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Winter Play List: 35 Things to Do for Seattle-area Kids and Families

Sledding, museum-hopping, rainy-day hikes and more

Published on: February 13, 2014

Suncadia ice rink
Suncadia ice rink

Winter is in full swing and cabin fever has set in. Never fear: Here are dozens of ways to keep those young 'uns entertained and active. Also, check out our winter travel ideas in our Family Adventure Guide, our full events calendar and our giant rainy-day play list.


Get outdoors and play!

Sledding, tubing and snow playNothing says winter like a screaming-fun time sliding down a hill and with a snowy start to our winter, most sledding areas are open.  

Skating rinks: Get your Frozen on and take a spin at one of these indoor rinks.

Snowshoeing: If you can snowshoe, you can walk, and it's the perfect mostly affordable fun family snow outing around.

Visit a new playgroundThis epic, accessible new playground at Lake Sammamish State Park has plenty to explore.

Lake Sammamish State Park playground
Lake Sammamish State Park playground

Adventure playgrounds: Are your kids ready for steeper slides and faster lines? Check out this list of high-thrill playgrounds. 

Staircase walks: Puget Sound cities are threaded with exiciting staircase walks, which lead to secret gardens, amazing views and urban adventure.

Winter hikes: Each of these provides an out in bad weather, where you can warm up and kids can learn more.

Rain-friendly playgrounds and parks: Then there's this list of covered playgrounds, trails with cover and more puddle-jumping fun.

Hike and seek: Geocaching is the ultimate outdoor scavenger hunt. 

Who's Got Game at the Wing Luke. Photo credit: JiaYing Grygiel
Who's Got Game at the Wing Luke. Photo credit: JiaYing Grygiel

Day trips and museum-hopping

Wing Luke's Who's Got Game? offers fascinating local sports history, and an additional enticement to explore the International District.

These museums with free art spaces for art-making and hands-on fun for a great price.

Living Computers: Museum + Labs: This Sodo-based museum just expanded and re-opened as a super-inreractive tech museum. 

Edible City: A Delicious Journey: MOHAI offers delicious food history; when you're done explore Lake Union Park.  

TAM's 30 Americans exhibit: Head to Tacoma Art Mustum for free art-making at its studio, and a terrific exhibit on culture, art and race (closing soon!).

Explore a new neighborhood: From Bothell to Kirkland to Gig Harbor, we've rounded up great itineraries to explore nearby towns and neighborhoods.

More: Go to museums for free! Check out our list of free museum days.

Active play

Roller skating: Time to break out those quads, the music from Xanadu, and roll on. 

Elevated Sportz: This huge trampoline/play space, has a cheap "Hoppy Hour" special Monday–Friday.

PlayDate SEA. Let kids get serious wiggles out at the 8,500-square-foot Undersea/Atlantis-themed, multi-level play structure.

Rainier Beach Pool boasts a lazy river, a corkscrew water slide, lap pool, a hot tub spa/warm water area and rope swing. 

Snohomish Aquatic Center: This aquatis center has it all: lazy river, warm-water pool and even a surf-simulation machine.

The Federal Way Community Center has a leisure pool and a two-story water slide.

More: Check out many more ideas for epic indoor play, from fencing to broomball, as well as our giant rainy-day play list.

Skiing at Silver Star

Winter getaways

Ski B.C.: Head north for super-family-friendly, ski-in/ski-out resorts and outdoor ice skating and sleigh rides.

Nearby romantic escapes: Need a break from winter break? Grandma in town? Here are five spots 90 minutes or less away, from Suncadia to a treehouse resort you won't believe.

Deep-snow getaway at Mt. Baker: Mount Baker ski area regularly breaks world records for snowpack, and nearby Bellingham offers lots of urban fun, too. 

The best water park/flight museum in the west, guaranteed to entertain and educate everyone, is just an hour from Portland. Who knew?

Active winter getaways: Want to hut-to-hut ski, sled or snowshoe with tots in tow? We show you where and how. 

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