Take Your Family on an Adventure Through Northeast Seattle

By Kate Calamusa


The Center for Urban Horticulture (3501 NE 41st St.; 206-543-8616), about a half mile south of U Village, sprawls across 90 acres of this neighborhood, providing a lush oasis in the middle of the city. Pack up a picnic blanket and find a grassy patch, or head back through the UW campus to the University of Washington Waterfront Activities Center (3710 Montlake Blvd. NE; 206-543-9433) to rent a canoe and explore the Washington Park Arboretum by water.


Follow the picturesque Sand Point Way NE north from University Village to take a side trip to Warren G.Magnuson Park (see below). Located on a former Navy airfield, the park also sits along a beautiful stretch of Lake Washington shoreline and features a swimming beach, a tennis center with mini golf, and miles and miles of hiking trails. Also nearby: the awesome Arena Sports FunZone (7751 63rd Ave. NE; 206-985-8990) filled with bouncy inflatables.

Warren G. Magnuson Park
7400 Sand Point Way NE

Magnuson Nature Programs, a fantastic nonprofit dedicated to helping individuals and families explore nature in this equally fantastic 350-acre park, offers guided family nature hikes that focus on different areas of the park, including a wetland walk and a nighttime tour ($3 per person, kids age 2 and under are free). If you venture out on your own, be sure to stop at the Magnuson Community Center (7110 62nd Ave. NE) to pick up an Explorer Pack ($5 per day), full of exploration tools, books, and tips for a fun-filled day; choose either the bird-watching adventure tote or the wetlands discovery pack, and then it’s off to adventure.

Cloud City Coffee
8801 Roosevelt Way NE

Beloved by neighborhood locals and for good reason, Cloud City Coffee invites you to sit and stay awhile,with comfy couches, free newspapers, board games, and a kids’ play corner, in addition to coffee roasted in the Northwest and house-made breakfast and lunch treats. Plus, once you’re caffeinated up, you can take a one-block jaunt to the stellar Maple Leaf Reservoir Park (just look for the landmark water tower decorated with maple leaves!), where everyone can burn off some excess energy at the playground on the south end of park.

Roaring Mouse Creative Arts Studio
7526 20th Ave. NE
AGES 3–5 AGES 6–9

This cheerful spot is well-known for its popular summer art camps (hint, hint), but there are sometimes drop-in options too, for kids ages 4–7. Petite Picassos can experiment with a variety of mediums during the ninety-minute session—drawing, collage, painting, even sculpture—which is $14 per child. The staff recommends bringing a box to take still-wet projects home.

*(c)2017 by Kate Calamusa. All rights reserved. Excerpted from Seattle Family Adventures by permission of Sasquatch Books.

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