Wedgwood is one of northeast Seattle’s most kid-friendly neighborhoods. It’s got a great mix of indoor fun, outdoor places to play, and stops to fuel up on wholesome (and decadent) eats. It’s also home to Seattle’s most popular neighborhood library branch, Northeast—story times are packed, with stroller parking in hot demand. The action is clustered around 35th Ave NE, starting at NE 65th and heading north.
Approximate travel time: 15 minutes from downtown
Go: Anytime, but summer’s best to see the beavers in action at Meadowbrook Pond!
Sugar Rush: Families flock to Top Pot Donuts, easily recognized by the giant donut on the roof and the crazy twin palm trees jutting up from the patio. Kids love the retro outdoor picnic tables with metal umbrellas outside and moms and dads love the floor to ceiling bookshelves and free wi-fi on the inside. Everyone loves a glazed old-fashioned donut.
Move it: When your kids have energy to spare, head to the Meadowbrook Community Center and Pool. Splash around or take part in any one of a variety of tot programs. If the weather’s nice, go next door to Annie’s Playground, one the best playscapes in the city. Then cross the street to the Meadowbrook Pond and Reflective Refuge for a walk. The pond was built as a drainage basin for Thornton Creek, but local efforts have made it a gorgeous park with sculptured berms. There’s a long bridge across the pond with viewing stations for the beavers that have made a home here. Come in the early evening, you can see them swimming around their lodge, busy as, well, beavers.
Down time: If mom or dad needs a break, drop the kids at Blossoming Buds Cottage, a drop-in preschool for ages 2.5 – 5. The kiddies will play, do art projects and hear stories while the parents get away for a few hours. They are open on Husky game days too!
Possible lunch spots: The Grateful Bread Bakery has everything from sandwiches and quiches to bagels and cookies. There’s a special kids section with toys, but kids are welcome at any of the mismatched tables. Or, for a more hearty meal, head to the Wedgwood Broiler, a neighborhood staple for high quality family fare at reasonable prices since 1965. Burgers are made from meat ground in-house and come in kid-friendly size. If you’re looking for espresso and homemade crepes, stop in at local favorite Café Javasti. Grab a healthy and yummy take-and-bake pizza at the new ‘Zaw pizza shop and you won’t have to worry about dinner either.
Rock On: Finally, no visit to Wedgwood would be complete without a visit to the Big Rock. The nearly 20’ high boulder has been in the neighborhood for 14,000 years, since it was dumped by the Vashon Glacier. Beginning in the 1800’s, the Big Rock has been used by the Mountaineers, UW students and Boy Scouts for rock climbing practice. It’s now off limits for climbing, but worth a drive by to see this glacier remnant surrounded by residential houses. It’s on 28th Ave NE, near NE 72nd.
Cost of trip: Low
Online: www.Wedgwoodview.com, is a neighborhood blog run by long-time residents.