I think Ross Playground must be the greatest unknown park in Seattle. Every time I mention this Ballard/Fremont gem, I get confused looks. It’s a shame too, because this is a wonderful neighborhood park, and well worth a visit even if you don’t live down the street.
The playground was updated in 2011, with an incredible array of unusual toys. It’s almost impossible to distinguish some of the equipment from the pieces in the Seattle Art Museum’s Olympic Sculpture Park. If this is modern art though, it is definitely the climbable variety.
I love the wide array of musical toys attached the equipment, from sturdy bells to bongo drums. The purpose of all these swoopy shapes and web-like networks of rope is not always obvious, and that’s a good thing, because it encourages kids to be creative in their play. There are plenty of traditional toys, such as slides and swings as well.
Ross is a good place for parents, because there are several picnic tables and benches scattered around the play area, and all of them have good sight lines.
Another great park feature is a large, enclosed shelter perched at the north end of the park. This sleek building is available for rental through Loyal Heights Community Center. The basic, but attractive space is a step up from your typical picnic shelter. It has a rolling metal door, which opens onto a covered patio. The day we went to the park, there was a birthday party in the shelter and it looked like a great place to accommodate a lot of people comfortably.
The park also has two baseball fields with backstops.
Have you been to Ross Playground before? What did you think?
4320 4th Ave NW