During our beautiful Pacific Northwest summers, no one wants to be inside! If you are looking for an outdoor birthday party venue, we’ve rounded up plenty of choices to fit any birthday kid’s style. Whether you want to interact with animals, ride a zip line, splash in a wading pool, kayak, sail a boat or just chill out at a park, we have the perfect outdoor party setting for you.
1. Moss Bay, Lake Union, Seattle
For a unique Seattle birthday party experience, take your guests kayaking on Lake Union! Moss Bay, a well-known watersports center that also offers many camps for kids, books instructional group tours that can make for a memorable party. After the adventure, head to nearby Lake Union Park for cake and presents, or smaller groups can gather at the picnic tables at the marina.
2. Canopy Tours Northwest, Camano Island
For an unforgettable zip-line adventure, book a Canopy Tours excursion on Camano Island. You’ll ride in a Unimog vehicle into a forested area and then whoosh along six zip lines (the longest is 660 feet). The package also includes two short trail walks and a final 47-foot rappel that is velocity-controlled for an easy descent. Participants must weigh between 65 and 300 pounds and be over 48 inches tall. Kids younger than 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Pregnant women aren’t allowed to zip. The facility has tables and shade canopies for birthday cake and presents.
3. Farrel-McWhirter Farm Park, Redmond
This gem of a park in Redmond feels like it is out in the country, with wide-open spaces dotted with picnic tables and family-friendly trails. You can take your party guests on a fun and educational tour to see animals such as pigs, goats, rabbits, chickens and more. Guests will love an old-fashioned guided trail ride by horse or pony. After the fun activities, gather in the party room for photos, games, crafts and cake. Party packages are available year-round on Saturdays and Sundays.
Note: As of May 2021, indoor birthday parties are not operational but will be opening later in the year.
4. Kelsey Creek Farm, Bellevue
Another fun Eastside experience, this Bellevue farm boasts a playground, trails and farm animals, as well as farm education programs. Kids can spend the first 45 minutes of a two-hour party interacting with and learning about the resident pony, sheep, rabbits, goats and chickens. After petting the animals and visiting the historic barn, children can make a farm craft or decorate cookies, depending on what theme you pick. After the activities, repair to the “Farm Room,” a farm-themed classroom full of amenities such as a refrigerator, freezer and microwave.
Note: As of May 2021, Kelsey Creek Farm is closed to guests until Bellevue reaches a later phase of reopening.
Awesome local parks that are perfect for celebrations
Note: Visit the park websites for reopening details and to make picnic shelter reservations.
5. Mud Mountain Dam Park, Enumclaw
Mud Mountain Dam is a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers flood-control dam and recreation center located on the White River. This hidden jewel of a park in Enumclaw has playgrounds, a wading pool with a huge fountain, hiking trails and lots of open space. Older kids will enjoy throwing a Frisbee or kicking a soccer ball, while the younger set will plash merrily in the wading pool and explore the playground. There is plenty of shade and lots of picnic tables to go with the beautiful views of the White River.
6. Grass Lawn Park, Redmond
Many reviewers call Grass Lawn Park the gold standard in parks for the entire Eastside. There is something for everyone here, from toddlers to adults; with three playground areas, a spray pad and climbing rocks for all abilities, as well as baseball and soccer fields and tennis and basketball courts. Add the open areas, plentiful water fountains, picnic tables, public art and even a dome-shaped shelter that can be reserved, and Grass Lawn Park has it all!
7. Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park, Renton
Located at the south end of Lake Washington, Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park is the jewel of Renton. Take a dip in Lake Washington at the lifeguard-monitored beach swimming area, or stay dry and enjoy the great playground equipment. The park also offers an awesome new playground, horseshoe pit, sand volleyball courts, tennis courts and a paved walking path along the lake. For a fun twist on the traditional party offering of pizza, treat your guests to fish ‘n’ chips at the Ivar’s or Kidd Valley concession stands.
8. Newcastle Beach Park, Bellevue
Newcastle Beach Park is Bellevue's most popular beach park. Lifeguards are on duty for beach swimming on Lake Washington during the summer. There is also a colorful children’s play area, nature trails and a 300-foot dock. Reviewers say that the playground equipment is geared toward the 8-and-younger set. The beach is sanded, so don’t forget to bring your sand toys. There are lots of grassy areas and picnic tables. Bring your bug spray, because water can mean mosquitoes!
9. Powell-Barnett Park, Seattle
Located in South Seattle, Powell-Barnett is also known as “castle park” because its restrooms are built to resemble castles. The playground has a plethora of fun equipment, with separate areas for older and younger kiddos so that a variety of ages can play peaceably. Equipment includes a huge web-like climbing structure in addition to the usual slides and swings.
10. Carkeek Park, Seattle
This 216-acre park in Northwest Seattle has it all: hiking trails, wetlands, meadows, forest, a bridge to a sandy beach with great tide pools on minus-tide days, plus a playground with a famous salmon slide. Carkeek is perfect for kids who want to explore nature and parents who want to stay cool. You can also check out the fruit trees in Piper’s Orchard and walk the Piper’s Canyon Story Trail. There are plenty of grassy areas and picnic tables available for free, or you can rent one of the two covered shelters.
11. Sammamish State Park, Seattle
Lake Sammamish State Park is a 531-acre park with a lot to boast about. It has a fabulous state-of-the-art playground, two lakefront beaches, kayak and paddle board rentals, plus beautiful hiking trails through forests and wetlands. Note: All guests will need a Discover Pass to enter the park. Three large covered picnic shelters are available to reserve online. The park also has a generosity of 475 unsheltered picnic tables, plus 80 barbecue grills on stands.
Editor's note: This article was originally published in 2015 and updated most recently for 2021.
Tips for a great park party
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