Editor’s note: Please remember to recreate responsibly by wearing a mask and socially distancing when you’re out and about.

You know what they say… summer isn’t cancelled. So let’s squeeze the most out of our sunshiniest days by tackling this summer bucket list for Seattle families. We’ve got ziplines, mountain trail rides and little-known parks for you to explore, plus lots more. Grab your masks and let’s get to it!

1. Turn back the clock with a trip to this mountain resort where kids can mine for treasure and mosey on through the mountains on horseback, too. Yeehaw!

2. Better grab your sunglasses because these stars are bright! We’re talking Hollywood favorites now showing on pop-up drive-ins around Sea-town through August.

3. Did you catch a glimpse of the Neowise comet overhead this month (lucky!)? Keep you kiddo’s sights set on the stars with this new hobby.

4. You bring the blanket, but let someone else do the cooking, before heading out to one of these little-known parks for a late summer evening picnic.

5. Fill up on free blueberries when you pick your own at this public park in Tacoma. Pssst… they’ve got a playground too!

photo: Allison Sutcliffe

6. Whether you’ve got your heart set on ice cream or history, try one of these weekend cruises with the kids before the summer sailing season is over.

7. Need an island getaway? How about this one that’s only a 30-minute ferry ride from Seattle.

8. Put Aug. 25 on your calendar because it’s a free day at Washington State parks. Then cast a line, find a waterfall or book a campsite with your crew.

9. Good things come in small packages, right? Order a camp activity box from the Burke or KidsQuest Museum for a week’s worth of sunny-day fun.

10. Belt it out! Learn to write a song (and then do it) with this DIY Aria workshop for kids ages 6 and up, hosted by the Seattle Opera. Kids have until Aug. 3 to finish their masterpiece.

11. Help your kids make a new friend this summer when they write pen pal letters to cute farm animals or local seniors, who are especially isolated.

12. Wander the u-pick sunflower fields at Bob's Corn Maze & Pumpkin Farm in Snohomish. Pick the perfect bouquet to grace your table and one to share with a friend before you go on a hayride or check out the play barn. Head up anytime between Aug. 15 & 30, tickets required.

13. See how many of these Seattle originals you can find with the kids when you travel by foot, car or bike.

14. Live like the mountain is out with a family outing to Mt. Rainier National Park, including a late summer hike at Naches Peak. Psst… if you’ve got a fourth grader in the family you can get in for free. If not, take advantage of Free National Park Day on Aug. 25.

15. Experience the wildest drive this side of the Cascades, now taking reservations through August.

16. Zip through the summer on this outdoor aerial adventure course. Eastside families can find a similar adventure a little closer to home.

17. Hit the beach with your bucket and your budding marine biologist in search of crabs, moon snails and squirting clams. Find them (and learn about them too!) with the help of a Seattle Aquarium naturalist. Mark Aug. 2 and Aug. 3 as the next low tide meet-up dates.

18. Find bodacious blooms with your little green thumb at one of these city gardens.

19. You’re in a for a “hole” lot of family fun when you tee up a mini golf game with your little putters.

20. Take a relaxing vacation at a resort, just a short drive from the city.

photo: Allison Sutcliffe

21. Mix your two favorite hobbies with a boat camping excursion around the Sound.

22. Pull up a park bench, a patch of grass or your always-handy picnic blanket and have an impromptu picnic with the fam on a sunny day. 

23. It wouldn’t be summer without a few family bike rides. Try one of these trails that work for every rider. Don’t forget the Duthie Hill pump track for added adventure.

24. Throw some shade on a sunny day when you and the kids check out local forests and nature walks around the Emerald City.

25. Who needs big, in-person events when you can stream the country’s best summer festivals right to your living room?

photo: Rachael Brandon

26. The South Sound is calling and you must go. With some of the best views around, Wheel Fun rentals (yep, they’re open), a farmer’s market and a playground, you can spend the whole day at Point Ruston.

27. See if your kiddos can spot frogs on this fanciful bog walk or make like Dr. Dolittle at Mary Olson Farm.

28. Bring your wild bunch to socially distance at the Seattle Aquarium or Woodland Park Zoo. Avoid the crowds with timed tickets on the weekday first thing in the morning or in the later afternoon.

29. Speaking of zoos, did you hear about the new baby muskox at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium? His name’s Trebek (after Alex, of course) and you gotta meet him!

30. Make history when you load the kids in the car and take a tour of some of the city’s most historic spots (sorry, the Jimi Hendrix statue didn't make the list.)

31. Pack up your paddles and head to open waters. It's time to kayak with the kids while the sun in still shining. Reserve a rental or bring your own to these safe spots.

32. Set your summer reading goal with SPL. Then follow it up with their weekly STEAM program where kids can learn everything from how to do a magic trick to African dance moves.

33. Make like a pioneer and learn how to use your leftover candles to make new ones, thanks to the folks at Fort Nisqually. Looking for something a little less virtual? Get your timed tickets to visit Fort Nisquallly, Wednesday through Sunday.

34. Plan a Big Day of Play with the kids on Aug. 15. This year it'll take place in your living room.

35. Take the Kindness Challenge with your kids and spend the summer spreading good vibes in your community...today and always.

—Allison Sutcliffe

featured photo: iStock


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