Can you smell it? Spring is finally in the air. After a long winter of building couch forts, making countless art projects and hitting every indoor play area in town, Seattle kids are more than ready to get outside and explore. And lucky for us, the Emerald City has plenty of green spaces filled with blooming trees and flowers where you can look for cherry blossoms, daffodils, rhododendrons and magnolias. If you’re ready to head out on a spring adventure, grab your budding arborists and read on!
Washington Park Arboretum
Spanning from Madison Park to Montlake, just south of University District, the Arboretum is alive with flowers this spring, including cascading yellow gold chain trees and blooming true ashes. Start your trip at the Graham Visitor’s Center, then let little ones discover more than 200 acres of foot trails, lawns, and paths leading to ponds. Consider paying a separate entrance fee for access to the gorgeous Seattle Japanese Garden. Keep an eye on their events calendar for this year’s Children’s Day at the garden featuring family-centered activities, including taiko drumming, performances by local Japanese cultural groups and kid-focused cultural activities. Psst…don't forget to take advantage of the new two-mile Arboretum Loop Trail.
2300 Arboretum Dr. E.
Seattle, WA 98112
Surrounded by Lake Washington on three sides, South Seattle’s Seward Park offers pristine views of Mount Rainier and plenty of spots for picnics. A plethora of fresh flowering plants join conifers and ferns in making the park especially beautiful this time of year. Kids can explore Seattle’s biggest block of old-growth trees inside the park’s Magnificent Forest, with some dating back more than 250 years.Psst…be sure to look out for signs warning about poison oak!
5895 Lake Washington Blvd. S.
Seattle, WA 98118
The largest city park in Seattle, Discovery Park sits in the Magnolia neighborhood on land previously occupied by Fort Lawton. Here, kids can experience woodland trails, open fields and a beach flanked by a lighthouse. If it’s a clear day, both the Olympics and Cascades can be seen from the beach. In addition to blooming plants, an assortment of birds, including mallards, grebes, and---if you’re especially lucky---bald eagles can be spotted in the spring. Psst...during your visit be sure to check out the awesome updated playground.
3801 Discovery Park Blvd.
Seattle, WA 98199
An almost 50 acre refuge in Capitol Hill, Volunteer Park was designed by the famous Olmstead Brothers in the early 1900s. The park houses the Seattle Asian Art Museum (which is currently closed for renovation) and a climbable water tower with 365 degree views of the city. Little ones can explore the park’s Block play sculpture and playground. In addition to flowers in bloom throughout the park, kids can view cineraria, hydrangea and schizanthus this spring at the Volunteer Park Conservatory.
1247 15th Ave. E.
Seattle, WA 98102
Rainier Beach’s gorgeous Kubota Gardens was built by Fujitaro Kubota in the late 1920s. Red and purple flowers, including large magnolia blossoms, are on display this time of year. Kiddos can navigate rocks, streams and serene ponds on the 20-acre property. Insider Tip: While bigger kids should be able to freely explore without much trouble, toddlers might need a little help making their way across the garden’s narrow paths and bridges. View the self-guided tour online. And if you want to bring Fido along, dogs are welcome, provided they are on a leash and you clean-up after them.
9817 55th Ave. S.
Seattle, Wa 98118
University of Washington Campus
If you really want to wow your kids, take them to the University of Washington campus to see the spectacular cherry blossoms in the Quad. Bonus points if this is your alma mater---you can stroll down memory lane while showing your kids where you use to hang. Check out the cherry tree watch update here. And don't forget you can celebrate all of the above at the Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival taking place at the Seattle Center April 26-28, 2019.
1410 N.E. Campus Pkwy.
Seattle WA 98195
— Kristina Moy & Sara Billups