Thanks to our record dry streak and long summer days, Seattle kids are loving the extra play time at their favorite parks. But if you’ve done the local playground circuit enough your smartphone thinks you work at the neighborhood tot lot, maybe it’s time to branch out into new territory. From medieval castles, to nautical play structures, to seaside swings and lakefront lunch spots, click through the gallery to see the best playgrounds the South Sound has to offer.

Sehmel Homestead Park

If you're looking for a reason to pay the toll and make your way across the Tacoma Narrows Bridge into Gig Harbor, this park is plenty excuse for you and your little sidekicks to head on over. Here you'll find 98-acres of run-around room with trails that wander through trees and meadows, plus play fields and tennis courts to occupy your biggest sports fanatics. The ADA compliant play structure is one of the largest of its kind and features slides, a Sway Ride, teeter-totter, swings and even a small sand area for the tots. (Psst... it'll be one of their favorite parts, so be sure to bring along the sand toys.)

Bonus: Make the trek across the bridge even better by visiting Java and Clay Cafe for pottery painting time before or after checking out the park. They offer kid-friendly pieces, a once a month story time and will even ship your finished work to you so that you can have a memento of your mini vacay.

10123 78th Ave. N.W.
Gig Harbor, Wa 98332
Online: penmetparks.org/parks/sehmel-homestead-park

photo: Kristy S. via Yelp

Have you and your crew had a chance to explore these South Sound playgrounds? Which one is your favorite? Tell us in the comments below.

— Rachael Brandon