Outdoor pools, sprayparks, beaches, meals for kids and more
are tentatively scheduled
Summer is coming and boy, are we all ready for it! After a year of restrictions and uncertainty – not to mention a long winter – everyone is looking forward to reliable sunshine, mild temps and more outdoor activities. Access to parks and open spaces is essential for our physical and mental health, as we know more than ever, and so parks are going to be very busy this spring and summer. That’s why Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) staff have been working hard on plans to welcome you back bigger and better than last year, while still keeping an eye on the changing public health situation – because as we’re currently seeing, the pandemic is not entirely in the rearview mirror.
While planning, we’re working with a number of operational restrictions. First among them is reduced financial resources. The impact of the pandemic on our ability to provide regular services can’t be understated; this detailed overview of how revenue loss has affected programming is a must-read. In addition, as the pandemic continues, many staff are working to ramp up services and prepare our parks and facilities for increased use, including addressing deferred maintenance from last year.
We remain hopeful that as more people get vaccinated, new virus cases will decline and the state, county and city guidelines will relax allowing us to gradually expand our offerings. So while these tentative plans are not set in stone, here’s our current thinking on what we hope will happen this summer. Keep in mind, our goals are multifaceted: to help people reconnect with nature and each other in a safe manner; to focus our services on BIPOC and other historically underrepresented communities; and to offer programming primarily outdoors.
Seattle Parks and Recreation Summer 2021 Plans
- Indoor Pools: Medgar Evers Pool is currently open; Rainier Beach Pool will open on April 19.
- Outdoor Pools: SPR is planning to operate two unique outdoor pools for summer fun: Colman Pool (8603 Fauntleroy Way SW) and Lowery C. “Pop” Mounger Pool (32nd Ave. W).
- Sprayparks: SPR is planning to operate 11 unstaffed sprayparks this summer. Sprayparks normally operate from 11 am – 8 pm, unless thunder and lightning are present.
- Lifeguarded beaches: SPR is planning to offer at least 5 safe, lifeguarded beaches at sites around the city this summer. We strongly recommend swimming only where lifeguards are present.
- Boat Ramps: Three of five motorized boat launches are fully open – Magnuson Park, Eddie Vine, and Don Armeni. The Atlantic City Boat Ramp on Lake WA Blvd. remains a COVID vaccination / testing site and is closed to boat launching. Stan Sayres Boat Ramp on Lake WA Blvd. is mostly closed while SPR awaits permits to begin repair work, but limited launching is allowed for boats and vehicles that can fit in between the block barriers to use just the central portion of the ramp.
- Rowing and Sailing Centers: Mount Baker Rowing and Sailing Center and Green Lake Small Craft Center are working toward reopening some rowing, sailing, and paddling programs in late spring/early summer of 2021. To receive updates on reopening and registration, please sign up for one or both email lists: Green Lake Small Craft Center email list, Mount Baker Rowing and Sailing Center email list.
- Wading Pools: SPR is looking into whether we can operate any wading pools this summer, and we will update the community as soon as a decision has been made. Due to staff capacity and budgetary concerns, opening all wading pools will not be possible this summer.
- Community Centers/Teen Centers: Community Centers will continue to operate over the summer for childcare and teen services only (including Late Night). We expect to pilot limited indoor recreation opportunities at two community centers this summer and expand community center programming in the fall.
- Virtual Recreation: SPR will continue to offer a variety of Virtual Recreation programs so that you can explore new opportunities to learn and engage from the safety of your own home. Visit the SPR YouTube channel, where you can explore casual recreation, environmental education, children’s story-time, and other videos created by our staff. We are also expanding our structured virtual programs, which you can browse and register for classes here.
- Sports programs: SPR will offer a modified track program this spring and a variety of youth sports and adult sports programs this summer, including adult softball and free summer sports camps for youth.
- Athletic Field Permits/Rentals: Sports field reservations are open. Drop-in use is allowed on SPR playfields if there are no permitted users on the field. Masks are required.
- Golf: Jefferson, Jackson, Interbay, and West Seattle golf courses and ranges are all operating. Visit this page for contact info. and addresses.
- Amy Yee Tennis Center: The Amy Yee Tennis Center reopened on January 21. The Center is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 am until 9:30 pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 am until 5:15 pm. Reservations are being taken at (206) 684-4764 each day beginning at 9:10 am; prepayment is required. More info. here.
- Mobile Recreation: SPR’s Rec N the Streets program provides outdoor, mobile recreation opportunities at various park sites across Seattle and will expand services over the summer. Learn more here.
- Summer of Safety: SPR will offer Summer of Safety (SOS), a free program that provides structured activities and a safe space for young people not connected to other supervised programs over the summer. The program is geared towards serving diverse tweens and teens from low-income families and will operate at Bitter Lake Community Center, Southwest Teen Life Center, Garfield Teen Life Center, South Park Community Center, Magnuson Community Center, and South Shore (in the South Shore K-8 School).
- Summer Lunch Programs: SPR is planning to operate summer lunch programs to provide free meals for youth at 12 standalone sites this summer.
- Outdoor Activity Camps: SPR will be offering 10 weeks of Summer Activity Camps at Jefferson, High Point, Loyal Heights, and Montlake community centers for children 5-12 years old. For 2021, we will not be able to offer Nature Camps at Discovery, Carkeek or Camp Long.
- Teen Programs: SPR will keep several Teen Hubs open this summer, providing their usual academic support if Seattle Public Schools offers summer school this year. The hubs are safe places with wifi for teens to go during the pandemic, with activities and support provided by SPR staff. Some Late Night programs will be offered as well at Bitter Lake and Rainier Beach community centers and Southwest Teen Life Center, giving teens a staff-supported central location to gather with peers.
- Summer Childcare: Camps for children ages 5-12 will be offered at 17 locations. Scholarships are available; registration opens April 20. Details here.
- School Age Care: SPR’s School Age Care program is open and operating at 18 sites. See more details under “Childcare” on this page, and for locations, fees and registration visit the registration portal. You can also contact your local Community Center for more information.
This summer, SPR will permit picnic shelter reservations, outdoor events (such as movie nights, 5k runs, and food services), as well as ceremonies and commercial photography for families and community organizations adhering to COVID safety protocols.
As you may have noticed, there are not many indoor activities planned yet for this summer. This is due to an abundance of caution as we monitor public health conditions, and as we prioritize staff and financial resources. These factors steered us towards planning to welcome the community back through our outdoor opportunities. We’re confident, however, that this summer will allow us to offer a few pilot indoor activities.
Because public health conditions seem to be two steps forward, one step back, please keep on doing your part to social distance, wear a mask, and keep groups small. Be sure to follow this page for all the current info on what’s open and closed. Whatever we end up with, we’re very optimistic that this summer will be filled with opportunities for fun, connecting with community, and celebrating how resilient we and the world around us can be.