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Things to do with kids this summer in Seattle

Playgrounds? We've got playgrounds — and much more!


Ahhhh, summer!


Are you basking in the freedom, or wondering how you'll ever fill the time? (Or maybe a bit of both, depending on the day?) Either way, here are tons of tons of ideas for keeping you and the kids busy. We'll add to it as summer goes on. Now, get out there! Labor Day will be here before we know it.


Here's a cool bucket list of summer ideas you might not have thought of — or might have been purposefully avoiding. This might persuade you to give them another thought. This article breaks it down into "14 things to do before summer is over." No pressure!


Here's a new one: Take the kids to the Amazon Spheres. We all want to know what's in there. A couple of hints: 1. You need a reservation. 2. With Seattle parking so difficult and costly, consider taking transit.


Be by the water: Are you looking for a beach with trains nearby? Or how about one with a "California" vibe? Here's where to go. Here are the beaches with enough room to really stretch your legs (and maybe rack up some steps!) And when the tides are super-low (roughly once a month), the beachcombing is awesome and there are naturalists roaming around to help you discover things.


Lie down and look up: Here's a guide to stargazing in the Pacific Northwest.


Take a hike: The Union Bay Natural Area is awesome! Here's what you need to know about it, and what you might be able to see. Ditto Seward Park. Our expert has highlighted six nature experiences to be on the lookout for. Also, here's a popular list of shorter walks for the littler hikers. And, are you a little wary of getting outdoors with kids? Don't be. Here's a Seattle couple who will inspire you. And here are some great tips for if you're new to this hiking thing. (Hint: It's not that difficult!)


Get sporty: Take the kids to a ballgame! Here's a guide to Seattle-area pro sports that you're familiar with, and some you may not be. If they get bored with the action at Safeco Field, there are other things to entertain them, too. If you haven't seen a Seattle Storm game, you should give it a try.


Parks, parks and more parks: our 10 favorite parks for kids in Seattle, this interesting list of seven "hidden gems," some lovely, and kid-friendly, public gardens and places right in town where you can have a surprisingly "wild" outdoor experience.


Stay cool: Go to a spray park or ... change things up a bit with some free bowling or a cheap kids movie.


Fun day trips: Everett's Jetty Island is tons of fun. Here's how to get there and what you'll want to do. Or Bainbridge Island, also reachable by ferry and walkable once you get there.


Picnic and play: Picnic spots, conveniently located near upscale takeout places.


Help prevent summer brain drain by encouraging your kids to read. Libraries are happy to help with this and even sweeten the deal with games and prizes! Also, here are lots of chances to catch an outdoor movie or a concert in the park. There's also outdoor live theater: Shakespeare, anyone?


Learn where food comes from: pick blueberries, pick raspberries, go to a farmers market.


Dine out: Eat at a restaurant known for welcoming kids,  Or one with a great deck or patio. Or treat the family to ice cream, gelato, frozen yogurt or sorbet. Or, ahem, an adult beverage for the parents at a place that's welcoming to kids. Win-win! Marination Ma Kai on Alki combines great views, great food and possibly a water-taxi voyage, as well as the aforementioned adult beverages


And don't forget: Sunscreen. Here's a great guide for Seattle parents.

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