Seattle's Child

Your guide to a kid-friendly city

A cornucopia of entertainment at The Ridge Activity Center

Young kids will love the water table, climbing wall, sandbox and more

Located in Bothell, The Ridge Activity Center is a one-stop shop for family fun. It has something for everyone, with a Play Zone, Toddler Zone, gym, laser tag, pickleball courts, party rooms, and more!

The Ridge is a ministry of Parkridge Community Church. The church started the activity center to create a safe place for the community to come and recreate. (Though run by a church, there is no religious requirement or evangelizing at the activity center.)

Enjoy the Toddler and Play Zones or host a party at The Ridge Activity Center. Additionally, The Ridge offers after-school activities, summer camps, and parent night-out events.

A trip to the Play Zone with my 5-year-olds

“Mama, I actually like this place!” “Come adventure with us!” “Enjoy the jungle; there are all sorts of things to climb!” were just some of the things my kids were expressing to me about their experience at The Ridge.

My 5-year-olds had a lot of fun at The Ridge Play Zone, running from activity to activity as they explored and played. They certainly could have stayed longer than the hour we were there.

The water table

We started at the water table, with the children putting on vests to protect their clothes from getting wet. The water table hosts many activities–a container that fills slowly with water and then tips when full, a water cyclone that spins balls around, a series of slides that roll down, and more.

The sandbox

We then headed to the sandbox, which was a tremendous hit with my kids. A projector above the table projects different land features on the sand, and the features change depending on the height of the sand. Areas with low sand have trees and lakes, and areas piled high with sand have active volcanoes. And moving throughout the sand table? Projected land and air dinosaurs. My kids were fascinated with the dinosaurs as they appeared and moved through the sand and enjoyed manipulating the sand to change the landscape.

The climbing structure

After exploring the smaller features (the water table and sandbox), we headed to the main event – the climbing structure. This is the largest part of the Play Zone, with stairs, ropes, slides, giant hanging balls – all kinds of features for kids to climb and move through. At first, my kids, who are more hesitant than adventurous, wanted me to get into the structure and climb with them (caregivers are allowed to be there). My kids needed help getting up and down a few steps, but the longer we played in the structure, the more comfortable they felt. By the end of our time at the activity center, they were starting to play in the structure without me and had gotten more confident getting up and down some of the larger steps.

The rock climbing wall

There are interactive graphics and games at the base of the rock climbing structure. We weren’t playing the game (so I don’t know exactly how it works!), but somehow, smiley faces were projected around the rock wall and would change if you hit them. My kids thought this was great and repeatedly climbed to reach the faces to see them change.

Things to consider at The Ridge Activity Center: Cost

The Toddler Zone is a space for children two and under and is sectioned off so toddlers and babies can play without bigger kids.

The cost for one hour of play feels a bit high ($13/one hour). If I were to go again, I’d consider making it a more extended trip and staying for two hours to get the better deal of $18/two hours of play. With how much fun the kids were having running between activities, I think they would have stayed entertained for two hours with no problem.

Snacks

No outside food is allowed, and the activity center has a restaurant that serves pizza, sandwiches, beverages, and snacks. I tried to get my kids to eat right before we went to the activity center, and I had plenty in the car for the ride home. If you stay longer than an hour, you may have to go to your car for a snack if you don’t want to purchase food from the restaurant.

Footwear

Shoes are not allowed and socks are required. They are available for purchase if you forget to bring or wear them.

Climbing structure tips

The climbing structure is large, with multiple pathways and entrances/exits. I could see some kids getting overwhelmed and their caregivers having a hard time accessing their kids (though a staff member let me know that this is not a problem they hear from visitors). Caregivers are allowed throughout all areas of the space and can stay with their kids as they climb and explore.

On the day of our visit (a weekday morning), we were the only ones in the Play Zone – it likely has a much different vibe if many children are playing. The max occupancy of kids for the Play Zone is 75 – it seems like it could be quite crowded if it were close to maximum capacity. You can check online to see the available slots and plan your visit accordingly.

It was fun to check out the Play Zone at The Ridge – my kids thoroughly enjoyed it. However, since we don’t live near Bothell and tend to go for lower-cost activities, I’m not sure we’ll be back. If you live nearby, need to get some wiggles out, or are facing a dreary, rainy day, I’d consider a visit (and plan to stay a few hours to get the best deal) – it’s a great option for some active and engaging play.

Know before you go

  • At The Ridge Activity Center, everything must be booked in advance, except the Toddler and Play Zones, which allow walk-ins. A staff member recommends reserving all activities in advance.
  • Toddler and Play Zone Pricing: The Play Zone costs $13 for one hour of play. If you pre-book 2 hours, the total cost is $18. If you pay for 1 hour and then decide to add an hour, the additional hour costs $8. The Toddler Zone costs $6/hour.
  • The Toddler and Play Zones are often busy during inclement weather and on weekends (for parties). You can see how many spaces are booked by going online. A maximum of 75 kids can play in the Play and Toddler Zones at one time.
  • No outside food is allowed. Food is available at the Ridge Commons, a restaurant inside the facility.

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About the Author

Ellie White

Ellie had the privilege of growing up in our beautiful Pacific Northwest. She currently lives in the Green Lake neighborhood with her husband and twin toddlers.