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Where to Splish & Splash Around: Best Eastside Spray Parks & Beaches

Long, sunny summer days are the sweet spot of life in the Pacific Northwest. And yet, sometimes we don’t know what to do with ourselves when we no longer need to dress in layers and pack our Gortex. But your kiddos know what to do – they’ll find anyway possible to drench themselves (even if you say, “only up to your knees!”). Might as well make a day of it and let ‘em really dive right in!

frogspout

Eastside Spray Parks

Even if you’re a creature of habit and want to head back to the watering hole nearest to you (no, not that kind of watering hole), check out our list of best splash spots and discover a few new faves that you’ll want to return to again and again.

Crossroads Park
An easy spray park to love, the Crossroads Spray Park (pictured above) is a celebration of aquatic wonders, complete with a life-sized orca to climb on, squirty sea anemones and spitting frogs. Hang out in the spray park, or head off to the awesome playground, this busy (and beloved) summer spot is packed on the weekends for good reason.

Crossroads Park
999 164th Avenue NE
Bellevue, Wa  98008
Online: ci.bellevue.wa.us/crossroads_par_3_golf.htm

Cost: Free
Dates: May 25 – Sept 2, 2013
Time: 8:00 am – 8:00 pm

Redmond Town Center
While it may not be your primary destination during a day of shopping, the playful bears and the hopping fountains in the middle of Redmond Town Center are always a magnet for kids on a hot day, so don’t forget to pack the suits and towels.

Redmond Town Center
7525 166th Avenue NE
Redmond, WA 98052
425-867-0808
Online: redmondtowncenter.com/

Cost: Free
Dates: Daily
Time: All Day

redmond towncenter

Grasslawn Park
If you’ve got kids under 5, you won’t want to miss Grasslawn’s splash pad. There are plenty of shady spots for a picnic and a great playground, and the gentle fountains are perfect for crawlers and early walkers; they’ll also surprise and delight your older kiddos who can try to dodge the sensor-activated sprayers. Psstpark on the 148th side if you want to be close to the splash pad.

Grasslawn Park
7031 148 Avenue NE
Redmond, Wa 98052
425-556-2386
Online: ci.redmond.wa.us/cms/one.aspx?portalId=169&pageId=4010

Cost: Free
Dates:  May 25 – Sept 2, 2013 (Every day when the weather is over 70 degrees)
Time: 9:00 am – 8:00 pm

grass lawn park

Sammamish Commons Park
Hidden away on the Plateau, the Sammamish Commons Park (by City Hall & the new library) has a button-operated splash park in the Lower Commons Park. If you park in the Upper Park, expect a pretty long (10-15 min) downhill hike to the playground and water area. Better to park in the newer lot below (from 228th head west on SE 4th to 222nd Avenue SE), and bring the stroller so you don’t have to haul towels and gear such a long way. The Lower Park has a splash pad, playground, and porta potties. If you hit this park on a Wednesday, don’t miss the farmers market going on from 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm at the upper part of the park.

Sammamish Commons Park
801 228th Avenue SE
Sammamish, Wa 98074
425-295-0730
Online: myparksandrecreation.com/ParksTrails/Details.aspx?pid=481

Cost: Free
Dates:  Daily
Time: Dawn until dusk

Willis Tucker Park
Willing to plan an outing up North? You’ll be glad you did if your trip includes a stop at splash pad at the Willis Tucker Park. With features like: water domes, aqua jumpers, power volcano and the silverflow cannon, you know it’s gonna be good. This is one rockin’ park and a perfect excuse to put on your bathing suit. Insider Tip: To get the water party started, push the top of the yellow pedestal. Also, avoid going from 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm, when everything shuts off for daily maintenance. But hey, the kids need naps anyways, right?

Willis Tucker Park
6705 Puget Park Drive
Snohomish, Wa  98296
Online: co.snohomish.wa.us/Departments/Parks/Activities_Programs/Spray_Pad.htm

Cost: Free
Dates: May 25 – September 2013
Time: 10:00 am – 8:00 pm (closed 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm daily)

willis tucker spray park

Daleway Park
Lynnwood’s sweet little splash pad has fun fountains as well as a bucket-dumping tower that will illicit ear-piercing squeals of joy from your tots. It’s in a nicely wooded park with picnic tables and shady walks as well.

Daleway Park
19015 64th Avenue West
Lynnwood, Wa 98036
Online: lynnwood.wa.us/PlayLynnwood/Parks/Daleway-Park/Spray-Parks.htm

Cost: Free
Dates: June – September 2, 2013 (on sunny/warm days)
Time: 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Henry Moses Aquatic Center
Renton has a splash-tastic outdoor water park with a lap pool, waterslides, a lazy river, a wave machine, anda great toddler spray and play area. There is a shade zone, locker rooms and a concession stand for snacks to make this trip to Renton even sweeter! This is also a great spot for outdoor swim lessons if that’s on your to-do list this summer. This hot spot is always packed so come prepared for the very best kind of mischief and mayhem!

Henry Moses Aquatic Center
1719 SE Maple Valley Highway
Renton, WA 98057
425-430-6780
Online: rentonwa.gov/living/default.aspx?id=190

Cost: $3 to $14; $50 season pass; discounts available for Renton residents
Dates: June 15 – September, 2013
Time: 6:00 am – 10:00 pm (but check the schedule for open swim times before going)

Eastside Beaches

If you prefer to cool off while digging your toes into sand, you’re in luck! The Eastside is chalk-full of beautiful lakefront beaches. With rare exception, all have lifeguards on duty and playgrounds to boot, so grab your shovels, buckets and sunscreen and get thee to some beachy goodness, STAT!

Chism Beach

Chism Beach Park
Of the many sweet neighborhoody parks in Bellevue, Chism Beach Park is the largest on the waterfront and it has a great family beach in the lower section. There’s a small but workable playground and a nice sandy area along the lake for digging and castle making. The older kids will enjoy swimming out to the floating dock while the little ones splish-splash in the wading area.

Chism Beach Park
9600 SE 11th Street
Bellevue, Wa 98004
Online: cityofbellevue.org/chism_beach.htm

Cost: Free
Dates: Daily (lifeguards on duty June 29 – August 24)
Time: Dawn until dusk (lifeguards on duty 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm)

Clyde Beach Park
For a well-manicured beach right in the city, try Clyde Beach Park. The sloping lawn ends in a mini-amphitheater where you’ll find the the pirate ship-themed playground; the beach is just below. Lots of great picnic spots here, especially on weekdays when you won’t have to share it with quite as many other folks.

Clyde Beach Park
2-92nd Avenue NE
Bellevue, Wa 98004
Online: ci.bellevue.wa.us/clyde_beach.htm

Cost: Free
Dates: Daily (lifeguards on duty June 29 – August 24)
Time: Dawn until dusk (lifeguards on duty 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm)

Clyde Beach

Enatai Beach Park
Practically underneath I-90, this might seem like an odd location for waterfront fun, but this park has a few unique features you won’t want to miss. First off, there are picnic tables sitting above the boathouse, so you can have your lunch practically on top of the water! And if the kiddos are looking for some boating adventures, you can rent canoes and kayaks here from Cascade Canoe and Kayak, and paddle up the Mercer Slough.

Enatai Beach Park
10661 SE 25th Street
Bellevue, Wa 98004
Online: ci.bellevue.wa.us/enatai_neighborhood.htm

Cost: Free
Dates: Daily (lifeguards on duty June 22 – September 2)
Time: Dawn until dusk (lifeguards on duty 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm)

sand angel

Meydenbauer Beach Park
A secret garden-like park in the middle of Bellevue is Meydenbauer Beach Park. There are winding trails (paved, but a bit steep for fully-loaded strollers!) through a narrow swatch of wooded green space ending in a small beach with wonderful views of Lake Washington. It may be pint size, but it’s big on fun. The park has all the normal amenities (including a playground and reservable picnic tables) and for the true swimmers out there… a 50-meter swim lane in addition to the kiddie swim area.

Meydenbauer Beach Park
419-98th Avenue NE
Bellevue, Wa 98004
Online: bellevue.wa.us/meydenbauer_beach.htm

Cost: Free
Dates: Daily (lifeguards on duty June 22 – September 2)
Time: Dawn until dusk (lifeguards on duty 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm)

Newcastle Beach Park
South of the Mercer Slough, Newcastle Beach Park is the largest beach in Bellevue. A tree-lined path welcomes you to the beach and a nice grass play area (bring your Frisbee!). There’s also a great playground for the Littles, and a huge dock that’s so big (300 ft long) you can almost convince yourself it’s a mini-boardwalk. The nice shallow water here gets warm (well, warm for Seattle), so fair warning that it might be even harder than usual to drag the kids out of the water.

Newcastle Beach Park
4400 Lake Washington Blvd SE
Bellevue, Wa 98004
Online: ci.bellevue.wa.us/newcastle_beach.htm

Cost: Free
Dates: Daily (lifeguards on duty June 22 – September 2)
Time: Dawn until dusk (lifeguards on duty 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm)

Idylwood Park
Although dwarfed by its enormous neighbor to the north (Marymoor Park), Idylwood Park is in fact quite idyllic. Located on the northeast end of Lake Sammamish, there’s a nice sandy beach, a new(ish) playground with separate space for toddlers and older kids, and tons of shady picnic tables. Come early or look for the overflow parking lot on sunny days, as this place gets packed!

Idylwood Park
3650 West Lake Sammamish Pkwy NE (between 36th St & N 177th Ave)
Redmond, Wa 98052
Online: ci.redmond.wa.us/cms/one.aspx?portalId=169&pageId=4105

Cost: Free
Dates: Daily
Time: 6:30 am until dusk

idylwood park

Vasa Park Resort
In East Bellevue, along the shores of Lake Sammamish, is the private Vasa Park Resort. Part campground, part summer camp, part family-friendly park, this is the spot for corporate summer picnics or uber family reunions… or just a fabulously fun day with your little ones. You can swim in the weed-free waters, rent jet skis, slip down water slides, shoot hoops; then shower up in the nice and tidy bathrooms before heading home.

Vasa Park Resort
3560 West Lake Sammamish Parkway SE
Bellevue, Wa 98008
425-746-3260
Online: vasaparkresort.com/1502.html

Cost: $2 for kids 6-12; $4 for adults
Dates: May 15 – October 15, 2013
Time: 9:00 am – 8:00 pm

vasa beach park

Lake Sammamish State Park
For those close to Issaquah or who’ve had a morning on Tiger Mountain and are looking for a beach, head to the state park at the base of Lake Sammamish. With more than a mile of waterfront, you’ll be sure to find a secluded spot, if that’s what you are looking for. There are oodles of green spaces for lawn games or tag, picnic tables galore, a playground and tons of parking! Don’t forget your Discover Pass.

Lake Sammamish State Park
2000 NW Sammamish Road
Issaquah, Wa 98027‎
425-455-7010
Online: parks.wa.gov/parks/?selectedpark=Lake%20Sammamish

Cost: $10 (one day pass), $30 (yearly pass)
Dates: Daily
Time: 6:30 am until dusk

Pine Lake Park
The “little sister” just east of Lake Sammamish is Pine Lake and Pine Lake Park. A gorgeously wooded park, Pine Lake Park is probably most famous for hosting the annual Summer Nights at the Park concert series, but the beach is lovely and there are also two new play areas for the kids to enjoy.

Pine Lake Park
2401 228th Ave SE
Sammamish, Wa 98075
425-295-0584
Online: ci.sammamish.wa.us/departments/parksandrec/PineLakePark.aspx

Cost: Free
Dates: Daily (lifeguards on duty June 15 – September 2)
Time: 6:00 am until dusk (lifeguards on duty 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm)

pine lake park

Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park
On the very southern tip of Lake Washington, you’ll find the super sunny Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park. The city of Renton hosts lots of festivals here throughout the summer, including Kid’s Fishing Derbies and 4th of July events. The little ones will love watching to boats coming and going from the busy boat launch and grabbing fish and chips from Ivars or a milkshake from Kid Valley after their swim. It’s a happening place in the summer, so come early for a parking spot!

Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park
1201 Lake Washington Boulevard North
Renton, Wa 98055
425-430-6700
Online: rentonwa.gov/living/default.aspx?id=74

Cost: Free
Dates: Daily (lifeguards on duty June 16 – September 2)
Time: 6:00 am until dusk (lifeguards on duty 12:00 pm – 8:00 pm)

Luther Burbank Park
If you’re looking for a beach to bring Fido to, this park is it! There’s a great off-leash area (complete with a hose off area for your pup post swim). Note: The playground is getting a major face-lift this year so plan to spend your time at the beach or wandering the many trails.

Luther Burbank Park
2040 84th Ave SE
Mercer Island, Wa 98040
Online: mercergov.org/page.asp?navid=1138

Cost: Free
Dates: Daily (lifeguards on duty late June – September 2)
Time: 6:00 am until dusk (lifeguards on duty 11:00 am – 6:00 pm)

LutherBurbank

Houghton Beach Park
Kirklandians love Houghton Beach. With great views of Seattle and the Olympics, and a fabulous playground directly next to the toddler-friendly beach (not to mention it’s located super conveniently downtown, right on Lake Washington Boulevard), this is a popular spot for folks looking for sun and surf on the Eastside. (Ok, there’s actually NO real surf here. The launch is only for non-motorized boats, so it’s perfect for beginners who want to rent their first kayak).

Houghton Beach Park
5811 Lake Washington Boulevard
Kirkland, Wa 98033
425-430-6700
Online: myparksandrecreation.com/parkstrails/Details.aspx?pid=151

Cost: Free
Dates: Daily (lifeguards on duty July 1 – September 2 on days when temps reach above 65 degrees)
Time: 6:00 am until dusk (lifeguards on duty 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm)

Waverly Beach Park
A small park (especially when compared to its big neighbor Juanita Beach), Waverly Beach Park is big on charm. With a fully enclosed swimming area (think u-shaped dock), this is a perfect spot for the kiddos to try out their new back float. There’s also some nice shady spots near the water and this beach has a bit quieter pace than some of the bigger beaches nearby.

Waverly Beach Park
633 Waverly Way
Kirkland, WA 98033
425-587-3300
Online: myparksandrecreation.com/parkstrails/Details.aspx?pid=175

Cost: Free
Dates: Daily (lifeguards on duty July 1 – September 2 on days when temps reach above 65 degrees)
Time: 6:00 am until dusk (lifeguards on duty 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm)

Juanita Beach Park
Recently revamped and reopened, Juanita Beach Park in Kirkland now sports new walking paths, new landscaping, new public art and a nice new parking lot. Also, for the first time there will be lifeguards on duty this year, and the swimming area is enclosed, so it’s great for waders and for folks who want a “pool” experience at the beach. If you haven’t been in a while, it’s definitely time to revisit this oldie, that’s even more of a goodie! Expect it to be busy… good thing the park is big.

Juanita Beach Park
9703 NE Juanita Drive
Kirkland, Wa 98034

Online: kirklandwa.gov/depart/parks/Online_Parks_Guide/Parks_Pop-up_Main/Parks_and_Community_Services__Juanita_Beach_Park.htm

Cost: Free
Dates: Daily (lifeguards on duty July 1 – September 2 on days when temps reach above 65 degrees)
Time: 6:00 am until dusk (lifeguards on duty 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm)

juanita beach park

St. Edward State Park
Once a Catholic seminary, this is a park with some history! Go and check out the architecture and grounds, or go on a nice hike… before you make your way down to the water for a little dip. The ginormous playground here is not to be missed; there are turrets and towers galore that your princes and princesses will surely love. Don’t forget your Discover Pass!

St. Edward State Park
14445 Juanita Drive NE
Kenmore, Wa 98028
Online: parks.wa.gov/parks/?selectedpark=Saint%20Edward

Cost: $10 (one day pass), $30 (yearly pass)
Dates: Daily
Time: 8:00 am until dusk

Where is your favorite place to splash around on the Eastside? Let us know in the comments section below.

–Katie Gruver

Photo Credit: Megan Mayfield, Lake Washington Parks, Redmond Town Center Facebook page, Kilmerville Blog, Ken L via Yelp, Lake Washington Parks, Kristina Moy, Maria C via Yelp, and ChaoChao Wong, Rian Y via Yelp

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