Your family’s official guide to things to do in Bellevue, one of Seattle’s most kid-friendly neighbors
Whether you’re heading over the bridge for a playdate, to find a new park, or take an exciting class, it’s always good to have a handy list of things to do in Bellevue with kids. Lucky for you, we’ve got the 411 on Bellevue kids’ activities including parks, museums, play spaces and shopping malls to explore, along with delicious restaurants to feed your squad while you’re there. Read on to find out why it’s easy to spend the day on the Eastside.
Where to Play Outside
Kelsey Creek Park Farm
Right in the middle of bustling Bellevue is a quiet, expansive park with a farm full of furry friends. Kelsey Creek Farm is the perfect place to visit farm animals (think: ponies, goats, sheep, cows, pigs, chickens, rabbits), climb on playground equipment and hike some of Bellevue’s trails. If your tyke loves animals and loves being outside, Kelsey Creek has it all–for free! Animals are available for viewing in the pasture from 9 a.m.–3 p.m. every day of the year (yep, even on rainy days). There’s also plenty of wide open green spaces to run around and play, so bring a picnic lunch and plan to stay for the day. Psst…Kelsey Creek Farm is committed to providing farm animal education and hosts a variety of seasonal activities and farm programs for further enrichment.
410 130th Pl. S.E.
Crossroads Water Spray Playground
Crossroads Park is the place to be on warm spring and summer days. The one-of-a-kind sprayground features a whole family of sea life to cool you off, including spitting frogs, spouting orcas and squirting calms. The park also has an all ages and all abilities playground for little explorers to enjoy on the not-so-warm days. Two small picnic shelters are available for reservation if you want to host a gathering or just want some guaranteed shade. All picnic areas, when not reserved, are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Hours: The playground is open year-round with water typically spraying from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day from 10 a.m.–8 p.m.
999 164th Ave. N.E.
Bellevue Downtown Park
In the heart of downtown Bellevue is a beautiful, 21-acre park that truly has something for everyone to enjoy. The refreshed Bellevue Downtown Park provides a peaceful respite for parkgoers of all ages. From the visually stunning 240-foot wide waterfall that cascades into a reflecting pond to the large expansive lawn for picnicking and playing, Bellevue Downtown Park combines beauty and function for families to relax and play. Of course, a favorite spot for the kids is the Inspiration Playground. This innovative play space is dedicated to fun, imagination and learning, offering interactive experiences that accommodate kids of all ages and abilities. Enjoy the playground with or without the water features.
Hours: Open year-round with water typically spraying from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day from 10 a.m.–8 p.m.
10201 N.E. 4th St.
Meydenbauer Bay Park
After almost two years of renovation, the new and improved Meydenbauer Bay Park is finally complete and ready for your little park-goers to enjoy. The new seven-acre park boasts a quarter-mile of Lake Washington waterfront, a beautiful swimming beach and swimming platform, a 400-foot-long curved pedestrian pier that extends into the lake, a hand-carry boat launch, paved walkways, picnic areas and a fantastic playground. The park also features a hilltop overlook with gorgeous views of Seattle, a new beach house with restrooms, changing rooms and boat rentals (think: canoes, kayaks and stand-up paddle boards) and a lifeguard station.
Insider Tip: Meydenbauer Bay Park is part of the city’s vision of a Grand Connection which will include a pedestrian corridor that is planned to extend east through downtown Bellevue, and eventually across Interstate 405 to the Eastside Rail Corridor.
419 98th Ave. N.E.
Enatai Beach Park
If you’re in search of a sandy beach on a sunshiny day, look no further than Enatai Beach Park. Grab your beach toys, cooler and umbrella and spend the day on the shores of beautiful Lake Washington. Enatai Beach Park is a three-acre oasis, complete with a swimming area, swimming dock, picnic area, playground and tot lot. In the summer, there is a lifeguard on duty and you can rent canoes and kayaks to explore the lake or nearby Mercer Slough Nature Park.
3519 108th Ave. S.E.
Where to Play Inside
KidsQuest Children’s Museum
Explore and experience over a dozen exhibits at KidsQuest, Bellevue’s awesome hands-on, interactive children’s museum. KidsQuest encourages creativity, problem solving and learning through play with an emphasis on science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM). Visit exciting exhibits like the Art Studio, Recycle Rebuild, Bellevue Mercantile, Atrium Climber and everyone’s favorite: Water! Exhibits and programs are geared towards children ages 0-10 and their families. Psst…KidsQuest has been around town for more than a decade, but reopened last year in its new home, the former Rosalie Whyel Museum of Doll Art, adjacent to the Bellevue Library. KidsQuest offers over 200 unique programs throughout the year including early learning classes, summer camps, school age workshops, free art and science programs and many special events. Visit their online calendar for monthly programs and special events.
Hours: Weds.-Sat., 9:30 a.m.–5 p.m., timed tickets required
1116 108th Ave. N.E.
Bellevue Arts Museum
Want to expose your kids to art and culture? Take your crew to BAM (Bellevue Arts Museum). BAM is one of the few museums nationwide that focuses on art, craft and design, working with artists and audiences to build and enhance community. Regardless of the current exhibit on display, BAM hosts Imagination Stations strategically located throughout the facility. These all-ages activity stations are open daily and free with admission. As of this writing, kids can arrange tubes and ramps to create a path for their ping-pong ball at Magnetic Motion, draw their portrait and favorite things and add it to the Community Portrait Wall and use bright colors and different materials to create original art at Reduce Reuse Create.
Hours: Fri.-Sun., 11 a.m.-5 p.m., timed tickets required
510 Bellevue Way N.E.
Good ol’ fashioned play does the body, mind and spirit good–a lot of good! At Funtastic Playtorium, kids are encouraged to run amok and push the boundaries of their imagination by running, jumping, climbing, swinging, laughing and smiling. Kids need active play time and Funtastic Playtorium is a fun, safe environment for wild ones to exercise and interact with their peers. The indoor play space offers age-appropriate opportunities for kids from one to 10 years of age. Come to free play (parents, you still need to supervise play) or host a private party. Or, do both!
Hours: Mon.–Sun., 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Factoria Square Mall
4077 Factoria Square Mall S.E.
Kid’s Cove at Bellevue Square
Some of the best shopping in the Pacific Northwest can be found at The Bellevue Collection. If you’re power shopping with a buddy in tow, don’t forget to stop by Kid’s Cove for a breather. The large play area, located on the third floor of Bellevue Square, is geared toward tots under 42” tall and is home to soft climbing toys that have a fun maritime theme (psst…the toys are inspired by the original ferryboat on the main floor of the mall back in the day). Who remembers that?! In this current space, kids can climb on a tug boat, crawl through a ferry and explore a lighthouse, castle, and plenty of sea creatures. Weary shoppers will appreciate the soft seating and table and chair set-ups (for easy snack consumption) and the close proximity to family restrooms.
575 Bellevue Square
Jump, run, climb, spin and bounce your way through WiggleWorks Kids’ completely soft-play system that moves. This indoor gym accommodates infants through preschool-aged children (under 48” tall), and is designed to be a place where kids can learn and explore while working on gross motor skills, coordination and balance and increase their strength, flexibility and agility skills. For non-walkers, there is a specially designated area with age-appropriate toys and activities, safe from enthusiastic toddlers. Come for open play or register for some of their fun events, like Family Movie and Glow Play Night. Visit their online calendar for all the deets.
Hours: Mon., 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; Tues.-Sat., 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
15600 N.E. 8th St., Suite G2
The Studio Fine Art Classes
Creative cats can express themselves at art class. The Studio Fine Art Classes teach students the techniques used by artists with classical training. During classes, students use different mediums: pastels, charcoal, watercolor and oil to learn the basics of drawing with one-on-one instruction. At the end of the class, your little artist will come home with a finished product, ready to frame and proudly display in your gallery. A variety of class times and projects are available for preschoolers through teens, but make sure you call ahead to make a reservation.
1075 Bellevue Way N.E., #B-3
15600 N.E. 8th St., #O-13
Where to Eat
Crossroads Bellevue Public Market
If you feel like chicken yakisoba, but your oldest feels like pepperoni pizza and your youngest wants a burrito, head to Crossroads Bellevue. Stat! The Public Market International Restaurants at Crossroads houses restaurants from around the globe, all under one roof, in a relaxed, food hall-style atmosphere. When you walk through the doors, you’ll be inundated with delicious smells, making it difficult to select just one dish to order. We guarantee you’ll come back again and again because the food is fast, affordable and easy for everyone to choose just what they have a hankerin’ for at that specific moment. Psst…there’s plenty of open seating and oftentimes the stage has live music and entertainment. Check their online calendar.
15600 N.E. 8th St.
Chace’s Pancake Corral
Craving some down home diner food? Head to longtime Bellevue hot spot, Chace’s Pancake Corral where the food and service are both delightful. We love breakfast at Chace’s because all our favorite breakfast foods are on the menu, but we’re partial to the biscuits with sausage gravy. The buttery biscuits topped with a generous serving of gravy are to die for. Kids can choose from chocolate chip dollar pancakes, traditional breakfast platters or bear pancakes. If you’re coming for lunch, you’ll find an extensive menu, but it’s the Chicken Fried Steak that is the real crowd-pleaser. It’s delish! The only downside is that parking can sometimes be tricky and the wait can be long. But that’s a sign of delicious food, right?
Hours: Daily, 7:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
1606 Bellevue Way S.E.
Tutta Bella Neapolitan Pizzeria
Ciao Bella! Tutta Bella’s authentic, wood-fired pizza pies taste like a slice of Italian heaven and their Bellevue restaurant is just as kid-friendly as it is delicious. From the Wikki Stix that are passed out to keep hangry kiddos busy to the open kitchen that allows kids to watch as their pizzas are being made, Tutta Bella is an easy restaurant to dine at with kids in tow. Psst…if your kids aren’t feeling like pizza, there is an extensive kid’s menu with favorites like pasta al burro or the Neapolitan meatball. Don’t forget the gelato for dessert!
15600 N.E. 8th St.
Lincoln South Food Hall
Bellevue’s Lincoln South Food Hall offers a full-service dining scene that not only provides unique and delish chef-driven quick serve menu choices, but has plenty of options for even the pickiest of eaters and a family-friendly vibe we love. Located in the heart of downtown Bellevue, across the street from Bellevue Square and right below the Cinemark Reserve movie theatre is where you will find the Lincoln South Food Hall. Park in the Lincoln Square parking garage (parking is free with validation from the Lincoln South restaurants or shops within the Bellevue Collection) or access it from any of the covered skybridges that connect The Bellevue Collection and Bellevue Square with Lincoln Square North.
The space consists of seven fast-casual eateries all under one roof—each with a totally different vibe—but all with communal seating. If you’re thinking this sounds like a food court, think again. Lincoln South Food Hall has one general manager and one executive chef and offers a casual dining environment, which you could call part kitchen, part counter and part bar, and sets itself apart from other communal-type dining settings by providing guests with extra amenities (think: linen napkins, stainless-steel trays and a friendly staff who are on hand to bring you to-go containers, clear your plates and even fill your water glasses). Whether you’re in the mood for poké or have a hankering for street tacos, ramen or burgers, Lincoln South Food Hall has you covered.
Lincoln South Food Hall
500 Bellevue Way
Lunchbox Lab is your go-to restaurant to create a burger you can only imagine in your dreams. Create your own or pick from the tried-and-true list of “burger experiments” such as the Burger of the Gods made with bleu cheese crumbles, candied balsamic onions and gorgonzola spread. Each burger comes with a choice of sides including the staple french fries, but feel free to try out the loaded mac du jour. Big kids are sure to love the tater tots and grilled cheese or let ’em try their hands at creating their very own burger experiment. Smaller appetites will enjoy classics off the kid’s menu like cheeseburgers, grilled cheese and classic mac and cheese. Lunchbox Lab also boasts a Shake Lab, a milkshake creation station featuring Snoqualmie Ice Cream. Stick with delicious ice cream and yummy add-ons or make it a boozie shake by adding a test tube of your favorite spirit! Psst…on Wednesdays, bring your mini burger connoisseurs into Lunchbox Laboratory from 5 p.m. to close where kids (under 12) will score a free kid’s meal with the purchase of an adult burger.
989 112th Ave. N.E.
Additional reporting by Kristina Moy