Mini golf course opens at Magnuson Park

Head over to the Tennis Center Sand Point and get ready to…golf?

This June an outdoor mini golf course opened in Magnuson Park. The course sits in between two tennis center pavilions and was opened by one of the center’s co-founders, Scott Marshall.

“The tennis center has about 3,000 members,” Marshall said. “In the summer when traffic is down, we want to give people a reason to come and be able to enjoy the weather.”

The course is one of the few mini public courses in Seattle and opened through an agreement with Seattle Parks and Recreation. Marshall said the course is slated to be open during the next five summers from Memorial Day through the end of September.

“The tennis day campers really enjoy it,” employee Bobbie Ellison said. “Plus, it brings outsiders in to play putt putt, and then they end up learning about our tennis facility.”

For mini golf course hours and pricing information, please visit

Your Seattle Parks Summer Bucket List

Remember the “What I Did on my Summer Vacation” essay assignment on the first day of school? You had to think about the previous three months and make up events that made you seem more interesting and adventurous than watching Judge Judy marathons. Embarrassing.

You may not get a summer vacation anymore, but the season is still something to be treasured. Seattle Parks and Recreation wants to help you take advantage of these rare, sunny days and create some brag-worthy memories.

We won’t ask you to write an essay, but we’d love to see you in action. Prove you completed some of the activities on our Summer Bucket List by sending photos to @seattleparks on Twitter #bucketlist

On my summer vacation I…GOT HEALTHY! Join us from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. on Sunday, June 29, for our first-ever Big Day of Play at Mount Baker Park Sailing and Rowing Center! We’ll have entertainment, music, kids’ activities and plenty of opportunities for you to learn about our active recreation and healthy food programming.

On my summer vacation I…ROCKED OUT WITH THE T-BIRDS AND PINK LADIES IN MAGNUSON PARK! On Thursdays throughout the summer, Magnuson Park will host outdoor movies. “Grease” kicks off the line-up, followed by “The Lego Movie,” “Gravity,” “Sixteen Candles” and other favorites. Spread out a blanket on the grass, take part in movie trivia and get some grub at a food truck. Don’t worry, no one can say you’re wasting away in front of the television if you’re doing it outside.

On my summer vacation I…MET A CAMEL! I mean, really, how many chances does one get to meet a camel in the Northwest? Visit Othello Park on Sunday, Aug. 17, for the Othello Park International Music and Art Festival. Between noon and 6 p.m., the park will be filled with family-friendly music and performances. Wander through the vendor and food booths, take a ride on the zip line and of course, say hi to the visiting camel.

On my summer vacation I…PAMPERED MY POOCH! Sunday, Aug. 17, is truly a dog day of summer. From 1-3 p.m., you can take your pups to Helene Madison Pool and let them cool down in the water. Each year the pool hosts a dog swim before the facility closes for preventive maintenance.

On my summer vacation I…WENT SCUBA DIVING IN ELLIOT BAY! Did you know you there is a protected area off the shores of West Seattle’s Seacrest Park for scuba diving? Explore underwater sea creatures in the Sound and then treat yourself to lunch at Marination Ma Kai, voted one of the city’s best lunch spots by Seattle Magazine.

On my summer vacation I…DANCED THE NIGHT AWAY WITH 800 OF MY CLOSEST FRIENDS! Dancing ‘til Dusk events take place throughout downtown parks in the summer. We provide lighting, bands and free dance lessons; you just have to show up in your boogie shoes. From 5:30-9:30 p.m. on Friday Sept. 5, we’re hosting a square dance in Freeway Park, so save the date and swing your partner! For other Dancing ‘til Dusk dates, click HERE.

On my summer vacation I…LEARNED A NEW SKILL (FOR ONLY $2)! Have you always wanted to register for a new class or activity, but have a fear of six-week commitment? Seattle Parks’ Healthy Parks, Healthy You program has got you covered. With the Try It for $2 program, you can attend a program or class session at one of our community centers or pools for only $2. If you like what you experience, you can register for the remainder of the session at a pro-rated amount. Yoga, Zumba, karate? See you there.

On my summer vacation I…FOUND MY INNER TARZAN! Grab a group of friends and take to the trees. Camp Long in West Seattle has a vertical playpen. Climb through tires and obstacles up in the sky or travel between high platforms on beams, swings and ropes supported by belayers. There are a variety of challenge course options available for adventurers of all levels.

On my summer vacation I…BIKED THE BURKE-GILMAN TRAIL! The Burke-Gilman Trail runs from Shilshole Bay in Seattle to the City of Bothell spanning more than 18 miles. Grab your helmet and follow the historic railroad route near the Lake Washington Ship Canal and Sammamish River. Pack a lunch, enjoy the views and get some fresh air.

On my summer vacation I…DISCOVERED A NEW PARK (OR 10)! Pick a park, any park, and then grab your sunscreen and go. We have more than 400 parks within our city limits and very few people have seen them all. Take this summer to find a new picnic spot, a breathtaking viewpoint or a perfect practice field for your soccer team. Each of our parks is unique, and they’re all FREE.

Magnuson Park design recognized by the American Society of Landscape Architects and community

An aerial view of Warren G. Magnuson Park.


When you’re standing in Magnuson Park watching leaves skitter across the wetlands and listening to insects hum and the frogs croak, it’s hard to imagine that noisy naval planes used to take off from that same space. Many visitors think the landscape is natural due to the park’s innovative design and careful construction.

Last month, the Berger Partnership received a Merit Award in Design from the Washington Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (WASLA) for its work in Magnuson Park. The firm was tasked in 2001 to integrate a system of five ecologically distinct, yet interconnected wetlands among the trails, athletic fields, roads and parking lots.

“I love Magnuson park as a place that welcomes people to play and escape into the thriving habitat reclaiming the site,”  said Guy Michaelsen, Berger Partnership principal landscape architect.  “I’m thrilled others recognize its unique character and ecology and feel lucky to be involved with such a great project.”

The project was completed in 2010. The WASLA awards committee said they were impressed how the park’s history and ecology were represented in the finished design.

“The scale and breadth of the design covers a lot of ground as the different areas of the park are quite different in character,” the committee commented. “The park as presented seemed ‘Olmstedian’ in its reach as a man-made designed space that adequately represents natural concepts and zones that vary in character.”

To view the award nomination, click the following link: Magnuson Park nomination.

A picture of ‘Cactus Lake’ taken by Lynne.


The transformation at Magnuson Park recently received kudos from a longtime Seattle resident as well. Lynne works with critically ill children and said she often visits the park to reflect on the beauty and blessings and exist around her. One of her favorite spaces in the park is an area next to the boat launch parking lot that she’s nicknamed “Cactus Lake” because of the surrounding trees’ resemblance to the saguaro cactus.

“My friends and my young children know that when I am feeling down- I go to ‘Cactus Lake’ to recharge,” Lynne said.

Lynne advocates for Seattle’s natural areas to her friends from all over the country. She said she often recalls Joni Mitchell’s song “Big Yellow Taxi” whose lyrics state, “They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.”

“[The Magnuson team] has done the exact opposite,” Lynne said. “They’ve taken a barren parking lot and created an inviting habitat for so many plants, animals and people to enjoy.”

Ospreys return to Seattle for spring

The osprey nest in Commodore Park.


If you build it; they will come.

Ospreys have returned to two different manufactured nest sites near Seattle parks.

Three years ago, Seattle Parks and Recreation Facilities Maintenance crews, Natural Resource Unit crews and staff, Planning & Development staff, Parks Surveyors, Seattle City Light staff, a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist, Burlington Northern staff and a  U.S. Coast Guard employee worked on getting a replacement nest site for ospreys at Commodore Park in Magnolia.

The old nest had been dismantled because it was located on a telegraph tower on rail lines above the park. The tower was in disrepair and was in jeopardy of falling into the Ballard Locks below it. Staff worked together on siting the new nest, getting permits, fabricating a nest platform and installing a 70-foot pole and platform.  Two ospreys showed up at the platform the month after it was built, and two babies were born that year. A pair returned last spring from their wintering grounds in Central America and had one offspring. This year, another pair has been spotted adding nest material to the platform.

An osprey spotted near its nest by Magnuson Park.


Across the city, there have been reports of three different adult ospreys returning to a nesting site near Magnuson Park. Two years ago, ospreys made their home in the crow’s nest of a National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration ship. A power company constructed a new pole and platform for the birds on land to lure them away from the boat. The first year the birds did not produce any offspring in the nest, but last year, two adult birds returned and produced at least two young.

Many volunteers have been monitoring the nest to see if these birds will produce offspring this year. Since the birds are not banded, it isn’t clear if the same birds are returning each spring. The nest can be seen from Kite Hill in Magnuson Park or from the parking lot of Building 27.

Celebrate International Migratory Bird Day in Magnuson Park

Migrate to Magnuson Park on Saturday, May 10, in honor of International Migratory Bird Day. Bring your family to learn about amazing birds that travel thousands of miles each year to Seattle.

There will be guided walks, habitat bingo and other family-friendly activities beginning at 10 a.m. at the Magnuson Community Center, 7110 62nd Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98115. Talks will be given by renowned bird experts Idie Ulsh and Dennis Paulson.

International Migratory Bird Day is sponsored by Seattle Parks and Recreation, Magnuson Community Center Nature Programs and the Magnuson Environmental Stewardship Alliance.

Sign up for free bird walks and activities by clicking HERE.