August is halfway over and its crazy to think the kids will be back to school in a few short weeks! This was our first summer spent in Seattle, so we had lots of “new” experiences to be had. Our (practically brand new) house didn’t come with central air, which was pretty shocking to us to find out that it is pretty rare for houses to have it here. So we figured, oh we must not need it… Totally false! We caved by the end of July and bought a portable unit for our bedroom, and the kids have been sleeping in our room on the nights we turn it on. During the day when it has been hot, we have discovered some awesome local (free) options where the kids can cool off in the water and have fun while doing so. Here is our list of where we have hung out this summer, thus far. Hoping to add to it over time 😉
This is not technically Seattle, but Edmonds is just a quick drive north of Seattle. We arrived shortly after noon and the place was so packed there was no parking within the park. We easily found some street parking not too far from the spray park itself. The park was full of camp groups and day cares. There was plenty of shaded areas to hang out in when not in the water, however there was little room left to set up shop. I did like that it was set further from the street and easy for kids to stay within the boundaries of the park. This spray park had a huge variety of water sprayers and dumpers. The park also seemed new and mostly clean! I think my kids enjoyed this actual spray park the most, but it would have been better if it were less crowded!
Northacres is a sort of hidden park tucked within a wooded park in north Seattle. Very small parking lot here too, which was full when we arrived. You can park in an overflow lot and take a short walk through the woods to get to the spray park. This park offered tons of shaded spots to observe in. There was also a playground next to the spray park!
There are no bells and whistles at this water fountain park. It consists of tons of water fountains spraying up from the ground. There are many benches to sit in along the fountains but not much shade. I also think of this one as a park where you have no option but to get soaking wet. The fountains are fun to run through for the kids and my girls ended up head to toe drenched after a few short minutes. This is a great place to cool down for the kids as it is not near the street at all. You can hang around South Lake Union and watch the planes take off and land as well.
This giant water fountain is located in Seattle Center, near the Space Needle. This is a great place to go if you are prepared for the kids to get SOAKING wet. When we went, that was not our goal, and kids were in street clothes. Needless to say, they needed to change afterwards! There is not much shade here to watch the fountain in and it is mostly concrete surrounding it. The floor can feel a bit slippery – and we did see countless kids fall as they ran around in and out of the water. Another cool thing about this water fountain is the water is sprayed out in sync with music!
Crossroads Park is located in Bellevue. So not exactly Seattle, but well worth the drive on a hot day. The park wasn’t quite as busy as the parks in Seattle were, but still had a lot of camps visiting when we were there. I would say this is a good park to go to for younger kids, because there aren’t any contraptions that dump large amounts of water. The fountains are more gentle and the surface is great to run on because it is soft. My kids (7 and 3) could have spent all day here playing in the water. They also enjoyed the playground, which is practically connected to the spray section.
When we first visited this beach I couldn’t believe such a beautiful place could exist so close to our house! You had the beach, with very small waves for the kids, the sand, and then an awesome view of the Olympic National Park Mountain Range in the background. The kids love this beach because there are some awesome opportunities to play in the water. At low tide you can walk far out into the sound and discover sea life. The playground at Golden Gardens is also a great one and a perfect way to hang out before or after some water play. We had the chance to have a picnic at this beach this summer with a few friends too. Parking can be tricky if you arrive during peak hours, but if you are patient or like to walk its not like you won’t find something.
Richmond Beach is located just north of Seattle in Shoreline. We visited this beach on one of the warmest days this summer and it was surprisingly empty when we arrived. The beach is a mix of sand and rock, and has lots of driftwood to sit on near the water. From the parking lot it is a short walk down to the beach. Again, like Golden Gardens this beach offered some killer views and it was also much cooler to sit by the water on this hot day.
Located on Lake Washington, in Northeast Seattle, you will find Magnuson Park. Parking can be tricky on a nice sunny weekend, but well worth it if you find a spot. We also visited on a weekday and had zero problems finding parking. We only spent time at the small beach here. The good part about this lake beach is there are lifeguards present. My older daughter liked this beach a lot because of the pebbles on the beach instead of the sand. Lots of shade to hang in here if you aren’t in the water and there is even a small wading pool for little kids. If you aren’t at the beach area, the popular thing to do is to float around the shores of the lake on giant blow up floats. My kids are dying to do this – we will have to try it out next summer!
Located in Northern Seattle, Carkeek Park sits right on the shore of the Puget Sound. We only explored a fraction of this park and need to get back to check out more. The beach area here is accessible by a short walk, but requires going up and down steep stairs and on a bridge over the train tracks. Once you get over you will see the beautiful views of the mountains and the water. This beach offers hours of exploring for the kids. The waves are calm, and there is a mix of sand and rocks. Not only did we hang by the water here, but we also wandered through the woods on a short trail near the playground.