Eek! Somehow it’s almost the end of August. Before you know it, you’ll be preparing to fall back into the school routine and those dreaded early morning tantrums. But before the lazy days of summer become just a distant memory, drop everything, get outside and pack in as much summer as you possibly can. Here are 40 fun ideas to make your family’s last days of summer as memorable as the first.


photo: Kristina Moy

1. Go on a weekend road trip to Suncadia Resort, Lake Chelan or Seabrook.

2. We’re psyched about bikes: ride the trails at Duthie Hill Bike Park or saddle up for Bicycle Sunday.

3. Pet the pigs, sheep and goats at a nearby farm park.


photo: Allison Sutcliffe

4. Hike, swim and picnic around Rattlesnake Lake.

5. Take one last splash in a Seattle or Eastside wading pool or splash pad before they close after Labor Day.

6. Dine at one of our favorite spots for fish and chips.

Little Chinook’s

photo: Greg B. via Yelp

7. Head to the Olympic Peninsula and go on a banana slug safari in the Hoh Rainforest, paddle a boat on Lake Crescent, soak in Sol Duc Hot Springs or explore low tide at Dungeness Spit.

8. Rent a cabin at one of these picturesque state parks or try yurt camping.

9. Throw in the towels and head to Jetty Island, just a 30-minute drive north of Seattle.

jetty island_jana ablin

photo: Jana Ablin

10. Explore the Center for Wooden Boats, Ballard Locks and Lake Union Park without spending a dime.

11. Head to Agua Verde for lunch or dinner and reserve kayaks for a before or after meal paddle around the lake.

12. Take your crew to Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium to see the baby goats, the clouded leopard cubs and the zoo’s highly entertaining animal show: Indiana Bones and the Golden Treasure.

point defiance zoo & aquarium

photo: Kristina Moy

13. Pack a picnic lunch and find your zen at one of these botanical gardens.

14. Catch the last of the Sounds of Summer Concert series at University Village. Psst! Don’t miss the fun crafts and activities for kids while you’re there.

15. Even though the waterfront is still under construction, the businesses are open and there’s plenty do—Seattle Aquarium, Ye Old Curiosity Shop, Miners Landing, Seattle Great Wheel—along with fountains to explore and games to play along the way.

Ye Olde Curiosity Shop

photo: Kristina Moy

16. Cool off with a bowl of shave ice or let your taste buds relax in the comforts of island-inspired cuisine at our favorite Hawaiian restaurants.

17. Grab a pint with your pint-sized crew at one of our favorite brewhouses.

18. Ride the kiddie amusement park rides at Remlinger Farms.

Remlinger Farms

photo: Remlinger Farms

19. Introduce your little one to the toys from your childhood at MOHAI’s latest exhibit: Toys of the 50s, 60s and 70s. Psst… the exhibit is only in Seattle until September 25.

20. Make the most of summer by taking mealtime outdoors at one of our favorite family-friendly patios.

21. Grin and bear it, because the kids will LOVE it: Wild Waves & Enchanted Village!


photo: Helen Walker Green

22. Go on a late summer road trip and pack in as much family time as you possibly can.

23. Two words: ice cream! Grab a scoop (or two!) at one of our favorite shops.

24. Introduce your kids to the Puget Sound region’s rich Native American Heritage at Tillicum Village.

Tillicum Village

photo: Kristina Moy

25. Dig out your hiking poles and strap your sidekick into the carrier, the Naches Loop Trail is the everything bagel of family hikes. Clocking in around three miles means even the mini-est hikers can make this trek.

26. Satisfy your sweet tooth at Seattle’s newest French bakery.

27. Hop a ferry and spend a night or two at the beautiful Alderbrook Resort & Spa. Paddle around Hood Canal, take a historic cruise aboard the Lady Alderbrook, swim in the huge indoor pool or rejuvenate at the spa. It’s the perfect place to celebrate the end the summer!

ivars and alderbrook 129

photo: Kristina Moy

28. Grab your comfy chairs, blankets and movie snacks and settle in for a free or super cheap outdoor movie under the Seattle starry skies.

29. Head to the Henry Moses Aquatic Center before it closes for the season.

30. Take a sweet cruise around Lake Union.

Entance to Ice Cream Boat Cruise

photo: Allison Sutcliffe

31. Need a break from the sun? Chill out at one of our favorite indoor play places.

32. Show your crew the silly side of Seattle at these spots not necessarily found in the tourist guidebooks.

33. End summer with a trip to the Washington State Fair. Psst! Be sure to get a bag of Fisher Scones for the car ride home.

WA State Fair 2013

photo: Patrick Hagerty

34. Take your crew to Bumbershoot to experience great tunes from all music genres, urban craft vendors and interactive programming and activities in the Youngershoot Kids’ Zone.

35. Head to Seattle’s Laurelhurst neighborhood for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

36. Sign up for Seattle’s second annual Base 2 Space fundraiser. Not only will you get to climb 832 steps to the tip-top of the Needle, you’ll get a bird’s-eye view of the city on your way up. Can you spot your house?

Base 2 space

photo: Kristina Moy

37. The world’s largest display of LEGO art is currently residing at the Pacific Science Center. But hurry… September 11 is the last day you’ll be able to catch this brick-tastic display!

38. Des Voigne Cellars puts the fun in wine (and beer) tasting for the whole fam. Head to this Woodinville hot spot to sample the new lineup of craft beers from B Side Brewing and current releases from Des Voigne Cellars and let the kiddies enjoy the games and activities on site.

39. Grab your clubs and hit the links with your pint-sized posse.

40. Hit your local farmers market or venture to a new one in a different ‘hood for fresh fruits and veggies, live entertainment and kids’ activities that last well into the evening hours.

Ready, set, go! Did we miss anything? What’s on your end of summer bucket list? Tell us in the Comments below!

— Kristina Moy