Finding it: 1461 Magnolia Boulevard West, Seattle, WA 98199 // Take the Magnolia Bridge into Magnolia, then follow the road past the first curve to the right. You’ll see the park first, parking lot next.
Parking Situation: Another park with a great parking lot! It’s a city mom’s dream come true! The parking lot entrance on your left, near the intersection of Magnolia Boulevard West and West Howe Street. There are typically plenty of spots open, although they do hold events here on the weekends, causing the long, skinny lot to fill up. Don’t be afraid to park opposite of the nose-in spots, parallel parking style… just don’t block access to the mailbox!
Park stats: This is not a park with a lot of bells and whistles… and we like it that way. Magnolia Park is meant for chilling out. There’s a huge picnic area with a covered place to entertain, if you’re looking for a birthday party locale. Otherwise, the star attractions at Magnolia Park are the huge madrona trees that offer plenty of shade on hot days, the old school swings, the lush grass that was made for laying in and the perfect summer breeze.
What the kids loved: Even though there were only two of them and they were likely installed in 1983, the kids loved the swings and even climbing on the legs of the swing set itself and using the border as a balance beam. There was a ton of space for them to run around and play whatever crazy imaginary game they had come up with that afternoon (I think there were ninjas involved?) and since there were only two other people in the entire park, they practically had the place to themselves!
What I loved: This is truly one of my favorite little hidden gems in the entire city and I love popping down in the late afternoon when it’s too hot to be in the house, but not quite time for dinner yet. The park is far off of the street, so I don’t feel like I need to have my eagle mama eyes on the kids at every moment and I am always so amused with what their imagination comes up with when there is just grass, a couple of swings and the smell of the ocean to fuel it.
Bring it: There’s a ton of room at Magnolia Park for throwing the Frisbee around and even a cool, long, paved hill to ride scooters down, if you’re feeling like you need a bit more to do while you’re here. Otherwise, bring a big, soft blanket to lay on, books to read (we stopped by the library first, for this trip!) and some snacks to keep you fueled. Even on warm days, it can be pretty breezy at Magnolia Park, so it wouldn’t hurt to throw an extra layer in the car for everyone.
Leave it: With so much space at Magnolia Park, you could literally bring your entire house, kitchen sink included, and still have plenty of room to roam. There isn’t much by way of facilities nearby, so if you feel like you’ll need it, bring it.
The verdict: While this certainly isn’t the park that you’re going to pack it up and spend hours exploring, it’s the perfect in-between park for when you need to get the kids out of the house pre-nap time or bed time to burn off some energy, or if you have some time to kill between play dates or appointments. Keep it simple. Enjoy the peace and quiet. Make your kids put their creativity to work to have a good time. Bring your book or that stack of magazines that have been collecting since January or that girlfriend that you can’t quite seem to catch for a phone call and soak up the Seattle sun through those pretty, pretty trees.
Have you ever been to Magnolia Park?
Find more on The 30 Parks of Summer on the Being5 homepage by clicking on the 30 Parks logo.