All playgrounds in Seattle parks will reopen to the public with special guidelines Tuesday, more than six months after they were closed to slow the spread of COVID-19, Seattle Parks and Recreation announced Monday.

The play areas were closed on March 21 in an attempt to combat the pandemic. Parks locked swings together, posted signs and hung caution tape around play structures. Some families began using the play areas again over the summer, although they were officially closed, with Parks replacing the signs and tape on a rolling basis.

Parks has developed guidelines for using the play areas, working with the Washington State Department of Health and Public Health – Seattle & King County.

  • Limit each piece of play equipment (swings; play structures; ziplines) to five children at a time
  • Stay home if anyone in your family is sick
  • Wash your child’s hands before and after play (play areas are not regularly sanitized/cleaned) 
  • Ensure all children over 2 years old wear masks (except for children with disabilities that make it hard for them to wear masks)

Parks also shared some tips Monday for using the city’s play areas safely.

  • Keep an eye on your children to ensure they’re following the guidelines
  • Limit each play session to 30 minutes, so others have opportunities to play
  • Don’t eat or drink in play areas
  • Visit play areas at less busy parks and during less busy times. Mornings are less busy than afternoons, and weekdays are less busy than weekends. Green Lake, Seward, Magnuson, Discovery, Lincoln, Gas Works, Carkeek and Jefferson have some of the city’s most busy play areas.

Parks said questions about play areas can be emailed to PKS_info@seattle.gov.

Separately, Parks plans to reopen parking lots at a number of parks later this month. The lots were closed earlier this year with the stated objective of reducing crowding in parks.

Parking lots will reopen at the following parks on Oct. 19: Foster Island; Atlantic City Boat Launch; Carkeek; Discovery; Gas Works; Golden Gardens; Green Lake; Lincoln; Madrona; Magnuson; Mount Baker; Seward; Upper Woodland; Volunteer.

Parking lots at other parks have remained open this year or have already reopened after closures.