Now that the sun is out and here to stay (knock on wood), it’s time to get outside and show your kids the true beauty of Seattle. Here’s a list of 16 outdoor, fun, and family-friendly things to do this summer in the city. Remember to pack the sunscreen!
1. Walk the Trails at Carkeek Park
What: Carkeek Park in the Broadview neighborhood features a nice playground, beachfront access, and over six miles of trails across its amazing 216 acres. As you walk the trails and beaches, look out for local wildlife to provide your kids with a unique learning experience.
Where: 950 NW Carkeek Park Rd., Seattle, WA 98177
When: Open daily from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm.
What: Seattle’s Seafair festival is ten weeks long and features 75 events and fun activities that families have enjoyed since 1950. One of their signature events, and one of our family favourites, is the Seafair Pirates Landing. The Seafair Pirates storm the beaches of Alki to mark the start of the festival filled parade season in Seattle. Let your kids play on the beach and eat ice cream while waiting for the pirates to arrive. Visit their website and pick the top three events you and your family want to see this summer.
Where: Alki Beach
When: July 6, 2019
3. Bike, Skate, or Walk Around Green Lake
What: Green lake is located right in the center of North Seattle. There is a 2.8-mile paved walking/biking path around the lake and recreational areas with picnic tables. Spend a half-day there, enjoy the greenery, and chase the birds.
Where: 7201 E Green Lake Dr. N, Seattle, WA 98115
When: Open 24/7
What: Green Lake is also the home of the Milk Carton Derby, an annual race that is part of the Seafair festivities. Attend the derby to see an amazing array of locally constructed watercraft made out of milk cartons. Even better, register your family in the derby and build your very own milk carton boat! It is only $25 per boat for families to register.
Where: Green Lake
When: July 13th from 8am to 4pm
Photo Credit: Looky Pictures
What: Your kids are bound to have an amazing time at the Woodland Park Zoo, located in the Ballard area. Make sure to check out the Tropical Asia exhibit that features the Malayan Tiger and Sloth Bear. Once you're able to break everyone away from that exhibit, your family will enjoy sights of reptiles, amphibians, birds, bugs and mammals of all kinds across the rest of the expansive zoo grounds. And if you and your kids still have energy at the end of your visit, ride the zoo’s historic carousel for only $3 a ride.
Where: Visit the Woodland Park Zoo website for directions to their West and South Entrances.
When: Open 9:30 am to 6:00 pm until September 2.
6. Watch the Space Needle Fireworks
What: On the 4th of July, the best fireworks displays to enjoy is the one presented at the Space Needle. Get ready to be stunned by the amazing, bright display of colors.
Where: We recommend watching the fireworks from Lake Union.
When: July 4
7. Teach Your Kids How to Play Chess at Cal Anderson Park
What: Cal Anderson Park in Capitol Hill gives kids a chance to swim in a wading pool, play on a playground or climb a giant volcano. The park also has a few oversized chess boards that might just get your kids interested in chess. Who knows, they might become the next chess protégé.
Where: 1635 11th Ave., Seattle, WA 98122
When: Open daily from 4:00 am to 11:30 pm
What: You can sample Seattle area restaurants, one bite at a time, at The Bite of Seattle all day at the Seattle Center on July 19 through to the 21. If you and your family love food and don’t mind crowds, checking out The Bite is a great way to spend a sunny day. Entry is free but you have to pay for your food (duh!).
Where: Seattle Center
When: July 19 to 21
What: A showcase of cultural drumming, dancing and fighting displays.
Where: The Chinatown-International District
When: June 29 from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm
What: OK. You got me. Seattleites know that Ride the Ducks is a major tourist attraction. But trust me, it’s fun for local families too! The Ducks of Seattle is a tour of downtown Seattle in a bus that turns into a boat and then cruises through Lake Union. If you’ve never been on a Ride the Ducks tour before, put it on your bucket list of things to do with the family this summer. It’s wacky, totally out there, and A LOT of fun! Get ready for incredible views and lots of laughs with your children.
When: Open daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm during June and until 6:00 pm during July and August.
Where: 516 Broad Street, across from the Space Needle
11. Follow Zoe’s Adventure at the Swamp Monster Trail in Issaquah
What: A one mile roundtrip trail that follows the adventures of Zoe, a wetland creature, as she keeps an eye out for the mythical Swamp Monster. Sign posts along the trail document Zoe’s adventure. The trail is flat and mud free. Entry to the park is free.
Where: Issaquah, Tiger Mountain
12. Hike Coal Creek Falls
What: A 2.5 mile, roundtrip loop that winds through giant maple and cedar trees and other vegetation and ends at 28-foot waterfall that runs dry in the summer starting in June (but it's still beautiful and worth the trip). The park has free entry and parking, but the parking lot fills up quickly so get there early! And make sure to bring a map because there lots of other trails in the park!
Where: Issaquah, Cougar Mountain Regional Wildlife Park.
13. Soak up the Rays at Golden Gardens
What: Don’t be confused – Golden Gardens is not a garden. It’s a park that features a sandy beach, volleyball courts, a short walking trail, and two wetlands. Make room in your schedule to spend a full day here. Pack your towels, sand buckets, and a picnic, and let the kids play to their hearts content.
Where: 8498 Seaview Place, Ballard.
When: Open from 4 am to 11:30 pm daily.
14. Splash Around at Colman Pool
What: A 50-meter, 8-lane, outdoor pool, warmed to 85 degrees. Your kids will love the blue tube-slide and the one- and three-meter diving boards.
When: Opens May 11. Main Season Schedule: Public Swim from June 22 to September 2 from 1:45 to 4:45 pm daily. Lap and Family Swim Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 5:00-7pm. Visit their website for more hours.
Where: On the edge of Lincoln Park, looking out over the ocean. How beautiful!
15. Visit Mounger Pool
What: Another one of Seattle’s great outdoor swimming pool complexes. It has two outdoor pools, one big and one small, and lots of pool chairs to lounge on. The Big Pool is great for older kids who want to splash around on their own and they can go down the 50-foot corkscrew slide and kept at 85 degrees. The Little Pool is shallow and is perfect for parents with little tots who haven’t quite developed their fins yet.
Where: 2535 32nd Avenue West, Seattle, WA 98199
When: Opens May 11. Check out the Seattle Parks and Recreation website for the pools pre-season and main season schedule.
What: Wild Waves Water Park opens on May 25, and there are lots of rides for kids and adults to enjoy. The park is about an hour’s drive from downtown Seattle, but it's definitely worth the day trip if you’re looking for a thrill and lots of laughs.
Where: 36201 Enchanted Pkwy S, Federal Way, WA 98003, USA
When: Open daily from 10:30 am to 8:00 pm during July and August. Visit their website for varying hours throughout June.
What: Explore this picturesque property this summer. Walk through the gardens and take the kids to play with the friendly and cute farm animals. Feel free to bring a picnic, but there is also a coffee shop where you can buy snacks.
Where: 12123 Issaquah Hobart Road, SE Issaquah WA 98027
When: Make sure to visit Fox Hollow’s website before you go to the farm; the farm can close for events and parties.
Read more about the author