50 Northwest Parks in Summer


June 26, 2015 by Terumi

northwest parks to visit with kids

My guys want to visit 50 northwest parks this summer and I thought this was a really fun goal.  At first we pondered if we could go to the same park 50 times or if all the parks had to be in Seattle but we soon decided that we would only count different parks but because we’re traveling locally this summer, we could include any park as long as it was a new one on our list.  And then we wondered if a park had to have a playground to be a park?  (We’re still debating this one-I like parks without playgrounds but the kids say the park NEEDS to have a playground)  So for now, we are just going to list them as we go.  By the end of summer we should have parks listed from Washington, Idaho, Oregon and British Columbia and if you have any “must see” parks in these places please let us know!  (I’m going to number them in the order we visit this summer just to track if we actually hit 50 so when you see numbers beside the parks, that’s what they mean.  The parks will be listed in Alphabetical Order)


Artists at Play Playground at Seattle Center (10) So far this has been the most amazing find.  I was avoiding it because I knew the climbing structure looked incredibly high; the age-range guide says 5-12 years old.  My guys loved it and want to go back.  We arrived around 9:30am and it wasn’t crowded but started to pick up around 10am.  Seattle Center is such a fabulous place to bring kids-we could spend days just going to all the museums, riding the monorail, playing in the water fountain and now hanging out at the playground.

seattle center artists at play playground is one of the best northwest parks

Bayview Park (7) Cute little park in Seattle with a nice climbing structure.

Discovery Park: (17)This is an amazing park nestled on a bluff in Magnolia.  We could spend days here and never see the same thing.

Ella Bailey Park (3)  This Seattle park has spectacular views and an area where my kids like to scooter and bike and a big grassy field to play ball.  A couple play structures here are a bit high but not as high as the Artists at Play playground.

Fort Dent Park (15) This Tukwila Park is in the Starfire Sports complex.  The climbing structure entertained my kids for a while and there is a little duck pond nearby too.  It is really close to the shopping areas like Target and the mall here so it’s a really easy stop in between errands.  Next time we might bring our bikes because we saw a lot of biking trails through this park we’d like to explore.

Gas Works Park (9)  I don’t think there are play structures here but we like to bike ride or scoot and bring picnics and kites.  We also like to throw rocks into the water.

Green Lake Park (13) This park has a great playground structure but we usually come here to bike, picnic or play ball in the grass.  The lake is quite picturesque and it feels like everyone in Seattle comes here on sunny days to hang out.

Karen’s Place Park (2)  This park is near a community center so parking is easy.  The playground area has shaded benches nearby and a great playing field.

Kerry Park: (20) years ago we didn’t know this iconic Seattle Park actually had a playground but it does.  Just trek about 50 steps below and the kids can play while you check out the stunning views.

Madison Tot Lot:(23) This is one of the closest playgrounds to where the Bainbridge Island Ferry arrives.  We’ve hung out here before when we have a few minutes to spare before catching the ferry-there are some swings and a small structure to climb.

Magnusen Park: (27)great low basketball hoops, soccer field and lots of great play structures only a short drive from Uvillage so it’s a really great park.

Meridian Playground: (16) lovely park in the heart of Wallingford

Myrtle Edwards Park: (21)this is a great place to stop while biking.  We found an exercise structure near the rose garden and the kids had fun monkeying around on the bars. The views here are spectacular.

Olympic Sculpture Park:(22) there is no playground structure here but the kids can spend hours looking at the sculptures and exploring and it is one of the most iconic northwest parks in seattle.  There is a small beach at the bottom where they like to throw rocks.  The Paccar Pavilion in the park is a great place to bring and snack and eat when it’s open and there is a small kids’ area there too.

Oxbow Park (8)  This park has a giant hat and giant boots.  It also is a short drive from the Fran’s chocolate factory which I love.

Ravenna Community Center Playground: (26)this park has a perfect climbing structure and a grassy field where we saw kids playing hockey so it made a lasting impression.

Salmon Bay Playground: (25)this is a neat little park in Ballard a short drive away from Mod Pizza if you want to picnic.  The squirrels and crows here are a little aggressive though but we like the climbing structures here and the flying fox.

Surrey Downs Park: (14) this Bellevue Park is a short drive from the mall and we came here when we were driving errands and arrived too early.  There is a small playground here too that the kids found fun to climb and they really enjoyed playing ball on the field.  (We always keep soccer balls in the car in the summer.)  This park is also near the Sheraton and Hilton hotels if you’re staying in the area.

View Ridge Park (6) We visited this park because of a friend.  It has a nice bike loop, some beautiful grassy areas and a great climbing structure.

Waterfront Park:(24) we biked through this park on Bainbridge Island and ended up at a beach near the ferry terminal.  We didn’t find the playground but found a big blue boat structure to climb and we saw chickens along the trail.

West Queen Anne Playfield (1) We love the climbing structure at this park.


awesome northwest parks to visit with kids

McEuen Park (4) This is such a cool playground and park.  You can see the lake from the park and there is a splash area and an amazing climbing structure.  We could have spent hours here.

City Park and Fort Sherman Playground (5) I love the whimsical structure of this park.  It was very crowded but it didn’t feel that way because there were so many places for the kids to climb.



Lafarge Lake Park Coquitlam (12) This park is very close to Coquitlam Centre mall and has an awesome indoor pool with waves across the street at the Aquatic Centre. The park itself has a great climbing structure, a splash park, a lake to walk or bike or picnic around and big playing fields.  This is one of our favorite parks in BC.

Queenston Park in Port Coquitlam (11)

Terra Nova Park Richmond (18): This is a park worth driving a long way for.  It’s spectacular.

Tofino Playground at Village Green (28)A playground right in the heart of Tofino on Vancouver Island.  It has a few climbing structures and a flying fox the kids will love.  It’s a short walk from Rhino Coffee where they have beer donuts to go with your morning caffeine.

Whistler’s Inclusive Playground: (19)(It doesn’t hurt that this place is walking distance to Purebread, a lovely Whistler Bakery!)



    • Terumi says:

      Thanks for all the parks suggestions! Hopefully we’ll get to visit more the next time we’re in town. I grew up hanging out in Blue Mountain Park-it’s still one of my favorites!

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