Kids’ Carpentry turns students’ imagination into toys

Kids' Carpentry winter participants' creations.

Kids’ Carpentry winter participants’ creations.

On Saturday afternoons, kids at Magnolia Community Center aren’t playing with toys; they’re learning how to build them.

This winter, Instructor Loren Kite is teaching his Kids’ Carpentry class in Seattle Parks and Recreation  community centers for the first time. Kids’ Carpentry is a hands-on toy-building class designed to teach boys and girls ages 5-10 practical woodworking skills with an emphasis on the safe use of hand tools. The students are empowered to construct wooden toys of their own creation, building self-esteem, confidence and life skills. [Read more…]

Kids learn, have fun at Camp Long’s NatureQuest Summer Day Camp

Award-winning author Richard Louv coined the term “nature-deficit disorder” for children who are spending less time outdoors resulting in a wide range of negative physical, mental and emotional consequences.

Seattle Parks and Recreation’s Camp Long NatureQuest Summer Day Camp in West Seattle has just the “cure” for this disturbing trend: fun and educational day camp in the great outdoors.

Beginning Monday, June 30, 2014, summer day camp program hours are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at different park locations in West Seattle, depending on the week. See the schedule below. Fees are $215 per week (sibling discount $10) unless otherwise noted. Register by calling 206-684-7434

Week 1 (6/30-7/3):  Watershed Wonders (Camp Long) ($175; sibling discount $8 pro-rated 4 day week)
Wonder what’s a watershed? Come discover the Longfellow Creek Watershed and follow the creek through magical places like the Salmon Bone Bridge and the Dragonfly Pavilion. Learn how land and water shape each other, observe creek wildlife and build a watershed model. We’ll also hold a Science Council to make decisions about an imaginary watershed, while exploring the many ways humans affect our watersheds.

Week 2 (7/7-7/11):  Journey through the Intertidal Zone (Mee Kwa Mooks Park)
Search for life between the tides and discover how plants and animals have adapted to such changing conditions. Set up a beach science station where you can examine animals in their unique habitat. Learn how sea stars move, how clams and barnacles eat, and much more about the critters you find above and below the rocks, sand and water.

Week 3 (7/14-7/18):  Urban Wildlife Jungle (Camp Long)
It is a jungle out there and worth investigating! Seattle is one of the Top 10 Cities for Urban Forests. Become a scientist and explore this urban wilderness in the Camp Long woods. Unearth the forest’s secrets and learn how hawks, owls, coyotes, fox and a multitude of songbirds live here. In every layer you’ll find clues. Identify native plant species that have grown here for centuries and investigate the role forests have in human survival.  Learn how you can be involved in forest protection.

Week 4 (7/21-7/25):  Schmitz Park Wildlife Jungle (Schmitz Park)
What makes Schmitz forest special are some very old trees still standing. Wander through this native ecosystem and gather clues as to how everything is connected. Explore huge old tree stumps and see evidence of logging from years ago.

Week 5 (7/28-8/1):  History Happenings (Schmitz Park)
The natural and human history of Seattle is rich and diverse. From glaciers to Native Americans to European settlers, this area has a lot to tell.  How did Puget Sound form?  Where and how did Northwest Coast Indians live?  And what major changes have occurred through the centuries? Take a treasure hunt around West Seattle to find your answers to these questions and more.

Week 6 (8/4-8/8):  Winged Wonders (Lincoln Park)
Birds live in every habitat – forest, desert, fresh and salt water, icy, tropical – you name it, they are everywhere. Get to know the avian life all around us and gain skill at observing and identifying the numerous birds of Seattle. Learn using sight and sound, as well as watching behavior, how these adaptive creatures have survived and ways that we can support them. Binoculars are provided. 

Week 7 (8/11-8/15):  Watershed Wonders (Longfellow Creek South)
Learn the ways of a watershed as described above, but explore a different section of Longfellow Creek. Journey through restored areas of the creek and discover the wildlife that has also altered it. See beaver dams and study beaver ways to appreciate their unique impact on land and water.

Week 8 (8/18-8/22):  Survivor Week (Camp Long)
Could you survive a night in the forest? Create a shelter, build a safe fire and cook outdoors? Do all that and more in learning the art of nature survival. Gain skills at identifying edible plants and berries and which plants to avoid. Build confidence and ability to become most secure in a forest setting.

 

Seattle Parks and Recreation offers Parents’ Night Out

A number of Seattle Parks and Recreation community centers are offering Parents’ Night Out events in February and March. Parents, it’s your turn to take time for yourselves.

Belltown Parents’ Night Out
Time: 5:30-8 p.m.
Date: Friday, Feb. 14
Cost: $20

Ballard Parents’ Night Out
Time: 6-9 p.m.
Date: Friday, Feb. 14 and Friday, March 14
Cost: $20, Sibling Discount: $5

Montlake Parents’ Night Out
Time: 5:30-8:30 p.m.
Dates: Friday, Feb. 21 and Friday, Feb. 28
Cost: $15, Sibling Discount: $5

Meadowbrook Parents’ Night Out
Time: 6-9 p.m.
Date: Friday, Feb. 28
Cost: $15

Alki Parents’ Night Out
Time: 6-9 p.m.
Dates: Friday, Feb. 28 and Friday, March 28
Cost: $25 per child

Parents should contact their community center at least a week prior to the event.  Children must be fully toilet trained and all participants are required to turn in authorization forms.

For more information on specific activities or requirements, visit http://www.seattle.gov/parks/centers.asp or call your community center at the number listed.

Parks works in partnership with the Associated Recreation Council (ARC) to bring high-quality, accessible and affordable recreation opportunities to the people of Seattle.

Local magazines rank Seattle’s “best of” parks

If you’re a parent, chances are you’re in a continual search to find interesting, active, stimulating stuff to do with your kids. No doubt, parks play a big role in that. And you probably have your go-to parks – the ones where you can always count on a good time. 

But wouldn’t it be nice to know what other parks parents are choosing? Thanks to some 2012 “Best Of” lists, we can help you discover new parks for your family that are sure to become old favorites.

The following list was compiled from Seattle Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Awards, RedTricycle’s Most Awesome Awards and ParentMap Magazine’s Golden Teddy Awards.

(Note: Seattle Magazine simply lists its readers’ top park choices for kids, while RedTricycle and ParentMap specify a category. If you see a category listed next to the park, it was listed in either RedTricycle or ParentMap. Parks with no categories listed, were only featured in Seattle Magazine.)

Alki Beach Park: Whether you’re visiting in February or August, there’s always something interesting to see and do at Alki. This long beach is great for walking, taking in the views, building sandcastles or beach combing. Make a day of it by hopping the water taxi from downtown Seattle, grabbing lunch at the new Marination ma kai (of Marination mobile food truck fame) at Seacrest Park, and catching a free ride on the water taxi shuttle.

Kids on swings at Cal Anderson Park

Cal Anderson Park features swings for babies and for bigger kids.

Cal Anderson Park: Cal Anderson Park opened in 2005 in the densely populated neighborhood of Capitol Hill. It’s built on top of a former open-air reservoir, which has since been buried. The playground features swings – both the baby and the kid kind, slides and climbing structures. There’s plenty of open space for tossing a ball or just running around. It’s a great place for your kid to practice his balance bike skills – lots of pathways. In the summer, the wading pool opens. Take a bus, walk, ride your bike or prepare to pay for parking. The bathrooms are located in the shelterhouse between the park and Bobby Morris Playfield.

Carkeek Park (Best Nature Outing and Best Playground Park): Located on the shores of Puget Sound, Carkeek Park’s 220 acres are great for hiking, salmon viewing during spawning season in late fall and early winter, picnicking or playing at the playground, which features a unique salmon slide. Little known fact: there’s an historical apple orchard in the park that is maintained by volunteers. To get to the playground, you must drive all the way into the park. It overlooks the Sound, near the train tracks. The bathrooms are near the playground.

Cowen Park(and Cowen Park zipline at the playground): With the beautifully restored Ravenna Creek running the length of the park, alongside an easy walking trail, Cowen Park is one of those places where it can be easy to forget you’re right in the middle of the city. The playground with the zipline is located near the corner of NE Ravenna Boulevard and Brooklyn Avenue NE. There are bathrooms near the playground.

The zipline at Cowen Park playground

The zipline at Cowen Park Playground made the list as a top outing for kids and parents.
PHOTO CREDIT: Patrick Niemeyer

Discovery Park (Best Nature Outing and Prettiest Park and Playground): This former military base is truly one of the gems of the city. It has miles and miles hiking trails, beaches, open lawns for flying kites, vistas, a giant sand dune for digging, ponds for frog watching, an Environmental Learning Center with a playroom, and much more. To get to the playground, enter the park from W Government Way, park at the Environmental Learning Center (where the bathrooms are) and walk on the path directly to the south of the center, past the sports courts. This playground has a great zipline too. Finding parking is usually not a problem; although, it can get rather crowded on beautiful weekend days.

Ella Bailey Park: This park is one of our newer playgrounds. It opened in 2007, and has one of the best views of Seattle. It features gently rolling slopes, play equipment, picnic tables, barbeques and walking pathways. This park has no public restrooms, and parking is on street.

Golden Gardens Park playground: Pirate-themed play equipment is a kid magnet in this newly renovated playground. Located conveniently off the parking lot and in front of the bathhouse (where the bathrooms are), this new playground features lots of opportunities for little climbers. And if they get bored at the playground, the beach and creek are nearby. This park is always a hit with kids.

Green Lake Park: Arguably the most visited park in the city, Green Lake Park is popular with kids of every age. The playground is amply sized, and has both baby swings and big kid swings. It is located near the community center (where the bathrooms are). Parking is always tough. If you can do it, we recommend walking, biking or taking the bus.

Green Lake Park wading pool and swimming beaches(Best Water Play): In the summertime, it’s a great fun to take your kids out to the waters at Green Lake. For little kids, the wading pool is a great introduction to swimming. For big and little kids, the beaches are fantastic. The water is clear and warm (okay, well warmer than the Puget Sound or Lake Washington). There are two beaches – one near the community center on the east and one near the Bathhouse Theater on the west side of the lake. Both have bathrooms and parking lots. Parking is a bit of a bear in the summer. If you can swing it, walk, bike or ride the bus.

Two girls on merry-go-round

The International Children’s Park has a mini-sized merry-go-round.

International Children’s Park: What a treasure this little park is. It’s newly renovated – dedicated just last year, and located in the heart of the International District/Chinatown. It has brand new play equipment for climbing and sliding, a merry-go-round and dragon art/climbing structure. Parking can be a challenge in International District/Chinatown. Make a day of it, and stop in to one of the neighborhood’s many delicious dim sum places – are perfect for little appetites.

Jefferson Park’s Beacon Mountain: Another amazing new park in Seattle, the renovated Jefferson Park and Beacon Mountain are truly one-of-a-kind. With two zip lines, slides that go down hills and a play water feature, this park attracts lots of families. There are paths for scooters, balance bikes or regular, big-kid bikes. The park features interesting, geometric climbing structures. There are bathrooms nearby at the community center, and there is parking. Parking can be tight on a beautiful day, but there’s usually a spot to be had. If you don’t want to deal with parking, the park is well served by buses.

Lake Union Park sailing pond: This one is not free, but it’s good, cheap fun. Every Sunday, for a suggested donation of $5 an hour, you can be the captain of your own pond boat. The Center For Wooden Boats runs the program, and it’s one of our favorites. Now, you have the added bonus of visiting the newly opened MOHAI at Lake Union Park. Kids under 14 get in to the museum for free. MOHAI restrooms are free for park visitors. There is a small pay parking lot. But why not ride the South Lake Union Street Car over there? It stops right in front of the park.

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Playground in a Box brings creative play to urban kids

Playground in a Box is sort of Legos meets Lincoln Logs in giant blue foam. Now, put those pieces inside a brand new urban community center where it’s always warm and dry – no matter what the weather. And, voila! You have the concept for imaginative, physical, indoor play.

Playground in a Box is comprised of large foam blocks that are oddly formed with unique, abstract shapes that make kids curious and want to start building immediately. With their uniform blue color, abstract shapes, and infinite configurations, these blocks from Imagination Playground get kids’ minds working fast and keep them active. Instead of prescribing activities (climb this, sit on that), the blocks prompt kids to “fill in the blank” with their own ideas.

The blocks can be used to make anything kids can think of, and encourages socializing and cooperation. Younger, smaller kids may need help balancing and moving them, so they work in pairs or small teams. Older, larger kids quickly realize that if they want to build structures that are bigger than life, they need to plan and work together with other children.

Seattle Parks and Recreation, The Downtown Seattle Association and the Seattle Parks Foundation have partnered to bring this indoor playground to Belltown Community Center, 415 Bell St.

Children and their caregivers are invited to play on Wednesdays from 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. and Fridays from 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.

Entrance to the playground is free. Playground in a Box is appropriate for children at least 2 years old and older. For the very little ones, Belltown Community Center also has an indoor play room that is open Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. and Wednesdays and Fridays from 3:30 – 7:30 p.m. The drop-in fee is $2.

Playground in a Box can be used indoors and outdoors, and is waterproof. It will be housed at Belltown Community Center, but will be loaned out for special events at Westlake Park, Waterfront Park, and Bell Street Park when it is finished.

For more information, contact Belltown Community Center at 206-684-4093.  

Sharing Nature with Your Children

Positive interactions with the natural environment are an important part of healthy child development, and these interactions enhance learning and the quality of life over a lifetime.  Here are some things your children will learn by interacting with you and with nature: joy, sharing thoughts and feelings, curiosity, and gratitude.

Sharing nature with your children isn’t something that experts need to do.  There are many ways that parents can be outside with their children.  Here are some suggestions:

  • Fly a kite at the beach
  • Visit a local park
  • Make a fort in your backyard
  • Ride your bike or take a walk on a local trail
  • Swim in the sound or the lake (maybe just in the summer)
  • Explore your backyard woods to discover plants
  • Plant some flowers or a garden

Because children learn best through direct, concrete experiences, they need to be outdoors to learn about it.  Simple experiences with the grass, trees, and insects in environments close to home or school rather than spending time and energy arranging for day trips to unfamiliar places your child may seldom visit is more beneficial. A one-time trip to a park or nature preserve is great, but it’s not enough.  If you can, get out on an almost daily basis.

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After-School Care to Operate Normally Today

Though snow is expected later today, Seattle Parks and Recreation will provide after school care at community centers, and community centers and pools will operate normally. 

Because school buildings will not be available after school today, the community learning centers at Whitman, Eckstein, McClure, Denny, and Mercer Middle Schools are closed today, and Evening Recreation, which takes place in high school gymnasiums, is also cancelled.  

If and when snow becomes heavy, Parks will evaluate and, if appropriate, announce earlier closures.

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Halloween Events at Seattle Parks and Recreation

Halloween Events With Seattle Parks and Recreation

Seattle Parks and Recreation offers a cornucopia of harvest and Halloween events for ghosties and ghoulies of every age! Family friendly events are affordably priced and offer safe, but frightful, fun. Please call individual community centers and pools for complete event details. 

Alki Community Center

5817 SW Stevens St, 98116

206-684-7430 

Fall Carnival

We have games, prizes, face painting and all the stuff that makes fall fun. Come join us. Volunteers will be needed to set up and take down the chairs, help set up game booths, and run game booths for this event. Four hours of community service credit is available for teen volunteers.This event is for all ages.

Fri., Oct. 29, 6-8pm

Activity Fee: Entry is free; carnival tickets 25¢ each, or $1 for 5 tickets

 

Ballard Community Center

6020 28th Ave NW, 98107

206-684-4093 

Halloween Carnival

Join us for a fright fest of activities games and challenges, including an area for tots. Complementary refreshments will be available. This event is for children 10 years old and younger. High school students can get volunteer community service hours by helping at this event.

Friday, Oct. 29, 6 – 8 p.m.

Activity Fee: $3 per person; $10 per Family

Bitter Lake Community Center

13035 Linden Ave N, 98133

206-684-7524 

Teen Flashlight Pumpkin Hunt

Let’s kick off a Halloween to remember with a hunt for wicked prizes in our wooded lakeside grounds. We’ll award a best dressed prize at the end of the hunt, and free hot apple cider will be provided for all participants. Dress warmly, and bring a flashlight and goodie collecting bag. The hunt will begin at the Bitter Lake Community Center lobby promptly at 7:30 p.m. Don’t be late! This event is for children ages 11 – 17.

Friday, Oct. 29, 7:30 p.m.

Activity Fee: Free

 

Garfield Community Center

2323 E Cherry St., 98122

206-684-4788 

Creepy Crawl

This is one of the most popular events of the year at Garfield Community Center! You do not want to miss this spooky event! We will have a haunted tunnel, carnival games, and lots of candy. Be sure to wear your costume to participate in the costume contest! Don’t forget to check out the Creepy Swamp Swim at Medgar Evers Pool right next door! This event is for all ages.

Friday, Oct. 29, 5:30 – 8:30p.m.

Activity Fee: $1  

 

Hiawatha Community Center

2700 California Ave SW, 98116

206-684-7441

Halloween Carnival

Come join Seattle Parks and Recreation for games, face painting, treats and prizes. Volunteers are needed, so please call the center if you are interested. Costumes are encouraged, but optional. This event is for children 1 year of age and older.

Friday, Oct. 29, 6 – 8 p.m.

Activity Fee: Entry is free; carnival tickets 25¢ each; or 5 for $1

High Point Community Center

6920 34th Ave SW, 98126

206-684-7422

Fall festival

Everyone in the family is invited to join in on an evening of fun! Kids will enjoy a variety of frightfully fun skill challenging games and activities. This event is created in a way that provides thrills without unnecessary fright for walking toddlers and up to 11 years old. If able, we request a donation of one non-perishable food item to be donated to the West Seattle Food Bank.

Friday, Oct. 29, 6 – 8 p.m.

Activity Fee: Free

International District Community Center

719 8th Ave S, 98104

206-233-5036

Spookfest

Bring in your little goblin to our fun and festive party! Our family friendly costumed extravaganza will have fun, safe, trick-or-treating, along with interactive games. The event will be filled with thrills and chills. Simply show up in your costume and enjoy the fun. This event is for all ages.

Friday, Oct. 29, 5:30 – 7:30p.m.

Activity Fee: $1 per person

 

Loyal Heights Community Center

2101 NW 77th St., 98105

206-684-4052

Halloween Carnival

Join us for a fright fest of activities, games and challenges, including an area for tots. Complementary refreshments will be available. High school students can get volunteer community service hours by helping at this event. This event is for children 10 years old and younger.

Friday, Oct. 29, 6 – 8 p.m.

Activity Fee: Entry is free; $3 per person, $10 per Family

Helene Madison Pool

13401 Meridian Ave N, 98133

206-684-4979

Halloween Pumpkin Swim

Before heading out to trick-or-treat, stop by Madison Pool for a special themed public swim. We will have games, a raffle with prizes and pumpkins!

Sunday, Oct. 31, 1 – 2 p.m.

Activity Fee: $2 per person

  

Magnuson Community Center

7110 62nd Ave NE, 98115

206-684-7026

Haunted Hangar Teen flashlight Hunt

Join us for music, food and fun ant our annual haunted prize and candy hunt. Don’t forget your flashlights! This event is for ages 11 – 17.

Friday, Oct. 29, 7:30 – 9:30 p.m.

Activity Fee: Free

Meadowbrook Community Center and Pool

10517 35th Ave NE, 98125

206-684-7522

Haunted Bounce & Ghostly Swim

Join us for the Haunted Bounce from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. in the community center, and the Ghostly Swim from 7:30 – 8:30 p.m. in the pool. These “green” Halloween events are kid-tested and parent approved: no candy, all fun, prizes included. This event is for children of all ages.

Friday, Oct. 29, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Activity Fee: $2.75 (Youth); $4 (Adults)

Medgar Evers Pool

500 23rd Ave.

206-684-4766

Halloween Swamp Swim

Bring the whole family to our Halloween themed swim. It’s great family fun for all ages!

Friday, Oct. 29, 6:30 – 8 p.m.

Activity fee: Free

  

Northgate Community Center

10510 5th Ave NE, 98125

206-386-4283

Twins and Triplets Halloween Party

Calling all twins and triplets for a special Halloween party just for you! Bring kids in their Halloween costume for a special toddler play time. We’ll have trikes, scooters, push bikes, balls and inflatable toys for kids to enjoy! We’ll have special Halloween treats for all the kids too! This party is for children ages 1 – 6.

Friday, Oct. 29, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Activity Fee: $5 per family

Toddler Trick or Treat Time

Here’s a Halloween treat both kids and parents will enjoy! Bring the little ones dressed in their Halloween costume for a special toddler play time! We’ll have trikes, scooters, push bikes, balls and inflatable toys for kids to enjoy! There will be special Halloween treats for all the kids too. This party is for children ages 1 – 6.

Friday, Oct. 29, 5 – 8 p.m.

Activity Fee: $5 per family

Rainier Beach Community Center

8825 Rainier Ave S, 98118

206-386-1925

Fall Harvest Festival

Families, friends and neighbors come together to enjoy a safe evening of games and goodies. Celebrate by wearing costumes and bring a goodie bag or basket (optional). There will also be a haunted house! This party is for children up to 12 years old.

Friday, Oct. 29, 6-8p.m.

Activity Fee: Free

Rainier Beach Pool

8825 Rainier Avenue S, 98118

206-386-1944

Fall Harvest Swim

All Ages

Join our staff for this holiday themed swim. There will be games and prizes to help celebrate the Fall Harvest season.

Friday, Oct. 29. 7 – 8 p.m.

Activity Fee: Free

 

Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center

6535 Ravenna Ave NE, 98115

206-684-7534

Pumpkin Party Pizzazz!

Decorate a mini pumpkin and make Halloween crafts. We’ll watch “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” on the big screen, and snack on yummy treats. To reserve your pumpkin, please register by October 22. This party is for children of all ages.

Friday, Oct. 29, 6 – 8 p.m.

Activity Fee: $3 per child

South Park Community Center

8319 8th Ave S, 98108

206-684-7451

Halloween Carnival

Come join the Seattle Parks and volunteers for games, face painting, treats and prizes. Volunteers are needed, so please call the center if you are interested. Costumes are encouraged, but optional. This carnival is for children 1 year of age and older.

Friday, Oct. 29, 6 – 8 p.m.

Activity Fee: Entry is free; carnival tickets 25¢ each or 5 for $1

Southwest Community Center

2801 SW Thistle St., 98126

206-684-7438

Ghosts and Goblins Halloween Carnival

Join us for an evening of fun, games, treats and prizes. A highlight of the evening will be a costume fashion show with carnival participants. This party is for children ages 2 to 10.

Friday, Oct. 29, 6:30 p.m.

Activity Fee: Entry is free; carnival tickets 25¢ each

Van Asselt Community Center

2820 S Myrtle St., 98108

206-386-1921

Fall Harvest Festival

Families, friends and neighbors come together to enjoy a safe evening of games and goodies. Celebrate by wearing costumes and bring a goodie bag or basket (optional).

This party is for children up to age 12.

Friday, Oct. 29, 6 – 8 p.m.

Activity Fee: Free

 

Yesler Community Center

917 E Yesler Way, 98122

206-386-1245

Halloween Carnival

Yesler Community Center’s annual Halloween Carnival is full of fun! Enjoy an evening with your friends, family and neighbors for carnival games, tricks, treats and more. Feel free to dress in costume for this event. Refreshments will be available for purchase. This party is for children up to 12 years old.

Friday, Oct. 29, 6 – 8 p.m.

Activity Fee: $1 per child

Start Halloween Early — Events This Weekend

Seattle Parks and Recreation offers a cornucopia of harvest and Halloween events for ghosties and ghoulies of every age! Family friendly events are affordably priced and offer safe, but frightful, fun. Please call individual community centers and pools for complete event details. 

Bitter Lake Community Center

13035 Linden Ave N, 98133

206-684-7524 

Big Pumpkin Bash

Bring the entire family for an evening of ghoulish fun! Kids will enjoy more than 25 carnival games, holiday entertainment, face painting, candy and prizes, two large jump toys and the ever popular cake walk. There will be a special room just for preschool-age children. There is no admission fee; however, attendees need to buy tickets for games, activities and food. Please bring a can of food for your local food bank. Don’t forget to wear your costumes.

Saturday, Oct. 23, 6 – 8 p.m.

Activity Fee: Entry is free; game tickets are 25¢; or 5 for $1

Delridge Community Center

4501 Delridge Way S, 98106

206-684-7423 

Fall Carnival

We have games, prizes, face painting and all the stuff that makes fall fun. Come join us. Volunteers will be needed to set up and take down the chairs, help set up game booths, and run game booths for this event. Four hours of community service credit is available for teen volunteers. This event is for all ages.

Friday, Oct. 22, 6 – 8 p.m.

Activity Fee: Free

Green Lake Community Center

E Green Lake Dr N, 98115

206-684-0780

Pumpkin Flashlight Hunt

Rain or shine, come and hunt for coins and candy outside near the Green Lake Community Center! Arrive no later than 6:45 p.m. at the gym. Bring your own bag to collect goodies and a flashlight to hunt with. Please wear appropriate clothing for the weather. Come in costume, and bring a friend! Kids will be separated into age-appropriate groups. This event is for ages children ages 4 – 11

Friday, Oct. 22, 7 – 8p.m.

Activity Fee: Free

Jefferson Community Center

3801 Beacon Ave S, 98108

206-684-7481

Halloween Howl & Carnival

Bring your kids to a safe place to celebrate October festivities! We will have a carnival with games, goodies, prizes, haunted house and more! Costumes are optional, but encouraged! This event is for children of all ages.

Friday, Oct. 22, 6 – 7:30 p.m.

Activity Fee: Entry is free; carnival tickets 25¢ each; or 5 for $1

Laurelhurst Community Center

4554 NE 41st St., 98105

206-684-7529

The Great Pumpkin Party

Dress in costume; enjoy Halloween crafts, cookie decorating, cake walk, Halloween carnival games, ghastly prizes, pottery project and movies on the big screen. Movies include “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” and other Halloween classics. Please bring a small pumpkin to decorate. For those who forget to bring their own, we will have a limited supply of pumpkins for decorating available. Volunteers are needed! This event is for children of all ages.

Friday, Oct. 22, 6 – 8 p.m.

Activity Fee: Entry is free; carnival tickets 25¢ each

Magnolia Community Center

2550 34th Ave W, 98199

206-386-4235

Halloween Carnival

Join us for a family friendly evening full of games, prizes, goodies, pumpkin decorating and more. Don’t forget to wear your costume and bring a bag for all of your goodies. This event is open to children of all ages.

Friday, Oct. 22, 6 p.m.

Activity Fee: Free

Be sure and get there a little early for toddler pumpkin decorating from 5:30 – 6 p.m.

Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center

6535 Ravenna Ave NE, 98115

206-684-7534

Freaky Fall Festival

It’s that spooky time of year again! Join us for this annual evening of treats and a few tricks. Come in costume and enjoy carnival style games, crafts, a jumpy toy, and more! Meet your neighbors, let your kids loose in the gym and have fun! This party is for children 10 years old and younger.

Friday, Oct. 22, 6 – 8 p.m.

Activity Fee: $3 per child

 

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Renovated Seward Park Play Area Opens

Seattle Parks and Recreation along with an all-volunteer neighborhood group, the Seward Park Playground Improvement Foundation (SPPIF) will celebrate the completion of the renovated play area at Seward Park on Sunday, October 24, 2010 from 1 – 3 p.m. at 5895 Lake Washington Blvd. S. The community event is free and the families are encouraged to attend and enjoy music, magic and ice cream.

The South Shore Steel Pans Group band will perform at 1 p.m. with opening remarks.  Cornish College dancers and renowned magician, “Magic Mike Berger” will follow.  

The Seward Park Playground Improvement Foundation (SPPIF) partnered with Seattle Parks and Recreation, Audubon Society, Friends of Seattle’s Olmsted Parks, and Friends of Seward Park to steward the design of a new play area.

The Department of Neighborhoods matching grants largely funded the design process.  Through Seattle Parks Foundation, as the SPPIF’s fiscal sponsor, SPPIF successfully raised more than $156,000 from individuals and more than $200,000 from grants for this unique and worthy project.  Maggi Johnson and Brian Stark of Johnson Southerland skillfully led the project through final construction.  The design’s goal is to blend the play area into the adjacent old growth forest, take advantage of mountain and lake views, and provide an exciting and challenging playscape for kids of all ages. Seattle voters passed the 2008 Parks and Green Spaces Levy which allocated the final amount of funding needed for the construction of this project.

“The Parks and Green Spaces Levy funds more than 20 neighborhood playground renovations throughout Seattle,” said Christopher Williams, Seattle Parks and Recreation Acting Superintendent.  “This incredible new play area at Seward Park is an excellent example of a community initiated public-private partnership.”

The new play area features a zip line, tree house themed play structures, climbing rocks connected by ropes, a whirl, spring toys, and a swing.  The design takes advantage of the hillside which adds magic to the play experience.  Stone retaining walls around the edge of the play area help to accommodate the topographical changes and blend the play area into the site.

 Bainbridge Island artist Kristin Tollefson incorporated artwork into the project, which reflects the overarching theme of nature discovery.  Multiple sculptures can be found in the play area as entry features, art hidden in the “sand pond” and playful stumps to sit upon.

“The success of this unique project is a testament to what Seward Park means to this community,” said Betina Simmons, SPPIF Co-Chair.  “More than just a playground, it is an innovative showcase that combines active play, environmental awareness, and art appreciation,” added Maura Whalen, SPPIF Co-Chair.

For more information, please contact Parks Project Manager Kim Baldwin at (206) 615-0810 or kim.baldwin@seattle.gov or check the project webpage: http://seattle.gov/parks/projects/seward/playground.htm

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