With winter coming to an end, spring is the perfect time to start getting outside with the kiddos to start a new family adventure. To some, the idea of packing up the entire family to go in search of a good time can be a little overwhelming; we have narrowed it down to (what we think) are some pretty awesome escapes sure to please everyone in your family! Lucky for us, the greater Seattle area has countless outdoor recreation activities for all ages and levels of fitness. Whether you are looking for parks, hiking, trails, water play, or anything in between, the Puget Sound has it!
For the water lovers…
This one is for you Silver Lakers! Willis Tucker Park in Everett features a totally fun and interactive splash pad. Water domes, ‘aqua jumpers’, a volcano, and The Silverflow Cannon are just some of the things you can expect to enjoy! Do note that from 2:30 to 3:30pm, the water is shut off for daily maintenance – just in time for a nap!
If you’re in search of a great spot for younger kiddos, the Sammamish Commons Park has an awesome button-operated splash park in the lower commons area. It also has a playground, swings, and a sand pit! Venture up to the upper commons area and there is a popular skate park for the older kids and teens. Added bonus – if you hit this park on a Wednesday, you can catch the farmers market that runs from 4 to 8pm!
Crossroads Spray Park in Bellevue is an easy place to love! This spray park is a celebration of aquatic wonders, complete with a life-sized orca to climb on, sea anemones who squirt water, and spitting frogs. Hang out in the spray park or head off to the awesome playground for even more summer fun. Try hitting this place on a weekday as this beloved park gets busy on the weekends.
For the outdoorsy types…
For a well-manicured park and beach right in the city, try Clyde Beach Park in Bellevue. The sloping lawn ends in a mini-amphitheater where you’ll find a pirate ship-themed playground with the beach just below. With tons of great (and some shaded) picnic spots, this park gets busy quickly, so venture out early!
Discovery Park is a 534 acre natural park in Seattle (Magnolia) that has 11.80 miles of trails, a play area, basketball courts, and tennis courts – there is quite literally something for everyone in the family here. You can enjoy a self-guided Salmon Bay Walking Tour or head over to Daybreak Star Center which is host to beautiful permanent exhibits as well as regularly changing galleries of local Native American artists. Discovery Park is also home to West Point Lighthouse. From the lighthouse you can enjoy stunning views of the Puget Sound, sit on the rocks, and watch the sailboats passing by.
If you think of going to the park as something you can only do during the day, you have not been to Golden Gardens Park in Seattle (Ballard)! This public park comes alive in the evenings and is a great way to end the day. Start your afternoon off on the sandy beaches or play a family game of volleyball or basketball. Getting exhausted? Head over to the to the designated fire pit areas where you can spend the night roasting hotdogs and making gooey s’mores.
For the adventurers…
Looking for something different to do with the kids but don’t want to spend a lot of money? Go climb the REI Rock Climbing Pinnacle (Seattle). This 65 foot tall rock has a variety of different routes one can take based on their own ability. Whether this is your first time climbing or you are a climbing guru, Pinnacle has got a route for you! Starting at $15 you can make a single climb reservation in 15-minute or 30-minute increments. Times are Fridays 1:30 to 6:30pm (walk-ins only), Saturdays 11am to 7pm, and Sundays 11am to 7pm.
One of the best kept secrets is the Center for Wooden Boats (South Lake Union) which offers free boat rides on Sundays! There is no better way to spend your Sunday afternoon taking a nice leisurely sail around Lake Union. In the spring and summer spots do fill up so get there a little bit early because it is based on first-come, first-serve basis starting at 10am.
There’s no cheaper way to cruise Elliott Bay than the Seattle Water Taxi! $4.75 buys you a 15-minute ride from Pier 50 on the downtown waterfront to Seacrest Park in West Seattle. From there, take one of two free shuttle buses offered. Either head up the hill to check out the shops and restaurants at the West Seattle Junction, or over to explore West Seattle’s beautiful Alki Beach. Once at Alki, you can rent bikes or kayaks at an affordable price. The Water taxi runs all week long from April through October, and on weekdays in the off-season.
We are so fortunate to live in an area that has more adventures to offer than we could ever accomplish, but it is a great time to start checking a few off this list. Always remember that camps at CAC run during school breaks and all summer long which is ideal when parents want to do an adventure of their own or when they need to show up for their 9-to-5 gig.
Looking for some fun and healthy in-club summer activities for your children? We are offering some amazing camps this summer.
Here are some of the benefits of joining a camp.
Camp Kids will:
- Spend their day being physically active – Children spend so much time these days inside and mostly sitting down, camp provides a wonderful opportunity to move.
- Experience success and become more confident
- Gain resiliency
- Unplug from technology – When kids take a break from TV, cell phones, and the Internet, they rediscover their creative powers and engage the real world— real people, real activities, and real emotions.
- Develop life-long skills
- Grow more independent
- Have free time for unstructured play
- Learn social skills
- Reconnect with nature
- Make true friends – Camp is the place where kids make their very best friends. Free from the social expectations pressuring them at school, camp encourages kids to relax and make friends easily.
To find your club’s camp information, see our summer camp page.