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(sorry for the indirect route – happy holidays!)

Anderson Park is Redmond’s oldest park Andersonpark1but also one of its best-kept secrets. Even if you drive down bustling Redmond Way every single day you may never notice this gem, as it’s hidden behind trees (next door to Sleep Country) with vehicle access a block north (off 79th). Trust us, it’s worth a trip around the block…and may just become your favorite spot to spend a few hours. The sprawling park is totally flat, with paved walkways—perfect for strollers or scootering around. Wide expanses of impeccably manicured lawn provide ample space for running around and playing games. Tall fir trees provide great hiding spots for a round of hide ‘n seek (and, in the summer, shade on hot days). The playground is fun for kids of all ages with baby & big kid swings, a tire swing, climbing structures with slides & a zipline, a see-saw, and a sand-pit (BYO sand toys). Rustic log cabins (circa the 1930’s) give the park a unique, quirky Pacific Northwest charm, and two are available to rent for parties. When they’re not being rented, little ones like to explore the exterior cabin porches. TIP: a fave of local photographers, the filtered light and scenic nooks and crannies make perfect photo-ops…even for amateur shutterbugs. After the park, you can walk or drive a few blocks to Redmond Town Center for a bite to eat or check out the Redmond Community Center, which is about a half-block from the park, also on 79th. And if the weather’s not cooperating, you’re in luck: our fave new spot in the ‘hood is indoor playspace the Orange Blossom Society, which offers yoga and movement classes for kids and grown-ups, in a cozy craftsman setting. Rain or shine, head to the Eastside to wear out the little ones with a day at the park!

—Angie Ballas