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3 Kid-Friendly Urban Hikes Around Tacoma

Urban walks that lead South Sound families to Tacoma's waterfront

Writer Heather Larson

Published on: October 29, 2020

3 Kid-Friendly Urban Hikes Around Tacoma

Bikes along the Prairie Line Trail. Credit: Ron Swarmer

The Prairie Line Trail

A nod to the western end of the Northern Pacific Railroad, the Prairie Line trail follows the tracks of the retired Prairie rail line. The path connects the Thea Foss Waterway to downtown Tacoma to the University of Washington Tacoma to the Brewery District. Here you can reward kids with a soda at Dystopian State or 7 Seas Brewing Company. Mom and Dad might opt for an adult beverage.

I like starting this journey behind the Museum of Glass. Families can try making music on the strategically placed xylophones. Then walk north along the esplanade and follow the Prairie Line Trail informational and historical markers up the stairs alongside East 15th and South Hood Streets, across Pacific Avenue, then continue through the UW – Tacoma campus.

Although this trail spans only a mile, take your time and enjoy the art along the way. While that may sound boring to kids, you can pique their interest by downloading the coloring and activity book available on the trail’s website or pick one up at the Children’s Museum of Tacoma. Then kids can try to locate features like the Parapet Relay, the Welcome Figure and other art installations.

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