Looking For a New Seattle Playground?
Seattle Center’s “Artists at Play” Brings Unique Perspective to your Usual Playground Experience
One of Seattle’s most fun playgrounds to explore may also be its oddest looking! “Artists at Play”, in the heart of Seattle Center, is an area created for children of all ages to explore, using multiple senses. Designed and constructed in 2014 by a carefully selected group of artists and experts, the fun-filled space is complete with a 30-foot climbing tower, human-powered carousel, child-inspired musical instruments, and more.
Sitting in the old Fun Forest location, “Artists at Play” gives children the opportunity to have fun with their bodies, minds and EARS! Sound through movement is one of the main areas of exploration. Some of the musical features that kids can interact with are:
- Chimes that sing as the kids swing!
- Beautifully crafted bronze plates that play musical notes when kids throw stones at them.
- A billiard ball swing and sound fence that plays the perfect note.
- The letter tree that plays the scales when your child spins a handle
The adventure goes beyond music – the giant 30-foot climbing tower takes them to new heights (this structure is recommended for children 5 to 12). Next they can spin out of control on the completely human-powered carousel that will take you right back to your own childhood.
Another great feature of “Artists at Play” is the well thought out accessibility for people of all ages and levels of ability. A smaller structure mimics the larger climbing tower and is perfect for those smaller in stature (including toddlers and preschoolers). For those who have limited abilities to move, bright yellow listening stations provide a fun sound experience (they look like giant earphones!) The swing set is ADA accessible and the fully accessible merry-go-round allows children in wheelchairs to be a part of the fun.
Perhaps one of the main reasons that this playground is so much fun for kids, is because they were a huge part of making it happen! In 2013 when the planning process began, a carefully curated team made up of Northwest artists including Trimpin and Justin Caldwell, landscape artists Site Workshop, and play equipment specialists Highwire, combined their expertise with the opinions of Seattle’s very own kids! They tested and tried, and watched and studied as kids told them what was most fun!
Here’s what others are saying about Artists at Play:
“Overall a fantastic playground. I think even older kids will enjoy the two-story climb to the top of the structure.” – Des Lee, Google Review
“Located in the Seattle Center just beside the EMP museum, this playground is really a great place for children and adults alike…the playground has several attractions that make music as the kids play… but the best feature is the wonderful Merry Go Round. It is safe and fun and I haven’t seen one as good as this since I was a child 60 years ago.” – Janet S., TripAdvisor
“This is a great place to take your kids, especially if they like to climb. They have a very tall climbing structure that my kids played on for hours. It is also within walking distance to the Space Needle and the Science Center. So you can hit all those places in one trip!” – Ted L., Trip Advisor
Artists at Play | 305 Harrison Street, Seattle, WA 98109