We all know Lake City is the place to go forLakeCityPlayground-2 car dealerships, but this area of NE Seattle is also home to many kid-friendly nooks! A great place to start is Lake City Playground–a spacious, open playground with a few neat blasts from the past, including a trio of metal slides. Grass a-plenty gives kiddos freedom to run around, while tiny tots explore on safe-to-climb structures. Plenty of parking surrounds, and scattered trees are a surefire hit for hide-n-seek. Too wet to go out? Just a few blocks away, you’ll find the Lake City Libary for story times, and Seattle Gymnastics Academy for drop-in playtime. Cart the kiddos another block or two and you’re ready for some family-friendly Mexican fare at Jalisco’s. Affordable prices, ample seating, and squeaky clean highchairs won us over. Kids eat for $2 on Sundays, and portions are big enough to share. Next stop, trains–and we’re not talking Thomas. Lake City is famous for the North End Train Center–a store with everything you need for the model train hobbyist. The store owners encourage children to visit, believing hobbies like model railroading are very beneficial for youth. They organized the Lake City & Western Model Railroad Club, which gives the kids a Pass good for 10% off non-sale items, and plans field trips twice a year. Stop and stare for hours, or pick up some tracks to take home for your own train table. Either way, we’re sure you’ll be returning to this (and the others) Lake City gem soon!

–Matina Fresenius