With a multitude of attractions and outdoor activities, Washington is a perfect spot for families to gather
When planning a trip with children in tow, the state of Washington is a perfect destination to visit. With a variety of family-friendly activities and a beautiful outdoor backdrop, Washington has something for everyone. These five destinations, in particular, have plenty to offer family members of all ages.
With an abundance of arts, entertainment, history and delicious food options, Olympia has something for everyone. Olympia is located near many natural attractions and the most efficient way to visit them is through bike rentals. One such example is a free bike rental stop in Tenino at the beginning of the Yelm-Tenino Trail. The trail, spanning 14 miles in total, is the most family-friendly trail for younger children, with paved paths and plenty of exciting stops along the way. The trail also passes by the Yelm Bike and Skate Park and Main Street Cookie Company.
With extra time during your visit, it is a perfect opportunity to take advantage of the multiple venues geared towards children in this area. The Hands On Children’s Museum is a giant facility, with 150 hands-on exhibits located both indoors and outdoors. DEFY Olympia trampoline park, Laser Fun Zone, Olympia Pinball Museum and the Puget Sound Estuarium are attractions that are perfect for groups looking to fill an afternoon with action-packed activities suited for all ages.
A trip to Washington would not be complete without visiting a brewery. The Olympia region offers many kid-friendly breweries that allow groups with children to dine-in while exploring the region’s wines and brews. Some of our favorites are McMenamin’s Spar Café, Top Rung Brewing Co., Three Magnets Brewing Co. and the Well 80 Brewhouse.
This region of western Washington, just a few miles away from downtown Seattle, is popular for its proximity to the city, abundance of attractions and affordability. Those seeking action-packed days filled with fun will find everything they are looking for.
iFly Seattle Indoor Skydiving, SkyKart Indoor Racing and Wild Waves Theme Park and Water Park will entertain kids of all ages. The Marine Science and Technology Center, and the Museum of Flight are ways to slip a learning opportunity into your trip.
In an attempt to see the Pacific Northwest’s breathtaking views, there are multiple scenic drives that start in Seattle Southside, most of which can be completed in a day. The Historical Military Road Scenic Drive is one of the most popular scenic routes. Stop off this route for a scenic picnic at Angle Lake Park or try some amazing seafood at Anthony’s HomePort. Take the Marine View Drive route for a shorter but equally beautiful road trip near Puget Sound. Along the way, there are plenty of noteworthy places to grab a bite: Wally’s Chowder House, Des Moines Dog House, and Salty’s at Redondo Beach to name a few.
Located in the Northern region of Washington, Snohomish County offers hundreds of miles of coastline flanked by sky-scraping mountain ranges, making it a perfect stop for outdoor enthusiasts.
Hiking to the highest point in Snohomish County, Glacier Peak, will probably not be realistic for kids. However, there are many kid-friendly trails in this region: Japanese Gulch, North Creek Trail, and Lowell Riverfront Trail. Whitehorse Trail and North Mountain Bike Trail are beginner-friendly biking trails great for families.
There are plenty of other activities in Snohomish County to fill your group’s free time during your stay. For the thrill-seekers, there are plenty high-intensity ways to enjoy the outdoors at High Trek Adventures, including Captain’s Rope Course and Ziplines, and Axe Throwing. Or, visit the Funko Headquarters where you can go on a tour and make a Funko figure yourself. This region is also home to numerous food trucks, all representing different cuisines from across the world. Lloyd’s BBQ is well-loved by locals, Lari Adda serves up authentic Pakistani food, Tacos Tecalitan is known for their carne asada sopes, and Levantine Cuisine offers Syrian-style Mediterranean food.
The Tri-Cities region is located in southern Washington at the confluence of three major rivers: the Yakima, Snake, and Columbia. With 300 days of sunshine each year, this region’s ideal weather allows ample opportunity to explore everything Kennewick, Pasco and Richland have to offer.
Agritourism flourishes year-round in the Tri-Cities and there are endless opportunities to incorporate the fresh produce, farmer’s markets, and food-inspired festivals into your stay. Pasco Farmer’s Market is the largest open-air market in Washington, open May through October. Bill’s Berry Farm allows groups to pick their own seasonal organic fruit, a perfect activity for kids.
Nearby, Goethals Nature Park, Columbia Park Family Fishing Pond, and Pompy’s Lessons along the Sacagawea Heritage Trail are locations that entertain kids while being immersed in nature. Or, take advantage of the rivers by partaking in water activities like paddle boarding, jet skiing, or boat rentals. For an educational activity, your group can learn about the local history of the Manhattan Project at the Manhattan Project National Historical Park. The Bechtel National Planetarium and the Robert & Elisabeth Moore Observatory are also perfect for those curious minds who wish to explore the mysteries of the universe in state-of-the-art facilities.
Yakima is located in the southern region of Washington. Equal parts big city and rugged outdoors, this city has anything for all ages and interests.
In your free-time, there are plenty of venues nearby that host family-friendly activities. Mini-golf, batting cages, and go-karts are featured at Yakima Family Fun Center. During the baseball season, your group can visit the Yakima County Stadium to watch the local team, the Yakima Pippins.
Yakima is flanked by miles of beautiful Washington landscape ready to explore. Visit Leavenworth Outdoor Center for tubing, kayaking and rafting on the Yakima River. Groups interested in bird and other wildlife viewing should visit Fort Simcoe State Park. In the winter, Yakima is a picturesque place to ski or snowboard at the White Pass Ski Area. A visit to Yakima is not complete without visiting Yakima Steak Company or Hoptown Wood-Fired Pizza for a taste of local cuisine.
By Isabella Wilkes
Main photo of Museum of Flight courtesy of Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority