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Hey Capitol Hill kids, wear a mask and enjoy the swings — Seattle Parks reopens playgrounds after COVID-19 closures

(Image: CHS)

Playgrounds in Capitol Hill area parks including Volunteer Park and at the Miller Community Center will reopen this week after Seattle Parks play areas were closed for months during the ongoing COVDI-19 restrictions.

Seattle Parks announced the reopening saying the areas officially will be available for play again starting Tuesday. You’ll probably see a few swings in action before then.

The closures come as new, more surgical loosening of restrictions is being planned as it becomes increasingly likely King County and the Seattle area will not soon advance to the next stage in the state’s reopening phases. Gov. Jay Inslee said last week that the state will move forward with increased lifting of restrictions on things like youth sports and outdoor recreation. There will also be an increased emphasis on mask wearing including in the home when visiting with family and friends as the fall and winter wet weather sets in.

As part of its announcement, below, Seattle Parks is asking that children over the age of two using the playgrounds also wear masks.

Cal Anderson’s play area, meanwhile, remains off limits as the park was never reopened officially by the city during a summer of protest and unrest in the area.

All play areas in Seattle parks will reopen to the public on October 6. Seattle Parks and Recreation staff, with support from our partners at the Washington Department of Health and Seattle King County Public Health, have created some guidelines that can keep us all safe while using these spaces.


How to use play areas safely:

·        Play equipment is open to five or fewer kids at a time

o   Some play areas have only one piece of play equipment (usually a climber/slide combo), and others have many pieces of equipment (swings, little kids climber, big kids climber, zipline, etc.). No more than five kids on a piece of play equipment.

·        Stay home if you are sick or if anyone in your family is sick.

·        Please wash your child’s hands before and after play.

·        Give yourself and others at least six feet of space.


Please be aware that play areas are not regularly sanitized or cleaned. 


Here are a few tips on how to keep us all safe and keep these spaces open:

·        Keep a close eye on your child to ensure that they are following the guidelines

·        Stay for a short time (30 min. or less) to give everyone an opportunity to play

·        No food or drink on the play equipment to ensure that masks are worn at all times.

·        Visit parks during less busy times. Visit less popular parks. Seattle has over 150 play areas (not including those at schools).

o   Mornings are less busy than afternoons

o   Weekdays are less busy than weekends

    • Green Lake, Seward, Magnuson, Discovery, Lincoln, Gas Works, Carkeek and Jefferson Park are some of Seattle’s busier play areas.

·        We are all in this together, so kindly remind others of the guidelines and find a different activity if the play area gets too crowded.


We cannot allow play areas to be places where COVID-19 is spread, so we need folks to use these spaces safely.


For questions or concerns please email

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5 months ago

Kids never stopped playing in the Miller playground through the whole shut down. The only thing that changed is the entire perimeter of the park is now taken up by homeless people. Some of whom have tents larger than the micro-apartments in the area.

Ella Jurado
Ella Jurado
5 months ago
Reply to  Steve

I workout at Miller play field daily. I am curious how long this tent city will be around. As of Friday 3 kids teams that hadn’t been playing soccer on the field are now back to playing. I can’t see them wanting to make reservations if this continues. I also have noticed there is a women living directly behind one of the soccer goals with a cat on a leash. That poor cat almost got hit several times by the ball.

5 months ago

The playground closures were ridiculous especially after we learned that surface and outdoor transmission isn’t an issue, and the virus dies in the sunlight anyway. Most playgrounds I observed people just ripped down the caution tape.