Summer is (almost) finally here, and you are eager to take your kids to play outside at a local park. Redmond families are lucky that there are a number of local parks to visit with great outdoor play options for all ages and interests. Here are some of the best park options for families:
Location: 6046 W Lake Sammamish Parkway with entrances off West Lake Sammamish Parkway and East Lake Sammamish Parkway.
Ideal for: sporty families with pets.
Info: King County’s Marymoor Park is Redmond’s outdoor living room. If you have a child who plays an organized sport, a dog-loving or bike-riding kid, you’ve probably already been to the park many times. One change since I’ve been coming here when my daughter was a toddler is the introduction of paid parking, so bring dollar bills for the $1 parking fee that helps fund park maintenance.
The park’s off-leash dog park is extremely popular with local families and even parents who don’t have a dog and bring a kid to get their “dog fix.” Teenagers like the rock climbing structure. Toddlers and older kids enjoy the playground. The Marymoor Velodrome and access to nearby miles of bike trails make the park extremely popular among bikers of all abilities, from kids just learning to ride to super-fit cyclists on their way to race at the velodrome.
The park hosts a number of family friendly events in the summer including the Wednesday night movies@marymoor, an outdoor movie series that runs from July 13 through Aug. 31. Kids under five are free, everyone else is $5, and you can bring your dog on a leash.
Beverages are available at Marymoor park from an espresso truck frequently parked near the dog park. Nearby , and offers great picnic options and kid-friendly food and beverages.
Downside: some Eastside residents don't like paying for parking at the park and the additional traffic caused by popular events at the park such as Cirque du Soleil.
Location: 9011 196th Ave. NE, via 95th Street (off Avondale) or Union Hill Road.
Ideal for: kids who long to play in some sand, volleyball players, bikers and moms who want to sit and visit while kids play on a play structure.
Info: Perrigo Park is one of Redmond’s newest parks. It offers a clean restroom, large covered picnic structure, playground ringed with a seating area, track ideal for bike riders in training, field for sports and a sand volleyball court that also doubles as a “waterless beach” when not in use by volleyball players.
There is also no nearby concessions so stop by the Redmond or or for picnic supplies or beverages before you get to the park.
Downside: For much of the summer, next to Union Hill Road will snarl traffic, so use the access to the park off Avondale instead.
Location: 7802 168th Ave. NE in downtown Redmond, one block north of Cleveland Street
Ideal for: moms with kids who need a quick play break before heading off to another Redmond-based activity or want to avoid more crowded playgrounds.
Technically Anderson Park has no dedicated parking lot, but the generous invites park guests to use its parking lot off 79th Street. The quirky parking and its tucked away location may explain why the playground here is rarely crowded, even during the summer. The park’s play structure includes swings, a zip long and long slide. There are also tire swings, a teeter totter and a nearby sand box. The park has a restroom and several picnic tables. No concessions are located on site, but you can easily walk to several nearby restaurants, such as or , to grab lunch.
Downside: The park is adjacent to very busy Redmond Way and Avondale Way and is not fenced, so you will want to keep an eye on your child at all times.
Location: 7031 148th Ave. SE with parking lots off both 148th and another off Old Redmond Road between 148th and 140th.
Ideal for: sports players, avid climbers and active kids.
Info: Grass Lawn is a fabulous park located on the border of Bellevue and Redmond with two playgrounds, baseball and soccer fields, tennis courts and basketball court. This is my go-to park when my son has a play date with his active friends. By the time they climb the ropes several times to the top of the playground play structure to slide down the giant slide, climb up the man-made boulders and run back and forth between the park’s two playgrounds, they are usually tired and have had a great time being active together. No concessions are on site but just up the street is the Bridal Trails Dairy Queen for after park treats or the nearby Bridal Trails Starbucks or Tully's for coffee.
Downside: The park is popular and both parking lots can fill fast. It is also often crowded and on more than one occasion I’ve helped a fellow mom in a panic find her “lost child,” so keep your eyes on your kids at all times.
Location: 9545 NE Redmond Road, off Novelty Hill road via Avondale Road.
Ideal for: nature lovers, farm fans and families in need of some open space.
Info: When I want to feel immersed in nature in Redmond I head to Farrell McWhirter. The park has a beautiful section of trees with a stream and several paths running through it and great signage to help your children learn about what they are seeing. There is also a farm on site with a popular learn to ride pony program, goats, chickens, pigs and other animal friends to visit. The park’s funky restroom looks like a giant tin can from the outside but is clean on the inside. Although there isn’t a big playground here, my son is a fan of the park’s tire swings.
No concessions on site, but the Redmond PCC is just down the street off Avondale, along with a Starbucks and Subway if you want to grab a picnic on the way.
Downside: It is a bit of a hike from the parking lot to the farm buildings and then more of a hike to the tire swing, so you may end up packing your toddler out if he or she tires out.
Location: 3650 W Lake Sammamish Parkway NE, off Bel-Red Road.
Ideal for: beach lovers and strong swimmers
Info: Many people don’t know there is a great beach park in Redmond. Idylwood Beach park sits on the west shore of Lake Sammamish. It has a swimming beach and small craft launch. There is a clean restroom and changing area, along with both a “big kid” play structure and adjacent toddler play space.
Downside: If the parking lot is full, you’ll park at a nearby overflow lot, which means crossing a very busy street.
Location: 21760 Novelty Hill Road
Ideal for: nature lovers, hikers and Geocache fans
Info: What this 800 acre park lacks in playgrounds it makes up for in open space and more than seven miles of trails ideal for walking, horseback riding and mountain biking. Some trails are for hikers only, and there is even a wheel chair accessible route. A restroom and parking lot are located on site. There are several Geocache letterboxes located in the park, making it a favorite place for families who enjoy this hobby. If you are looking for a place to immerse your family in nature, this is it. No concessions on site, but there are many options for meals and beverages just up the street at Redmond Ridge’s restaurants.
Downside: The park is often blissfully underutilized and while patrolled by rangers, still vast. I recommend you keep safety in mind when visiting and ideally go with another adult, carry your cell phone and make sure you lock your car before proceeding out to the trails. Also no pets are allowed, so do not bring your dog to the park.
Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Idylwood Park is not staffed by lifeguards. Lifeguards are in fact on duty from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. from the end of the school year through Labor Day.