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Choo-Choo! 10 Train Adventures for Seattle-Area Kids and Families

Free mini train rides, historic excursions, urban rail adventures and more

Nancy Chaney

Published on: June 01, 2023

Choo-Choo! 10 Train Adventures for Seattle-Area Kids and Families

Looking over the tracks at Seattle's Balmer Yard with a view of BNSF trains including Boeing fuselage parts on train cars
There is so much to see at Balmer Yard, including airplane fuselages being transported to a Boeing plant. Credit: LunchWithaLens/Flickr CC

10. Train-spotting spots

Sometimes the easiest thing to do is just to go trainspotting, which is easy to, um, engineer, considering that freight trains, the Sounder and Amtrak trains run right by some of the best parks in Puget Sound. Try some of these hot spots:

Balmer train yard in Seattle’s Interbay neighborhood: There’s always something to see at the Balmer Yard near 20th Avenue West and Thorndyke Avenue West on the Magnolia side of Interbay; if you’re lucky you might see airplane fuselage parts on passing train cars.

Carkeek Park, in north Seattle: Hang out on the bridge between the playground and the beach for some prime train gawking, and then take advantage of Carkeek’s many other attractions, including a nature playground with a view (salmon slide!), trails, an apple orchard and a beach that’s perfect for low-tide exploration.

Golden Gardens in Northwest Seattle: This huge beach park has good train watching, boat watching, plus a great playground and wetland trails near the beach (to add some turtle spotting to your trainspotting).

Edmonds waterfront: Trains, ferries, the beach, a playground and good restaurants with more train-watching opportunities equals a perfect morning or afternoon any time of the year.

Costco parking lot, SODO: Okay, this isn’t exactly a destination, but if you want to combine your monthly warehouse haul with some trainspotting to keep the kids happy, the Costco on Fourth Avenue South in Seattle is a great pick. Just don’t count on efficiency.

Georgetown Playfield, South Seattle: While away a morning or afternoon playing at this terrific newer playground, and just wait for the occasional train to pass. You’ll get double transportation spotting here, with planes coming in low to land at nearby Boeing Field.

Next up: RailCycle

Photo credit: LunchWithaLens/Flickr CC

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