Explore: Maple Leaf

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Ready to turn over a new leaf? 3031589786_6258793954_bTry Maple. Seattle’s often overlooked Maple Leaf neighborhood features several must-dos for tots.

Where to play: Start at Maple Leaf Park and playground. No soggy wood chips here—brilliantly layered gravel simply drains the raindrops and keeps kiddos dry if they take a tumble. With a mix of retro steel climber toys and newer gadgets, this park has something for all.

Fuel up: Next stop, a short walk up to Cloud City Coffee. Its open floor plan, comfy couches, free wi-fi and kiddie play area make Cloud City a perfect place to recharge. Enjoy their wide range of tasty kid and adult menu items. No time to sit? We love the coffee honor bar, where drip coffee is just a buck. Green tip: Bring your own travel mug, drop in a dollar, and head out for more adventuring.

Bonus: Get craft items at Beadworld or stop by the Northwest Puppet Center for a weekend puppet show or weekday Puppet Museum tour.

Possible lunch spot: Gluten-free and kid-sized pasta options available at Cafe Piccolo, or try Maple Leaf Grill.

How to dress: comfy walking shoes and layers, in case the weather gets nice.

Cost of trip: Inexpensive to moderate.

Approximate travel time: about 15 minutes north of downtown Seattle.

Online: Check out the Maple Leaf Life blog for current news and events and links to other nearby neighborhood blogs. Want more restaurant reviews, ratings, and photos? Looking for a kids’ book group?  All this and more is available at Maple Leaf Life.

—Matina Fresenius