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.

Point Ruston Waterwalk

The three things we love best about this park are its location, location, location! Less than two miles away from Point Defiance Park and Zoo, a visit to this seaside playground would be an awesome choice after a morning spent animal watching. The ferry boat play structure, swings and newer splash pad are at the far end of Point Ruston Waterwalk—a mile-long stretch of pavement along Commencement Bay that's perfect for strollers and Littles on new sets of wheels. Everything surrounding the park is newly constructed, with condos and hotels still-a-comin', so there's plenty of diggers and dump trucks to scout if you've got a Bob the Builder in tow. You'll also want to check out the nearby, upscale Cinemark theater with leather loungers to watch movies from, and the Dolce Si Sicilian Bakery & Cafe that serves up some scrumptious handmade gelato. It's so good!

5115 Grand Loop
Tacoma, Wa 98407
Online: pointruston.com/lifestyle/tacoma-waterfront-things-to-do/fun-for-kids-on-the-point-ruston-waterwalk/

photo: Andrea B. 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