Hello Sunshine: 75 Summer Activities to Check Off Your Bucket List

School is almost out for summer, which means you’ll soon be searching for ways to avoid the dreaded “I’m bored” complaints from your kiddos. Luckily, there’s no shortage of parks, beaches, wading pools, museums, and more just begging to be explored with your fearless leaders. We’ve rounded up 75 activities that highlight some of our favorite kid-friendly things to do around the Emerald City (and beyond). So get out there and soak it all up!


1. Visit an indie bookstore (or two!). Bonus if you hit a free storytime.

2. Hit the newest (and coolest!) indoor pool north of Seattle. It’s the perfect place to escape the rain clouds or beat the summer heat.

3. Splish and splash on those hot summer days at one of these awesome spray parks on the Eastside.

4. Explore 20 hidden gems you may not know about from Auburn to Everett.

5. Eastside families need to put Summer Outdoor Movies in the Park dates on their calendar, located at Downtown Bellevue Park.

6. Book a cabin at Seattle’s only in-city campground.

7. Spend the day at Seattle’s best beach. Psst! You might even see a few Seafair pirates.

8. The Fun Forest at the Seattle Center may be long gone (RIP), but Wild Waves Theme Park is the place to go for water slides and carnival rides galore!

wild waves theme park

9. Pack a picnic lunch and explore a sweet farm in the heart of Bellevue.

10. Rainy summer day? Grab some friends and book a group tour at Theo’s Chocolate Factory.

11. Cool off a one of Seattle’s many wading pools or spray parks (as long as the forecast calls for 70 degrees or above). Check the updated schedule.

12. Make the drive to check out the coolest history exhibit we’ve ever seen!

13. Cougars? In Issaquah? (No, not that kind of cougar!) We love the Cougar Mountain Zoo!

14. Summertime is made for free (outdoor) summer concerts and city of Seattle will be rockin’ all summer long.

15. Explore your favorite Seattle beach with the experts from the Seattle Aquarium in their Beach Naturalist Program.

Low Tide girls in pink jackets

16. Hit a hole in one or at least putt a few balls around the course at one of Seattle’s kid-friendly golf courses or mini golf courses.

17. Too hot for the beach, or more likely too rainy? Hit the coolest learning store on the block!

18. Ride the ferry to an island that will make you feel like you’re worlds away from the city. Daily runs start on July 5 and run through September 1, 2014.

19. You don’t want to miss Thomas the Tank Engine, Sir Topham Hatt and their Sodor friends at this annual summer event at Northwest Railway Museum.

20. Take the kiddos to Vashon Island to explore the unique and quirky things this quaint island has to offer.

21. See how many cheap (or free!) kid-friendly attractions you can hit in one day.

22. Sample some of Seattle’s best places to eat… all at once! The Bite of Seattle is a summer fave and admission is always free!

23. Color your way through Seattle, exploring some old faves and discovering some new ones along the way.

24. Hit these kid-friendly wineries and enjoy gourmet bites with your crew afterwards at these Woodinville hot spots.


25. Take a break from the beach to hit one of these museums perfect for the under 5 set.

26. Strap on your skates and hit one of these family-friendly rinks.

27. Climb aboard a fire engine and check out fire safety equipment with your fire truck-obsessed kiddo.

28. Let your little dumplings fill their plates with steamed, sautéed and sauced nibbles at one of these eight kid-pleasing dim sum spots.

29. Does your kiddo love creepy crawlers? Indulge them with a trip to the Serpentarium.

30. Let your skater dude or dudette learn how to carve, grind and kickflip at this awesome skatepark in Fremont.

31. Get your flipper fingers ready. All the cool kids (and their parents) will be hanging out at the Seattle Pinball Museum this summer.

32. Sure you’ve been camping, but how about camping in a yurt?

33. When the mercury really starts to heat up, make a day of it at one of these outdoor community pools.

34. Sign up for a Kids on the Farm Tour with Farmer Jayne at Kelsey Creek Farm.

35. Book a trip to Tillicum Village on Blake Island. Your kids will love riding the Argosy cruise ship and exploring the island and you’ll love the salmon bake and lively entertainment.

36. Pack up the family roadster and hit a kid-friendly campground. Don’t forget to bring along the s’mores makings.

S'mores boy and girl camping

37. Seattle is home to many well-known parks, but it’s the neighborhood pocket park that is the jewel in the crown of Seattle’s regal parks system.

38. Family-friendly concerts, face painting and activities at family-friendly University Village? Yes, please!

39. Cool off with a scoop (or two!) of your fave ice cream, custard, gelato or froyo in Seattle and on the Eastside.

40. CrossFit is one fitness trend that isn’t going away any time soon so jump on the bandwagon with your kids!

41. Stay cool this summer with free games of bowling.

42. Kids growing like weeds? Hit this awesome consignment store in the Junction and you can shop ’til you drop while the kiddos play.

43. Check out a Seattle neighborhood loaded with industrialized-sized good eats.

44. While hiking Mt. Si should be reserved for an adult-only day date, Little Si is the perfect challenge for kids who are up to more than a leisurely nature stroll.

45. Mark your calendars! These popular museums offer free (or super cheap) museum days.

46.  Head to the cutest and happening-ist little neighborhood in Southeast Seattle.

47. Lace up your tennis, dust off the jogging stroller and hit the pavement with your lil’ racers.

Malia Racing

48. Pack a picnic lunch and take the kiddos on a playdate at one of Seattle’s awesome parks and playgrounds.

49. Spend the day playing tourist in Seattle.

50. Go berry picking–strawberries in June, raspberries in July, and blueberries in August.

51. Planning a birthday party this summer? Blow out the candles at one of several Seattle-area create and eat birthday party hot spots.

52. Hit Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium this summer where you can ride a camel, get up close and personal with the animals, and see a live animal show.

53. Give a Seattle food fad a try. Which one is your favorite?

54. Email your mama friends and get together for lunch or dinner at this kid-friendly hot spot.

55. There’s nothing like grubbing on a juicy burger to really make it feel like summertime.

56. Zip through these cool Seattle parks your kiddos will love.

57. Try one (or more) of these go-to educational activities the whole family will enjoy.

58. Visit the Gum Wall in Post Alley, run the bases at Safeco Field, and hit these eight other bucket list items for kids under 10.

Leave a Trace

59. Take a weekend getaway to this family-friendly resort known for its expansive mountain and lake views and kid-centric amenities.

60. Ride scooters or bikes through the mile-long tunnel that goes from Sam Smith Park in Mt. Baker to the I-90 lid. Then turn around and come back and play at the playground.

61. Stroll down this neighborhood avenue for a day of shopping, eating, and browsing through the cool stores.

62. Take a tour of the Boeing factory where they make real-life airplanes and watch your plane-crazy kid’s eyes go wide with excitement.

63. Grab a curbside seat along 4th Ave. to see this magnificent summer parade make its way through downtown Seattle.

64. Pump up those bike tires and head out for a leisurely ride around Lake Union.

65. You know we love Portland Red Tricycle – check the events calendar and plan a weekend getaway to Seattle’s sister city to the south!

66. Ever wonder where all those ferries go? Find out! Head to Bainbridge, Vashon, or Whidbey Island to see what’s on the other side!

67. Pack a picnic lunch and hit the trails of Tiger Mountain.


68. Saddle up this summer and trot down the trail on horseback.

69. Grab a “discovery backpack” at this nature center and explore the outdoors with your kiddos.

70. Treat your kids to an indoor beach day complete with tropical-themed food and games.

71. Part farm, part carnival, this popular family attraction in Carnation has been entertaining families for decades and is the perfect place to spend a summer day.

72. Go on a mini family vaca where you don’t need to bring sunscreen.

73. Take your little daredevils on a high-flying adventure where they can get some serious air.

74. Find a new way to get to Alki Beach – take the Water Taxi.

75. Take the bus downtown and get lost in a good read at the mother ship. Then, stroll through the Pike Place Market to pick up fresh fruits and veggies. Don’t forget dessert–mini doughnuts anyone?

What do you have planned with the kids this summer? Share your ideas with us in the comments section below.

– Kristina Moy & Katie Kavulla

Photos courtesy of Marcy Grantor, Erin Cranston, Dianna Clark, Wild Waves Theme Park Facebook page & Natalia Dotto Photography