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.

Lake Meridian Park

Arrr! Shiver me timbers! Good pirate ships are hard to come by these days, so if you’ve got a Jake or Izzy in your crew they’re sure to be on board with playing at this Kent park for the day. A pirate vessel, complete with sails and canons, is docked near a lake-side beach used for fishing, swimming and sand play during the summer months. There's also a ginormous webbed climbing structure, swings, and a merry-go-round, plus an ADA compliant play structure with some awesome slides. The large grass area is perfect for throwing around a football or flying a kite, while the picnic shelters come with lake views and BBQs. Score! This park's only fault is its popularity, so be sure to get there early to find parking before the flocks arrive.

14800 S.E. 272nd St.
Kent, Wa 98030
Online: kentwa.gov/Home/Components/FacilityDirectory/FacilityDirectory/238/318

photo: Michelle G. 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