This hasn’t been an average summer, but thankfully Seattle parks are open and ready for your family picnic business. So pack your meal into a cute basket or support your favorite restaurant and grab some take-out, then head to one of these Seattle parks for an al fresco family dinner.
Editor’s note: Please recreate responsibly when you visit these parks by following social distancing guidelines, wearing masks when needed and being mindful of group size recommendations. Note that all Seattle playgrounds remain closed.
Nestled in Madrona’s business district, Alvin Larkins Park provides a relaxing spot for the community. It features benches set along a path that winds through the park, and it's landscaped with maple, pine and fir trees. Its expansive grassy area is perfect for picnicking or playing. Don’t forget to bring a frisbee!
1504 34th Ave.
Seattle, WA 98122
Ballard’s Greenwood Park is the epitome of a community park and has recently grown to the size of an entire city block. In addition to plenty of space to picnic, families will enjoy a sports court, P-Patch garden, large trees and wide walkways (bike riding anyone?) when you visit. We're crossing our fingers that the recently added “game garden,” featuring tetherball, ping pong and cornhole will open in the near future, but until then, enjoy the wide open spaces on a warm summer day.
8905 Fremont Ave. N.
Seattle, WA 98103
Before you set up a picnic inside the big purple gazebo at Wallingford’s Meridian Park, take the kids to tour the Seattle Tilth Children’s Garden that borders the park. There the kiddos can roam through Sweet Cicely and fennel plants and check out strawberry bushes, too. Talk about healthy eating inspiration!
4649 Sunnyside Ave. N.
Seattle, WA 98103
Westcrest Park is Seattle’s seventh largest park, filled with sprawling spaces and gorgeous views. It provides a flat open meadow, a short walking path and an off-leash dog area that makes this a great spot to bring your fur babies to. Traipse through a vast network of forest trails featuring large Douglas fir, red cedar, maples and madrone trees. Don’t miss the view platform that offers panoramic views of Seattle's downtown skyline. On a clear day, you can see all the way to Mount Baker!
9000 8th Ave. SW
Seattle, WA 98106
Cedar Park sits adjacent to Cedar Park Elementary and is a favorite of neighborhood families. While the playground is closed, kiddos can bring scooters or balance bikes to ride around the paved walking path that encircles the expansive lawn, great for running and exploring. There's also a basketball court where you can challenge your kids to a game of HORSE or one-on-one. Score!
3737 N.E. 135th St.
Seattle, WA 98125
Over 100 years ago, two families gifted the city of Seattle 2-plus acres of land and Sunset Hill Park was born. Located in west Ballard, Sunset Hill Park sits atop a bluff so the unobstructed views of the Olympics and Puget Sound are magnificent. Walk down the path and take in breathtaking views from new vantage points. Bring a blank for the grass or snag a picnic table to enjoy dinner with a view.
7531 34th Ave. N.
Seattle, WA 98117
Located on the west slope of Beacon Hill, Jose Rizal Park is bound on the west by I-5 and on the north by I-90, offering park-goers stunning views of south Downtown and Elliot Bay. The park consists of a grassy upper area with shelter and picnic tables, a wooded hillside and an off-leash dog park at the bottom of the hill.
1007 12th Ave. S.
Seattle, WA 98144
Close to the heart of Columbia City, Genesee Park bumps up against breezy Lake Washington. The green space features a gazebo for picnicking, bike trails and an off-leash dog area, too. This park provides the picture-perfect setting, you provide the fixings for your family picnic here.
4316 S. Genesee St.
Seattle, WA 98118
When it comes to city parks, we can't get enough of the Maple Leaf Playground and not just because it's got lots of grass for picnicking and running around. You won't want to miss Noah’s Butterfly Garden, a sweet spot at the far end of the park, featuring a gazebo and sandbox. Plus, the loop trail that circles the park is a great spot for tots to bring bikes, trikes and scooters.
1020 N.E. 82nd St.
Seattle, WA 98115
Located between Ravenna and Wedgwood, Dahl Playfield is a hidden gem in the northeast pocket of the city. You'll find plenty of room for the kids to roam and the artfully arranged rocks hollowed into half moons are perfect for crawling and sitting. Don't forget the skate park; it's great for those on two or four wheels.
7700 25th Ave. N.E.
Seattle, WA 98115
— Abbey McGee, Kristina Moy & Sara Billups
featured photo: dhanelle via pixabay