Welcome to Seattle’s Child’s Summer Route 66, a map to guide you through July, August and the first week of September. Whether you count it in months, weeks, days or hours, summer is the season for family doing and going.It’s the season of long, active, outdoor fun as you hike, bike, swim, dance and play close to home or across Washington State. It’s the season of lazy inside days spent reading, learning and watching creativity bloom from boredom. And, it’s the season of Washington’s major and most popular family-friendly fairs and festivals, the biggest and oldest of which are right here in Puget Sound.
On the following pages, Seattle’s Child’s Summer Route 66 makes a stop every day between July 1 and September 7. It’s a guide full of great ideas, local outings and interesting destinations.
So, sit down as a family, check out the route, choose the stops that excite you all. Be sure to check websites and register early for events and activities that require registration. Once that’s done, sit back and enjoy the ride as you cruise through summer 2022.
Friday, July 1: Claim your campsite
Whether your clan prefers tents, cabins or yurts, rustic or modern, take this weekend for a little overnight adventure in the woods, on the beach or by a lake. Great family camping can be found on the Key Peninsula at Joemma Beach State Park (a first-come, first-served park). Cabins are the thing at Cama Beach State Park. And if you’ve never tried a yurt, head out to Tolt Mac-Donald Park, much closer to home near the Snoqualmie and Tolt Rivers. Spots all booked? Don’t let that stop your family fun! Pitch a tent in your living room or backyard, roast s’mores, tell spooky stories and Voilà! You’ve gone on the easiest camping adventure ever. For more location ideas visit waparks.org.
Saturday, July 2: Fly a kite
Feel a breeze today? If so, grab a kite, slop on running shoes and get ready to soar on the joy of kiting. For the best flying, head to the Great Earth Mound Summit at Gasworks Park or loosen your strings on Kite Hill – Magnuson Park’s 35-foot-tall kite run. Catch the last day of Come Fly a Kite Days at Chambers Creek Regional Park between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Need a kite? Purchase a kite kit online and build it at the park. For more great kite-flying opportunities, check out August 18 in this issue and “5 solid kite-flying spots” at seattleschild.com. For more on Kite Days visit piercecountywa.gov/6939/Come-Fly-a-Kite.
Sunday, July 3: Cruise through Bicycle Weekend
Your human-powered wheels are welcome right down the middle of Lake Washington Boulevard, today through tomorrow morning at 7 a.m., during Bicycle Weekend. On select weekends, the City of Seattle closes a portion of the boulevard to motorized vehicles from 7 p.m. Friday to 7 a.m. Monday. So pack a sack lunch for a lakeside picnic and bike, jog or stroll the street between Seward Park’s entrance and Mouth Baker Park’s beach. Mark your calendar for upcoming Bicycle Weekends: July 15-18, August 12-15 and 19-22, and September 2-6 and 16-19. Check out “10 Bicycle Weekends set for summer 2022 along Lake Washington Boulevard” at seattleschild.com.
Monday, July 4: The biggest festival in the U.S. of A
Where should your family go to watch spectacular fireworks? In Seattle, the Seattle Seafair Fireworks show is best viewed at Gasworks Park or Lake Union Park. The light show begins at 10:15 p.m. Learn more at seafair.org.
The following cities are also lighting the skies this year: Bellevue at Downtown Park 10:05 p.m.; Everett at Legion Memorial Park 10:00 p.m.; Mountlake Terrace at Ballinger Park at 10 p.m. on July 3; Federal Way at Celebration Park at 10:15 p.m.; Renton at Gene Coulon Memorial Park 10 p.m.; Lacey at Rainier Vista Park at 10 p.m. on July 3; SeaTac at Angle Lake Park at 10 p.m.
Tuesday, July 5: Get lost on a tiny island
It isn’t big, but Everett’s Jetty Island is a fascinating place to roam on a Tuesday afternoon. A three-minute ferry ride takes you there – it’s a perfect spot to bask in the sun, discover tidelands and saltwater marshes, build sand castles and swim in shallow waters. Jetty Island ferries start running today and will continue to run Wednesday to Sunday through Labor Day. Reservations are required. Kids under age 2 are free. Swimming is only allowed on the west shore and at your own risk (no lifeguards). Check out “Everett’s lovely Jetty Island is just a ferry ride away” at Seattleschild.com. Learn more at visiteverett.com/jetty
Wednesday, July 6: Summer Reading Challenge
With more daylight hours and warm, curl-up weather, summer is the perfect time for a lazy day of reading. Dedicate today to the written word, starting with cartoons or a short story over breakfast. King County Library System’s summer reading program started in June, but you have until August to log 1,000 minutes of reading or (audiobook) listening. Consider a book from the Global Reading Challenge held by Seattle Public Library earlier this year. Read to your child or encourage your fourth- or fifth-grader to read a Challenge book to you. Go to spl.org to find more information.
Thursday, July 7: Check out a museum for free!
A visit to a museum for the whole family can be prohibitively expensive. That’s why several local museums give you and yours the opportunity to explore for free – on the first Thursday of every month. Free Thursdays are a great opportunity to introduce kids to amazing art, ideas and history. The Museum of Flight, Museum of History and Industry, the Burke Museum, National Nordic Museum and others participate in free Thursdays. That makes today a perfect day to pick a museum and spark your child’s curiosity. Check out “Seattle-area museums to explore for free on First Thursdays” at seattleschild.com.
Friday, July 8: Meet the Bard in the park
William Shakespeare (or at least his plays) will be roaming parks in Seattle and King County this summer looking for you and your family. Tonight Seattle Shakespeare Company’s Wooden O Productions performs A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Point Defiance Park in Tacoma and Cymbeline at Luther Burbank Park Amphitheater on Mercer Island. Greenstage (now in its 34th season) opens its Shakespeare in the Park season today as well. For summer lineups, go to seattleshakespeare.org and greenstage.org.
Kids not feelin’ Shakespeare? 14/48 Project’s high-energy staging of “Mega Hero Rangers Go Go Go Supreme” is onstage this weekend and plays every weekend through July. Think superhero mashup of Power Rangers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. For location and other information visit the1448projects.org.
Saturday, July 9: Ride the rails with Thomas and friends
Thomas the Tank Engine is rolling into the Northwest Railway Museum and depot in Snoqualmie today! Thomas will be joined by several of his railway friends, including Sir Topham Hatt, so head to the station to meet them and/or jump on board Thomas for an interactive train ride. Little engineers will also delight in the museum’s Dream Big Corner where they are invited to participate in lawn games and other activities. Can’t ride the rails with Thomas today? The world’s favorite No. 1 blue engine will return to Snoqualmie July 15-17 and 23-24. trainmuseum.org
Sunday, July 10: Farmers markets
Breaking news: Food comes from farms! Explore the bounty of fresh-picked fruits and veggies, bouquets of summer florals, baked goods, homemade jams, entertainment and more at summer farmers markets taking place all around King County this summer. Today, head to the West Seattle Farmers Market (Sundays, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.). Farmers markets take place in neighborhoods across Seattle just about every day of the week. And outside Seattle too: Monroe Farmers Market (Wednesdays, 3.-7 p.m.); Renton Farmers Market (Tuesdays, 3-7 p.m.); Redmond Farmers Market (Saturdays, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.); Tacoma Farmers Market ( Sundays, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.). Check out “Picnic perfect farmers markets” at seattleschild.com for more market information. To find a list of all farmers’ markets in our region and beyond go to wafarmersmarkets.org.
Monday, July 11: Take a wander on the Seattle Waterfront
The Seattle Waterfront offers plenty to see and do today. While away the hours watching ferries come and go, check out skyscraper-sized cruise ships or join a game of soccer on the turf on pier 62. Take a spin on the Great Wheel carousel at pier 57 for a little tummy-dropping excitement and stunning city views. Then hunt for the Giant Pacific Octopus at Seattle Aquarium (Pier 59) or watch for seals gliding in the water nearby. There is a range of restaurants on the wharf or at nearby Pike Place Market. That’s where you’ll find artistic arrays of farm-fresh produce, colorful flowers, funky shops, street artists and more. Check the article “A day out on the Seattle Waterfront with kids” at seattleschild.com.
Tuesday, July 12: Find the pinball whiz in your family
Arcade games are always a pull for kids with their bright lights, sounds and flashing scores. The Seattle Pinball Museum is the place to see, learn and experience games dating from the 1930s to today. Let your own childhood memory of pinball play guide your fingers as you pull that spring-loaded pinball knob and watch the silver ball bounce down the board. Or challenge your kids to rack up points on what museum curators say is the original video game. Nostalgia alert: This museum is also a retail store, so don’t be surprised if a favorite game follows you home! Learn more at seattlepinballmuseum.com.
Wednesday, July 13: Set sail
Salt in the air, ripples on the water . . . does today’s weather scream “perfect day” to set sail with your family? The Center for Wooden Boats’ Public Peapod Program makes that prospect easy. Peapod boats are free to use (maximum of five adults) and are perfect for rowers of all experiences. Reservations are required and they fill fast (open Wednesday to Sunday, year round). In fact, Seattle offers an array of great family-friendly boating options, including the dessert and float experience of the Seattle Water Tours Ice Cream Sail. The King County Water Taxi ferries people to and from West Seattle and Vashon Island for the cost of a bus ride. You can also rent stand-up paddle boards at Agua Verde Cafe and Paddle Club. Or rent canoes at the Waterfront Activities Center, located behind the University of Washington’s Husky Stadium. For more easy family boating ideas, check out “On the water: 11 options for Seattle boat rentals and tours” at seattleschild.com.
Thursday, July 14: Take a guided wildlife tour
Learn all about nature on a tour led by a naturalist or park ranger. Go to Richmond Beach Salt Water Park or Carkeek Beach today and visit with the Seattle Aquarium volunteer naturalists, who stand ready to teach you a thing or two about ocean life. Today will be one of the lowest tides of the summer, so you’re bound to see a variety of shelled and/or tentacled beauties. Pick up different lessons about the what/when/where of local wildlife at the Seward Park Audubon Center, where experts teach all aboutbirds and other wildlife in the area. Visit Mercer Slough or Coal Creek Park to learn about owls, bats and other nocturnal animals.
Friday, July 15: 33rd Annual Seafair Indian Days Powwow
There’s a lot to discover at Seattle’s Discovery Park beyond its rambling trails and rocky beaches. This weekend is your family’s opportunity to discover or engage in Indigenous culture through dance, music, Native arts and crafts, and traditional foods during the 33rd Annual Seafair Indian Days Powwow.
The powwow takes place at Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center, located in Discovery Park, today through Sunday, July 17.
United Indians of All Tribes Foundation, event organizers, offer this history of the powwow: “In early times, hunters would invite their friends and relatives to share their good fortune. As time went on, while the meal was being prepared, relatives would dance to honor their host. Eventually, the dancing became the main focus of the event. Powwows also had religious significance. They were an opportunity for families to hold naming and honoring ceremonies.” This weekend, Native Americans of all tribes and cultures will come together to celebrate their heritage and showcase traditional Indian cooking, jewelry-making, music, dance and food which is a central part of Native Peoples hospitality. Join in a traditional salmon bake and get a taste of other traditional Indigenous foods. Don’t sit on the sidelines when the Grand Entry dance begins. After Native American dancers enter the powwow circle in their traditional regalia, all are welcome to join the dance. Check out the FAQs page at unitedindians.org.
Saturday, July 16: Strawberry fields forever
Classic cars, a parade, and strawberries everywhere: The free Vashon Island Strawberry Festival is an old-timey tradition filled with intergenerational fun. Hop a morning ferry from the Fauntleroy terminal in West Seattle to spend today gorging on ripe red heart-shaped berries in all forms (jams, sundaes, lemonade, pie). Burn off the calories dancing to live music and strolling among artist and vendor booths. The festival runs through July 17. vashonchamber.com/strawberryfestival
Sunday, July 17: Whidbey Island
Take the ferry or drive over to Whidbey Island today. Hike Ebey’s Landing, a 5.6-mile trail that winds over a bluff and leads down to a rocky shore. Share a picnic at the beach or head over to Kapaws Iskreme for a sweet treat. Don’t miss Price Sculpture Forest for another short hike, perfect for little legs and exploring art works from local artists. Check out “Parent review: Hidden fun at Whidbey’s Price Sculpture Forest” at seattleschild.com. Learn more at whidbeycamanoislands.com.
Monday, July 18: Day trip to North Bend
A visit to North Bend really starts at Snoqualmie Falls, or more precisely, at the two-acre park, gift shop, observation deck and popular Salish Lodge located at the top of this 270-foot waterfall. The upper observation and lower observation decks are open every day of the year. Challenge your little ones to spot the long pipes that carry the water from the falls up through turbines to create electricity for our region. From the falls it’s an eight-minute drive into North Bend to check out the city’s large murals, old steam engines, and learn about the region’s logging history. End your visit with two scoops from Snoqualmie Ice Cream. Find out more at discovernorthbend.com and snoqualmiefalls.com.
Tuesday, July 19: Sandsations sand castle festival
Did you know there’s actual science behind sand castles? It’s called “surface tension.”
Surface tension is the force that causes water molecules to be attracted to one another and it’s the strength behind great sandcastle building. So, add a little science fact to the fun when you pile in the car and head to the Sandsations Sand Castle Festival in Long Beach. This annual festival starts today and runs through July 23. Pack your buckets, shovels and tools and set to work on an enormous family castle. There will be inspiration aplenty – master sculptors from around the country will be on the beach, building incredible sand art as part of the Sand Castle Competition. Large-scale sculptures can be viewed all along the shoreline near the Bolstad Beach Approach and at participating businesses around town who sponsored sculptures in front of their storefronts. Don’t miss the individual and family sand castle competition entries or, better yet, enter your family! Learn how to build castles at sand sculptor-led drop-in classes for families. facebook.com/longbeachsandsations
Wednesday, July 20: A weekend in Skagit Valley
What’s there to do in Skagit Valley after the tulips have stopped blooming? Plenty. Rent a tiny home in the mountains and spend your days hiking. Check out the 1.8-mile hike to Craft Island, where you’ll discover an ocean wonderland at low tide. Head to Padilla Bay Interpretive Center, a free museum with touch tanks and information about all the animals in the area. Good cookin’ is waiting for your family at the Skagit River Brewery. Follow it up with a visit to Snow Goose Produce, where they serve up enormous scoops of ice cream. Learn more at visitskagitvalley.com.
Thursday, July 21: Lakeside lounge day!
We wait nine months for that sun you see in the sky. Bask in it during an all-day lounge at a lake. It’s easy: just inflate the alligator raft, grab loose change for the ice cream truck and head for the water. With so many beautiful beaches nearby, you could make lake-hopping a weekly activity. Consider Meydenbauer Bay Park in Bellevue, which boasts a big swimming area, water sport rentals, a playground, picnic tables and awesome views. Take a tour of Green Lake on an electric pedal boat. At Seward Park, bring bikes and scooters for a roll along the flat, 2.6-mile loop before spreading out a blanket at the lakeside or shady playground.
Friday, July 22: Themed Playgrounds
Have an aspiring astronaut in the family or someone who loves trains? Maybe a kid who likes to play boardgames? Fuel their passions at a themed playground today. Zip down the line at Wilburton Park in Bellevue, climb the Jupiter structure at space-themed North Kirkland Community Park. Hop square to square at the colorful Chutes and Ladders-inspired West Fenwick Park in Kent. Check out “10 fun, themed playgrounds in the Seattle area to explore” at seattleschild.com.
Saturday, July 23: Mima Mounds
What exactly are those orbs rising from the ground in the Mima Mounds Natural Area Preserve? Toss around scientific and silly guesses as you move through this eerie preserve near Olympia. Stepping into this environmental oddity is a little like landing on another planet. Visit the observation deck for a birds-eye view and to compare scientists’ best guesses on why the mounds may have formed to your family’s. Check out “The mysterious Mima Mounds: Family-friendly day trip from Seattle” at seattleschild.com.
Sunday, July 24: Petting Zoos
It’s one thing to see animals. It’s quite another (and a lot more fun for most kids) to touch goats, lambs, chickens and even bunnies. Visit Farrell McWhirter Park or Kelsey Creek Farms (or both) today for a hands-on experience with chickens, bunnies, pigs, horses and more. Both farms offer kid-friendly classes about animals, their behaviors and their habitats. Check out “Best family farms and petting zoos around Seattle” at seattleschild.com.
Monday, July 25: Get to know Seattle’s Asian heritage
Seattle’s China Town-International District is the perfect place to explore the Asian culture and to gain understanding of the historical role and experience of the region’s Chinese, Japanese and other Asian communities. Start your day with a boba-filled bubble tea and then head to the Wing Luke Museum. Stop for dim sum lunch at one of several Chinese eateries specializing in this small plates taste fest. Next wander up to Kobe Terrace Park, named after Seattle’s sister city, Kobe, Japan. After browsing shops, move on to sushi or another favorite dish at a nearby Japanese restaurant. Be sure to stop in at Uwajimaya, one of the city’s largest Asian food markets to stock up on delicious snacks to remember your day in the “I.D.” Learn more at visitseattle.org/neighborhoods/international-district.
Tuesday, July 26: Stairway walks
Running up and down stairs has several benefits: stairs get you to new places, they can tucker out ansty kids and they can provide a heart-pumping workout for parents. We call that a win-win-win! With more than 650 publicly accessible stairways in Seattle, there’s plenty of adventure waiting to be found in every neighborhood. Step up to the longest staircase in Seattle – Howe Street Stairs, ascending a lofty 388 steps! And check out “5 Seattle stair walks that are fun (and worth the work) with kids” at seattleschild.com.
Wednesday, July 27: Take me out to the ballgame!
What could be more iconic in the summertime than cheering from the stands at a baseball game? Today the Seattle Mariners take on the Texas Rangers, so grab your placards, hats and mitts and head to T-Mobile Park for an afternoon game. Along with game viewing, T-Mobile Park has a Kids Zone and lots of opportunities to meet the mascot, Mariner Moose. But major league play isn’t the only great baseball in Puget Sound. For more action, check out the Everett AquaSox and Tacoma Rainiers, our region’s minor-league teams. Hint: Get lawn tickets at the Rainiers’ home, Cheney Stadium, to give kids room to roam and play on the adjacent playground. Everett’s Funko Field also has a Fun Zone, with a big slide, bouncy house and pitching cage. For a list of Washington’s professional teams, go to wsscaseattle.com.
Thursday, July 28: Story walks
A walk, a story, time in nature and a little literary adventure. What’s not to like about a storywalk? The non-profit group PopUp StoryWalk integrates children’s stories (some by local authors) into popular trail walks in and around east King County. Learn where and when new stories will be displayedt at facebook.com/popupstorywalk/popupstorywalk.org. And don’t miss the Pretzel Tree Trail, a permanent story walk installation in Issaquah.
Friday, July 29: 75th Annual Bellevue Arts Museum Arts Fair
Expose your kids to the creative minds and energies of hundreds of artists during the largest arts and crafts festival in the Northwest.
First launched in 1947, Bellevue Arts Museum Arts Fair showcases the handmade crafts and art of more than 300 artists. With that much creativity on the streets, there’s something sure to capture the attention of every member of the family. Not to mention, there’s a lot to do here, from free museum exhibitions to art vendor booths to music, food trucks and more.
Do the words “arts festival” sound a little too lofty for a family outing? Have no fear. This arts extravaganza isn’t just for grownups. Kids and families are invited to step into Bellevue Art Museum Friday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., for hands-on art projects, games and gallery activities. All are welcome, but most stations are best-suited for ages 3-10. The younger set will also enjoy the BAMboozle Stage located near the Bellevue Macy’s store fountain, featuring local music just for kids. Not to mention, a bubble area and crafts.
Bring your sidewalk chalk! Your family is invited to create chalk art and graffiti all along the closed portions of NE 6th Street (outside Bellevue Arts Museum) from Friday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.. The fair runs July 29-31 at Bellevue Square and Bellevue Arts Museum. Learn more at bellevuearts.org/artsfair.
Saturday, July 30: It’s SEA-ttle! More tide pools please!
Check the tide pool charts and head out to find amazing Puget Sound creatures usually visible only at low tide. There’s a lot to look for: crabs, sea stars, gunnell fish, anemone, barnacles and more can be found at Marina Beach Park in Edmonds or on the beaches at Discovery Park below Magnolia or Golden Gardens Park in North Seattle. Remember to use a gentle two-finger touch to explore sea creatures. Check out “Your guide to exploring Seattle-area beaches at low tide” at seattleschild.com.
Sunday, July 31: Wildflower wonders
Rolling hills, swaying meadows and waterside wildflowers are a sight to see! Head up to Snoqualmie Pass today for a walk in the wildflowers along Gold Creek Pond. It’s an easy 1.2-mile stroller- and ADA-accessible walk with plenty of colorful flowers come mid-summer. Pack bug spray and leave flowers on the fields so others can share in the experience, too. Go to “Gold Creek Pond Loop: These kids had so much fun they hiked it twice” at seattleschild.com.
Monday, August 1: Explore Edmonds and beyond
Kick the city for small town fun in Edmonds, starting with a morning back and forth walk-on ferry ride to the old logging town of Kingston and its popular French crepery J’aime les Crepes. When you land in Edmonds, head to the beaches just off the ferry terminal or a short walk south. The model train room at Edmonds Historical Museum is well worth a visit as is a walk-through Edmonds Marsh teeming with wildlife year round. Don’t miss the wonderfully curated Teri’s Toybox shop. Check out “A Walk-on Ferry Ride from Edmonds and Crepes” at seattleschild.com.
Tuesday, August 2: Take a Night Out with neighbors
Learn about public safety during block parties and other activities at tonight’s citywide Night Out event. Neighborhood gatherings and street closures are sponsored by the Seattle Police Department Crime Prevention program. Night Out, an annual nationwide celebration, is designed to heighten crime prevention awareness, get communities involved in anti-crime efforts and unite neighbors in watching out for each other. Learn more at seattle.gov/police/crime-prevention/night-out.
Wednesday, August 3: Squeeze some lemons
There’s that old saying that is handy when things don’t go the way kids want them to: “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.” Sometimes, however, making lemonade is just a fun way to spend a summer day – and perhaps make a little money for a special treat or a favorite cause. Pull out old boxes, duct tape and markers to help your crew fashion a lemonade stand today, then squeeze those lemons, take your spot on a lawn chair and let your little entrepreneurs work the pitch.
Thursday, August 4: Ready, set, plog!
Plogging is gaining popularity here in Seattle and around the world — it’s a pastime that is not only great exercise, but a great service to communities. Originated in Sweden, plogging is the simple act of taking a walk and picking up trash along the way. Grab your walking sticks, tie trash bags to your waists and plog the litter from your neighborhood, your local park or both. plogging.org
Friday, August 5: Kid Concert in Covington
Put on your dancing shoes, pack up a picnic dinner and hit the road to Covington for an evening concert with award-winning children’s musician Joanie Leeds. The concert is part of Covington’s Summer Concert Series, which starts at 6:30 p.m. at Covington Community Park Stage. Consider making it a full afternoon by stopping along the way for some watery fun and an awesome playground at Lake Meridian Park in Kent and/or, nearer to Covington, the Maple Valley Gnome Trail. Learn more at covingtonwa.gov/events.
Saturday, August 6: Magnolia Summerfest & Seafair Weekend
Seafair is Seattle’s annual summer-long festival, a 72-year-old celebration that encompasses several major citywide and regional events and culminates this year in Seafair Weekend, August 5-7.
Set on Lake Washington’s 1.5 miles of shoreline, Seafair Festival Weekend is a boating event, hydroplane competition, air show and festival rolled into one and includes several roaring fly-bys from the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, the second oldest precision-flight acrobatics team in the nation.
Throughout the weekend, a variety of neighborhood events also take place, including Magnolia Summerfest, which is designed specifically with kids and families in mind. Summerfest runs in tandem with Seafair Weekend. Rather than hydroplanes, settle in for the pet fashion and costume contest, dive into free kids’ crafts and games, boogie to live music, spread out for an outdoor movie, and let the kids bop in the bounce houses for as long as they like. The event includes toy boat building and races, food trucks and other points of interest for kids of all ages.
The crown jewel of Magnolia Summerfest? The annual Kids Parade, which prefaces the spectacular Magnolia Seafair Parade. Encourage your kids to reinvent themselves entirely or dress up as their favorite characters, animals or entities when they crawl out of bed today. Then simply show up at 9:45 a.m. at the corner of 34th Avenue West and West Raye Street in Magnolia to join the parade. The kids march starts at 10 a.m., followed by the larger Magnolia Seafair Parade at 10:30 a.m.. Check out magnoliasummerfest.org and seafair.org for a full list of events.
Sunday, August 7: Meet Ann of Green Gables at the Kitsap Forest Theater
Located in a lush forest glen far away from city sounds, Kitsap Forest Theater is a magical place to enjoy truly fine theater as a family. Toes will be tapping tonight when “Bend in the Road: The Anne of Green Gables Musical” hits the stage. Based on the beloved classic novel, “Anne of Green Gables,” this high-energy production follows the story of Anne Shirley, an orphan who is mistakenly adopted by siblings Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert to help them on their Avonlea farm. Anne’s intelligent, joyful and imaginative ways change the lives of all those around her. Filled with simple songs and lots of optimism, “Bend in the Road” has a message: each bend in the road of life is a learning opportunity and a chance for adventure. More at foresttheater.com.
Monday, August 8: Set your GPS toward a destination park
Make a great playground THE destination today. The KidsUp! Playground on Bainbridge Island is less than an hour and a ferry ride away. Gnome trails, a fabulous play structure — what more could a kid want? Or ferry over to Whidbey Island to visit South Whidbey Community Park (near Langley) known for its spectacular Castle Playground. Scale the walls, traverse the tire-lined obstacle course and see eye-to-eye with your toddler in the expression swing. Pack the bikes or scooters for this park – it includes a great skatepark and pump track. On Hood Canal, the aerospace-themed playground at Bremerton National Airport is the must-go play spot. The main climbing structure there resembles an air traffic control tower, while runways crafted from poured rubber and aircraft-shaped play equipment will delight any future aviator. The bonus here is that you get to pretend to fly planes while watching the real thing take off just steps away. Check out “Destination playgrounds for your next NW family road trip” at seattleschild.com
Tuesday, August 9: Yodel in the Issaquah Alps
No need to drag kids onto a plane to sing in the Alps like the Von Trapp family in The Sound of Music – we’ve got our own alp-like range right here in the Pacific Northwest. Introduce your kids to the Issaquah Alps today; they’re located between Seattle and the Cascades along I-90. The Issaquah Alps include Tiger and Cougar mountains and hundreds of hills and trails. A great place to start: Zoe and the Swamp Monster Trail. This 2.6-mile walk is flat, beautiful and tells (via strategically placed plaques) the story of one girl’s run-ins with trail monsters. Have no fear, it’s not as scary as it sounds! Learn more at issaquahalps.org/alltrails.com.
Wednesday, August 10: Feel the magic!
Get ready for some side-splitting family-friendly comedy, hilarious cowboy tricks and astounding magic at the Kids Summerstage in Auburn. Magician Louie Foxx’s One-Man Side Show has been called, among other compliments, “exhilarating.” It’s rife with unique magic tricks and laugh-out-loud antics. According to the Society of American Magicians, Foxx is “a Variety Artist in the truest sense of the words!” Today’s performance is part of Explore Auburn. Learn more at exploreauburn.com.
Thursday, August 11: Board game day (and/or night)!
Playing Ticket to Ride or Candy Land on the living room floor might seem simplistic, but in the big list of summer activities (with more than a month of summer still to go) a low-key game day might be just the breather you need. Equally important, games help your kids practice their math, language and strategy skills! So, dust off the classic games from your childhood for a dose of nostalgia or visit Meeples Games in West Seattle for the store’s weekly game night (Thursdays 6:30-10 p.m.). Play while you chat over coffee and snacks from the store’s café. Learn more at meeplesgames.com.
Friday, August 12: Get their toes wet – and possibly the rest of them too!
Wading pools and spray parks are a summertime must for parents with young children – and older ones, too. Shallow, bordered and usually within toddling distance of a playground, the pools are a perfect solution to a hot afternoon. Spray parks can be a little more rambunctious, as the cool flow flies in all directions. There are dozens of wading pools in and around Seattle and at least 15 Seattle-area spray parks. Seattle Parks and Rec’s Facebook page is your go-to spot for the most updated information regarding parks with water play features. Check out “Wading pools are open: 11 places to dip your toes” at seattleschild.com
Saturday, August 13: Midsummer Renaissance Faire
Step back – way back – in time to find yourselves in ye old Towne of Merriwick, England, a magical place where: knights joust; jesters roam the paths; blacksmiths, potters, seamstresses and weavers practice their ancient crafts; and storytellers are the teachers. In other words, get ready for a whole lot of family fun and adventure at the always colorful, sometimes chaotic, always entertainment-packed 2022 Midsummer Renaissance Faire just outside of Bonney Lake.
For the best time, dress up as your favorite fairytale characters today to become active participants in this weekend’s theme, Fairytales & Fantasy Adventures. A little story background on today’s theme: Merriwick, a land far, far away, was once ruled by a beautiful and strong queen. The queen loved the fairytales she heard as a child so much that when she ascended the throne she was determined to bring those characters to life. So once a year she presides over a townwide festival, celebrating storytellers and the characters they carry with them. The annual tradition continues as all the peoples from all kingdoms (including the members of your family) are invited to the festivities.
Expect to discover things fantastical, magical and entertaining as you move through the faire site. In this town you’ll find dancers, singers, short plays, puppeteers, raptor demonstrations and a lot more, most demonstrated or enacted with as much historical accuracy as possible. Get ready to hear timeless tales of heroism, mystery, magic and more. Don’t have a favorite fairytale character? No problem, come just as you are. All ages are welcome, kids are free. Learn more about this and other upcoming renaissance weekends at washingtonfaire.com.
Sunday, August 14: Be included with an adaptive bike
Is taking a family bike ride difficult for your family due to a parent or child with a disability? Head over to Outdoors for All, a nonprofit foundation that offers adaptive bike rentals free of charge. On-site rentals are available seven days a week, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (no rentals after 5 p.m.). Free rentals apply only to cycles used on-site, departing from and returning to the Adaptive Cycling Center. Bikes transported off-site (say, to roll along Seattle’s Bicycle Weekends ride today along Lake Washington Blvd.) are subject to fees. Check out details on July 3 in this article and learn more at outdoorsforall.org.
Monday, August 15: Perform random acts of kindness
Although the official worldwide celebration of Random Acts of Kindness Day is February 17, every day is a perfect day for engaging in kindness. Challenge your family members to sprinkle a little goodness on each other, your neighborhood, perfect strangers or the environment today. What can you do? The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation has lots of ideas for you. For example, pay for the coffee or meal of the person behind you in line. Leave a kind note for someone. Drop flowers at a nursing home and ask the receptionist to give them to someone they think really needs them today. Share words of encouragement. Drop off a load of groceries at the local food pantry. Plant a tree. Leave quarters at a laundromat. Wheel out the neighbor’s waste cans. For more inspiration, go to randomactsofkindness.org.
Tuesday, August 16: Build a birthday party for a stranger
Birthday Dreams is a local nonprofit dedicated to bringing joy to homeless children with the gift of a birthday party. Volunteer with your kids to create a Birthday-in-a-Box (includes presents, baked birthday cakes and birthday activities) for kids experiencing homelessness throughout the Greater Seattle area. You may be asked to attend a volunteer orientation at the Birthday Dreams office in Kirkland before you start to build your special party. Learn more at birthdaydreams.org.
Wednesday, August 17: While away the day at Golden Gardens
The city shortened the hours for Ballard’s Golden Gardens Park this summer, but there’s plenty to do here between morning and the 10 p.m. closing time. At 87 acres, Golden Gardens is one of Seattle’s most popular parks – and most beautiful, as it looks out over Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains beyond. Park your blanket next to the small stream at the east end of the beach and let the kids spend a few hours digging, building and wading. After lunch, take a short hike along the loop on the northern end of the park. Sunsets are often spectacular here, leashed dogs are welcome and there’s beachcombing aplenty. Sign up for one of the park’s designated fire pits or picnic shelters in advance to make it a full day of sun, sand and fun. Note: weekends get unbearably busy, so weekdays are your best bet to avoid the crowds (and find parking). Learn more at seattle.gov/parks/find/parks/golden-gardens-park.
Thursday, August 18: Ride the wind at North America’s biggest kite festival
The sand and skies will be filled with color, competition and a few other surprises on Long Beach shores during the 40th Annual Washington State Kite Festival today through August 21.
It’s the largest kite festival in North America, drawing competitive flyers from around the globe as well as more than 100,000 kite-loving viewers.
Why is Washington a key place for competitive kiting? Our shores offer steady, strong wind. In fact, the wind is sometimes strong enough to drag the trucks used to tether the larger kites.
There’s a lot going on during any given day of this weeklong event, where high-flying action and choreographed movement include kite fighting, lighted kite shows, kite ballets, maker demonstrations and more. Kite buggies, blokarts and other wind-powered vehicles are allowed to run here so look for demonstrations during the festival. And be sure to bring your own kites to join this airborne extravaganza.
Don’t miss a visit to the World Kite Museum, the only kite museum in the Western Hemisphere. During the festival there are more than 200 kites on exhibit, from 12 different countries. Check out the article “Wide appeal of kites, and nostalgia gives hobby new life” at seattletimes.com. For festival info go to kitefestival.com.
Friday, August 19: Take a seat at “The World’s Quickest Theater Festival”
So your tween thinks writing a short paper about William Shakespeare is hard? Imagine writing, casting, directing, rehearsing, scoring, designing and putting on seven plays all in one day (or 14 in two days)! That’s the nutty fun of The World’s Quickest Theater Festival, a 48-hour play-staging challenge. The first seven plays will premiere tonight at 8 p.m. in a Seatte park near you. The second seven will be staged tomorrow, August 20. Shows are free and best for middle school and above. For location or other information, go to 1448projects.org.
Saturday, August 20: Get dirty two different ways
Dirt is good. It’s healthy. And, for many kids, it’s a whole lot of fun to get messy. Today’s the chance for your children ages 4 to 10 to muck it up when Smammish Friends holds the 2022 Kids Mud Run. Organizers will release 10 kids at a time, grouped by age, to the one-mile course every three minutes between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. How muddy will runners get? Head to toe! In addition to some obstacles getting kids wet, the final obstacle is a giant mud pit that participants will crawl through (but only if they want to). The run itself takes about 20 minutes, but kids are invited to go at their own pace. After the race, hit the spray park and playground nearby for more fun and games and take a leisurely park trail stroll. Fee and signed waivers are required for this event. Learn more at sammamishfriends.org/mud-run-2022.
Don’t want to get THAT muddy today? Head instead to the Big Day of Play, a celebration of Seattle’s diversity, at the Rainier Community Center and Playfields in South Seattle from noon to 6 p.m. This annual event, sponsored by the Seattle Parks and Recreation’s Get Moving Initiative, encourages neighbors, communities and families to have fun, build relationships and be active together. Learn more at bigdayofplay.org.
Sunday, August 21: Bus, rail, ferries: Feel the thrill of public transport
Cars are overrated. And in the summer they are often too hot, too stuffy and too filled with whining. If your kids have gotten their fill of driving, walking and hiking this week, today’s the day to give them the gift of public transportation. Plan a route that includes a Metro bus, Sound Transit light rail ride and a ferry sailing. One option: park at Northgate Sound Transit Station, ride Sound Transit rail to downtown, then take the C-line Metro bus all the way to the Fauntleroy Ferry Terminal in West Seattle. Jump on a ferry to Vashon Island. If you arrive at the West Seattle ferry terminal around lunchtime, it’s a short walk to a kid-friendly meal at Endolyne Joe’s, which marks the “end of the line” for the old Seattle trolley that used to get West Seattleites downtown at the turn of the century. Check out how one dad caught the bug in the article “How my baby taught me to fall in love with transit” at seattleschild.com.
Monday, August 22: Zoom at the zoo
Sure, you want to see Woodland Park Zoo’s lions, tigers and bears, but did you know it also has an outdoor playground designed with little jungle explorers in mind? On the Habitat Discovery Loop, kids can run through a mini-mountain cave, climb a spider’s web, and slide like an otter under the cover of shady trees. Go for a spin on the Historic Carousel at the zoo’s north end, or if the weather is sweltering and smoky, pop into Zoomazium, an indoor play place. The zoo even lends out headphones, fidgets, weighted lap items and other sensory supports to kids who need them. Learn more at zoo.org.
Tuesday, August 23: Day trip or overnight to a national park
There are three national parks in Washington, plus national historic sites and other federally managed areas. The closest and most iconic one, of course, can be seen all the way from Seattle on a clear day. Mount Rainier National Park is easily accessible from King County and has trails aplenty. It’s a no-hassle wilderness experience. Day trippers, take note: Mount Rainier is popular and sometimes difficult to get into on weekend summer mornings. Consider a weekday trip and be sure to follow the park’s Twitter account for updates. Olympic National Park is more remote. Known for its old-growth rainforest, miles of rocky beaches, Olympic Mountains and spectacular Hurricane Ridge, it is summer exploration at its best. Does your family like truly challenging hikes? Then start your tour of Washington’s national parks at the North Cascades National Park. For more information, go to nps.gov/state/wa/index.htm.
Wednesday, August 24: U-Pick Trip!
There’s no time like a warm August day to prove to your kids that food is not born in a grocery store. Going to a farm and participating in the harvest of fruits and vegetables is a great way to connect children with the earth, the seasons and the process of planting, growing and harvesting that happens before those blueberries arrive at the store in plastic clamshells. Today is a great day to head out to one of several Seattle-area U-pick farms. Some family favorites include Bolles Organic Berry Farm in Monroe, The Farm at Swan’s Trail in Snohomish or Biringer Farm in Arlington. August bounty includes blueberries, blackberries, tayberries, boysenberries, corn, tomatoes and more. Check out “Berry season: 9 Seattle-area U-pick berry farms to check out” at seattleschild.com. For a list of farms go to pickyourown.org/WAseattlearea.htm.
Thursday, August 25: Go to a star party!
Have you told your child “I love you to the moon and back?” Put stars on their chore chart? Tried to explain the difference between a TV star and a real one? Tonight’s the night to connect them with the real deal. Get a telescopic look at the moon, sun, stars and planets during Seattle Astrological Society’s annual Star Party in Brooks Memorial State Park near Goldendale. The society’s Star Parties are free and all ages are welcome. What better way to learn about the solar system, deep space, constellations, types of telescopes and the layout of the night sky than heading to one of the darkest spots in Washington state? The astrological society regularly facilitates free star parties in Seattle, too. To check the schedule, go to seattleastro.org.
Friday, August 26: Make it a THING at Historic Fort Worden State Park
Seattle’s Child is sponsoring this year’s THING, a 3-day festival at Port Townsend’s Fort Worden State Park featuring a tightly curated lineup of diverse performers with an emphasis on fresh discoveries and a vision to create an environment where all are welcomed and represented. Families will love performances by Jungle, Modest Mouse, Father John Misty, and more. Fort Worden encompasses 434 acres with 12 miles of forested hiking trails, two miles of walkable saltwater beaches and commanding views of the Puget Sound. The festival features four stages including two outdoor stages, McCurdy Pavilion (former balloon hangar converted into a theatre) and the Wheeler Theatre (intimate art deco venue). A variety of camping and parking accommodations are available for purchase as well as single day or 3-day passes. Learn more at thingnw.org
Saturday, August 27: Team up for the Kick’N It Kickball Classic!
Brothers in United in Leadership Development (BUILD), a grassroots community organization, is hosting its Kick’N It Kickball Classic today at Genesee Playfield (4316 S Genesee St. in Seattle). No hidden agendas here according to BUILD leaders, just an afternoon of community play, family fun and neighborly connection. All ages are welcome! Balls start rolling at 1 p.m. Check out build206.com.
Sunday, August 28: Learn the ancient art of the Japanese tea ceremony
The Washington Park Arboretum is a botanical treasure no matter when you visit, but summertime is something special. The park’s winding paths, grassy knolls and curated plants invite hours of gentle walking and exploring. Download the Picture This app before you go and use it to identify and learn about all the foliage you see as you wind your way to the Seattle Japanese Garden. Amid the tranquil branches here, introduce your school-age child (if able to sit quietly) to a graceful and ancient tradition: the 40-minute Japanese Tea Ceremony. Get the facts at seattlejapanesegarden.org/tea-ceremony.
Monday, August 29: Watch the workings of the Port of Seattle
Is there a child in your house who lives for big rigs, ships, construction machinery and pretty much all things wheels and transportation? Spend today visiting Jack Perry Memorial Park on the Seattle Waterfront before heading over to Jack Block Park in West Seattle for great views of a port in action. The two parks are the anchors of The Port of Seattle’s self-guided tour, which takes visitors through parts (Terminals 5, 18, 30 and 4) of the sixth-largest port in the country. Print or upload the guide and take it along; it offers a wealth of information on port activity, capacity and more. Binoculars or a long-lens camera will help focus on details. Note: Jack Block is on Harbor Avenue SW. If you drive north on this road, you’ll see many more trucks, cranes and construction vehicles. For a treat, head to the historic Luna Park Cafe to enjoy a “perfect” milkshake. Download portseattle.org/sites/default/files/2017-12/Walking_Tour_1.pdf.
Tuesday, August 30: Find freedom in a fort
You were a kid once, right? Remember those long meandering summer days when you uttered the dreaded words, “I’m booooorrrred,” to a parent? And then that parent, with a wry smile, sang out, “Boredom is an attitude, go build a fort!”
And you did. And for the rest of the day just a few blankets and cardboard, rocks and old wooden planks, or cardboard boxes and duct tape turned your room or yard into a magical place filled with endless adventure. Today is the day to pass on the wisdom. Invite your kids to build a fort inside or out. Better yet, join them. For a little inspiration, check out Tom Birdseye’s A Kids’ Guide to Building Forts.
Wednesday, August 31: Chalk it up!
Sadly, the Pacific Northwest Chalkfest will not be happening in 2022, but that doesn’t mean you should pass on partaking of this great art form. Dust off the sidewalk chalk, grab some new colors and go to town on your sidewalk, carport or any pavement that is safe. Express yourselves in art and positive, inspiring words. Make it an event by inviting friends or the neighbors on your block or in your building to draw away the hours of a Wednesday evening. End with a “gallery walk” of appreciation. For other great home- or neighborhood-based ideas, check out “19 creative ideas for outside fun with kids” at seattleschild.com.
Thursday, September 1: Help a family you don’t know
It’s hard not to think about the fact that school starts in less than a week. If your family is in a position to do so, consider extending a helping hand to other families. As you shop for school supplies with your kids, collect items (for example, calculator, set of crayons, pair of shoes, or box of snacks) for their school’s list of “must haves” to donate to a family experiencing financial hardship. Check in with donation organizers, including Hopelink, Mary’s Place and local PTSAs, to find a supply drive near you where you can drop off or pick up supplies this week. Office Depot and Fred Meyer locations often have bins for donated supplies, which they give to neighborhood schools.
Friday, September 2: Step into a the garden
Drop in for Open Play at Seattle Children’s PlayGarden, a welcoming, safe, fun and accessible place for kids (and parents) to be themselves, located just south of Colman Park. PlayGarden staff are on hand to help you tend the sunflowers, visit with farm animals, facilitate inclusive play between kids, and work on a construction, art or garden project. No prior registration or fees required. Learn more at childrensplaygarden.org.
Saturday, September 3: Rock ‘n’ Roll Kids Run
September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and the St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series (half-marathon, 5K and 1-mile Kids ROCK run) is an awesome way to help raise funds for research at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The Kid’s ROCK and 5K runs, which include LOTS of music, will be held this morning starting in downtown Bellevue. Can’t run or walk? Come to cheer! To register, go to runrocknroll.com.
Sunday, September 4: Slide through the end of summer
Embrace the summer slide with a visit to one of our area’s most exciting slopes. Fisher Creek
Park at Snoqualmie Ridge features seven steep, thrilling slides along with a bike course, ziplines and a huge climbing structure. Adventurous kids will love hitting the massive, twisty water slide at the Rainier Beach Pool. If you haven’t yet made it to Wild Waves Water Park in Federal Way, today could be the day. Tube down the Konga slides as a family or brave the long twists, dips and turns of the huge water-slide complex. wildwaves.com
Monday, September 5: Music at Ballard Locks
Visit a Seattle family favorite, theHiram M. Chittenden Ballard Locks.Lots to do here: watch the boats rise and fall in the locks, lookfor fish in the fish ladder, stroll through the botanical garden. And then, today at 2 p.m. sit on the lawn for a free concert by theMoondance & Van Morrison Band. For the full Ballard Locks Summer Concert Series line-up, go to ballardlocks.org/free-summer-concerts.html.
Attention rockhounds! Gather your shovel, sifter, flashlight and a jar for gems and head to Hansen Creek, a 1.4-mile out-and-back trail near North Bend. You won’t have to go very far into the trail to see why families enjoy hunting for crystals and other stones at this spot. There are literally gems everywhere on the trail. Look closely for quartz crystals hidden around fallen logs and the roots of trees. Dig down to see what’s below the surface. Focus on one spot, then hike farther up the hill and look for your next claim. Learn more at alltrails.com/trail/us/washington/hansen-creek-trail.
Tuesday, September 6: Almost back-to-school do nothing day
You’ve hiked, you’ve biked, you’ve played, you’ve danced. You’ve visited tide pools and petting zoos and museums. Instead of cramming in one more end-of-summer event or activity, how about just hanging out as a family today. Cook a favorite meal together, including dessert. Choose your favorite outfit for the first day of school, fill up the backpacks, take school lunch orders. Then pull on your jammies — parents too — and settle onto the couch for a low-stress, fun or favorite Disney family flick before hitting the hay early. Tomorrow’s a big day.