Seattle's Child

Your guide to a kid-friendly city

Family with a naturalist guide in the park

Family getting a guided tour from a naturalist at the Tacoma Nature Center. Photo: Joshua Huston

4 family-friendly guided hikes around the Seattle area

Let an expert explain the animals, plants and history around you 

We’re lucky in the Washington area to have so much nature surrounding us and guided hikes led by knowledgeable professionals to let us know what we might find in the woods, ocean and beyond.

Here are some family-friendly guided hikes around the Seattle area that provide nature programs. Expert naturalists show you around and teach you about all the animals, plants, wildlife and history around you. 

Beach naturalists

Seattle Aquarium sends volunteer naturalists to show people around the intertidal zone. During low tides May through August, you’ll find these guides at 11 spots along Puget Sound, from Shoreline’s Richmond Beach to Dash Point State Park in Federal Way. Naturalists are available to answer questions about sea stars, anemones, crabs and all the other sea creatures found at these beaches. Volunteers wear red caps and carry red flags. Free.

Seward Park Audubon Center

Learn about the wild creatures of Seward Park at one of the Audubon Center’s naturalist-led events. From fungi and trees to birds and bats, these informative walks and talks cover the bases and then some. Cost: $5 – $10 per person.

Bellevue ranger programs

Park rangers lead guided hikes in Bellevue parks, including Lake Hills Greenbelt, Lewis Creek, Mercer Slough and Coal Creek. Enjoy ranger-led night strolls that examine owls and bats on a hike in the dark or learn about native birds and pollinators on the trail in the day. Join Story and a Stroll, a great experience for younger children. Free. Registration required.

Seattle parks

Explore the intertidal zone with a Seattle Urban Nature Guide on Discovery Park’s sandy South Beach. Touch sea anemones, dodge a clam squirt, search for sea stars and learn more about all the sea creatures. $10 per person (best for ages 8 and older). Search “tidepools” for upcoming events


Check out our guide to tide pooling.

Take a hike to one of these kid-friendly waterfalls.

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