Outings + Activities | Family fun | Seattle | Eastside

Find Your Wildwood: 8 Best Seattle-Area Parks to Spend a Day (or Childhood)

From tide pools to secret trails and castle playgrounds, parks that have it all

One of the best ways for a family to spend a fair-weather weekend day in any season is to pack lunches and layers, head to a big woodsy park and just stay there. You don't need much of a plan – just run down trails, climb trees, find forts or play on the beach. The biggest, finest parks in this area — from Carkeek to Lincoln to Marymoor — don’t just contain trees, playgrounds and trails; they contain worlds.

Over time, knocking around one of these expansive parks, your family will create its own landmarks — a hiding spot in the trees, a giant log on the beach or a bridge where you can drop sticks into a moss-lined creek. These are the sorts of place where imagination thrives. For example: the Wildwood series by Colin Meloy, illustrated by his wife Carson Ellis, sets a fantastical landscape of warring animal nation states within a park in their neighborhood: Portland’s Forest Park.

Does your family have a Wildwood? Here are Seattle-area parks that are Wildwoods in waiting, expansive natural areas that you can visit again and again and always discover someplace new.

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