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9 Family Summer Playdates Around the Sound

Summer is here and it's time to seize the play

Published on: June 27, 2019


The family that plays together builds memories that take them through the stresses of the school year and beyond. Try these high-octane fun stops, excerpted from ParentMap’s guidebook “52 Seattle Adventures With Kids.” (Psst! Buy the book to find lots more!)


Amble through a farmers market.

Local farmers markets double as a source of fresh entertainment. Try the Wallingford Farmers Market (Wednesdays, located next to the awesome Meridian Playground); Kirkland’s Juanita Friday Market, across the street from the beach; and the Bellevue Farmers Market (Thursdays), which rewards kids for trying new produce.


Ditch the drive out to a farm and head to a local park (or food forest) to pick not just blackberries, but thimbleberries, salmonberries and huckleberries, to name a few. The Beacon Food Forest at epic Jefferson Park is ground zero. 

Hike and seek.

There are so many ways to hunt for treasure, starting with geocaching. Lesser-known low-tech options include letterboxing (learn more here), which involves following clues to a cached journal; and hiding and finding painted rocks (join a local Facebook group to get started). 


Play in the street.

Want to connect with your neighbors and have more space for your kids to play outside? If you’re in Seattle, it’s a simple process to get a free permit to close down your street regularly to create a “play street.” Find tips here.

Tackle an adventure course.

It’s a splurge, but an hour or two of zipping, swinging and climbing around the aerial playground that is High Trek Adventures in Everett will bind your family together like Spider-Man to a web. 

Row, row, row a boat.

Take advantage of our waterlogged wonderland. Boating spots such as the University of Washington’s Waterfront Activities Center, Foss Harbor Marina in Tacoma and Issaquah Paddle Sports at Lake Sammamish offer affordable rentals. Every Sunday, Seattle’s Center for Wooden Boats offers free boat rides. (Arrive early and visit the new education center/museum while you’re there.)

Watch Shakespeare in the park.

Sword fights, crazy costumes, free admission — Shakespeare in the park is kid-friendly right out of the gate. Try GreenStage’s Backyard Bard program, featuring four actors in one-hour versions of the Bard’s best.  

Take an urban hike.

You don’t have to escape to the forest to find great walks. Explore new corners of the city by following a designated trail, such as the Cheshiahud Loop around Seattle’s Lake Union, or by blazing your own route.

Get a new reality.

Have a wild gaming adventure — from Spider-Man to Creed — at virtual reality cafes, such as all-ages Beyond Reality in Bremerton (combine it with a ferry ride) or Portal, with locations in Ballard and Bellevue. 

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