Ah, beach weather. Now that Seattle has finally warmed up, planning your list of favorite beach outings is key. For grownups, Golden Gardens Park is the picture-perfect place to watch a sunrise or sunset. And for Seattle kids, it doesn’t get much better than this Ballard park. It offers awesome train spotting venues, a long stretch of sandy beach and forested trails. Pack a picnic, some sand toys, and a kite and spend the day at the Golden Garden Park beach.

Tip: Parking at the northern part of Golden Gardens Park, where the lot basically ends, is a good bet. An open, flat grass area makes for easy unloading. It’s also a great vantage point to watch the trains. From here, it’s an easy stroll to the beach, which has gorgeous views of the Olympic Mountains and great boat watching. The winds make for perfect kite-flying conditions.

After playing on the beach you and the kids can take an easy walk on the trail north through some wetlands. The pond there has ducks and turtles. Tip: There’s been water contamination in the park’s creek at times, so look for posted warnings.

The playground at Golden Gardens Park is somewhat small and outdated, but a major re-haul is in the works. The new playground is scheduled for 2011. Let nature be your playground on this adventure, and, if you want to hit downtown Ballard afterwards, a great Seattle kid-friendly stop for a snack is Firehouse Coffee.

-Sabrina Kang