Keeping children active in the Pacific Northwest can be challenging during late fall through spring, as it’s easy to slip into a routine of video games and sedentary activities. The Seattle area offers many budget friendly activities that combine movement with learning to let your child explore, learn new ideas and be active.

Dr. Bryan Gregory and Saskia Gregory, both Seattle-area fitness professionals offer their favorite activities that encourage kids to grow, build self-esteem and develop self-awareness. Dr. Bryan Gregory and is the owner of Wallingford Family Chiropractic: a wellness-based practice in Seattle. He is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic, a member of the ICA Council on Wellness science and one of fewer than 150 Certified Chiropractic Wellness Practitioners in the world. Saskia Gregory is an A.C.E. Certified Personal Trainer since 1997. She works at Harbor Square Athletic Club in Edmonds, WA.

The key is to find the activity that resonates with your child. If a child enjoys the activity, they will ask to participate. Physical activities that encourage learning, movement and engagement tend to be more enticing to children. The activity could be as simple as sledding in the Cascades, hiking through a city park, taking a dance or gymnastics class or swimming. Children exercise through play; the idea is to make it fun!

The Frances Anderson Center offers many levels of gymnastic classes for children. (Credit, Karen Ulvestad)

Frances Anderson Center
700 Main St.
Edmonds, WA 98020
(425) 771-0230

The Edmonds Parks and Recreation program is rich with children’s activities including dance, gymnastics and sports. The programs are geared for children 1 year and up, and some of the younger participants require a parent to participate with their child. The instructor’s for the classes are experts in their fields, and teach the children sportsmanship and safety in every class. Fees for the classes are budget oriented, and a great deal.

The raptor show at Woodland Park Zoo is educational, and happens through-out the year. (Credit, Karen Ulvestad)

Woodland Park Zoo
750 N. 50th St.
Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 548-2500

Woodland Park Zoo is filled with miles of paved trails through many exhibits where wildlife is shown in natural looking habitat. The main zoo exhibits are the Northern Trail (arctic), Tropical Asia, African Savanna, Tropical Rain Forest, Temperate Forest, Australasia and more. The exhibits are great for all ages. The Zoomazium is a fantastic place for children 8 and under with their caregiver. The indoor area is dedicated to play, exploration, climbing and learning. At the north end, the historic carousel is open for rides.

2210 N. Pacific St.
Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 829-9969

OmCulture is the yoga studio that works with children (toddler to elementary), adults and families. Yoga is great for children to build self-confidence, self-awareness and be active at the same time. It is good for all ages, including adults. It helps with anxiety, stress, and focus. For reluctant children, it may help them to know that pro-football players use yoga to improve their game mentally and physically.

Related: Fitter Kids, Better Grades?

Mountlake Terrace Recreation Pavilion
5303 228th St. S.W.
Mountlake Terrace, WA 98043
(425) 776-9173

The Mountlake Terrace Recreation Pavilion has an award-winning aquatics program. Swimming lessons are offered for all ages, from babies to seniors. Swimming is one of the best all-around exercises, and can be done in any season. This indoor pools is equipped with a shallow area for younger children, a lazy river, and areas for swimming/playing. The water supports the body, and allows obese individuals an opportunity to exercise. Impact on the joints is reduced by the water and the body’s buoyancy. The aquatics program offers lap swims, recreation and leisure swims, water aerobic/fitness classes and more. The pool can also be rented for birthday parties.

The West Point Lighthouse sits on the Puget Sound in Discovery Park. (Credit, Karen Ulvestad)

Discovery Park
3801 Discovery Park Blvd.
Seattle, WA 98199
(206) 386-4236

Hiking in natural environments makes for an excellent opportunity to explore and play while being active. This park has many different types of environment, including forest, beach and meadow. It is one of the few open spaces left in Metropolitan Seattle. Trails cut through the park, offering opportunities to climb hills, explore beaches, view wildlife and learn. Plus, the park is also home to the Daybreak Star Cultural Center, giving the kids a chance to find out about Native American culture, in addition to running around in the wilderness.

Related: Best ‘Mom And Me’ Fitness Classes

Karen Ulvestad is a mother and professional writer/photographer, who lives in the greater Seattle area. She graduated from the University of Washington with a BA in English Composition. Her background is in fitness, travel, photography and writing. She continually researches locations to visit, and/or entertainment opportunities for family outings and/or photo shoots. Her work can be found at