While the Imagine Children's Museum in Everett is a treat to visit year round, sunny summer days mean the Rooftop Adventure is open and brimming with warm weather fun.
On our last visit, I heard one young first-time visitor exclaim "Oh, wow!" as he emerged from the staircase and caught site of the enormous play structure.
The structure sports a giant corkscrew slide (and many smaller ones), a climbing wall, and endless nooks and crannies to crawl through and over. On top of the structure kids and parents enjoy gorgeous views of Puget Sound.
Dinosaur fans love the "Dinosaur Dig Area" where kids uncover fossils and radio their discoveries back to base camp. Budding musicians bang away on huge xylophones and drums in the "Rooftop Rhythms" section.
Children also challenge themselves on the enormous chess boards, play hopscotch, and lie back on the cloud-watching benches to identify different types of clouds drifting overhead.
The art studio, which is usually located on the bottom floor, moves up to the roof for "Warm Wednesdays" and "Sunny Saturday" (weather permitting) and encourages artistic expression under a cool canopy.
Summer art activities include creating sailboats out of recycled materials and sailing them down the slides. Guest artists introduce kids to projects like creating encaustic art (simply put, painting with wax).
Even story time moves up to the roof on warm days. A "mister" keeps kids cool and the staff provides plenty of opportunities to have fun with water. One popular activity is "squirt fun" where kids squirt one another with rubber duckies floating in a swimming pool.
As a parent, I enjoy having an outdoor playground experience free of bugs and dirt. No food and drink on the rooftop means it's clean and bee free! Kids and grown-ups can snack on the bottom floor.
Imagine Children's Museum takes full advantage of sunny weather and works hard to provide an opportunity for you and your children to make the most of summertime.
IF YOU GO
Where: Imagine Children's Museum, 1502 Wall St., Everett.
When: Tuesday and Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Mondays. Rooftop Adventure is open during regular museum hours – weather permitting.
Cost: General admission $7.50, children 12 months and under free; Thursday 3 to 5 p.m. half-price admission; free admission from 5:30 to 9 p.m. the third Friday of every month (July 16, August 20, September 17.)
Contact: 425-258-1006; www.imaginecm.org.
Laura Spruce Wight is a Seattle-area freelance writer and mother of two.