Seattle's Child

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best Seattle parks for kids

Discovery Park has trails, beaches and an Environmental Learning Center. (Photo by Discovery Park staff)

10 of the best Seattle-area parks for kids

Walk in the woods or check out an awesome playground, here's where to go

Best Seattle parks for kids: Seattle is chock-full of gorgeous parks with something for every family. Whether you’re looking for a challenging hike, a long walk in the woods, or a field to run on, we’ve picked the 10 best parks around Seattle to explore.

Discovery Park

Discovery Park’s lush green spaces and winding, easy paths are a welcome oasis in the middle of Magnolia. It’s more of a trek down stairs and trails to reach the saltwater beach, but it’s worth it for the mountain views alone. The park has a loop path that winds through the forest as well as open spaces where kids can play and look out on the Sound. The kid-friendly Environmental Learning Center also has fantastic resources those curious about the plants and animals of the park.

3801 Discovery Park Blvd, Seattle


Carkeek Park

Carkeek: come for the playground, stay for the views. The salmon themed play structures will occupy your kids while you admire the stunning Olympics from the shoreline. Climb up the stairs to the pedestrian overpass and take in the spectacular mountain sights while train cars pass beneath your feet.

950 NW Carkeek Park Rd, Seattle


Seward Park

Seward is another gem on the shores of Lake Washington. With its 300 acres of forest and green space, you might spot an eagle if you’re lucky. The park is home to an Audubon Center where classes and camps are held year-round, including wildlife education classes and nature-focused book clubs.

5895 Lake Washington Blvd S, Seattle


Volunteer Park

The largest park in Capitol Hill, Volunteer Park is a Seattle institution. In addition to a big playground and wading pool, the park boasts a rotund water tower whose 100 steps you can climb to reach the highest point in Capitol Hill. When you’ve reached the top, take in the gorgeous 360° view of downtown and the Eastside. Also in the park are the Asian Art Museum and the Volunteer Park Conservatory ($6 for adults, $4 for teens 13-17, free for kids under 12), which showcases an amazing array of plants and flowers.

1247 15th Ave E, Seattle


Green Lake

Although it’s a summer standout, Green Lake also shines during the rainier months. With a 2.8 mile loop path for wheels and feet; ample green spaces to play on; a full playground; basketball, tennis, and volleyball courts; an indoor gym; and a superb wading pool in summer, Green Lake’s got it all.

7201 E Greenlake Dr N, Seattle


Meridian Playground

Meridian is a smaller park with a large grassy field, a playground, and a Seattle Tilth-operated P-Patch. Though it’s a significantly tinier park, Meridian is charming and lush, with an apple orchard amid the playfield.

4649 Sunnyside Ave N, Seattle


Lakeridge Park

Seattle Parks and Rec describes Lakeridge Park as an “urban oasis of forest and running water,” and that’s no overstatement. Lakeridge’s walking trails meander alongside its Taylor Creek and provide a cool respite from the bustle of the city.

10201 Holyoke Way S, Seattle


Golden Gardens

Though it’s generally understood to mean the far-west Ballard shorefront, Golden Gardens also has a park nestled next to the beach. The park has an ultra-modern playground with a cool rope structure where kids can practice climbing skills, as well as wetlands that let little ones get up close and personal with nature.

8498 Seaview Pl NW, Seattle


Fauntleroy Park

Fauntleroy is a decidedly green space, with its woods mostly undisturbed and left in their natural state. Fauntleroy’s creek was made a salmon run in 1991 and has been a home for them ever since.

3951 SW Barton St, Seattle

St. Edward State Park (outside Seattle but worth the trip; here’s what we found there recently)

St. Edward State Park, hugging the banks of Lake Washington, has over 300 acres of land. It has also got arguably one of the coolest playgrounds around: an all-wood play structure with slides, turrets and tunnels. If you’re looking for a laid-back day walk, you’ll find picnic tables and peaceful walking paths; for a more active day, the park allows boating, swimming and water-skiing. Since it’s a state park, you’ll need a Discover Pass for parking ($10 daily, $30 yearly). [ State parks free days in 2023 ]

14445 Juanita Dr NE, Kenmore

Editor’s note: Originally published 2016; updated March 2023

More of the best Seattle parks for kids:

9 neighborhood parks where your kids can play for hours

5 kid-friendly garden parks to explore

10 Seattle parks that are spacious



About the Author

AnnaLise Bender-Brown