One lovely thing about Western Washington is that it rarely gets to the ’80s even in August. Moderate temperatures allow homeowners to save money on electric bills, and many homes don’t have air conditioning. The climate here allows you to make the most of your summer.
You can have picnics outside on the patio every evening with long summer days at the parks. When the thermometer does begin to climb, there are more than enough watering holes and spray parks to cool off you and your little ones.
If you have young children spray parks are wonderful. There are over a dozen spray parks throughout the Seattle bowl, and each of them is interesting and fun in its unique way. Washington State uses public spray parks and wading pools to save water by deterring backyard sprinklers and kiddie pools.
Spray Parks and Wading Pools
Spray parks are free for your children’s enjoyment. Stay all day in the sprinklers. They’re located in areas with play structures for kids if they tire of being wet. Or you can utilize the parks for a quick cool off and recharge before getting back on schedule.
Crossroads Water Spray Playground in Bellevue has a giant orca whale that sprays water out of his air hole splashing gleeful screaming children who climb and lay all over his great big body. The giant half whale seems to be rising out of the soft blue squishy slip-free surface. A small pod follows the mother and a smattering of water spray shoots out from all angles cooling off kids.
Sammamish Commons has a small spray park next to the YMCA allowing for plenty of parking for a quick stop in and cool down.
Wading pools are another great way to cool off for small children. Check the schedule for your local wading pool. Some are only open certain days. The Parks Department fills the pools if the temperature exceeds 70 degrees.
Wading pools are perfect for babies and toddlers, who might be intimidated by the crowds of older, rambunctious children at the spray parks. Littles can sit and splash outside in these giant, ankle-deep kiddie pools.
Green Lake has a large wading pool that’s packed to the gills with darling babies in sunhats on hot summer days laughing and splashing each other with baby rolls. If you don’t have a baby, but miss the days, come by to see the bare, giggling bellies, they’ll keep you smiling all day.
A complete list of spray parks and wading pools are found here.
Chism Beach Park is located in Bellevue, this hidden gem is tucked away in a nice neighborhood. The grounds are well maintained, and there’s a swimming area in Lake Washington with a lifeguard. Chism is a peaceful oasis, it’s a great space to bring a book and a picnic, and on a clear day, you can enjoy views of Seattle on the other side of the lake.
Kennydale Beach Park is located in Renton where you can enjoy almost two acres of sandy waterfront on Lake Washington. Kennydale has a swimming area and docks to jump off with lifeguards on duty during the summer.
Newcastle Beach Park is a semi-large park with a play structure for the kids, a swimming area and a long dock for sunbathing and jumping into the cool crystal waters of Lake Washington.
Issaquah Paddle Sports rents standup paddleboards and kayaks to paddle around Lake Sammamish. If you’d like to try your hand at paddle sports, but don’t want to make the financial leap into purchasing a kayak or paddleboard and roof rack, keep it easy and rent at Issaquah. You’ll most likely find that you love it, and this way you’ll have the chance to test out equipment from the friendly, knowledgeable staff before you make a purchase.
Seattle Boat Rentals in Queen Anne on Lake Union. Here you can enjoy boating a few days a year without paying high maintenance and docking fees of owning one. Just rent a boat for the day, rates hover in the $500’s not including gas. Grab a group of friends, bring food and spend a perfect day out on the lake in a speed or pontoon boat. Wakeboards, water skis, inner tubes, and other water sports equipment are available for rent with the boat.
Woodmark Waterfront Adventures in Kirkland rents everything; kayaks, speedboats, jet skis, wave runners, and standup paddleboards. Grab your craft of choice and head out on Lake Washington for a day you won’t soon forget.
Henry Moses Aquatic Center in Renton is open during the summer months only. The center has 15 water features including water slides, a lazy river, lap swims, a toddler play area, and spray features. It gets pretty busy, so if you can make it during the week or early on the weekends, you’ll avoid the crowds.
Colman Pool in Seattle, Colman is the only outdoor pool operated by the Seattle Parks Department. This heated, saltwater pool is located at the tip of Lincoln Park just off the beach with views of the Puget Sound from the pool. A waterslide, diving boards, and lap swim area are fun and refreshing with a beautiful view of the Sound.
The Seattle area has dozens of options for swimming, sunbathing, beaches, and water sports. If you’d like to get away from the city, look into the surrounding State and National Parks. The Cascades have stunning mountain lakes carved by glaciers, and if you’d like warmer water, many Washingtonians head over to Eastern Washington for a dry, desert climate.
Enjoy, stay safe and have a great summer!