’s located next to Olympic Sculpture Park along Myrtle Edwards Park’s waterfront walkway behind the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA).
The project began when Peter Shepley visited Brooklyn Bridge Park and saw an adult-only play area called “Dumbo Boulders.” He contacted landscape architect Brenda Reitman after returning from New York City with his family. In spring 2012, he talked about their idea with friends Stefanie Seskin and John Morse, who agreed to help find funding through Kickstarter. Within three weeks, they had raised $20,000. In June 2012, Shepley and Reitman were awarded a $15,000 grant from the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods’ Neighborhood Matching Fund.
In January 2013, local sculptor Amanda Manitach was chosen to design “Artists at Play” after an open invitation to submit designs based on a list of 22 potential activity stations provided by landscape architects Brenda Reitman and Peter Shepley. Their winning design included nine pieces that focus on movement rather than just sitting or standing play activities and elements inspired by nature such as acorns, mushrooms, rocks, and logs. There is also a climbing area featuring boulders covered in moss-covered concrete with ropes hanging down along with four original sculptures made out of rebar.
The official “Artists at Play” grand opening was October 30th, 2013. It’s free and open to the public from dawn until dusk daily and does not require a permit for people under 18 years old (who must be accompanied by an adult). The next major event is planned for Saturday, June 13th. There will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony and family activities such as face painting, sand art-making, and balloon animals starting at 11:30 am, followed by music in the afternoon. There are also plans to add more play equipment, including zip lines, balance beams, and monkey bars, in summer 2015.
Currently, visitors can enjoy two swings designed like seesaws that go up rather than back down; a mushroom house featuring four planters that can be used as a stage or for planting flowers and vegetables; an acorn surrounding by yellow concrete rocks representing the tree’s roots with benches in between for sitting on, reading a book or sharing a snack; wooden bars to climb across, balance beams and swings.
“Artists at Play” was created because children need creative play opportunities before they get too old. “There are all these studies about how important it is from cognitive development to things like stress reduction,” said landscape architect Brenda Reitman. Shepley added, “there isn’t anything else specifically designed for adult-only play.”
What’s inside Artists at Play playground in Seattle?
“Artists at Play is not for children. It’s an adult playground where you’ll find lots of interesting things to do and see (like taking a yoga class) while also having the opportunity to interact with other adults who are looking for something fun but different! There are no time limits–you can stay as long as you like!”
There is a giant chessboard where you can even play checkers on top of it! Unique furniture pieces that are custom made to look like other things. For example, there is a giant chessboard where you can even play checkers on top of it!
There are also many opportunities for photo ops and social media posts with the theme-specific decor throughout “Artists at Play” Playground in Seattle, WA. And if you’re lucky enough to get invited into one of their secret rooms (that aren’t listed online), then consider yourself very fortunate because they’ve created some beautiful surprises inside these spaces. You’ll have to sign up and wait until your name gets pulled out from the box or eke onto their mailing list, so you know when new ones come available… But seriously… It’s worth it.”
And if that wasn’t already enough, this place even has its bar & restaurant within the space called The Artist Cafe. Yes… I said there was food involved too. Plus, they have several events throughout the year, so be sure to check out their website often so you don’t miss out on any upcoming parties because “Artists at Play” Playground in Seattle, WA, is the place to be!
Unique pieces of furniture that are custom made to look like other things, and photo ops with theme-specific decor throughout “Artists at Play” Playground in Seattle.
Things to do in “Artists at Play” Playground
Get your blood pumping and your heart racing on the park’s raised wooden maze. While you’re at it, why not spend some time in a treehouse? (Don’t worry – they built staircases and ladders to make it easy for everyone)
Enjoy lunch or dinner with panoramic views of Lake Union from one of several picnic tables.
The Playground is set up directly next to Seattle Center Monorail station, making this an ideal location if you want easy access into downtown without finding parking, etc.
Get out and explore the area by taking a stroll along with one of the park’s walking trails.
Sit back and relax on one of three benches while watching boats across lake union or look at the views of downtown Seattle and Mount Rainier. Relax on a swing or sit inside a make-believe castle while enjoying some coffee and food from the cafe next door (only open during business hours).
There is a small boat launch with access to Lake Union for kayakers/canoeists. You can also fish from shore or in your boats.
The Playground is very dog-friendly! Dogs are allowed off-leash anywhere they’re not prohibited by law (i.e., park trails). They must be under voice control at all times
While visiting Artists at Play, make sure to meet new people! There will be many different types of people doing all sorts of things like drawing/painting with watercolor & pastels, taking photos by themselves, or together as couples dancing around swinging doors that close behind them after they enter into another dimension where time stands still.
Things not to do in “Artists at Play” Playground
Do not climb trees unless you are an artist.
Do not swing on the swings; they’re for adults to sit and relax in.
Do not run in the playhouse; it’s for artists to create.
Do not take photographs unless you are an artist photographing your art experience.
Activities in “Artists at Play” Playground
Arts and Crafts.
Board games, Ping pong table.
Giant chess board next to a bandstand where live music is played every night.
“Artists at Play” also offers yoga classes in the park on Saturdays for adults of all levels.
In addition to the regular activities mentioned above, there are also special events such as concerts and performances. If you’re looking for a fun night out in Seattle with friends or family.
Parents with children are welcome to join in any of the activities that “Artists at Play” offers. However, there is a separate section for kids where they can enjoy their Playground and sandbox.
Location and Admission
Address: 305 Harrison St, Seattle, WA 98109, United States.
Directions: From I-90 (ramps at Mercer St), head south on Mercer St. About 200 meters after the turn onto Fairview Ave N, look for the parking lot entrance on the left side of the road.
Notes: There is no fee to play, but they ask that you sign in upon arrival and out again before leaving (to ensure safety). They also recommend wearing closed-toe shoes as there are some sharp rocks.
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