Seattle's Child

Your guide to a kid-friendly city

The Burien Farmers Market is open year-round on Thursdays and is conveniently in the heart of downtown. Photos by Julie Hanson

Things to do in Burien with kids: places to eat, play, shop and explore

Tons to do, see and eat in this city just south of Seattle.

Tucked between Puget Sound and Sea-Tac Airport, Burien feels like stepping back to a simpler time. But it has all of the amenities and international flavor of our modern-day city. It’s worth taking an afternoon, or a day, to explore this community just south of Seattle.

The eternal debate: Shall we eat first or play first? You decide.

Things to do in Burien

Southwest 152nd Street is a good place to start. This is the heart of Burien, part of it denoted by an ornate archway leading to “Olde Burien.” Find a place to park and just wander. There are plenty of places to pick up groceries or grab a snack or meal. For shopping, there are several appealing home-goods shops and two (count em!) locally owned bookstores. Page 2 Books (new and used) and Three Trees Books, which calls itself “your tiny neighborhood bookstore.” (Is that irresistible, or what?) Also downtown: the Highline Heritage Museum.

Burien Farmers Market is open year-round on Thursdays at Town Square Park, which is also home to the Burien location of King County Library System.

Hungry? There is plenty to eat in Burien.

Two main drags: 152nd and 153rd

If you like to sweeten your excursions with desserts, check out Treat Cookies or Medzo Gelato Bar & Travel Cafe. Oh, on the subject of sweets, Burien is also home to an outlet of the ever-popular Bakery Nouveau. It’s a block over, on 153rd street, where you’ll also find longtime Burien standbys Vince’s Italian restaurant and Bison Creek Pizza. Also on 153rd, tucked in a strip mall, are two buzz-worthy food spots you may have heard of: Burien Fish House and Bok a Bok fried chicken.

Burien also is home to teriyaki shops, Thai and Chinese restaurants, an Ethiopian market, a gyro place and an Elliott Bay Brewing Co. (More adult beverages in a kid-friendly setting just to the north at Logan Brewing.) A beloved Burien standby is the Australian Pie Co., with savory meat-filled pastries to eat in the shop, on the go or later at home. (Hmmm … buy Australian pies and go eat them outside at Logan Brewing: Why didn’t I think of that?)

Follow 152nd about a mile west (on foot or by vehicle) to see the charming Seahurst area. That’s where you’ll find the new global toystore/playplace Child Wonder the World (here’s our recent story on that) and also Lollipops Consignment. The Bean coffeeshop is a cool repurposing of an old gas station. Look south from 152nd to get a glimpse of Lake Burien, which is mostly socked in by residential development.

Now, let’s veer away from eating and shopping …

Things to do: Burien parks

Other things to do in Burien (all of it fairly close by): Visit Lake Burien School Memorial Park, which I love for the ornate arch that is an homage to the original school on the property. The park itself is largely open space but also has a playground and tennis courts. The trail around the property makes a great walk.

You can see the water from Eagle Landing Park, but you can’t get there anymore.

Eagle Landing Park also is spectacular, although not quite as amazing as it once was. This park is slightly difficult to find in a residential area, at the west end of Southwest 149th Street. There’s a paved parking lots, but it has room for only five cars.

The park has 6 acres of woodlands to be enjoyed via an interpretive trail and has the feel of being deep in a forest. It is known as eagle habitat, so look up and around. A stormwater improvement project was recently completed, but the park’s former crown jewel, a long, steep metal staircase leading to a beach, was determined to be unsafe and is permanently closed. The park ends in a scenic viewpoint. Still, very much worth a visit.

Seahurst Park may be the best-known spot in Burien, and for good reason: It has beach access, picnic shelters, hiking trails and a cool waterfront playground.

Beyond Seattle: more places to visit

8 fun, active things to do with kids in Kent

Downtown Issaquah: your late summer weekend playground

10 outdoor things to do with kids in Tacoma

About the Author

Julie Hanson

Julie Hanson is the website editor for Seattle's Child. She is a longtime journalist, South King County resident and mom to a 13-year-old girl.