kidsplayTime to tote a tot or two up north — at least as far as Northgate Park, where you’ll find ample parking and oodles to do in the threesome combo of Library, Community Center and fantastic fenced park. Whether you’ve just dropped off the big sis at school, or if you’ve arrived with the whole gang, there’s plenty to entertain and delight.

Those oh-so-grown up preschoolers can show off their daredevil skills by tightrope-walking along a low cement wall that winds cleverly amongst smaller play structures, a sandbox and bigger climbing areas and slides. Should the kiddos stray, you’ll feel safe with the mostly fenced area and sturdy new play structures. Ample swings for both babes and big kids round out the adventure. Look both ways and across the street to Northgate mall’s choice of food fare, from Red Robin burgers to Bluefin Sushi’s fantastic kid-friendly buffet! Stop by Barnes & Noble, Motherhood Maternity or Toys “R” Us if you’ve got time before the kids’ nap. Tip: hit the drive-thru Starbucks on your way home, and you’ll be ready to tackle that pesky laundry pile.

Bonus: Northgate Library and Community Center both offer indoor story times and kids playroom adventures on those drizzly mornings.

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Northgate Park: http://www.seattle.gov/parks/park_detail.asp?ID=4445

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Northgate Mall: http://www.simon.com/mall/default.aspx?ID=236

Community Center: http://www.cityofseattle.net/parks/centers/northgate.htm

Northgate Library http://www.spl.org/default.asp?pageID=branch_open&branchID=21