An indoor play space that delivers nap-ready kids while providing a spot for grown-ups to commiserate and caffeinate. A swimming pool that’s beloved by timid toddlers and brave tweens alike. A kids’ musician who can truly entertain the whole family. Every year, via the Golden Teddy Awards, we ask parents to share these kind of invaluable, word-of-mouth tips about kids’ activities. And every year you give us the goods — providing a road map for keeping kids entertained and exploring throughout the year. Read on!
Playground or Park
This year’s winner, Battle Point Park, was a new discovery for us, but now that we know about this 90-acre gem on Bainbridge Island, it’s on our hot list. Highlights include a fantastic community-built playground that’s designed to spark imaginative play (miniature ferry, lighthouse, digging areas), a duck pond, skate park, trails for walking and biking, and community gardens. “Great for all seasons,” says one reader.
Finalists With a spray park, huge play structure, unique rock-climbing area, gentle paths perfect for beginning bikers and playing fields galore, Redmond’s Grass Lawn Park is another park that should be tops on your summer-do list. “Fantastic play structures, great for all ages!” raves one reader.
Carkeek Park has “something for everyone,” says one of the many fans of this beloved North Seattle park on Puget Sound. “Nice playground for small and big kids, hiking trails … beach access for digging and throwing stones, and a bridge over the train tracks for trainspotting.” We especially love the tide pool exploring opportunities, the apple orchard and the chance to watch salmon fight their way down Piper’s Creek in the fall.
Readers also loved Northwest Seattle’s Golden Gardens for its pirate-themed playground, wetland trails, a big beach that’s ideal for digging and grilling, and an unparalleled sunset view; and Jefferson Park, a gorgeous park in Seattle’s south end with a new spray park, top-notch playground, skate park and gentle trails for the wee ones to practice their balance-bike glides.
We asked on Facebook... What’s your favorite close-by campsite for a quick overnight dose of nature?
There is no shortage of nearby natural attractions for the happy campers of Puget Sound. When it comes to kid-friendly campsites, our Facebook friends had these great destinations to share:
Manchester State Park.Woods, beach and an area for games; only 10 minutes from the Southworth Ferry Dock. — Leslie H.
KOA Leavenworth.Best campground for kids!! Pool, playground, hiking trails, pancake breakfast, outdoor movie night, shirt tie-dying, etc.! — Chloe H.
Washington Park Campground in Anacortes. We just did a mid-week spur-of-the-moment overnight here and while I can’t say it was my “favorite,” the kids liked it and it did the trick. It’s open all year. — Jennifer J.
Ohanapecosh at Mt. Rainier.Beyond-classic U.S. National Park campground! Camp among the giants (i.e. stately old-growth forest). — Matt H.