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.

Kid’s Trek Playground

If you haven't taken the fam out to Northwest Trek to experience the new Kid's Trek playground here's a brief synopsis of what you've been missing. The half-acre park features a variety of activities geared to challenge kid's agility, while encouraging nature exploration and discovery - think Swiss Family Robinson meets American Ninja Warrior. Balance skills are tested as they travel across netted tunnels and swaying bridges, over stumps and logs and to flee a trampoline-sized eagle's nest perched near the top of the play area. At the center of the park is 20-foot tall hollow tree trunk with cargo nets inside for kids to climb up, then slide their way back down via a 15-foot fireman's pole. The less daring will love building stick forts, playing make-believe in a log cabin, splashing in a simulated river and digging for joy in the sand pit. To visit the playground just make your way to Northwest Trek Wildlife Park in Eatonville - entry is included with admission.

Hours: Mon.-Fri., 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sat. & Sun. 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Cost: $22.255/Adults; $14.25/Youth (5-12); $10.25/Tots (3-4); 2 & under Free. Special discounts for military families and Pierce County residents.

Northwest Trek Wildlife Park
11610 Trek Dr. E.
Eatonville, Wa 98328
320-832-6117
Online: nwtrek.org

photo: Ingrid Barrentine

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