Seaside Stories

Where to P.L.A.Y. in Seaside

January 20, 2011 | by Shanda Bonn

Last week, on a sunny day between the drizzles, the kids and I ventured out for some fresh air and sunshine. We opted for Broadway Park. Two years ago, three new play structures were added that my kids love. Two of the structures are toddler size which any parent with kids of different ages can appreciate. I love the beautiful, peaceful setting. The park is nestled next to Neawanna Creek where ducks float lazily by, a tree lined mountainside looming in the distance. Do a 180 and you get a great view of Tillamook Head to the south.

As the kids climbed, jumped, ran and screamed (in a good way), I walked in rapid circles around the play structures, getting a little bit of easy exercise. It was a pretty blissful scene and I thought to myself, “this is something Seaside’s visiting families should know about”. It’s not a typical “tourist attraction” but it’s definitely worth checking out after you’ve enjoyed the beach, bumper cars, arcade games and (a few too many) elephant ears.

If you have kids who can’t leave home without their skateboards, Broadway Park houses the Seaside Skate Park, also a recent addition thanks to a community grassroots effort. The Skate Park has 3 bowls connected like a snake run funneling out into a beginners area. Sometimes the kids and I go there just to watch the skaters and be amazed.

And if you love the fun of small town sports, Seaside High School’s football and baseball teams play on the field at Broadway, so you might get lucky and catch a game. You don’t have to know a single player on the team. Just to hear the announcer on the PA system after the crack of a bat, or hear the student band playing in the stands, you’ll feel in no time like you’re part of the Seaside family!

Of course, as long as I’m writing about Broadway Park, I might as well mention Sunset Empire Parks and Recreation right next door which operates the Sunset Pool and Recreation Center, the Sunset Youth Center and the Bob Chisholm Senior & Community Center. In addition to swimming lessons with certified instructors of the highest quality (yes, I’m biased, my daughter learned to swim there when she was 4), there are plenty of “open swims” to enjoy on a drop-in basis where you can enjoy the whirlpool, the warm-water learners pool and the deeper lap pool that includes a water slide. If you’re the kind who can’t leave your workout behind, you can get it done here, either swimming in the lap pool, working out in the gym or taking one of the group classes. And that’s really just the tip of the ice berg. There’s always something going on.

On this little stretch of Broadway you could easily occupy your family for an entire day. I think Sunset Empire’s motto sums it up well: P.L.A.Y. – Positive Leisure Activities for You!

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