Read next

If Seattle’s recent glimpse of sunshine has your family’s summer vacation on your mind, we’re right there with you. The only question is what to do. Camp? Glamp? Book a cozy cabin in the woods? Enter Lakedale Resort at Three Lakes. An 82-acre island where effortless fun is the name of the game and families can do all of the above (and more). Read on to make your summer vacay plans.

So Many Ways to Play

Who else loves a good one-stop-shop vacay, where everything you need is right there? That’s one of the reasons Lakedale is a great spot for Seattle families. Their spectacular summer activities, with a family camp feel, are another.

One if by land
Lakedale Resort is set on an 82-acre island surrounded by three lakes. In other words, a spot where keeping your kids happy and entertained is virtually effortless. In addition to the many hiking trails and paths around the property, Lakedale offers its guests a range of outdoor activities. Just outside the Activities Tent, you'll find bikes of all sizes for kids to borrow (helmets too!). Guests are welcome to use them at their leisure for an hour at a time. The grassy lawns are where you can challenge your kiddos to a game of oversized Jena, Connect Four or ping pong by the lake. Or play bocce ball, volleyball, cornhole or horseshoes on the many pits and courts you'll find near the main lodge and swimming beach. 

During the peak season (Memorial Day through Labor Day), be sure to stop by the Activities Tent for arts and crafts. Kids can paint birdhouses, make colorful sand sculptures and of course, tie dye a t-shirt (it's a Lakedale tradition) during their stay. Crafts are a simple add-on ($6-$12) your kids will love.

Two if by lake
It's not surprising Lakedale is a water sports and activities haven with three fresh, spring-water lakes surrounding the property. Whether your kids want to swim, boat or fish, they can do it here. While you sit beachside, kids can wade into Dream Lake, one of a few swimming beaches at Lakedale. Its still waters warm up nicely in the sunny summer months, a nice alternative to the Sound's chilly waters. Families can also rent boats ($10/hr.), water trikes ($20/hr.), kayaks, SUPs and canoes to use on Neva or Dream Lakes. Bring your fishing poles (or rent one for $15) because the lakes are stocked with bass and trout. You won't need a state fishing license to catch them, but you do need a private Lakedale one. It's just $5 and you can pick one up at the General Store. Can you say fresh-caught fish for dinner?

So Many Ways to Stay

No matter what your vacation style, you’ll find it at Lakedale Resort.

Cozy Log Cabins 
When it comes to cabin rentals with all the comforts of home, Lakedale offers six spacious log cabins. Set in a peaceful forest of fir trees, each cabin comes with two bedrooms and two full baths, a full kitchen, dining nook, gas fireplace and cedar deck. Outdoorsy extras like grills, picnic tables and campfire pits (hello, s'mores!) are out back by the lake. You won’t find satellite TV in the cabins, but you will find a DVD player (head to the hotel lobby for free movie rentals) and board games to keep your crew entertained. The log cabins are pet-friendly (there's a one-time fee of $35/puppy per stay), so plan on bringing your favorite four-legged pooch. 

Yurt Glamping & an Airstream
Add a twist to your family vacay when you glamp in one of seven yurts tucked into Lakedale's private, forested Yurt Village on Fish Hook Lake. Each round house quarters features 450-square-feet of modern, light-filled luxury including en suite bathroom with shower, wet bar and refrigerator, flatscreen TV and a queen sleeper sofa for the kids. The spacious, private deck is home to all you need to complete your ideal summer vacay: hot tub, dining table and a gas grill.

For a dose of retro with your vacation experience book a few nights in the resort’s Airstream trailer. The 1978 Excella is located on a premier lakefront campsite and comes with a double bed, bath linens, kitchenette with cooktop, refrigerator and microwave. You'll also find a dinette table with an extended sofa that converts into a bed, a private bathroom and LED lighting throughout.

Canvas Cabins & Cottages
If your family is up for a new outdoor adventure, Lakedale's unique canvas cabins and cottages are the way to stay. It's upscale camping at its finest. Each canvas cabin boasts a queen-size bed with pillow-top bedding, a table and chairs, cordless lantern, bath linens and a full-size futon. And outside each abode there's a picnic table, fire ring and umbrella to use. What you won't find is running water or electricity. Not to worry, the nearby shower facilities have everything you need. These sweet tents easily sleep parents with a baby or toddler in tow.

If it's you plus two kids (or more), try the canvas cottages. Not only do they offer more square footage, but they have a king-size pillow-top bed, dining table, chandelier and a full bathroom with a shower, tucked into the back of the tent. The fireplace inside will keep you warm at night and the daybed sleeper converts to a king bed for the kiddos. Just outside you'll find Adirondack chairs for lounging and the lake where families can swim. All canvas cabin guests are invited to enjoy a complimentary breakfast in the Mess Tent each morning of their stay.

Traditional Campsites & RV Hookups
If pitching a tent and becoming one with nature is what your family prefers, try Lakedale's campground (open April through the end of September, weather depending). With 30 campsites and six spots for RVs, families can rough it without roughing it too much, because Lakedale's activities and amenities are part of your stay. Classic campsites are great for a just-you vacay, as they accommodate one tent, four people and one vehicle. If you're camping with friends or extended family, try a family campsite that fits up to eight people and two vehicles. You can park RV's (25-foot up to 40-foot) at the campsite here—the only hook-up site on San Juan Island. As such, spots go quickly so grab yours while you can!

The Lodge
If a babymoon or parents-only getaway is on the horizon, the Lodge is the place to stay. Just inside you'll find the stunning great room, cozy fireplace and beautiful deck overlooking Neva Lake. The updated guest rooms are your sanctuary during your stay, featuring flat-screen TVs, private decks or balconies, gas fireplaces and jetted tubs. Choose yours with a lake or woodland view and receive a fresh complimentary breakfast each morning too. Since hotel guests need to be 16 or older, you’re guaranteed a tranquil, relaxed atmosphere during your stay.

Resort Must-Knows
1. Lakedale Resort does not have cell service, but the log cabins, Lake House, Lodge and General Store offer wireless internet and landlines.

2. It's easy to go contactless at Lakedale this summer. Depending on your accommodations, you'll find keys in an envelope just inside the lodge when you arrive. Check out Lakedale's full COVID safety and wellness plan before you go.

3. Since you'll find fire pits outside your space no matter where you stay here, it's hard not to think of s'mores. Roast some with your kids when you pick up a s'mores pack at the Lodge front desk for just $19 (includes firewood).

4. While staying at Lakedale, the General Store (open daily Memorial Day through Labor Day) is your go-to spot for your morning espresso and fresh-made sandwiches, salads and pizzas at lunch time. It's also where you can pick up forgotten grocery items, find camping and fishing gear (including bait), rent boats and more.

5. Save some green when you take advantage of Lakedale's great summer travel specials. Don't forget to check the upcoming events before you book!

Explore San Juan Island

While there's plenty to do at the resort, it's hard to resist the lure of San Juan Island's other activities. Not too far from the resort you'll find the tiny village of Roche Harbor. This popular tourist destination is home to the historic Hotel de Haro and it's where you'll find spots to shop, eat and boat watch. Be sure to visit the outdoor sculpture park just outside of town. The 19-acre area is super kid-friendly and features over 120 sculptures by local artists that'll capture your kiddos' imaginations and inspire them too. Some of the art is interactive and the park is a great alternative to typical playground play. If you want to sneak in a history lesson, visit the national parks of English and American Camps and learn the tale of the infamous Pig War of 1859. 

Another kid favorite is Krystal Acres Alpaca Farm, where you can take a self-guided tour and visit with the farm's more than 70 alpacas. You'll learn lots about these gentle animals as you and the kids make your way around the property. Or stop by the island’s lavender farm and purchase botanical, culinary or household care products. Although it's open year-round, this farm will be especially beautiful when the lavender blooms between July and August. 

Downtown Friday Harbor is a hub of activity, especially in the summertime. It's dotted with an assortment of family-friendly restaurants, like San Juan Island Brewing, Van Go's Pizza and local fave Downriggers, plus shops, cafes and more than one tasty ice cream parlor. Be sure to check out the popular Whale Museum, open daily from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Psst... after you learn about whales, take a trip to Lime Kiln State Park, part of the whale trail, to see if you can spot any of our elusive resident orcas from the shore. For now, the downtown movie theater is closed, but they're still popping corn to-go on Friday nights. A perfect movie companion for your Lakedale log cabin stay!

What You Need to Know About the Ferry

1. To get to Lakedale Resort, you'll need to take the ferry from Anacortes to San Juan Island. Remember to make your reservations ASAP, as ferries fill up quickly, especially during the peak tourist season (Memorial Day through Labor Day).

2. It's definitely easiest to take the direct ferry and avoid the stops when you're traveling with kids. Even then the crossing takes about an hour, so bring plenty of snacks and games to keep the kids entertained (as a reminder, WSDOT is asking car passengers to stay in their vehicles to help prevent the spread of COVID).

3. Even with a reservation, you'll need to arrive at the Anacortes ferry landing 45-60 minutes before departure.

4. There are two easy spots kids can get those wiggles out before making the crossing. The first is at the beach by the ferry landing that offers a wetland boardwalk and plenty of shoreline to explore. The second (if you've got time to spare) is at nearby John Storvick playground (1110 32nd St.). Pack a picnic lunch and let the kids play here beforehand for a smooth sailing. 

Lakedale Resort
4313 Roche Harbor Rd.
Friday Harbor, WA
360-378-2350
Reservations: 800-617-2267
Online: lakedale.com

— Allison Sutcliffe & Kristina Moy (all photos courtesy of the writers)

A portion of this trip was paid for by Lakedale Resort at Three Lakes, but all opinions expressed here belong to the writer.

RELATED STORIES:

Sunshine Days: Plan a Relaxing Spring Getaway at Lake Chelan

8 Magical Treehouses You Can Rent in Washington

The Scoop on This Year’s Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

Take a Haycation! Local Farms That Welcome Families Overnight

13 LEGO Books That’ll Keep Your Kids Busy

Read next

That pile of LEGO in the middle of your living room isn’t going anywhere just yet (summer’s only half over!), so why not embrace the madness and give your master builders an opportunity to use their bricks in a whole new way? The following books will take your kids from stackers to master architects, and one will even teach them how to make their own stop-motion movies. From dragons to feature films to entire landscapes, keep reading to find the best LEGO books for your builders.

The LEGO® Castle Book: Build Your Own Medieval World

This brand-new LEGO building book takes master builders into medieval times, with plans for miniature castles and villages. There are basic builds and six impressive castles: Sleeping Dragon, Land's End, River Gate, Winter Palace, Eight Arches and the Winter Kingdom. 

Available at Target.com, $17.09.

LEGO Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary

For LEGO buffs who are also Star Wars fans, this book is the ultimate guide to everything LEGO Star Wars. Darth Vader, Boba Fett, Yoda, Luke Skywalker, Rey and all of your fave characters are included in the book along with dozens of little-known facts and hundreds of photos of accessories, vehicles, weapons and even the Death Star! Learn about the history, manufacturing and construction of the minifigures of the Star Wars galaxy and come away a true LEGO Jedi Master.

Available on Amazon.com, $14.71.

The LEGO BOOST Idea Book: 95 Simple Robots and Hints for Making More!

This LEGO book is designed to go with the LEGO BOOST robotics system and offers 95 different builds. Kids can construct suspended vehicles and rocket-launchers with easy-to-follow instructions and full-color images. 

Available on Amazon.com, $16.96.

The LEGO Animation Book

For fans of the LEGO movie who want to take their epic creations to the next level, The LEGO Animation Book will show how to bring their mini-world to life using stop-motion animation. Follow the step-by-step instructions to make your first flick and learn about the filming process, including storyboards and post-production. Tips and tricks to make your minifigures look like they are flying, how to create explosions, lighting tips, LEGO-made camera dollies and rigs and so much more. This is the ultimate book for your LEGO-maniac.

Buy now at Amazon.com, $13.56.

Awesome LEGO Creations with Bricks You Already Have

The original LEGO book by Sarah Dees, the creative brain behind Frugal Fun 4 Boys (and Girls) this book is designed to help kids use their existing collection to make everything from animals, a robot lab, a skate park, a dragon and even a crossbow. The step-by-step instructions make it easy to follow, but more advanced builders can try the no-instruction projects where you are left to puzzle it out. 

Available at Amazon.com, $12.37.

LEGO Tips, Tricks and Building Techniques: The Big Unofficial LEGO Builders Book

Whether you’ve got a beginning builder or a skilled builder who wants to improve her building techniques and create lifelike designs, this new volume of the popular LEGO builders’ books series gives step-by-step instructions as well as detailed pictures to help builders come up with their own LEGO creations. Builders can also learn how to create seamless LEGO masterpieces as well as buildings consisting of skeleton framing elements.

Available at Amazon.com, $15.95.

LEGO Awesome Ideas

Journey through five incredible worlds—Outer Space, Modern Metropolis, The Wild West, Fantasyland and the Real World—in this all-new LEGO book. Bursting with hundreds of new LEGO approved ideas and building tips, this book unlocks the secrets of LEGO building and shows builders how to create a world with their imagination. Learn how to make a wild west train, outer space aliens or a realistic-looking cell phone, plus amazing models with the step-by-step guides and visual breakdowns.

Available at Amazon.com, $17.99.

The LEGO Ideas Book: Unlock Your Imagination

If your LEGO lover is looking for new ways to use his old bricks, this 200-page book is filled with photos of LEGO creations that use the most common of bricks. The book is broken up into six themed chapters—transportation, buildings, space, kingdoms, adventure and useful makes—each with basic templates of key models and pictures to inspire builders to create their own. Even though you won’t find step-by-step instructions in this book, you will get hints and tips from Master Builders who can help you turn your classic car into a race car or add a bridge to your castle!

Available on Amazon.com, $14.07.

LEGO Chain Reactions: Design and Build Amazing Moving Machines

Jam-packed full of ideas, instructions and inspiration for 10 LEGO machines that spin, swing, pivot, roll, lift and drop, LEGO Chain Reactions is the next step in brick building. The 80-page book, recommended for ages 8 & up, comes with detailed instructions for 10 modules as well as 33 LEGO pieces, six plastic balls, string, paper, ramps and other components to make LEGO machines. Each machine can also be combined with the others, so you can create your own chain reactions. The best part? There’s no need to worry about not having the right bricks because each machine is designed with only the most common bricks, and there are plenty of substitutes.

Available on Amazon.com, $13.99.

The LEGO Power Functions Idea Book: Machines and Mechanisms

If your LEGO lover is transitioning from simple sets to more complex robotic sets, this is the perfect guide to help her get started. The book showcases projects to build with LEGO Technic gears, motors, gadgets and other moving elements. Plus, you'll find hundreds of clever, buildable mechanisms, each one demonstrating a key building technique or mechanical principle. Each model also includes a list of required parts and colorful photographs to guide kids through the build without the need for step-by-step instructions. Before you know it, your future engineer will be building sliding doors, grasping claws and designing rack-and-pinion mechanisms.

Available on Amazon.com, $16.96.

The LEGO Book

For those who want to discover all there is to know about LEGOs and the story behind the popular toy company, this book reveals, explores and celebrates the fascinating story of LEGO bricks and the history behind them. Included in the book is a timeline that highlights key moments in LEGO history and special features spotlighting numerous groundbreaking and momentous achievements in the LEGO world. Fans of all ages can also explore the LEGOLAND theme parks and their amazing animated models and the LEGO Group's expansion into films, video games and the visual arts in this fascinating tell-all book.

Available on Amazon.com, $14.59.

The LEGO Adventure Book, Vol. 3: Robots, Planes, Cities & More!

If your brick builder is ready to kick his LEGO building skills up a notch, this volume of the LEGO Adventure Book series will give him plenty of reasons to keep building. The 192-page book, designed for ages 9 and up, includes 40 step-by-step breakdowns and nearly 150 example models. Learn to create a Renaissance house, a classic movie theater, sushi, Miniland-scale marvels, an ice cream truck and even a chicken coop!

Available on Amazon.com, $16.96.

 

LEGO Play Book: Ideas to Bring Your Bricks to Life

Building on the success of the popular The LEGO Ideas Book, this book is designed for LEGO builders looking to think, build and play creatively. The fun guide features more than 200 different builds and includes a mixture of simple, medium and complex models. Plus, the book includes a section on "ten-minute builds" for quick play sessions, "a cool brick" section with ideas for using key LEGO bricks and a section on "a handful of bricks," so you can explore what can be done with a limited collection of LEGO bricks.

Available on Amazon.com, $14.69.

—Kristina Moy & Amber Guetebier

 

RELATED STORIES:

This New Storage Container Is a LEGO Game Changer

LEGO Is Launching New NASA-Themed Sets This Month & They’re Out of This World

LEGOLAND Discovery Center Just Built the World’s Smallest Pride Parade

All images courtesy retailers.

 

Ready, Set, Swim! Best Swim Lessons for All Ages

Read next

Editor’s note: All public pools listed in this article remain closed for swimming lessons, with the exception of the Snohomish Aquatic Center that is offering private swim lessons, as noted. Many private swim schools and pools are now open for swimming lessons, with limitations. Those that are are noted in the article.

With so many pools in the Seattle area, there’s no better place to get your little fishies in the water to practice their kicks and strokes. From beginner swimming lessons to refresher courses, indoor lessons to outdoor lessons and group lessons to one-on-one lessons, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite swim classes to suit every swimmer’s age, skill level and personality. Grab your goggles and swim towel and scroll down to find out where to make a splash.

photo: Alga Norte

Seattle Indoor Public Pools

Meadowbrook Pool
The City of Seattle Parks and Recreation offers group and private swim lessons as an inexpensive option and there are several facilities to choose from. One of the more popular indoor pools is Meadowbrook in Northeast Seattle. The instruction program includes tot lessons for kids ages 6 months to 4 years old as well as kinder lessons for ages 4-5, beginning swimmer for ages 6-16, diving lessons and private and semi-private lessons.

Note: The pool is currently undergoing construction and will reopen on July 1, 2019. Check their lessons and pool schedule online after July 1.

Cost: Varies with level and number of sessions. View their current swim lesson brochure online.

10515 35th Ave. N.E.
Seattle, WA 98125
206-684-4989
Online: seattle.gov/parks/find/pools/meadowbrook-pool

Queen Anne Pool
The Queen Anne Pool is another great option for Seattle families. This pool, complete with two diving boards and a water temperature of 85 degrees, offers a variety of classes for kids ages 6 months to 4 years old as well as parent/tot lessons, kinder, beginner youth and advanced youth lessons as well as private and semi-private lessons and synchronized swimming.

Cost: Varies with level and number of sessions. 5-10 week sessions available. View the current swim lesson brochure online.

1920 1st Ave. W.
Seattle, WA 98119
206-386-4282
Online: seattle.gov/parks/find/pools/queen-anne-pool

Southwest Pool
If you live near West Seattle, Southwest Pool is great option for swimming lessons. In addition to two diving boards, 85 degree pool temps, a large hot tub next to the pool and fab swim instructors, this pool offers a variety of tot lessons for kids ages 6 months to 4 years old as well as kinder lessons, parent and child lessons, beginning and advanced youth lessons for ages 6-16 and summer swim team.

Cost: Varies with level and number of sessions. 9-10 week sessions available. View their current swim lesson brochure online.

2801 S.W. Thistle St.
Seattle, WA 98126
206-684-7440
Online: seattle.gov/parks/find/pools/southwest-pool

Rainier Beach Pool
If you’re in South Seattle, the Rainier Beach Pool offers swim lessons for tots ages 6 months to 4 years old as well parent and child lessons, kinder lessons and beginning and advanced youth lessons for ages 6-16. This pool also includes a fun water slide, baby pool, lazy river and spray and play park which makes the time before or after lessons even more awesome.

Cost: Varies with level and number of sessions. 8-10 week sessions available. View their current swim lesson brochure online.

8825 Rainier Ave. S.
Seattle, WA 98118
206-386-1925
Online: seattle.gov/parks/find/pools/rainier-beach-pool

photo: Kristina Moy

Seattle Outdoor Public Pools

Lowery C. “Pop” Mounger Pool
If you want to be outdoors, Seattle’s two outdoor public pools offer swim lessons during the summer months (the pools opens May 11, 2019). Mounger Pool has age-based lessons for tots ages six months to four years old as well as lessons for three-year-olds, kinder kids (ages 4-5) and beginning and advanced youth. Mounger also has the Little Pool, which is a great place to introduce your little tadpoles to the water, and a fun water slide for older swimmers.

Cost: Varies with level and number of sessions. 5-10 week sessions available. View their summer swim lesson brochure online.

2535 32nd Ave. W.
Seattle, WA 98199
206-684-4708
Online: seattle.gov/parks/find/pools/mounger-pool

Colman Pool
Located at Lincoln Park in West Seattle, this is Seattle’s only outdoor saltwater pool. Colman offers a variety of swim lessons for kids ages 6 months to 4 years old as well as kinder lessons, three-year-old lessons, parent and child lessons and beginning and youth lessons for ages 6-16. Colman Pool also offers its visitors fab views of Puget Sound, a diving board and a super-fun tube slide. Psst…be sure to bring your sand bucket and shovel, so you can explore the beach before or after your lesson.

Good to Know: This is a seasonal outdoor pool. 4-10 week swim sessions start in mid-June and go through the end of August.

Cost: View their summer swim lesson brochure online

Colman Pool
8603 Fauntleroy Way S.W.
Seattle, WA 98136
206-684-7494
Online: seattle.gov/parks/find/pools/colman-pool

photo: Colman Pool via Yelp 

Public Pools North of Seattle

Mountlake Terrace Pool
If you are out in the suburbs or are willing to drive, there are great inexpensive group lesson options outside Seattle. Many parents are willing to take the trip up north to take part in the award-winning aquatics program at the Mountlake Terrace Pool. The pool offers classes for kids ages 9 months to 12 years old as well as lessons for teens and adults. Plus, it’s more than a swimming pool—it’s a warm, family-friendly facility with lots of bells and whistles including slides, a splash area with water toys and a lazy river. Psst…if you decide to continue lessons into the fall and winter, consider adding a Playtime Passport, so your little star fish can stay and play in the Leisure Pool 15 minutes following his or her lesson.

Cost: $65-$91. Mountlake residents receive a discounted rate. View their current swim lesson schedule online

5303 228th St. S.W.
Mountlake Terrace, Wa 98043
425-776-9173
Online: cityofmlt.com/526/Aquatics

photo: Mountlake Terrace Recreation Pavilion & Pool via Yelp

Lynnwood Recreation Center & Pool
Also north of Seattle, the Lynnwood Recreation Center Pool offers swim lessons for all ages and swimming abilities. To ensure swimmers are placed in the proper class, a swim placement test is required before registration. In addition to lessons, this super-popular pool includes two big water slides, sprayers, a lazy river, inner tubes, diving boards, water playground, spray fountains and a family hot tub, plus a lap pool and warm-water therapy pool. Little ones will especially love “Beach Swim” when the shallow play area is open with a water depth up to two feet.

Cost: Varies with level and number of sessions. 9-10 week sessions available. View their current swim schedule online.

18900 44th Ave. W.
Lynnwood, WA 98046
425-670-5732
Online: lynnwoodwa.gov

photo: Pexels

Snohomish Aquatic Center
Editor’s note: The Snohomish Aquatic Center is offering private and semi-private swim lessons for students age 5 and up.

If you’re looking for an indoor pool with lots of bells and whistles to go with your swim lessons, the Snohomish Aquatic Center is your one stop destination for family fun. This ginormous indoor facility boasts a giant corkscrew water slide, lazy river, spray area and FlowRider surf machine, so your kids can hang ten year-round. The facility also has a recreation pool with lap lanes and basketball hoops, an open area for kids to play or tots to get their toes wet and a Wibit floating obstacle course. The best part? The water here is kept at a toasty 84-86 degrees which means the littlest of water bugs won’t get cold. The pool offers parent and child swim lessons, preschool lessons for ages 3-5, youth lessons for ages 6-12 as well as pre-competitive and diving lessons. During the summer months, choose between daily morning sessions, evening sessions (twice per week) or Saturday morning sessions.

Cost: Varies depending on the number of sessions and swim level. General registration for classes and the swim lesson schedule can be found online.

Snohomish Aquatic Center
516 Maple Ave.
Snohomish, WA 98290
360-568-8030
Online: sno.wednet.edu/Domain/24

McMenamins Anderson School Pool
Editor’s note: McMenamins Anderson School Pool is open for private swim lessons for kids ages 3 & up, as well as Parent & Tot classes.

Families living in the Bothell or Woodinville area can take their little fish for a dip in the The North Shore Lagoon, McMenamins Anderson School’s on-site pool, that’s open to the public every day from 9 a.m.-11 p.m. Swim sessions are broken up into two-hour time slots (for ages 3-5 and 6-12) where families can splish and splash around the tiki-themed pool before changing into street gear to grab some delish eats at the restaurant upstairs. Private lessons are also available for ages three and older. The best part? The pool has plenty of shallow play areas where even the most timid toddlers can test the waters with ease. And the deepest point is only 4’6”, which means you won’t be treading water as you make the Marco-Polo rounds with your big kid sidekick.

Cost: Varies depending on the number of sessions per week and if lessons are taken in a group or one-on-one. View their swim schedule online.

McMenamins Anderson School
18603 N.E. Bothell Way
Bothell, WA 98011
425-398-0122
Online: mcmenamins.com/anderson-school/north-shore-lagoon-swimming-pool

photo: Henry Moses Aquatic Center

Public Pools East of Seattle

Henry Moses Aquatic Center
We think the City of Renton’s Henry Moses Aquatic Center is definitely worth the drive. With two pools, 26-foot high water slides, a lazy river and a wave machine, it’s safe to say that the kiddos will want to stay well after their lesson is over. The pool is scheduled to open on June 22 and will stay open through Labor Day. Lessons are offered for kids ages 9 months to 12 years old and are taught in group, semi-private, or private sessions.

Good to Know: This is a seasonal outdoor pool. Weekly swim sessions start June 24 and go through the middle of August.

Cost: Varies from $52-$76 and whether you’re a resident of Renton. Registration begins May 23, 2019. View their summer swim lesson schedule online.

Henry Moses Aquatic Center
1719 S.E. Maple Valley Highway
Renton, WA 98057
425-430-6780
Online: rentonwa.gov/cms/one.aspx?pageId=8838960

Bellevue Aquatic Center
For families living in and around Bellevue, the Bellevue Aquatic Center is another fabulous facility that offers group, private and semi-private swim lessons along with two pools. The Blue Lagoon Pool has six lap lanes, a diving tank, a 10-foot slide and a 5-foot slide for tiny tots. The Warm Springs Pool has a wheelchair ramp, average waters temps of 91 degrees, and was built for therapy and rehabilitation, but is available for public open swim and is a great place to warm up after lessons. Classes meet Mondays/Wednesdays, Tuesdays/Thursdays, Saturdays and Sunday mornings and afternoons.

Cost: Varies depending on the number of sessions per week. Register through Connections.

601 143rd Ave. N.E.
Bellevue, WA 98007
425-452-4444
Online: bellevuewa.gov/aquatic_center.htm

photo: Safe N Sound Swimming

Public Pools South of Seattle

Federal Way Community Center Pool
The Federal Way Community Center Pool offers group, private and semi-private lessons for a variety of ages, including parent and toddlers, preschoolers and youth (ages 5 1/2-12). Group morning and evening classes are offered during the summer months Monday-Friday. The pool also boasts an impressive two-story water slide, complete with three twists and turns (riders must be at least 48 inches to ride and they do have someone at the top to check), two smaller slides and plenty of inner tubes and noodles to ride along in the lazy river. For those who want a real workout after their lesson, they can jump into their whirlpool and try to run against the current or hit the six-lane, 25-yard lap pool with one-meter diving board.

Cost: Varies for group lessons (often depends on the number of students in the class). Private lessons are $25 for 30 minutes; semi-private lessons are $35 for 30 minutes. View their swim lesson schedule online.

Federal Way Community Center Pool
876 S. 333rd St.
Federal Way, WA 98003
253-835-6900
Online: itallhappenshere.org/recreation/aquatics-pools

People’s Pool
Little water bugs looking for a place to splash around can find tons of fun at Tacoma’s newest indoor pool. After undergoing a major reconstruction project that was eight years in the making, the facility reopened in the fall of 2016 and quickly became the go-to indoor pool for South Sound families. Large floor-to-ceiling windows fill the room with tons of natural light, giving it a nice outdoorsy feel compared to the basement-like atmosphere you get with some indoor pools. And the unique L-shaped design that divides the pool into three distinct sections: a shallow area, a current channel and a lap lane area, that transforms into two basketball courts and a water-walk play area during open swim sessions, are a hit among parents and kids alike.

Swim lessons are 30 minutes long and held Mondays/Wednesdays, Tuesdays/Thursdays and Saturdays. Choose between parent/tot lessons, classes for three-year-olds and beginner and advanced classes for ages three and older. Adult, private and special-needs lessons are also available.

Cost: $22-$48. Prices are based on resident and non-resident rates and the number of lessons per week. View their current swim lesson schedule online.

People’s Community Center and Pool
1602 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Way
Tacoma, WA 98405
253-591-5321
Online: metroparkstacoma.org/peoples-pool

Safe N Sound Swimming

photo: Safe N Sound Swimming

Private Options

Safe N Sound
Editor’s note: Safe N Sound is now offering Parent Assisted swimming lessons.

If you’re looking for one-on-one lessons, Safe N Sound offers 15 and 30-minute private lessons for swimmers ages two and older. Loyal parents say this intense, individualized approach makes a big difference. In addition to the cost of lessons, families who chose the pay-as-you-go membership pay a $16.50 per swimmer fee per month.

Cost: Ongoing lesson fees range from $152/month for the first swim lesson spot to  $140/month for the second swim lesson spot or sibling. Single pay-as-you-go lessons range from $38 for a single lesson to $125 for four lessons and $248 for eight lessons. Adult private lessons are $54 for a 30 minute session. View the membership prices online.

2040 Westlake Ave. N.
Seattle, WA 98109
206-285-9279
Online: snsswim.com

Angelfish Swimming
Editor’s note: Angelfish Swimming’s lessons are now open to current students at Level 4 & 5. They will open to all others in Phase 4 of the state’s reopening plan.

Located in a cozy backyard pool in the Kirkland Highlands neighborhood, Angelfish Swimming offers lessons to children of all ages, including adults. Children from 6 months and up are taught how to love the water and how to be safe as they learn to swim. Class sizes are limited to four children per half-hour and follow the swim school’s philosophy of taking the fear out of the water and giving swimmers the tools they need to be safe and to have fun. Classes are offered every 30 minutes on weekdays from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and all instructors are all trained by Connie Chapin who is an American Red Cross Certified water safety instructor. Bonus: Pool parties are available to registered families and can accommodate up to 10 children.

Cost: $30 per group lesson; private lessons available for special circumstances. An annual $25 family registration fee is required when signing up for classes. For registration info, email  littleswimmers@angelfishswimming.com.

10203 116th Ave. N.E.
Kirkland, WA 98033
425-890-5769
Online: angelfishswimming.com

photo: Pixabay 

Additional Programs to Consider

Water Babies
Editor’s note: Water Babies’ Renton location is now open for Safer Swim Lessons. Lessons are still on hold at the other locations.

Water Babies is a swim program committed to providing quality family centered aquatic education, focusing on family bonding, touch-communication, water safety and the latest in Learn-to-Swim techniques. One of the largest programs in our area, Water Babies offers infant, preschool and youth classes and has Eastside locations in Renton, Bellevue, Kirkland and Sammamish as well as Mill Creek. Cost is $24.72 per 30 minute class with a ratio of 6-9 students per class, depending on pool. For more information call 425-643-3533.

Online: waterbabiesusa.com

Stroum Jewish Community Center
Editor’s note: Stroum JCC is now offering private and semi-private swim lessons, for kids ages 3 & up. Open to current members only.

The Stroum Jewish Community Center (SJCC) is another great option on the Eastside for group, private or semi-private lessons. SJCC offers preschool and youth swim lessons for kids ages six months to 12 years old. For additional information, contact the SJCC Aquatics Manager at 206-388-0821. View their current class schedule online.

3801 E. Mercer Way
Mercer Island WA 98040
206-232-7115
Online: sjcc.org/fitness-aquatics/aquatics/kids-group-lessons

YMCA
The YMCA is another great option for swim lessons for infants, toddlers and teens. Instructors use a child-centered approach which offers more active involvement and a better understanding of swimming. Swim lessons are available in group, private and semi-private formats and classes are available for children with special needs.

Check the YMCA website for the facility nearest you.

blake canoe swim lesson

photo: Kristina Moy 

Good to Know for the Summer Months

There are a handful of private clubs that open their doors to non-members during the summer for swim lessons, including Wedgwood Swim Club (206-523-8211) in the Wedgwood neighborhood, View Ridge Swim & Tennis Club (206-524-3500) in North Seattle and Arbor Heights Swim and Tennis Club (206-244-6557) in West Seattle.

Editor’s Note: The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you don’t start formal swimming lessons until kids are 4 years old. This is the age children are thought to be developmentally ready for swim lessons. Starting kids very young, though, can be a fun activity as the weather warms up.

—Kristina Moy

RELATED STORIES:

14 Indoor Pools to Dive Into Now

Stay Cool at the City’s Best Spray Parks, Wading Pools & Beaches

The Best Splash Spots & Beaches on the Eastside

Splash Around at the South Sound’s Best Splash Pads & Spraygrounds

Your Summer Guide to Wild Waves Theme & Water Park

Read next

You always knew if you just had some extra hours at home, you could finally sort through piles, clean out closets and purge all the things. Looks like it finally happened. If all this time at home has left you with donations-a-plenty, getting them to people in need is just a car ride away. Here’s where to bring your gently used items.

Before you start your post-nap time stealth purge of the toy bin or (gasp!) before enlisting the kids in selecting a few of their treasures to share with a child in need, here are a few tips for donating used toys:

1. Make your donations count by only offering items that are truly "gently used" and in good working order. Almost all organizations will throw away broken, stained or otherwise unusable toys, clothes or other donations, including toys missing any of their parts. St. Vincent de Paul estimates their annual garbage bill at over $60,000 because of unsellable items (like shirts with stains or broken zippers or puzzles with missing pieces). Note: If you have unmatched LEGOs, scroll down for the perfect donation spot.

2. Don't donate toys or items that have been recalled. Those drop-side cribs are a no-no, even if it was a gorgeous family heirloom that all your kiddos slept safely in.

3. Put fresh batteries in automated toys. Or include a new pack of batteries with your donation.

4. Double check on questionable items. Plush animals are frequently not accepted due to allergens or big-ticket items like play furniture or outdoor play equipment (many organizations don't have room to store these biggies).

5. Don't forget to ask for a receipt. Most places will give you a tax deduction for your donation, so ask for a receipt!

photo: Goodwill Industries

Goodwill

Seattle Goodwill provides job training and education to help individuals overcome barriers to employment. They recently opened four drop-off centers so families can bring in pre-sorted used goods. If you'd like to give new life to toys, clothes and other small items, this is the spot to do it. Drop-off has gone self serve, with people pulling up and dropping things into labeled bins. With only four centers open, people have been experiencing long wait times, so plan accordingly.

What used items to donate: Right now, Goodwill is taking clothing, accessories, shoes, toys, sporting goods, books (and other media), household appliances and items. Sorry, furniture is a no-go right now.

Find a donation center here.

photo: St Mark's Nursery School

St. Vincent de Paul

With thrift stores similar to the Goodwill, St. Vincent de Paul also serves the community by running a food bank, programs for Veterans, basic health assessments, language and social services to the Hispanic community in King County and a case management program and call center to help individuals access social services. The charity is currently accepting donations at the Kenton, Renton and Georgetown locations, Tuesdays through Saturdays, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Make sure your items are in sellable condition—no rips, tears, stains or big scratches. When you arrive, you'll be asked to place your donation in wire-framed boxes, and you can download an e-receipt online for donations over $250.

What used items to donate: They're currently accepting clothing, electronic items and household items. Everything needs to be in good working order. No furniture donations at this time.

Find a donation center nearest you here.

photo: Eastside Baby Corner

Eastside Baby Corner

Editor's note: Eastside Baby Corner is not currently accepting donations of used items (except laptops). However, you may drop off unopened packages of diapers, formula, diapers wipes and new clothes. To coordinate please contact marak@babycorner.org or call Helen at 425-372-7525.

Eastside Baby Corner provides direct assistance to local families challenged by job loss, homelessness, medical crisis and poverty. Each year they provide more than 8,000 clothing bags (each with a week's wardrobe) and more than 1,324 car seats to local families, keeping children safe and families comforted in their time of greatest need. Your donations won't gather dust here; items are matched to deserving families within a week of the item being requested.

What used items to donate: crib mattresses (accepted as space allows), maternity clothes, small toys and books, exer-saucers, play gyms, infant swings, pack 'n' plays, strollers, changing tables, Boppy pillows, smaller outdoor toys (April-Sept. only), cleaned car seats manufactured in the last five years from today’s date. Check their website for the complete list of items.

Most needed items: baby cereal, new toys for two-year-olds, winter clothes (especially pants for boys and girls, sizes 5-14), used laptops, hats and gloves (age 5 & up), safety items (door handle covers, outlet covers, etc.), hygiene such as shampoo, diaper cream, conditioner and deodorant, sippy cups and diapers in size 5 and 6 and Pull-ups in size 4T/5T. Other needed items include LEGOs, shoes, full, queen and king bedding (sheets and comforters), rain coats in sizes 5T-10, nursing pads, bassinets, pack n' plays (manufactured after February 19, 2014) and full size and double strollers.

Note: EBC does not accept household appliances, tools, broken or damaged toys, adult clothing (other than maternity) and other goods not specifically for kids birth to age 14. EBC also does not accept used car seats at any of its remote drop-off sites; used car seats are accepted only at EBC Hubs and must be manufactured five years or less from the donation date. Due to space constraints, EBC cannot accept furniture, other than cribs, toddler beds, changing tables and toddler tables and chairs, high chairs, drop-side cribs, cribs manufactured prior to 8 years from today's date, large outdoor basketball hoops, art desks, tool benches, stuffed animals longer than 12 inches, large easels, train tables, walkers with wheels, electric breast pumps, used nipples and pacifiers, outdoor toys, ski boos, skis or snowbords.

1510 N.W. Maple St.
Issaquah, WA 98027
425-865-0234

View all drop times and locations here.

photo: Treehouse

Treehouse

Editor's not: Treehouse is not currently accepting donations, but financial gifts are welcome.

This standout organization's mission is to "give foster kids a childhood and a future." Among the myriad of services Treehouse provides to youth in the foster care system is an awesome warehouse filled to the brim with new and like-new clothing, shoes, toys, school supplies and books, where the kids can go "shopping" (everything is free) for what they want and need. This is a particularly great choice if along with your toy donation, you have a fashion-conscious tween (or toddler for that matter) who has outgrown their stylish brands.

What used items to donate: Toys (very gently used), new and like-new clothing, backpacks, electronics (video games, e-Readers, headphones) and books. View their wish list here.

Current needs: Toddler girl and boy hoodies and light weight jackets (2T-5T), toddler girl & boy jeans (2T-5T), child girl and boy uniforms (6-20), child girl and boy jeans (6-20), child girl and boy long-sleeved shirts (6-20), boys' hoodies (S-M) and boys' graphic tees (all sizes). 

2100 24th Ave. S., Suite 200
Seattle, WA 98144
206-767-7000

Drop-off Hours: Tues.-Fri., 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Westside Baby

Editor's note: Westside Baby is not currently accepting donations, but financial gifts are needed and appreciated.

Did you know food stamps don't cover diapers? Westside Baby provides diapers, clothing and other critical items to children and families throughout King County (in 2017, they served 38,000 children with three million in items). Participate in Westside Baby's 2019 Joy Drive and help keep more than 3,000 kids safe, warm and dry this holiday season. Psst! Consider helping out a new baby by adding a box of new diapers and wipes to your donation.

What used items to donate: Toys, clothing up to size 12 (especially PJs, winter coats and new socks and underwear), baby equipment, car seats (view requirements here) diapers, wipes, diaper cream, baby shampoo, lotion, soap, portable cribs, car seats and strollers. They also need shoes (up to youth size 6), formula, books (especially board books), pacifiers, bottles, sippy cups, front carriers and slings, child-size towels and wash cloths and blankets and bedding. If you've got baby, toddler or kid equipment collecting dust, Westside Baby will happily take your cribs (full size and portable), toddler beds, high chairs, booster seats, bouncy seats, excersaucers, Bumbo seats, potty chairs, baby bathtubs (no bath seats), changing tables and diaper pails. Click here to view a list of their most needed items. Click here for the full list of accepted items.

10002 14th Ave. S.W.
Seattle, WA 98146
206-767-1662

View the full list of collection sites here.

Northwest Center

The Northwest Center has created schools and bustling social enterprises which demonstrate the powerful benefit of people of all abilities working together. Your toys will be used in one of their awesome early learning programs where children with and without developmental disabilities learn and play together. With two dozen drop off locations, this organization makes donating super easy. Currently, the Northwest Center Big Blue Trucks aren't making rounds for donation pick-ups, but families can still drop off clothing only in the Big Blue Bins. Find one near you online.

What used items to donate: They're currently accepting clothing donations in a Big Blue Bin.

7272 W. Marginal Way S.
Seattle, WA 98108
206-285-9140

To view their drop off locations, click here

photo: Pexels

Mary's Place

Editor's note: Mary's Place is not currently accepting donations of used items. However, you can make a financial contribution or purchase a much-needed item off of their Amazon Charity List.

This safe haven provides more than just the tangible needs of food and shelter for homeless women and their children; Mary's Place also provides a community and a safety net for women looking to rebuild their lives and who want their children to spend time in a safe and caring environment.

What used items to donate: Toys, in-season clothing for men, women and kids (especially teen boys), socks, shoes, underwear, paperback books, strollers, personal hygiene items, diapers, baby formula, bottles, sippy cups, baby soap, diaper rash ointment, foldable pack 'n plays and items for Mary's Place kitchen. Mary's Place is also in need of pain relievers (Ibuprofen, aspirin), cough drops, topical antibiotic ointments and alcohol wipes. Note: The organization does not accept out-of-season clothing, appliances, breast pumps, electronics, used car seats, appliances, computers, televisions, furniture (of any kind), cribs, jogging strollers, medical equipment, exercise equipment, baby bouncers, swings, potty chairs or hardback books.

 

Items with a high need: Maternity clothes, twin sheets and blankets, new underwear (all sizes and genders), stroller covers, hair brushes and towels. View the complete list here.

9 S. Nevada St. (SODO)
Seattle, WA 98134
206-621-847
Donation hours: Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-3 p..m

1155 N. 130th St. (North Seattle)
Seattle, WA 98133
Donation hours: Mon.-Sun., 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

113 Dexter Ave N. (Hub/Admin Offices) 
Seattle, WA 98109
Donation hours: Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

View collection site info here

photo: Pixabay

The Healing Center

As the only drop-in grief support center for youth (ages 4-18) in the area, The Healing Center fills an important gap in supporting kids who've experienced loss or trauma. The Healing Center also offers grief-support for adults, children and families as well as a day camp in the summer. The organization offers a unique, long-term, multi-faceted approach to grief support, combining group support with informal events and social networks.

Children’s programming supplies needed: Crayons, markers, colored pencil, coloring books, notebooks, board games, sketch book, play-doh, model magic, beading supplies, watercolor supplies, washable kid's paint, construction paper, plain white paper and stickers.

Household supplies needed: Furniture (couches and chairs), lamps, side tables, office chairs and office desks.

Please contact donations@healingcenterseattle.org if you think you can help.

6409 1/2 Roosevelt Way N.E.
Seattle, WA 98115
206-523-1206
Online: healingcenterseattle.org

 

photo: Pexels

The Brick Recycler

If you have a LEGO lover in your life who's ready to release his or her (millions) of LEGO bricks and figurines, do not put them in your normal "donate box." Organizations like the Goodwill, Salvation Army, etc. will just throw them away if they're not in a complete set and if you try to recycle them, the city will sort them out and send them to the landfill. Give your LEGOs a new lease on life by sending them to the Brick Recycler. You can ship them your mixed bag of LEGOs (for free if you ship via ground service including UPS Ground and FedEx Ground) and they'll sort and pass your bricks along to future builders. What a brick-tastic idea!

Address shipments to:
Brick Recycler c/o Guaranteed Express
652 N. King Rd.
San Jose, CA 95133

Online: brickrecycler.com or on Facebook

Editor’s Note: Almost all of these organizations also accept (and desperately need) new items as well, from toys and clothes, to food, diapers and hygiene items. If one of these organizations sings to you, check out their website or wish list and consider adding a few new items to your donations as well.

If you would like to donate new toys this holiday season to local kids in need, Toys for Tots has dozens of drop-off locations around the city as well as Mattress Firm’s Foster Kids Toy Drive.

—Kristina Moy & Katie Gruver

RELATED STORIES:

Pay it Forward: How to Give Back During the Pandemic (& Beyond)

12 Ways Kids Can Give Back without Leaving the House

(Nearly) Effortless Ways You Can Help End Food Insecurity

12 Simple Ways to Teach Kids Gratitude

8 Easy Ways Your Kids Can Give Back All Year-Round

Read next

Editor’s note: We’re making every effort to get families the most up-to-date information. Many state parks will reopen May 5, 2020. At the time of publication, many of the city park parking lots are closed, although the parks themselves are open. Please remember to recreate responsibly, follow social distancing guidelines and keep moving when you enjoy these activities.

If finding fresh air tops Mom’s list of things she wants to do on her special day, there’s no better place to find it than at one of these outdoor parks. Find your social distance at one of Seattle’s expansive city or state parks that aren’t too far from home. Get ready to recreate responsibly… and go!

photo: Kristina Moy

Discovery Park – Magnolia

With nearly 12 miles of paths and 534 acres to explore, Discovery Park is Seattle’s largest city park and offers stunning views of Puget Sound and the Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges. Take the three-mile loop trail for a nice overview of the park and sights of open meadows, beautiful forest groves, impressive sea cliffs, and active sand dunes (perfect for your little diggers, so don’t forget the pail and shovel). Or bring a kite and a picnic dinner to spread out in the meadow, and walk off your meal by taking a hike on the South Beach Trail to look for the lighthouse and sights of wildlife on the beach. This park is the epitome of urban hiking.

3801 Discovery Park Blvd.
Seattle, Wa 98199
Online: seattle.gov

Kubota Garden – South Seattle

If you’re looking for a peaceful and pretty walk, Kubota Garden is a must see for any mom who loves native plants and needs a little gardening inspiration. This 20-acre Japanese garden (created by Fujitaro Kubota, who also designed and landscaped the gardens on the Seattle University campus and the Bloedel Reserve’s Japanese Garden) showcases all the beauty of Northwest plants and flowers, with cascading waterfalls, burbling streams and bridges overlooking calm ponds, as well as easy walking paths (some are ADA and stroller accessible) through shaded stands of vibrant Japanese maples and flowering rhododendrons.

Follow the stroller-friendly path from the main entrance west, then north to the Heart Bridge, a replica of a traditional red bridge from Mr. Kubota’s home island. This hidden gem of a park, now owned and maintained by the City of Seattle, is free to the public, and self-guided tours are available with this easy to use map. Get out of the city without actually leaving the city at this calming and beautiful park.

9817 55th Ave. S.
Seattle, Wa 98118
Online: kubotagarden.org

Carkeek Park – North Seattle

Located in north Seattle, Carkeek Park is another favorite Seattle hiking destination. It offers about six miles of trail hiking, and you can even bring the stroller – a number of the trails are also wheelchair accessible. Check out the great viewpoints of Puget Sound and the Olympic mountains along the North Bluff Trail; take a self-guided hike along the two mile Piper’s Canyon Story Trail (the upper half is ADA accessible); cross the railroad tracks by way of the overpass (especially thrilling when a train goes by!) to visit the beach.

950 N.W. Carkeek Park Rd.
Seattle, Wa 98177
Online: seattle.gov

photo: Kristina Moy

Lincoln Park – West Seattle

Located on the western edge of West Seattle, Lincoln Park offers five miles of trails, including a loop hike with a bluff and gorgeous beachfront views of Puget Sound, Vashon Island and the Olympic Mountains. Stick to the bike and stroller-friendly beachfront trail to enjoy stunning views of the ocean wildlife, say "hi" to the occasional harbor seal swimming offshore and watch the cargo ships and ferries passing by. There's also plenty of grassy areas to spread a picnic blanket and swings to keep the Littles happy.

8011 Fauntleroy Way S.W.
Seattle, Wa 98136
Online: seattle.gov

photo: Seward Park Audubon Center

Seward Park – Southeast Seattle

Located in south Seattle, 300-acre Seward Park covers over two miles of lake shore and hosts Seattle’s largest old growth forest. After you’ve explored the bike and stroller-friendly 2.5 mile shoreline trail (checking out unparalleled views of Lake Washington, Mercer Island and Mount Rainier), head into the park’s magic “Magnificent Forest” (there’s a trailhead at the playground) and you’ll quickly discover how it got that name when you’re surrounded by giant trees, native plants and eagles, owls and great blue herons.

5895 Lake Washington Blvd. S
Seattle, Wa 98118
Online: seattle.gov

photo: Washington Park Arboretum

Washington Park Arboretum – Montlake

If you prefer a lovely floral backdrop to your Mother’s Day pictures and a casual stroll in place of a rigorous hike, then visit the 230-acre Washington Park Arboretum. Park at the Graham Visitor's Center on the north end and stroll Azalea Way, a spectacular .75-mile walk through flower paradise, ending at the Japanese Garden. Also, be sure to walk the half-mile Waterfront Trail through a wetland area to Foster Island. Let the kids master their “sea” legs on the floating walkways while you take in the view of Union Bay, Lake Washington, the University of Washington and Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges. Check out their awesome trails map for even more hiking ideas.

Park extra: The Arboretum’s historic two-mile bike-and-pedestrian loop is lined with 18 benches cast in a classic style from the 1939 New York World’s Fair and runs all the way from E. Madison St. to the Graham Visitors Center between Lake Washington Boulevard E. and the Arboretum’s iconic Azalea Way.

2300 Arboretum Dr. E.
Seattle, Wa 98122
Online: botanicgardens.uw.edu

photo: Angela Barton

Saint Edward State Park – Kenmore

OK, so we know Saint Edward State Park isn’t technically in Seattle. But it’s only about 30 minutes north of Seattle (about five miles from Kirkland), and hosts 316 acres of woodlands, meadows and beach, plus 14 walking/hiking/mountain biking trails, 3,000 feet of undeveloped Lake Washington shoreline and a fantastic playground---perfect for a day of exploring with your favorite mama. We recommend the Seminary Trail (hike #4 on the map) down to the beach for the hearty hikers in your crew. It’s a bit steep, but totally worth it for the lake views and possible otter and bald eagle sightings.

14445 Juanita Dr. N.E.
Kenmore, WA 98028
Online: parks.state.wa.us

 

—Kristina Moy & Erin Cranston

RELATED STORIES:

The Best Hiking Trails for Kids Near Seattle

Hidden Gems: Explore a Neighborhood Pocket Park

Hit the Trail: 14 Easy Waterfall Hikes to Take with Kids

Make Her Mother’s Day: 7 Local Stores Offering Pick-Up & Delivery

Seattle’s Best Podcasts for Parents (& One for Kids)

14 Clever Ways to Organize LEGO Bricks

Read next

There’s never been a better time to make some headway into the struggle that is LEGO storage solutions. In order to help you out, we rounded up genius LEGO storage ideas that range from sleek new LEGO bags and bins to a DIY LEGO table. Scroll down for 14 clever ways to wrangle the brick.

Stylish Storage Cabinets

You don't have to sacrifice style when it comes to storing LEGO. This sharp-looking five-drawer metal cabinet from the Container Store is offered in several bright colors (red, orange, green, aqua and more). Simply add in some of the drawer dividers, and you've got a place for every last brick.

Available at thecontainerstore.com, $74.99. 

Storage Pouf from Mimish Designs

This stylish pouf is also a storage container! You kids can stash their bricks, zip and sit! Offered in four colors, the pouf makes a great seat at a play table. 

Available at mimishdesigns.com, $69.99.

Under the Bed Storage

Outta sight, outta mind, is what you’re looking for all those hundreds of little LEGO pieces. You want a clean look. Whether you’re dealing with a small space or just want to maximize playable square footage, this DIY under the bed LEGO storage option designed by The Happy Housie will make things easy. Just load them in and slide for a quick, clean storage option.

photo: LEGO Bags

LEGO Bags Organizer

When it comes to organizing all those LEGO bricks, why not turn to the creators themselves? LEGO Bags is ready to rock your world with three super cool systems you can try out: The 4 Piece Organizer Tote ($55), which features a playmat and three zip bins to keep everything (including those “in-process” projects) in place. It all folds up into one hand tote!. We also love the 3 Piece Organizer Cubes ($20) with clear windows, perfect for accessories, LEGO minifigs and other pieces you’re always struggling to find, and the Cinch Buckets ($20). We love the Cinch Buckets for travel! Shop them all here.

LEGO Display

We love this minifig display case that’ll hold up to 16 of your master builder’s favorite characters. Baseplates are included inside each individual slot, you can mount it to the wall, place it on a shelf or flat surface, and best of all, each case is designed to look like a LEGO and is stackable, for easy storage! 

Grab one (or several) for $23.29 at amazon.com

Basic Bins

Forget fancy organizing systems. Get yourself to the local DIY store, pick up a package of plastic bins and just like that, you’ll have an easily accessible solution to your kid’s brick collection. We love the way Heidi over at Happiness is Homemade used her err… block, when it comes to LEGO. Get the detailed list of what you’ll need here.

photo: Gabby Cullen

Tackle Box for Tiny Stuff

Ever notice that LEGO sets come with a bit more, well, stuff, than when you were a kid? Yeah, us too. Using a tackle or jewelry-making box (snag one at your local crafting store) with tons of tiny compartments makes it easy to have a place for each little accessory: from food to sidekicks, tools and more. We like this bead organizer for just $3.99 from Michaels. 

Bucket Brigade

The creative blogger at B-Inspired Mama uses vertical storage and wall space (instead of your kiddo’s bedroom floor!) with this fun way to store LEGO. Using materials that are a cinch to grab from the hardware or discount store, label each bucket with a white paint marker and then sort, sort, sort! Get the how-to at B-Inspired Mama.

Magnetic Strips

This incredible building/storage combo table looks a lot harder to recreate than it really is. Combine a trip to IKEA with the most sticky glue you can find and you’ll be on your way. Want to know what you’ll need? Skip on over to Kojo Designs for the how-to.

DIY LEGO Table

LEGO bricks are something kids love all the way through up to middle school and beyond. When Michelle from That Mommy Blog was looking for a storage solution for her son’s exploding brick collection, she came up with this ingenious Adjustable Height DIY LEGO Table and Storage Unit, which can be used forever! We love the fact that Michelle covered one side of the shelf with green baseplates, and left the other smooth for the option of building without baseplates.  For the step-by-step instructions, visit That Mommy Blog.

photo: courtesy The Container Store

Rolling LEGO Cart

Sometimes your kids will want to build with LEGO in their rooms, sometimes they'll want to build in the living room, kitchen or wherever else strikes their fancy. An arts and craft storage cart will also work for their bricks, especially if you find bins to organize the pieces. This one from The Container Store is great because it comes with the organizers included in the total price. 

Available at containerstore.com, $73.93.

Color-Coded Bins

It’s a Type A’s dream. After listening to her boys say they wanted a color-coded sorting system, Jen of I Heart Organizing looked around and decided the IKEA Trofast system was the best way to go. Psst! Those nifty little labels are made with paper and Mod Podge. Get the full rundown over at I Heart Organizing.

 

Instruction Manual Storage

Now that all the bricks have a place, find a spot for those building manuals, too. Believe us, once one of those suckers disappear, the chances of re-building that set are slim to none. We love the simple but brilliant idea from My 4 Misters & Their Sister. Even busy parents (meaning all of us!) can manage this one. Find out more over at My 4 Misters & Their Sister.

A Builder's Dream Room

Can you imagine the look in your little one’s eyes if you turned his or her bedroom into a wall-to-wall LEGO haven? Designers Lena Seow, Vrinda Khanna and Suzan Wines of I-Beam Design did just that. LEGO boards cover the walls of this room, from floor to ceiling so kids can build with or against gravity. Plus, every creation becomes an integral part of the play space architecture until new construction is made. How cool is that? See more at hgtv.com.

The Sweep It Up Sheet

If we're being honest, we know that even the best laid out LEGO organization system is no match for a kid who isn't in a hurry to pick up and put away. Everything—eventually—winds up mixed all together, so make it easy on yourself by ordering a few Swoop Bags. These bags have a six-inch edge to help contain small pieces, are offered in small, medium, or large (this one doubles as an activity mat), and you can choose between all sorts of fun colors like royal blue, green grass, sunshine and Seattle gray. Basically, it's a storage and carryall solution in one! 

Bonus: It comes with an easy pull-cord that doubles as a carrying strap. 

Check out the entire stock over at Swoop Bags

— Kristina Moy & Gabby Cullen

 

RELATED STORIES:

Incredible LEGO Creations You Won’t Believe Are Real

LEGOLAND & 10 Other Places for LEGO Obsessed Kids

16 LEGOLAND Secrets You Need to Know Before You Go

featured image: Kelly Sikkema via Unsplash 

Read next

Holiday activities abound around the Emerald City during the Christmas season, and the Eastside is no exception. If you and your crew are into lights, snowflakes, Santa and all that jazz–you’re in luck! Scroll down for the Eastside’s 13 most holiday-inducing activities.

photo: The Bellevue Collection

Snowflake Lane

If you really want to delight your kid crew this holiday season, head to Bellevue to celebrate with lights, music and plenty of dancing at the annual holiday spectacular known as Snowflake Lane. With the expansion of the Bellevue Collection, comes an expanded party complete with an extended parade route going from N.E. 4th to N.E. 8th Streets, falling snow and all your favorite holiday characters. And best of all, Santa himself joins the fun every night during the parade to help spread the cheer.

Snowflake Lanes opens on Fri., Nov. 29 with the season’s first parade followed by Santa lighting the 30-foot tree at the Bellevue Place Wintergarden. Santa will also be on hand for photos along with the cast of characters from Snowflake Lane. While this is a single night event, all season long Santa will be available for photos inside Bellevue Square Mall at the Snowflake Lane Factory.

Good to Know: Huge crowds flock to the festivities in Bellevue each night, so arrive early and plan accordingly. Early dinner reservations at one of the numerous restaurants will get you parked and near the action early. And be sure to take advantage of free parking at The Bellevue Collection, Bellevue Square, Lincoln Center and Bellevue Place.

Dates: Nov. 29-Dec. 24, 2019
Time: 7 p.m.
Cost: Free

Between Bellevue Square and Lincoln Square from N.E. 4th to N.E. 8th Streets
Bellevue, WA 98004
Event details

photo: The Shops at The Bravern

The Shops at The Bravern VIP Party & Lighting Ceremony

Once again, The Shops at The Bravern will be getting in on the holiday action by hosting a VIP Party and Lighting Ceremony on Nov. 30. Starting at 5 p.m., families can enjoy photos with Santa, a performance by the Seahawks dancers, holiday wreath making, gingerbread cookie decorating and holiday beverages and hors d'oeuvres. Then, at 6 p.m. watch as Santa makes his arrival and helps light up the The Bravern's custom made, LED holiday light installation. Additional performances by the Seahawks dancers are also on the agenda as well as beverages and treats to get everyone in the holiday spirit. 

Good to Know: This event at The Bravern is free and open to the public. Complimentary six-hour parking validation will be available at any merchants without a spending requirement on the evening of Nov 30.

Date: Nov. 30, 2019
Time: VIP Party from 5 p.m.-6 p.m.; Lighting Ceremony from 6 p.m.-6:30 p.m.
Cost: Free

11111 N.E. 8th St.
Bellevue, WA 98004
Event details

photo: Bellevue Downtown Ice Rink

The Bellevue Downtown Ice Rink presented by Symetra

Bellevue’s popular ice rink is back and in full effect at Downtown Bellevue Park. Boasting our region’s largest open-air ice rink (over 9,000 square feet of real ice!), this prime skating spot is covered and open for skating rain or shine starting on November 29. With skate rentals, concessions, rockin’ holiday tunes and a variety of special events throughout the season, including learn to skate nights, free lessons, Stroller Skate Thursdays, Free Skate Mondays, Husky Skate Day–this is the place to practice your triple toe loop!

Good to Know: Purchase a discount admission pass and receive 10 skating sessions and skate rentals for $119. Also, take advantage of reduced admission when you bring your own skates. Psst! Tuesdays in late December (24 & 31) will be busy due to schools' holiday breaks, so prepare for longer lines. Free three-hour parking is available while visiting Bellevue Downtown Park. The parking lots are located adjacent to the ice rink-one in the southwest corner next to Inspiration Playground and one on the west side of the park (north of the playground).

Dates: Nov. 29, 2019-Jan. 20, 2020
Times: Varies (see times online). The rink is open until 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
Cost: $10-$15. Receive $2 off if you bring your own skates. Discounted tickets available for members of the military, Bellevue College and Northwest University students and Bellevue Downtown Association and KidsQuest Children's Museum members.

Downtown Bellevue Park
100 100th Ave. N.E.
Bellevue, WA 98004
Event details

Redmond Lights

Redmond Lights celebrates the city of Redmond's diverse holiday traditions, cultures and faiths. On Dec. 7, experience this three-part progressive event by starting at the City Hall Campus tree lighting ceremony; then stroll down the Redmond Central Connector Luminary Walk; grab a sweet treat at Downtown Park; and end the evening at Redmond Town Center. Along the way, enjoy musical entertainment, refreshments and fun activities for the whole family.

On Sun., December 8, the holiday party continues. Starting at 5 p.m., take a peaceful stroll through the Redmond Central Connector and enjoy thousands of luminaries, light displays and art installations. The evening culminates at Redmond’s Downtown Park.

Good to know: A shuttle bus will run from 3:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. on Saturday–near the Lunchbox Lab.

Dates: Dec. 7-8, 2019
Times: Sat., 4 p.m.-8 p.m.; Sun., 5 p.m.-8 p.m.
Cost: Free

City Hall Campus
15670 N.E. 85th St.
Redmond, WA 98052

Redmond Town Center
7525 166th Ave. N.E.
Redmond, WA 98052

Event details

Evergreen City Ballet: The Nutcracker

New sets. New costumes. Newly renovated performance venues. New, new, new! Families will love this dazzling production of a cherished family favorite by Evergreen City Ballet. With three convenient performance venues, you’ll easily find a Nutcracker nearest you. And again this year, you can opt for the super kid-friendly, one-hour performance or go for the full-length, two-hour production–either way, you’re in for a treat!

Good to Know: Bring your cameras! Young Nutcracker fans can get photo ops with dancers in their costumes after each performance.

Dates: Dec. 6-8 at Meydenbauer Center; Dec. 13-15 at Auburn Performing Arts Center; Dec. 20-22, 2019 at Renton IKEA Performing Arts Center
Times: Check website for show times and production lengths
Cost: $35-$45

Meydenbauer Center Theatre
11100 N.E. 6th St.
Bellevue, WA 98004

Auburn Performing Arts Center
702 4th St. N.E.
Auburn, WA 98002

Renton IKEA Performing Arts Center
400 S. 2nd St.
Renton, WA 98057

Event details

photo: Bellevue Botanical Garden

Garden d’Lights

Each year, over half a million twinkly, sparking, wow-worthy lights transform Bellevue’s Botanical Garden into a magical, winter wonderland. The 2019 season will d’light even the youngest of visitors with lighted shapes of plants, animals, flowers, birds–and even a cascading waterfall. And once again, musical groups will perform on select nights (check the website for the complete schedule). Psst! If your little elves need a little pick-me-up, coffee, tea, hot cocoa and snacks will be available for purchase in the Aaron Education Center.

Good to Know: Buy your tickets online (no longer date specific) and avoid standing in long lines at the gate. No free nights will be offered this year. Premium parking in the Garden’s lot is available for $5/car (cash only) or free parking is available at Wilburton Hill Park, located east of the Garden on the south side of Main Street. Event parking is not allowed on Main Street and no dogs are allowed in the garden, so you'll have to leave Fido at home.

Dates: Nov. 30-Dec. 31 2019 (including holidays)
Time: 4:30 p.m.-9 p.m. 
Cost: $5/Adults; 10 & under Free

Bellevue Botanical Garden
12001 Main St.
Bellevue, WA 98005
Event details

photo: Cougar Mountain Zoo

Issaquah Reindeer Festival at Cougar Mountain Zoo

This season, experience the 32nd Annual Issaquah Reindeer Festival at Cougar Mountain Zoo. This up-close and personal zoo not only features the unique sights of Santa’s reindeer, but a chance to sit in Santa's sleigh and take a picture with him in his house. During the month-long festival, kids can indulge in face painting, hear a story from one of Santa's elves and drop their Christmas wish lists in Santa's personal mailbox, plus feed treats to Santa’s other animals and meet his kittens and his Candy Cane makers.

Good to know: Make it a group outing (12 or more people) for a reduced per person admission.

Dates: Dec. 1-23 & 26-30, 2019 (closed Dec. 24-25)
Times: Dec. 1-23, 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. (or dusk); Dec. 26-30, 10:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Cost: $11.50-$14.50 (under 2 Free)

Cougar Mountain Zoo
19525 S.E. 54th St.
Issaquah, WA 98027
Event details

Ivar’s Clam Lights

Dance with the clams at Ivar’s 25th annual Clam Lights display at Gene Coulon Memorial Park in Renton. This dazzling display, designed for the whole fam, covers a mile-long loop around the park. The flat, walkable path is perfect for little feet or strollers and showcases professionally decorated trees and shrubs for maximum holiday wattage.

Dates: Dec. 6, 2019-Jan. 1, 2020
Time: 5 p.m.-9 p.m.
Cost: Free (with free parking at Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park)

Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park
1201 Lake Washington Blvd. N.
Renton, WA 98056
Event details

photo: Redmond Town Center

Redmond Town Center Winter Wonderland

Ring in the holiday season Redmond-style with spirited rides aboard RTC's holiday train or mini horse carousel, or twirl around the outdoor synthetic ice skating rink. Be sure to make a special visit to Santa for holiday photos, take in the sounds of the season with festive community performances throughout December and jump over to the Springfree Trampoline pop-up shop (open Thurs. & Fri. from 4 p.m.-8 p.m. and Sat. & Sun. from noon-6 p.m.) to work off the holiday crazies. Your little scout elves can even search for Stripes, the sneaky Candy Cane, and once found, report his whereabouts to Security/Guest Services to receive a special prize! Stripes moves to a new location every Friday, so look for a new clue each week.

Good to Know: Bundle up in your warmest mittens, scarves and coats as all activities are outside, with the exception of Santa who dwells in a warm hut. This year’s ice rink will once again be covered and can be found on the pedestrian-only Main Street. Tickets are $7/person (debit or credit only). Santa will arrive on Nov. 29, so everyone can read him their wish lists in time for Christmas. Psst! Mondays are pet photo days; Tuesdays (Dec. 3, 10 & 17) are Santa Story Time days at Brick & Mortar Books at 9:45 am; and Wednesdays (Dec. 4, 11 & 18) at 9:45 a.m. are Quiet Days for those who need a quieter atmosphere with Santa. 

Dates: Nov. 29, 2019-Jan 5, 2020
Times: Most activities are open daily; times vary. Check the website for details.
Cost: Prices vary

Redmond Town Center
7525 166th Ave. N.E.
Redmond, WA 98052
Event details

photo: Argosy Cruises

Argosy Cruises Christmas Ship Festival

There’s just something about the Christmas Ship and Parade of Boats that really makes the season sing. Join on-board choirs, twinkling lights and lots of holiday cheer or listen and enjoy from the shoreline at Gene Coulon Beach Park, Medina, Houghton Beach or Juanita Beach throughout the festival. Parade routes, choirs and songs vary nightly, but the watery spectacle is always a festive holiday favorite.

Good to know: Tickets to ride on the official Christmas Ship and Follow Boat fill up quickly (some days are already sold out), so book now if you want an on-the-water holiday experience.

Dates: Nov. 29-Dec. 23, 2019
Times: Varies; view schedule online.
Cost: Free to watch from shore; $29-$68 to ride the Christmas Ship or Parade Boat
Event details

photo: Studio East

‘Twas the Night… at Studio East

A hilarious take on the classic holiday poem, ‘Twas the Night... is sure to leave the whole family in stitches. From the talented Studio East team, this cute, crazy and creative holiday musical is now in its 19th year, but in true Studio East tradition, includes new surprises each year to keep it fresh and fun.

Dates: Nov. 30-Dec. 22, 2019 (Saturdays & Sundays)
Times: 11 a.m., 2 p.m. & 5 p.m. (shows runs 90 minutes, including intermission)
Cost: $20/person (best for ages 5 & up)

Studio East
11730 118th Ave. N.E., Suite 100
Kirkland, WA 98034
Event details

photo: Carol Hook

Celebrate Woodinville Winterfest 2019

Taking place on Dec. 7, Woodinville's Winterfest features a festive tree lighting and early morning race along with Santa photos and a holiday fair. Kick off the festivities on Saturday morning by putting on your kicks and walking, jogging or rolling your way through downtown Woodinville in this year's Winterfest 5k and 10k. Then, take in the holiday fair from 3 p.m.-6 p.m. and enjoy live music, seasonal activities and treats. Psst! Be sure to stick around for the festive Santa procession before the official community tree lighting ceremony at 6 p.m.

Date: Dec. 7, 2019
Time: 3 p.m.-6 p.m.
Cost: Free

Downtown Woodinville
13680 N.E. 175th St.
Woodinville, WA 98072
Event details

—Kristina Moy & Jennifer B. Davis

RELATED STORIES:

18 Can’t-Miss Holiday Attractions in Downtown Seattle

Ho, Ho, Ho! Your Guide to the Best Places for Santa Photos

Where to See the City’s Best Holiday Light Displays

Where to See This Year’s Christmas Ship Festival

Take a Stroll Along Seattle’s Sweetest Lane This Holiday Season

Read next

Dining out with kids is always a gamble. Sometimes they will devour their entire plate and ask for more and other times they’ll only take a few bites and call it a meal. Lucky for us, many Seattle restaurants offer free or nearly free kids’ meals, on just about every night of the week. If you’re ready to give your wallet (and your kitchen) a break, scroll down to see where Seattle kids eat free.

photo: iStock

Sunday

Trapper's Sushi: You'll drink to this all-day deal! For each Ramune Soda purchase, one kid eats free and this special includes a kid's drink, too! Think of Ramune as Japanese Sprite, in original or strawberry flavors. Dine-in sushi bar only. Ages 10 & under. Locations include Bonney Lake, Bremerton, Kent, Covington, Lacey, Puyallup, Parkland, Tukwila, Tacoma and North Bend.

20625 State Route 410 E.
Bonney Lake, WA 98391
253-987-7632

1405 N.E. McWilliams Rd.
Bremerton, WA 98311
360-479-0530

16908 S.E. 269th Pl., #110
Covington, WA 98042
253-277-0926

321 Ramsay Way, Suite 103
Kent, WA 98032
253-236-8712

320 S.W. Mt. Si Blvd., #106
North Bend, WA 98045
425-292-9362

206 39th Ave. S.W.
Puyallup, WA 98373
253-604-4582

1360 Galaxy Dr. N.E.
Lacey, WA 98516
360-688-7469

323 Garfield St., Suite 101
Parkland, WA 98444
253-433-3738

468 Southcenter Mall
Tukwila, WA 98188
206-743-8770

Online: trapperssushi.net

Sand Point Grill: On Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays, two kids eat free from 5 p.m.-6:30 p.m. with the purchase of one adult entrée. Ages 12 & under. Psst! All kids' meals are served with fresh fruit and veggies. Located in Laurelhurst.

5412 Sand Point Way N.E.
Seattle, WA 98105
206-729-1303
Online: sandpointgrill.com

La Fuente: On Sundays, kids eat for $.99 with the purchase of an adult entrée. Offer valid all day. Located in Renton.

3221 N.E. Sunset Blvd.
Renton, WA 98056
425-228-7757
Online: yelp.com/biz/la-fuente-renton

The Islander: Kids eat free at The Islander on Sundays. Receive one free kid's meal with every full priced entrée purchased to start your week off right! Beverages are not included. Located on Mercer Island.

2441 76th Ave. S.E., Suite 150
Mercer Island, WA 98040
206-232-6676
Online: the-islander.com

Dickey's Barbecue Pit: Kids eat free from the kid's menu on Sundays with a $10 purchase per adult. Dine-in only. Not valid with other offers or promotions. Ages 12 & under. Offer available at participating Dickey’s locations only. 

617 S.W. 128th St.
Everett, WA 98204
425-265-0041

14150 N.E. 20th St., Suite E
Bellevue, WA 98007
425-747-4659

4726 Borgen Blvd.
Gig Harbor, WA 98332
253-358-3295

1428 W. Meeker St.
Kent, WA 98032
253-852-5251

1800 Mile Hill Dr.
Port Orchard, WA 98366
360-602-0424

5104 5th Ave.
Tacoma, WA 98406
253-301-1937

21109 St. Route 410 E.
Bonney Lake, WA 98391
253-862-0425

710 NW Gilman Blvd.
Issaquah, Wa 98027
425-392-2336

1001 Cooper Point Rd. SW
Olympia, WA 98502
360-705-1600

4716 Werner Rd.
West Bremerton, WA 98312
360-627-7073

3932 S. Meridian
Puyallup, WA 98373
253-845-5061

Online: dickeys.com

The Ram: Kids eat for $1 (all day) with the purchase of an adult entrée. And if you're lucky, you might get to catch a magic show while you're there. There's no set schedule for this table-side entertainer, but we hear he pops in from time to time at Ram locations around the city. Plus, we love that your little diners can eat for a buck at any of the Ram locations, including the brand-new location in Lake Stevens.

10520 Quil Ceda Blvd.
Tulalip, WA 98271
360-653-7721

401 N.E. Northgate Way, Suite 1102
Seattle, WA 98125
206-364-8000

2650 University Village
Seattle, WA 98105
206-525-3565

965 N.E. Park Dr.
Issaquah, WA 98029
425-313–0415

512 Ramsay Way, Suite 4-103
Kent, WA 98032
253-520-3881

31920 Gateway Center Blvd. S.
Federal Way, WA 98003
206-878-6694

3001 Ruston Way
Tacoma, WA 98402
253-756-7886

103 35th Ave. S.E.
Puyallup, WA 98374
253-841-3317

10019 59th Ave.
Lakewood, WA 98499
253-584-3191

10403 156th St. E., Suite #101
Puyallup, WA  98374
253-445-1005

8100 Freedom Lane N.E., Suite C
Lacey, WA 98516
360-923-5900

9020 Market Pl,
Lake Stevens, WA 98258
425-263-9117

Online: theram.com

Agave Cocina & Cantina: While not as good as free, Agave (winner of the Diner's Choice Award 2017) does offer a great deal just the same. On Sundays, kids eat for $3.99 all day! Locations include Redmond and Kent.

17158 Redmond Way
Redmond, WA 98052
425-881-8252

504 Ramsay Way #107
Kent, WA 98032
253-277-2053

Online: agaverest.com

photo: iStock

Monday

Big Fish Grill: On Mondays, kids eat free with the purchase of an adult entrée from the regular menu. Each kids' meal comes with milk, juice or soda and fresh fruit can be substituted for fries. Psst! The seared wild salmon with garlic mashed potatoes and veggies is popular with petite diners. Ages 12 & under. Located in Kirkland, Woodinville and Issaquah.

13706 N.E. 175th St
Woodinville, WA 98072
425-487-3474

10426 N.E. Northup Way
Kirkland, WA 98033
425-827-2722

984 N.E. Park Dr.
Issaquah, WA 98029
425-369-4334

Online: thebigfishgrill.com

Hermann's Diner (Cattin's): Located next to the main entrance at the Washington State Fairgrounds and Expo Center, this awesome restaurant offers free meals for kids on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Two kids eat free per each adult entrée purchased. The only catch? They are only open until 8 p.m.

105 9th Ave. S.W.
Puyallup, WA
253-848-3494
Online: cattinsrestaurant.com

Sand Point Grill: On Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays, two kids eat free from 5 p.m.-6:30 p.m. with the purchase of one adult entrée. Ages 12 & under. Psst! All kids' meals are served with fresh fruit and veggies. Located in Laurelhurst.

5412 Sand Point Way N.E.
Seattle, WA 98105
206-729-1303
Online: sandpointgrill.com

Zippy’s Giant Burgers: Located in White Center, this family fave has a new Monday deal. For $20, families can take advantage of the Monday Family Deal which includes four lil' Zips (with or without cheese), a fries/tots/rings sampler and four sodas. No substitutions. Mondays only. 

9614 14th Ave. S.W.
Seattle, WA 98106
206-763-1347
Online: zippysgiantburgers.com

photo: iStock

Teddy's Bigger Burgers: Sink your teeth into this beginning of the week deal---on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, kids can receive a free kid's combo meal with the purchase of two adult combo meals. Ages 12 & under. Located in Woodinville and Green Lake

17705 140th Ave. N.E.
Woodinville, WA 98072
425-408-1604

6900 Greenlake Way N., Unit C.
Seattle, Wa 98115
206-582-1885

Online: teddysbb.com

Wedgewood Alehouse & Cafe: On Mondays and Tuesdays, one kid eats free with the purchase of an adult or kid's entrée at regular price. Valid during Cafe hours from 5 p.m.-9 p.m. Located in Wedgewood.

8515 35th Ave. N.E.
Seattle, WA 98115
206-527-2676
Online: wedgwoodalehouse.com

Zeeks Pizza: Kids eat free with the purchase of an adult meal. Ages 12 & under. Located in the Issaquah Highlands. This Zeeks location only!

2525 N.E. Park Dr.
Issaquah, WA 98029
425-893-8646
Online: zeekspizza.com/locations-hours/zeeks-pizza-issaquah

Farrelli's Pizza: On Mondays, kids eat free all day with their paying folks. Kids' meals include carrots, a breadstick, cookie and beverage. Locations include Lacey, DuPont, Sumner, Tacoma, Maple Valley, Puyallup and Ruston.

4870 Yelm Highway
Lacey, WA 98503
360-493-2090

1590 Wilmington Dr.
DuPont, WA 98327
253-912-5200

15007 Main St. E.
Sumner, WA 98390
253-447-2227

3518 6th Ave.
Tacoma, WA 98406
253-759-1999

210 Garfield St. S.
Tacoma, WA 98444
253-538-0202

26642 Maple Valley-Black Diamond Rd. S.E., Suite G-100
Maple Valley, WA 98038
425-584-7340

5614 176th St. E.
Puyallup, WA 98375
253-655-5191

5104 Grand Loop, Suite A
Ruston, WA 98407
253-212-1152

Online: farrellispizza.com

Whistle Stop Ale House: At this family owned and operated restaurant, one kid eats free from 4 p.m.-close with an adult purchase. Ages 12 & under. Located in Renton.

809 S. 4th St.
Renton, WA 98055
425-277-3039
Online: whistlestopalehouse.com

Tuesday

Wing Dome: On Tuesdays, kids receive one free kid’s meal for every adult entrée purchased. Plus, deals on beer for parents! Locations in Greenwood and Kirkland.

7818 Greenwood Ave. N.
Seattle, WA 98103
206-706-4036

232 Central Way
Kirkland, WA 98033
425-822-9464

Online: thewingdome.com

Hermann's Diner (Cattin's): Located next to the main entrance at the Washington State Fairgrounds and Expo Center, this restaurant offers free meals for kids on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Two kids eat free per each adult entrée purchased. The only catch? They are only open until 8 p.m.

105 9th Ave. SW
Puyallup, WA
253-848-3494
Online: cattinsrestaurant.com

Sand Point Grill: On Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays, two kids eat free from 5 p.m.–6:30 p.m. with the purchase of one adult entrée. Ages 12 & under. Psst! All kids' meals are served with fresh fruit and veggies. Located in Laurelhurst.

5412 Sand Point Way N.E.
Seattle, WA 98105
206-729-1303
Online: sandpointgrill.com

Spring Kitchen Restaurant: Two kids ages 10 & under eat free with a paying adult at this family-friendly restaurant serving fresh Vietnamese and Asian foods. Drinks are not included. Locations include Maple Valley and Kent.

26636 Maple Valley Black Diamond Rd. S.E., Ste H200
Maple Valley, WA 98038
425-358-7994

208 W. Kent Station St., Ste. 104
Kent, WA 98032
253-854-1211

Online: springkitchenrestaurant.com

Wedgewood Alehouse & Cafe: On Mondays and Tuesdays, one kid eats free with the purchase of an adult or kid's entrée at regular price. Valid during Cafe hours from 5 p.m.-9 p.m. Located in Wedgewood.

8515 35th Ave. N.E.
Seattle, WA 98115
206-527-2676
Online: wedgwoodalehouse.com

Teddy's Bigger Burgers: Sink your teeth into this beginning of the week deal---on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, kids receive a free kid's combo meal with the purchase of two adult combo meals. Ages 12 & under. Located in Woodinville and Green Lake.

17705 140th Ave. N.E.
Woodinville, WA 98072
425-408-1604

6900 Greenlake Way N., Unit C
Seattle, WA 98115
206-582-1885

Online: teddysbb.com

Serendipity Cafe: This is sort of a two-fer deal. On Tuesdays, kids eat free from 5 p.m.–8 p.m with the purchase of an adult meal. And there's a play area in the back to keep the tykes busy while they wait for their food! Ages 12 & under. Located in Magnolia.

3222 W. McGraw St.
Seattle, WA 98199‎
206-282-9866
Online: serendipitycafeandlounge.com

IKEA Renton: Plan your next IKEA run on Tuesday and take advantage of their kid's eat free deal. Kids (12 & under) eat free on Tuesdays with the purchase of one adult entree. Limit two kids meals per one adult entree.

Online: ikea.com/us/en/store/seattle/offers

photo: Lunchbox Laboratory

Wednesday

Lunchbox Laboratory: It's all about the kids on Wednesday evenings! From 5 p.m.-close, kids eat free with the purchase of an adult burger. All kids meals come with a choice of milk or soda. Choose from a cheeseburger, grilled cheese or corn dogs with tots. Psst! Lunchbox Laboratory also serves classic mac and cheese and noodles with butter. Don't forget the shake! Locations include Seattle, Green Lake, Redmond, Bellevue and Gig Harbor (these locations only).

1253 Thomas St.
Seattle, WA 98109
206-621-1090

7200 E. Greenlake Dr. N.
Seattle, WA 98115
206-729-6179

7325 166th Ave. N.E., F-142
Redmond, WA 98052
425-307-1634

989 112th Ave. N.E.
Bellevue, WA 98004
425-505-2676

4901 Point Fosdick Dr. N.W.
Gig Harbor, WA 98335
253-432-4061

Online: lunchboxlaboratory.com

Hermann's Diner (Cattin's): Located next to the main entrance at the Washington State Fairgrounds and Expo Center, this restaurant offers free meals for kids on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Two kids eat free per each adult entrée purchased. The only catch? They are only open until 8 p.m.

105 9th Ave. S.W.
Puyallup, WA 98371
253-848-3494
Online: cattinsrestaurant.com

Teddy's Bigger Burgers: Sink your teeth into this beginning of the week deal---on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, kids receive a free kid's combo meal with the purchase of two adult combo meals. Ages 12 & under. Located in Woodinville and Green Lake.

17705 140th Ave. N.E.
Woodinville, WA 98072
425-408-1604

6900 Greenlake Way N., Unit C.
Seattle, WA 98115
206-582-1885

Online: teddysbb.com

photo: Old Country Buffet

Thursday

Old Country Buffet: Thursday nights are family nights at Old Country Buffet. Two kids ages 4-11 eat for $1.99 from 4 p.m.-close. Offer good for two kids with each regular priced adult or senior entrée purchased. Family-friendly activities also included and change weekly along with delish treats like cotton candy soft serve ice cream and other desserts. Locations include Federal Way and Tacoma.

1816 S. 320th St.
Federal Way, WA 98003
253-839-9207

5815 Lakewood Towne Center Blvd. S.W.
Tacoma, WA 98499
253-584-0220

Online: oldcountrybuffet.com

Saturday

Blue Star Cafe & Pub: Kids eat free from the kid’s menu from 5 p.m.-7 p.m. Limited to two kids’ entrées for each adult entrée purchased. One meal per child. Ages 12 & under. Plus, half off growler fills for parents. Located in Wallingford.

4512 Stone Way. N.
Seattle, WA 98103
206-548-0345
Online: bluestarcafeandpub.com

Editor’s Note: This story was updated in October 2019. Please remember to check the restaurant’s website or give them a ring before you go–sometimes kids eat free specials are moved to another night or cancelled, based on the time of year or during the holidays.

—Kristina Moy, Jeffrey Totey, Allison Sutcliffe & Katie Kavulla

RELATED STORIES:

Our Favorite Family Restaurants for Every Day of the Week

14 Seattle Restaurants to Visit with Out-of-Towners

100 Things Every Seattle Kid Must Do at Least Once

Neighborhood Guide: Where to Play & Dine in Bellevue

Where to Find the Best Ice Cream, Froyo & Gelato in Seattle