Back-to-school season is here which means finding cheap and free entertainment to get you through the last few weeks of summer break is a must. (Because who has money to spend on activities when you’ve got new shoes and clothes to buy along with a school supply list a mile long.) That’s why we rounded up six parks that are worthy of the drive to get to and are guaranteed to keep everyone in your crew busy for hours. Read on and get ready to plan a day (or two!) at the park.

Forest Park – Everett, Wa

Perhaps the prettiest park in the city of Everett is also the "funnest.” Surrounded by soft wood chips, the colorful and interactive playground at Forest Park is sectioned for big kids and little tykes. Older teens and adults will enjoy the basketball, tennis and street hockey courts as well as the baseball field. There is also a lot of green grass to spread out on for sunbathing or listening to one of the free music concerts if you’re lucky. To cool off, enjoy a well-shaded walk through the forest or bring your little rug rats to the water playground (open May-September). Another great feature during the summer months is the Animal Farm. Open daily (June 24-August 20, 2017), kids can get up close and personal with ponies, pigs, goats, rabbits and ducks. Admission is free, but donations are gladly accepted.

802 E. Mukilteo Blvd.
Everett, Wa 98203
Online: everettwa.gov

photo: Kevin W. via Yelp

Pack a Lunch
All six of these destinations make for great picnics areas, with or without a table. Don’t worry about being too fancy either. Pack some sandwiches or some lunch meat and cheese sticks and let the Littles roll their own lunch.

Pack a Few Extra Supplies
You can never have too many wet wipes and paper towels on hand for whatever you kids might get into. Also, think about sunscreen, Band-Aids and anything that might spoil your day if you have to leave early.

Pack Extra Clothes
Living in Seattle is unpredictable and with most of these parks, there is a good chance you’ll get wet. Be sure to pack a towel and a hoodie (in case it gets chilly) and a change of clothes is always a good idea.

Does your family have a favorite park to visit during the summer months? Tell us in the comments below.  

— Jeffrey Totey