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May Hot List: Where to Stay Cool on a Hot Spring Day Around Seattle

Fountains, ice cream and beaches, oh my!

Published on: April 30, 2014

Fountains at Thornton Place, Northgate neighborhood of Seattle
Fountains at Thornton Place, Northgate neighborhood of Seattle

The fact that it's spring and it's hot qualifies as breaking news in the Seattle area — and why not? After suffering through what was one of the wettest winters on record, we deserve to obsess about sudden summer.

Here are some of our favorite mercury-rising activities for spring. (And also see our calendar, for more ideas of what to do in and out of the heat.)

1. Get wet at a spray park or fountain

 While Seattle's spray parks aren't open until later this month, Tacoma's spray parks are open as of May 1. Around Seattle, you can find fountains open at Redmond Town Center, Seattle Center international Fountain (of course), Thornton Place in the Northgate neighborhood (with a sweet plaza, cafe and restaurants), well as the plaza by PCC Greenlake.  

Molly Moon's Redmond
Molly Moon's Redmond

2. Try a new ice cream spot

Seattle — and increasingly, its environs — is awash in top-notch, hand-crafted ice cream. Here are our readers' favorite picks. Just opened: the first Eastside Molly Moon's in downtown Redmond. 

3. Hit  a new beach

Classic hot-weather fun, right? Here are some of the lesser-known gems in our area, from Seahurst Park in Burien (great for tidepooling!) to Juanita Beach Park.

3. Go fly a kite

Cool off and reach for the skies with this classic outdoor pastime: Travel writer Lauren Braden shares tips on the best parks for lift-off and where you can buy a great kite.

5. Take a "cool" hike 

Favorites include Bridle Trails State Park and South Whidbey State Park. Though described as summer hikes, most are already accessible. Also don't miss our fantastic round-up of high-drama waterfall hikes.

Biking at Marymoor

6. Take off on two wheels

If your racers are still tiny, try one of these scoot-friendly parks and paths. Here's where to go with the big kids, and here are tips on buying a bike on a budget. And Bicycle Sunday on Lake Washington Boulevard is a go, starting May 4!

7. Discover an urban oasis 

One of our favorite parks for warm or cool days is Seattle's Kubota Gardens — so shady and lovely with paths and bridges and hidden corners. And a favorite new urban oasis is O.O. Denny Park, with a 2-mile hike that's perfect for almost any age kid, and a lovely undiscovered beach for picnicking afterwards. Another shady adventure is to walk the 150-foot suspension bridge at Bellevue Botanical Garden.

Ravine Experience, Bellevue Botanical Garden

8. Get out on the water

 There are dozens of places around the Sound to dip your toe into stand-up paddleboarding and other sports. For little kids, try kayaking or one of these other ways to get afloat. You can also sail or row for free at the Center for Wooden Boats every Sunday (get there early).

9. Make popsicles! 

Here's a fun tutorial for super-simple banana pops, plus another 15 pops recipes that are only slightly more complicated.

 PCC popsicles

10, Set up your own slip n slide 

Who needs Toys R Us?

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