Summer is prime time for loading up the kids and exploring local parks and other treasures. Kubota Garden is a must-see hidden gem of history and horticulture tucked away in Seattle’s south end.

kubotagarden

Plan to spend a few hours wandering the network of trails. Kids love the small creeks that run throughout the site, with a pleasing variety of ways to cross: stepping-stones, brightly colored metal bridges, wooden slabs and more. Make the effort to climb up the “mountain” to enjoy views back over the garden.

If you and your children have an artistic bent, this is the perfect place to bring watercolors or pastels for a day of sketching. The garden also provides an endless variety of spots to spread a picnic blanket. And, of course, family photos don’t get better than this…bring the camera.

If you haven’t packed a picnic, don’t worry. Some of the best dim sum in Seattle is available nearby. Take the short drive to Hong Kong Seafood, on Rainier just west of Seward Park Avenue South.  If you are out in the evening hours, stop for dinner at Café Vignole for some hearty Italian fare.

How to get there: Kubota Garden is located at 9817 55th Avenue South in Seattle, near the intersection of Rainier Avenue South and Renton Avenue South. A map and directions can be found at the Seattle Parks website.  Free tours are offered to the public  July 24 and August 28 at 10 a.m. The garden also will host their semi-annual plant sale on September 11 from 9:00 a.m. to noon.

-Karen McHegg