Here in the Northwest, even our family activities involve multitasking. On a given day you can head to a park where you can watch trains, go beachcombing and take a run down a salmon slide; or go to a farmers market, where you can pick up 10 kinds of berries, listen to folk music and pet a few goats; or visit a bookstore that doubles as an indoor play area and cafe. And half the fun of taking the kids to a new favorite family activity is sharing it with others. So thanks for sharing your top picks for 2012!
Winner: Mountlake Terrace Pool
The always-warm, toddler-friendly Mountlake Terrace Pool won again as your top water-play pick. You love the spacious pavilion that houses the facility; the lazy river that moves kids gently around; the “variety of swim spaces” that pleases everyone from infants to adults; the spray toys; and “the padded shallow area for the little ones.” It even offers a cheaper “happy hour” on certain days, perfect for tots who can only last for a bit.
Oh, we love our water areas! The Lynnwood Recreation Center, with its water features, large family hot tub and “clean, huge spray zone,” is part of a three-way tie for next favorite, along with Northwest-themed Crossroads Park, which boasts a “great orca whale to slide down”), and Great Wolf Lodge, the 60,000-square-foot indoor water park near Centralia that’s become a local Disneyland.
Other favorites are Green Lake’s array of water attractions (“awesome pool, slide and beach area”) and the reliably wonderful Seattle Center International Fountain (“great price ― free!”).
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Illustrations by Alli Arnold