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Go Outside and Play: 19 Awesome Parks & Playgrounds

Taking the kiddos to the park or playground to run around and get the sillies out is probably one of the easiest, funnest, and cheapest forms of family entertainment. It’s also a great excuse to enjoy some much-needed fresh air after being cooped up in the house all winter. Lucky for us, we live in a city where there’s practically a park or playground around every corner. In no particular order, we’ve rounded up 19 awesome parks and playgrounds in and around Seattle. So throw on your coat and shoes, load the kiddos in the car, and head to the park to play!

Kids on slide

1. Luther Burbank Park on Mercer Island
Located between Seattle and Bellevue, Mercer Island serves home to beautiful Luther Burbank Park. Alongside Washington Lake, Luther Burbank Park has tennis courts, nature trails, beaches, and picnic areas. The playground, however, remains Luther Burbank Park’s best asset for Seattle kids. In the center of tall trees, the playground’s swings, tunnel, and climbing area will certainly satisfy your kids’ hunger for joy and excitement.

2040 84th Avenue Southeast
Mercer Island, Wa 98040

Luther Burbank Park

2. Cal Anderson Park
This park has just about everything for whatever kind of mood your kiddos are in. If they feel like running around, they can tear through the meadow and play frisbee or catch. For play time, head to the play area and monkey around the climbing structure. Splash in the wading pool during the summer or check out the fountains. They even have a few oversized chess boards to play on. So cool!

1635 11th Avenue
Seattle, Wa 98119

Cal Anderson Park

3. Saint Edward State Park
Once a Catholic seminary, the area is now an expansive 316-acre park complete with short hiking trails (dogs are welcome if leashed) and beautiful views of Lake Washington. There are plenty of open spaces to run around and play, and a picnic area with tables and restrooms. Two play structures (one toddler, one big kid) have things to climb on, in, under and through. Don’t miss out on the slides, sand pits, swings and even a climbing wall. Don’t forget your Discovery Pass to avoid the steep $10 day fee.

14445 Juanita Drive NE
Kenmore, Wa 98028

4. North Seattle’s Forest Park Playground
Situated a few miles from the Imagine Children’s Museum, Everett’s Forest Park remains one of the Seattle metropolitan area’s funnest outdoor locations. Forest Park provides kids with a bevy of kid-friendly activities. In addition to visiting the park’s animal farm, take your young ones to Forest Park’s water-spray playground in the summer for some aquatic fun.

800 E Mukilteo Boulevard
Everett, Wa 98203

forest park playground

5. Seattle’s Washington Park Arboretum
Overlooked and managed by the University of Washington and the City of Seattle, Washington Park Arboretum stands as the perfect place for Seattle kids to experience nature. Visiting Washington Park’s Japanese Garden, Wilcox footbridge, ponds, and nature trails will undoubtedly quench your kids’ thirst for enjoying the outdoors.

2300 Arboretum Drive East
Seattle, Wa 98112

6. Lincoln Park
Located in West Seattle, this fab park not only has two playgrounds (with an awesome zip line!), several ball fields, four miles of biking trails, and a paved trail along it’s beautiful beach, but the city’s only outdoor heated saltwater pool. Pack a picnic lunch and your binoculars (the park is home to several pairs of bald eagles and owls) and plan to make a day of it.

8011 Fauntleroy Way SW
Seattle, Wa 98136Lincoln Park

7. Green Lake Park’s Kids Playground
Green Lake Park is one of Seattle’s biggest and best recreational parks. Surrounding a gorgeous lake, Green Lake Park is a great place to enjoy a sunny day. Located close to the Green Lake Community Center, the park’s playground caters to toddler and bigger-kid play. If you got some free time, don’t hesitate to take your kids to Green Lake Park’s kid playground. They’ll love it!

7201 East Greenlake Drive North
Seattle, Wa 98115

8. Junior League Playground in Seattle’s Magnuson Park
Junior League of Seattle’s Playground is the city’s largest playground for young kids. The play area has 20,000 square feet of climbing, sandbox, and swinging and sliding fun. After taking a stroll with the dog and kids around beautiful Magnuson Park, don’t miss out on one of Seattle’s most famous playgrounds. It’s an experience your kids will never forget.

7400 Sand Point Way NE
Seattle, Wa 98115

9. Jefferson Park
This park has an awesome playground for kids. Climbing walls, sandbox, and tons of wide open paved trail for those bike riders. Plus, the views of Olympics, Elliott Bay, Downtown, Space Needle, AND the Cascades are incredible. This is a great place to fly a kite because the winds crest off the ridge.

3801 Beacon Avenue South
Seattle, Wa 98108

Jefferson Park

10. Seattle’s Carkeek Park Kids Playground
If you suddenly feel the urge to experience Seattle’s wetland area, take a trip with the kids to Carkeek Park. After learning about the wetlands’ flora and fauna, your kids can expend some energy at the Carkeek playground. Artistically designed to match the amazing views of Puget Sound, Carkeek Park’s kids playground has a salmon-shaped slide, a gigantic sandbox, and a set of seesaws and swings.

950 NW Carkeek Park Road
Seattle, Wa 98177

11. Mercerdale Park Playground
Located in the center of Seattle’s Mercer Island, Mercerdale Park playground is a wonderful play area for Seattle kids. The playground’s train theme sets the stage for hours of fun. If you feel like strolling the youngsters around, take advantage of the playground’s paved walkways.

3249 78TH Avenue SE
Mercer Island, Wa 98040

MPR-Mercerdale-train

12. Seattle’s Ravenna Park and Playground
All Seattle kids should visit Ravenna playground. At the Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center, you and your kids will find an incredible indoor playground area. Home to climbing structures, slides, ride-on cars and motorcycles, this Seattle playground is certainly one of the city’s finest.

5520 Ravenna Avenue NE
Seattle, Wa 98105

13. O. O. Denny Park
If you’re looking for playground equipment, you won’t find any here…just yet. What you will find are easy hiking trails, picnic tables and charcoal grills, a picturesque lakefront, and a rocky beach–all great for exploring the great outdoors. Later this year, a new playground is expected to be built so stay tuned.

12400 Holmes Point Drive Northeast
Kirkland, Wa 98034

O.O Denny Park 1

14. Maple Leaf Park and Kids Playground
Perhaps Seattle’s most overlooked play area, Maple Leaf playground lies in the heart of Maple Leaf neighborhood. This peaceful playground overlooks a wonderful view of the city. Always packed with many kids, Maple Leaf playground possesses an environment perfect for your children to make friends with other Seattle kids.

1020 NE 82nd Street
Seattle, Wa 98115

15. Waterfall Garden Park
A true hidden gem in the city of Seattle! This Pioneer Square park is home to a 22-foot, man-made waterfall that will easily make you forget that you’re in the middle of the city.  There aren’t a lot of bells and whistles at this park, but there are tables for snacks and games.

219 Second Avenue South
Seattle, Wa 98104

seattle-waterfall-garden

16. Seattle’s Kubota Garden
Collect the kids and drive down to Seattle’s Kubota Garden located in Rainier Beach neighborhood. This scenic park encompasses an area brimming with colorful flowers, small lakes and streams, forested walkways, and beautiful bridges. In short, Kubota Garden is a wonderful venue for all Seattle kids.

Renton Avenue South & 55th Avenue South
Seattle, Wa 98118

17. Willis Tucker Community Park
Located in Mill Creek near Snohomish, Willis Tucker Park is huge with lots of room to play and spread out. The main highlight of this park is the awesome water spray area. While it’s mostly dominated by 5 year olds during the summer months, little ones can still play around–just be careful of the wet cement!

6705 Puget Park Drive
Snohomish, Wa 98296

Willis Tucker Community Park

18. Seward Park
Seward Park is home to an old growth forest, a bike and walking path (with an amazing waterfront view), an amphitheater, and miles of hiking trails. Check out the children’s play area, renovated with a ‘naturalistic’ flavor. When your kid tires of playing with the interactive art, you might want to try exploring the beautiful native plant gardens.

5895 Lake Washington Boulevard South
Seattle, Wa 98118

19. Newcastle Beach Park
Newcastle Beach Park is the largest beach park in Bellevue and perfect for the entire fam. In addition to a large open field (perfect for a game of Frisbee or throwing around a football) and a sandy swimming beach, this beach park has a nature trail and train themed playground equipment. A 300-foot dock and convenient picnic facilities make this park a popular family destination during the spring and summer months. 

4400 Lake Washington Boulevard SE
Bellevue, WA

Newcastle Beach Park

What parks and playgrounds do your family love to visit? Tell us in a comment below.

–Kristina Moy & Katie Kavulla

Photo credit: Seattle Parks and Recreation website and A.C .3.14

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