Family Activities in Seattle, WA
At over 530-acres, Discovery Park is the largest park in Seattle and is best for long, leisurely days when you can take the time to do some serious exploring. Pack a backpack with snacks and water or pick up lunch to-go at Wheeler Street Kitchen in the Magnolia Village. If you want to spend the day exploring the trails on top of the bluff, picking blackberries and chasing wild bunnies, head into the park via the South Parking Lot. If you'd prefer a day at one of Seattle's best secret beaches, go to the Visitor Center early and secure one of the few parking day passes that are available. You can also hike down to the beach from any of the lots.
You would never know that Ella Bailey Park existed, unless someone gave you the inside scoop. Ella Bailey is tucked deep in Seattle's Magnolia neighborhood and offers the hands down best view of downtown Seattle, the waterfront and Mount Rainier. While you're googling at the skyline, the kids can enjoy one of the city's newest playgrounds. Ella Bailey is also a great place to take kids who are learning how to ride bikes -- there is a smooth paved loop that goes around the entire park. After playing, head down the hill into the Magnolia Village and grab lunch at family friendly Serendipity Cafe.
Need a great family friendly daytrip? Head down to the Seattle waterfront and jump on a ferry to Bainbridge Island. You can walk on the ferry easily with kids -- no cars necessary on the island -- or bring along your bikes to do a bit more exploring. The ferry ride is a quick (and gorgeous!) 30-minutes and brings you right into the downtown area filled with fun shops and places to grab a bite. Be sure to check out Waterfront Park, which runs along the harbor. Parent Tip -- you may want to bring the stroller or a carrier for younger kids who could get tired of walking.
There is nothing better than Gas Works Park on a sunny Seattle day. Gas Works is the site of a former gas-to-coal manufacturing plant, which was shut down in the 1950s. Now, this well-known Seattle park is a family favorite. The old plant has been turned into a colorful play barn for kids of all ages to explore and climb in. Gas Works is also one of the best places in Seattle to fly a kite! Climb up the grassy hill to the huge sundial and fly your kite with downtown as your backdrop. Hungry? Stop at Homegrown in Fremont, a sustainable sandwich shop, to pick up a picnic lunch (with compostable utensils!) on the way to the park.
If you are a parent in Seattle, Green Lake is always on your must-do list because there are so many ways to enjoy it. Put the younger kids in the jogging stroller, grab the scooters and bikes for the bigger kids and hit the spacious 2.8-mile paved path around the lake, which is great for people and dog watching. During the summer months, hang out at the wading pool with friends or watch the volleyball tournaments. Green Lake also offers a fantastic playground for kids of all ages, including lots of swings. Don't forget to bring some bread to feed the duck families that make their home in Green Lake.