Credit: Snohomish Aquatic Center
While best known for its seasonal activities (think pumpkin patches, farm animal encounters and sunflower fields), Snohomish is much more than a pastoral paradise. This small town, situated on the Snohomish River, offers a welcoming community feel and ample opportunities to get outside with the whole family. U.S. Route 2 hugs the town borders before continuing eastward into the Cascade Mountains, making Snohomish the perfect gateway to a Leavenworth or Wenatchee getaway.
Only the locals know …
To help cope with the isolation of frontier life, early Snohomish settlers pooled their book collections in 1873 to start the Atheneum, the county’s first library. A handwritten newspaper soon followed. Local women later took over editing the paper and used it as a vehicle to advocate for women’s rights. The library was later turned into a saloon, which was eventually torn down for scrap, but see if you can still feel the literary vibes on the corner of Avenue D and First Street.
Take a cultural trip
Get your play on
Peek at the historic buildings as you stroll through downtown, and be sure to stop in at City Hall (116 Union Ave.) to pick up a copy of the historic tree scavenger hunt.
Hot-air balloons take off near Harvey Airfield — see if you can spot any of them floating through the air as you take a family bike or scooter ride along the paved Centennial Trail, which runs north toward Skagit County (no need to do all 30 miles at once).
Ready to strap on your hiking boots? Lord Hill Regional Park and Paradise Valley Conservation Area offer a winding network of bike- and hiker-friendly paths. Bring a gnome offering for the stump located near Lord Hill’s Hidden Lake (or just check out previous donations).
Find the area’s only FlowRider surf simulator (in addition to water slides, a lazy river and a splash area) at the Snohomish Aquatic Center, or cool off on a hot day at Willis D. Tucker Community Park’s fabulous playground and splash park. If boating and fishing are more your speed, Lost Lake and Echo Lake are stocked with fish and have public launch points.
Bring your little farmers to Bailey Family Farm or Mountainview Blueberry Farm for a chance to harvest a variety of veggies or blueberries, respectively. (Fact: Vegetables are more acceptable when chubby little fingers pick their own.)
Year-round family fun
Don’t forget seasonal fun! There are plenty of activity-packed farms, enough to visit a new one every fall weekend. You can choose from (listed from north to south) Swans Trail Farms, Stocker Farms, Thomas Family Farm, Craven Farm and Bob’s Corn & Pumpkin Farm — or revisit Bailey Farm! — to get your fill of pumpkins, apples, corn mazes and more.
Peruse two levels of books while enjoying the cozy log cabin vibe of Uppercase Bookshop. Outfit the kids with clothes (including consignment finds) and toys from Oopsie Daisy Boutique. Clean up after all your outdoor adventures with a haul of Sweet Bee Home’s bath bombs and uniquely scented laundry soaps.
Eats + treats
Start the day off with a latte from Looking Glass Coffee and a pastry from Snohomish Bakery at First & Union or Grain Artisan Bakery. Pack lunch for your bike ride with a sandwich from Grilla Bites. When it’s time for dinner, head over to Trails End Taphouse & Restaurant or enjoy riverfront views while you nosh on fish and chips at Andy’s Fish House. Whatever you do, don’t miss out on a sweet treat from Juniper and Lu — scoops of this small-batch ice cream, in luscious flavors, make the perfect end to any meal.
According to the residents …
“I love that there is a small-town feel with the amenities of a big city within close walking or biking distance,” says Kelly Marin, a local mom of four who lives near downtown Snohomish. She adds, “The [Thursday-afternoon Snohomish] Farmers Market is a weekly tradition in our family from May through September. It’s right in town, so it’s easy to walk to.”