When you just don’t want to host playdates at home and deal with the tornado afterward, Seattle promises options aplenty. Watch the kids grow and develop while they have a blast at these awesome area escapes. Skip the cleanup and the cooped up kids and shoot for one of the best spots for a playdate in Seattle.
802 E. Mukilteo Blvd.
Everett, WA 98203
Forest Park is approximately 35 minutes from Seattle but worth the drive for all the park has to offer. Kids will have a blast on the play equipment, interacting with the animals at the petting farm, swimming in the pool or taking a pony ride. The park has a nice variety of trails, outdoor play equipment and a water playground with more than 15 interactive water features as well as a toddler area. It also offers a 25-yard lap indoor swimming pool with an attached diving tank that swimmers can either dive or swing into from a rope into. Also enjoy a toddler pool, hot tub and sauna. The petting zoo is occupied by a variety of farm animals including everything from ducks to bunnies to sheep. Admission is free and young animal lovers may get a picture with their new barnyard friends in a commemorative frame for just $5. The free pony rides are available June 30 to Aug. 26 for all kids up to 70 pounds. Donations are accepted for the pony rides and animal farm.
22310 20th Ave. S.E.
Bothell, WA 98021
Price: $7 kids/$5 siblings
Jump Planet is a huge inflatable play center in which the kiddos may easily scurry from one huge inflatable to the next. The place is clean with an open layout, making it possible to keep an eye on the kids at all times. With more than 12,000 square feet of inflatable games, slides, mazes, obstacle courses and mazes kids of all ages will have a blast. It offers drop-in sessions on weekdays and holidays, divided by age groups so everyone has a fun, safe time. One night a month is set aside for special needs children as well. Bring socks to avoid having to buy a pair there.
22715-B State Route 2
Monroe, WA 98272
Price: $5 children/$6 adults
The Serpentarium, a small reptile zoo, boasts a wide variety of reptiles, spiders and amphibians from the common to the exceptionally exotic, including an albino alligator and two-headed turtle.The zoo has surgically removed the venom from all the venomous snakes so worry not when snake-loving kids choose to hold 10 varieties of slithering serpents. Informative posters and texts posted with each display emphasize habitat preservation and education. Hands on exhibits offer kids the opportunity to examine items including eggshells, reptile skulls and turtle shells.
5895 Lake Washington Blvd. South
Seattle, WA 98118
Seward Park is only five miles from downtown Seattle, yet makes visitors feel far removed from city. The park includes 277 acres of habitats to explore ranging from savannas to forests to grasslands to lakeshore areas. The forest features two active bald eagle nests which are fun for kids to view through binoculars. The old growth forest, large collections of flora and paved trails offer a variety of areas to explore. The park has plenty of places to enjoy a picnic while taking in the amazing views of Mount Rainier and the Cascades.
Woodland Park Zoo
5500 Phinney Ave. North
Seattle, WA 98103-5897
(206) 548 -2500
Price: $17.75 adults/$11.50 children 3 to 12 years/free children 2 and younger
Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo offers hundreds of animals to enjoy, plus kids may visit the farm contact area, participate in one of the Zoomazium programs and help feed some of the zoo animals. Ask for a daily calendar when purchasing tickets to see which of these animals’ feedings and activities are on the schedule: $5 elephant feeding/$5 giraffe feeding/$1 willawong station bird feeding/Zoomazium Creature Feature or Zoomazium Shake Rattle & Roar. The grounds are spread out in a way that little ones may run and run before plopping down for a much-needed picnic lunch. Food is also available for purchase, including refreshing snow cones.
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Kristy Stevens-Young is a freelance writer in Seattle. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.