Fun joke to play on your children…

Tell them you’re taking them to the Fun Forest at the Seattle Center to go on the rides, only to show up and find that it’s gone.

They’ll look back and laugh, someday.


  1. 1

    notaboomer spews:

    i want a brand village of nike town, adidasville and a megagap sooperstore. then fill it with 8 yos playing nintendo ds and parents sexting their secret lovers.

  2. 2


    We took our kids there a few times. Why didn’t we take them there more often? Didn’t want our collective hearts broken maybe.

    Still hurts a little to see it go just the same. Too many places like that in Seattle just aren’t here any more.

  3. 3

    Alki Postings spews:

    I love the master plan I’ve seen for the Center…lots more grass/park space, less rusty again ‘rides’ no one uses anymore. Just grass it over, add a few benches, maybe a temp gazebo and call it good until the final changes (Memorial Stadium tear down).

    I had this conversation with someone a few weeks ago, they thought the Center was just old buildings no one used. I tried to point out it’s almost entirely new utilized buildings (Opera House, Fisher Pavilan, Childrens Theater, Seattle Rep, EMP/SciFi, space needle shop, IMAX, new garage, skate park, etc, etc). Key Arena was widely used until the Sonics left, still lots of concerts, Storm, misc. Still a good modern civic arena.

    Really the ONLY thing from the old fair is the fountain (super cool, VERY popular in nice weather), the Needle (duh), the Science Center (retro building, heavily used and great science center, 2 IMAX and laser Floyd to boot), and the monorail (odd but cool, like Seattle). The Center House (food court) is being rebuilt shortly. The Fun Forrest was the last ‘bad’ piece left over. I very much understand that folks have “fond memories” of it from when they were kids, but it’s not that great anymore and doesn’t fit in with the rest of the surrounds. If you really need that crappy small ride play time…go to Puyallup and Monroe (and other) fairs. No one really used the Fun Forrest water slide or coaster much from Nov-April anyway.

    If you want to see what else they’re changing, go check it out

  4. 4

    Narrows Bridge spews:

    @1 Are you not describing most every Mall in America?

    BTW, anyone know of a mall that is all local businesses in the Puget Sound?

    And if you need to find fun things to do outside with your kids, try a local park with those really fun crawling on, over and down toy scapes. Kids very happy and get to interact. Older kids love skate parks, bike ramps and playing a game of HORSE with their parent! Cheaper, too!

  5. 5


    I’ve spent major quality time with my kid at those fountains. Scaling the whale sculptures was also a highlight.

    We always entered from the north or west, so that my son wouldn’t be reminded that the Fun Forest existed.

    I love the Seattle Center. It’s a jewel. It’s one of my favorite things about Seattle. It’s in constant use.

    I love that Seattle Center has chosen to evolve over time, continuously improving, always becoming a better place.

    I (scornfully) recall prior efforts to gift the place to Disney and other big makeover plans. I’m so proud that Seattle (mostly) avoided the seductive temptation of crony capitalism and giveaways (privatization) of public spaces.

    The Seattle Center is a big part of why Seattle is unique and special.

  6. 6


    Here’s a (minor?) money making idea for the Seattle Center:

    I’d pay good money for a chance to operate the International Fountain.

    The fountain’s programming hasn’t changed in years. That I can tell.

    Controlling the fountain in real-time would be mostest, bestest, coolest. But I’d settle for writing a program and uploading it.

    To encourage more people to submit, there could be competitions. Like DJ slams. Entry fees. Prizes. Sponsorships. Etc.

    That’d be great.

  7. 7


    Does the International Fountain have a web cam? There should be a web cam. A web cam would be so cool.

    Here’s the info page on the fountain. It cycles through five programs.

    Imagine being able to submit programs and then watching your artistry via a web cam.

    That’d be great.

  8. 8

    ArtFart spews:

    Presumably the fountain is no longer programmed via the paper-tape reader that ran it back in ’62.

    As to the Fun Forest, I wonder if we adults are projecting our own nostalgia for the rides into our kids. If they had their druthers, they’d probably rather go to some video arcade than ride the stuff that used to be there. The old rides really were getting rather shabby, and there wasn’t room to build a really big roller coaster, Ferris wheel, or any of the other elaborate thrill rides that are the big draw at larger parks.

  9. 9


    Jason @6 and @7 —

    Great ideas! I’d suggest contacting the new Mayor and Councilmember Bagshaw. She’ll be chairing the Parks and Seattle Center committee.

  10. 10


    From: Jason Osgood
    To: Mike McGinn, Sally Bagshaw
    Cc: Deborah Daoust, Robert Nellams
    Subject: Program the International Fountain
    Date: January 5, 2010

    Mayor Mike McGinn, Councilmember Sally Bagshaw-

    I’d like to write custom programs for the International Fountain.

    I’d also like to watch the fountain via a web cam. So I can see my program in action.

    To raise money:

    – Charge for the privilege of programming the fountain.

    – Have competitions, with sponsorships, entry fees, prizes, t-shirts, etc.

    – Create an anniversary event for the fountain (old or new).

    For these and other awesome ideas, please check out this discussion:

    All the best.

    Cheers, Jason Osgood

  11. 11


    I don’t have fond childhood memories of the Fun Forest, because I didn’t grow up here. But my daughter does.

    The kiddie roller coaster was her first roller coaster, and she always looked forward to riding a couple rides when we went to the Seattle Center, which by the way, between the Children’s Museum and the Science Center and various other venues and events was a major destination for us. When she was younger, we probably visited the Seattle Center about once a month on average.

    I understand the temptation to make it greener and more park-like, but my concern is that we’re just yuppifying it, and making it less family friendly.

  12. 12

    czechsaaz spews:


    I took my little one (three) to the Fun Forrest for a few last hurrah’s over the summer. She loved every minute of it. The rides, a little whack-a-mole, some ski-ball, daddy winning her a big pink frog (at about quadruple the retail price if I had just bought it.) She’ll never get to ride the “big kid” rides.

    The big problem was the insistence on trying to get teens to use the Fun Forrest. @8 is right. They would rather be at some arcade (or smoking in a secluded grassy area soon to be provided.)

    The Fun Forrest was the “awesomest” thing about summers here until I found MTV. We all grew out of it. The center did a terrible job of getting us nostalgic folks to bring our pre-teens there. Every free parenting publication in my pediatricians office over the years has ads for the Children’s Theater, Museum and the Science center but never a hint of the Fun Forrest.

  13. 13

    GBS spews:


    The AP is reporting that Tiger Woods is changing his name to Cheetah Woods . . . no make that Lion Woods . . . no, no make that Lion Cheetah Woods.

  14. 14

    Chris Stefan spews:

    I figured the Fun Forest pretty much went downhill after they took out the Flight to Mars.

  15. 16


    Robert Nellams, Director of the Seattle Center, already responded. The Times had a brief article about Nellams when he was appointed. I hope I get to meet him.

    From: Robert Nellams
    To: Jason Osgood; McGinn, Mike; Bagshaw, Sally
    Cc: Daoust, Deborah; Merner, John
    Subject: RE: Program the International Fountain
    Date: January 5, 2010

    Mr. Osgood,

    Thank you for your email and interest in the programming at Seattle Center. Someone from Seattle Center will be in touch with you to talk about your concept and ideas soon. Until then I hope you are having a great start to the new year. Peace

    Robert Nellams
    Seattle Center
    305 Harrison Street
    Seattle, WA 98109
    tel: 206-684-7334 fax: 206-233-3850

    “Our mission is to delight and inspire the human spirit in each person and bring together our rich and varied community.”

  16. 17


    As to the Fun Forest, I wonder if we adults are projecting our own nostalgia for the rides into our kids.

    No. I’m only projecting the sheer joy that showed in my kids when they rode those old rusty (but hopefully safe) rides. The same joy they passed on to us older doddering parents.

    Yeah my kids are older now and despite their obsession with itunes and video games and other more adolescent pursuits, I think even they are a little sad to see it go.

    Ahhhhhh.. Gotta shake this off…

  17. 18


    You know just off the top of my head, I wonder if the town that shows such fleeting devotion to preserving and improving simple things in its past, things that performed such simple roles as bringing joy to children – I wonder if that town just loses its grip on its people eventually.

    That eventually those people will just dry up and blow away like the autumn leaves..

    When I first moved here, someone on TV (a resident of Bainbridge Island) pointed to Seattle and said “it’s a fast buck town, a transient town.” I blew that off at the time but I never forgot it.

  18. 19

    Puddybud Likes Flying Dutchmen spews:

    Puddy took the children there a couple of times when they were young. It allowed us to go visit Westgate Center on the Monorail when they didn’t want to go. Puddy guesses this is a sad day for the leetle tykes.

    Puddy likes the Knoxywood idea! Miniature theme park centered around Seattle’s sexiest convicted murderess, Amanda Knox. Complete with hash bar, do-it-yourself DNA testing kits, and Italian paparazzi!

    Now that’s comedy.

  19. 20

    Broadway Joe spews:

    Three words to describe the Fun Forest (in memory of Bill Hicks):


    Growing up, I must have been to the Fun Forest probably twenty times, and most recently about five years ago. Always loooked cheap and chintzy to me then, like it’d all fall down if I talked too loud around it. I know that they’d been talking about closing it down for years, but I’m surprised that it took them this long to actually do it. Won’t miss it at all.

  20. 21

    GBS spews:

    you believe in the slogan “Country First”, if you are a patriot of America FIRST, then you have to stop supporting Republican candidates in 2010.


    Michael Steele gives THE answer on Sean Hannity’s show:

    GOP leader doubts party can retake House
    Steele unsure if Republicans are ‘ready’ to regain majority in Nov. elections

    WASHINGTON – GOP Chairman Michael Steele thinks Republicans have “screwed up” for the most part in the years since Ronald Reagan was president. (GBS commentary: DUH! We’ve all known that and America has paid its price) And, he adds in an interview on the heels of his new book’s release, Republicans won’t win back the House in fall elections and might not be ready to lead even if they do.

    OK, so here we have it from the RNC’s mouth:

    A) Republicans have screwed up since 1988.
    B) They can’t win in 2010.
    C) And, even if they do, they are NOT READY TO LEAD!!!!

    What else do you need to know as to why no one should vote Republican in 2010.

    They’re screw ups and not ready to lead.

    Only terrorists would want people running America who are screw ups and not ready to lead our nation and our MILITARY during a time of WAR.

    What say you, Patriots? You’re either with America and the Democrats or with the Republicans and al Qeada.


    Of course, failed Republican ideals and leadership are no joke.

    Just ask the 7 million Americans out of work since the Bush/Reagan Republican Recession took hold in Dec 2007 with ZERO action on their part until . . . the financial world was about to collapse in Sept. 2008.

  21. 22

    GBS spews:

    Anyone who supports Republicans are not interested in making America better, only continuing the Culture of Corruption.

    Why do voters who support Republican candidates hate America?

    What has America done to them, except give them the greates chance at freedom, prosperity and security.

    Why do they hate all the soldiers who’ve spilled their blood for America? Because that’s exactly what they are doing by destroying the America that was paid for in their blood, their sacrafice by supporting and electing Republicans not ready to lead America during a time of World War III.

    Each and every citizen of this nation who has supported Republicans since 1988 has disgraced the service of every soldier, every cop, every first responder, every citizen whose only wrong was to try and make America better. Like health care for everyone.

    Ohhhhhhhh, but ask the wrong headed tea baggers who say other wise. They say we’ll have Death Camps like the Nazi’s.

    They’ll say and do anything to get POWER back. Regardless if it’s ultimately bad for America.

  22. 23

    GBS spews:

    I’ve said it before and Michael Steele and confirmed it: Republicans are not fit to lead.

    Republicans are our enemy and they are in our midst.

    We must DEFEND America from all enemies foreign and DOMESTIC, by any and all means necessary.

    Let the REAL War on Terror, and by proxy the War on America, begin.

  23. 24

    Right Stuff spews:

    Dude, what is wrong with you?

    “Republicans are our enemy and they are in our midst.

    We must DEFEND America from all enemies foreign and DOMESTIC, by any and all means necessary.

    Let the REAL War on Terror, and by proxy the War on America, begin.”

    I disagree on a political level with many people I know, whom are friends and good people. We may disagree about politics, finance, Yankees v Mets, but at the end of the day, we respect our opinions as opinions and our rights to voice them. WTF are you talking about? Should we all be made to kneel and pledge an allegiance to President Obama? What’s next, gather up all the Republicans and put us in concentration camps? How un liberal of you.

    Comments like these cross the line, especially for someone who claims NSW credentials.

  24. 26

    Bru:no spews:

    Yo! Bwana @21 @22 @23! Put down your machete!

    Hacking thru the Fun Forest with you is not fun. It’s almost as bad as a bad hare day with Roger Hussein Rabbit.

    Did your Ford trades go to your head? Blow your mind? Turn you into a simpering Edsel on fermented ethanol?

    Whatever’s wrong, you need to fix it.

  25. 27

    SJ spews:

    I am with Goldy on this.

    Seattle as whole is headed toward being among the least kid friendly cities in the US.

    Kids NEED places to play. If the Fun Forest and the HS stadium are passe, what kid stuff replaces them?

    Anybody here take their kids to the pitiable Seattle Children’s museum???

    WTF do little kids who live in Bellevue go for fun? I will bet I know … Bellevue Mall!!! Where they can be entertained by clowns paid to keep ‘em happy while their parents buy tschutskies.

    When they get older they get to be customers themselves! Ain’t that the cats’ meow?

  26. 28

    Gman spews:

    @13 – Isn’t this off topic and something that should be deleted as off topic…I’m not trying to be a pain in the ass or tell anyone how to be running their blog, but when your own personal comments get deleted it is hurtful to see these types of comments excepted for others. What does it have to do with the kiddie park?

    Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for no longer having to be moderated, but there are double standards here. I’m just looking for a little more leniency. Like my Comment #39 on the Brit Hume Post, I thought there was nothing wrong and it was in reply to something that was already brought up by other commenters.

  27. 29

    GBS spews:

    Right Stuff @ 24:

    Glad you get the vitriol of the sarcasm.

    Now, imagine you’re on our side of the debate and you are witnessing elected Republican leaders standing on the steps of the US Capital under a banner of horrific scenes from Nazi death camps and equating that to Democrats who are just trying to provide some form of basic health care to all Americans.

    And this line of FEAR mongering on health care can trace its roots to Ronald Reagan in 1961 when Democrats were trying to pass Medicare.

    He said the passage of health care would lead to socialism in the US and our sons and daughters would be forced into jobs dictate by the government.

    How about Sen Grassley (sp) telling his constituents this health bill would create death panels that will, and I quote, “pull the plug on grandma.”

    You have friends with a difference of opinions. Great.

    You’re still friends at the end of the day? Even better!

    You want us to remember we’re all Americans? I couldn’t agree with you more.

    The question becomes, is your side willing to have meaningful input on the challenges facing America? Or, are you going to let them obstruct every single piece of legislation and attack OUR president when a terrorists attempts to kill us without questioning your side?

    Until then, don’t question my credentials. They’re impeccable compared to the non-stop hate, divide and conquer tactics of those on the right. There’s a reason why President Bush had a 95% approval rating after 9/11.

    Reciprocating the respect for the office is now required from those on the right. Dick Cheney, Sen. Dement and the rest of the whackos talking heads like Rush, Sean, who encourage tea baggers to show up to events our president is at with guns?? And threatening to water the tree of liberty?


  28. 30

    GBS spews:

    Bruno @ 26;

    Did the Ford trade go to my head???

    Noooo, but the Ford, RMBS, DDS, KONG that nearl doubled my investment account in the last 8-9 weeks went to my BANK ACCOUNT!


    Suck on that for a while!

    I posted my picks for all to profit from. And you?



  29. 32

    Bumper Car Bru:no spews:

    Here it is again …

    Easy money: Didn’t Rabbit tell you that I told him? Your unearned increments of surplus value aren’t extorted from bloated Republicans. They’re gouged and scraped from the bleeding brow of exploited labor. In other words, from Republicans like me.

  30. 33

    Bumper Car Bru:no spews:

    FEAR mongering on health care can trace its roots to Ronald Reagan in 1961 when Democrats were trying to pass Medicare.

    1961? Think it was 1965-1966, at which point Reagan was a full-bore (no pun) Republican. In 1961 he was a New Deal Democrat having second thought.

    Dire predictions about Medicare weren’t wrong; just premature. It’s as unsustainable as Ponzi-Madoff, and has been propped up by creative accounting, aka lies.

    Have heard there’s a tape from LBJ’s secret taping system on which Lyndon and Teddy Kennedy conspire to lie about the program’s projected costs. If Lyndon and Teddy and Hubert had told the truth then about Medicare deficits, it would have died in Congress. As it was, many deceived Republicans voted for it. It was a bipartisan boondoggle.

  31. 34

    Puddybud Likes Flying Dutchmen spews:

    Wow GBS, you turned this thread into your personal diarrhea play ground.

    Butt to answer one thing… Republicans like Thad Cochran and Richard Shelby continue to ask for and accept earmarks and that’s what Michael Steele was referring to GBS. It’s too bad your moronic mindless memory malady is getting worse.

    Puddy happy about Ford stock. Ford is a Puddy family stock.

  32. 35

    ArtFart spews:

    @33 I have to admit that at my age, I’ve heard the screaming about how Social Security and Medicare are about to go broke and only Wall Street can save them for so long that I can barely bother even to yawn.

  33. 36


    I hate the master plan, the AWV replacement Promanade, and all the other wondering sidewalk-ish paths going through moderate mounds of grass, punctuated with benches for lots of sitting. It is visual Muzak, for the dominating age group of the city council.

    I have kind of followed this disaster for about a year and a half, or two.

    Here is something worse. wRong Sims idea was, by far, the worst idea. Looks like a fucking drainage ditch.

    KeyArena is running in place, nothing regularly fills the upper bowl. As soon as an arena pops up on the east side they should crush the Key, turn it into a community compost site/wine bar.

  34. 37

    Broadway Joe spews:


    Looked like a weak-ass imitation of Central Park to me. Seattle Center as a whole is kind of an outdated concept, so keep the Key, the Science Center, the Needle and the EMP and sell most of the rest of the land for private development but save some space for a nice park.

  35. 38


    Baker @ 36

    It’s called a swale. Do you like yummy salmon? Then advocate for more swales.

    Broadway @ 37

    Right. Because no one makes any money off of popular tourist attractions.

    We should privatize Pike Place Market too.

    But why stop there? All those freeriders, breathing air and drinking water for free. There’s profit to be made there.

    Corporations have rights too, you know. Firstly, a right to profit at the public expense.

  36. 39


    ArtFart @ 35

    You’ve wised up to the scam. But the wingers are patient. They’ll keep attacking until there’s a generation of voters that don’t have your historical perspective.

  37. 40

    SJ spews:

    Turn the Venues Around!

    A major problem with the Center is that many of the venues open onto the surrounding street rather than onto the park/interior.

    A simple change in pathways could solve a lot of this and provide more basis for interaction … the substance of any park.

    The other opportunity may be Seattle’s lack of an art district. Pioneer Square is going, Fremont, Cap Hill are long gone. The Center could encourage commercial galleries to use space. Add in some magnet restaurants and the place would grow on its own.

    The longer term issue is the need for city planning for the arts. Moving SAM and Benaroya to downtown was a bad move. The African American museum is beginning to like a castle built on a hill be some long lost community. On their own, these venues are not stimulating their neighborhoods and the synergy that could have been with the Mercer Complex, EMP, and Science Museum now can not happen.

    There are, however, some other potential arts types that with $$ could move there. I would love to see the UW have a presence, probably in the form of a new Burke Museum. Seattle also seems odd in not having a reral children’s museum or a technology museum based on its signature industries.

    Finally, IMHO the BEST event at SC is the weekly ethnic festival sponsored by the now defunct Safeco. These wouold be easy to stiumulate, perhaps moving similar festivals from other part of town there as well. Imagine the bone dance around the founbain!

  38. 41


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