Arena Sports Inflatable Playground
Address: 9040 Willows Road Redmond WA 98052
Phone: (425) 885-4881
Cost: $5 for members, $7 for non-members, parents free
From 10 am to 3 pm, almost every day, you can drop in and have some fun bouncing off the walls- literally. This inflatable playground is another great way to get the wiggles out in a safe way. Bounce, jump, tumble- what could be better? You can also get a 3-month pass for only $25 which covers the whole family for unlimited play. They do recommend double checking on the times since they can change without warning.
Community Center Drop-in Playtime
Address: Old Redmond Schoolhouse Community Center , 16600 N.E. 80th St., Redmond,
Phone: (425) 556-2300.
Age: 5 and under
Cost: $2, free under 1 year old
Here is another opportunity to get some time outside the house, even if it is raining. From 10 a.m.-noon on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, drop in for some running around time with toddler and preschool toys and play equipment. It doesn’t run during school holidays, including the summer, so check the website to make sure it is open when you plan to drop by.
Farrel-Mc Whirter Park Farm
Address: 19545 NE Redmond Road, Redmond, WA
This is a wonderful park in Redmond with a farm that is open to the public. It has a large grassy area and a small play set. There are goats, rabbits, chickens, turkeys, sheep, ponies, and more. There are also some great programs available, like pony rides and birthdays. Great place for a picnic. It is pretty convenient to get to, basically a few minutes past the end of 520.
Address: 16510 Cleveland St, Suite N, Redmond, WA
Age: 10 and under
Cost: $10 per child
This gym is unlike any others I have seen, which is one of the reasons it is so cool for kids. First, you have a huge space for running around, playing with sports equipment, just generally getting some great exercise and having fun. But then, add in the amazing interactive wall- a projector puts a picture on the wall of something like the side of a building; when you throw a ball at the wall and hit the images, they change. If you hit the sun, it will change to a moon and the whole image turns to night. The wall is so much fun, for both kids and adults! Great Play has Pay to Play time, which is open drop-in time, as well as classes and birthday classes. It makes for some, well, great play!
Idylwood Beach Park
Address: 3650 West Lake Sammamish Parkway NE
This is my favorite park on the Eastside. If I could, I would build my house right in the middle of it so we could live there. Of course, that would ruin the PUBLIC part of this wonderful public park, and I suppose plunking a house down in the middle of it would take away some of the character, but this is my fantasy, so I can dream what I like. Anyway, for those of us who don’t have a house on beautiful Lake Sammamish, this is the next best thing. This park has a huge grass field that is often filled with frisbee tossers and ball throwers, a fantastic play area with a toddler sized section and a big kid section, a volleyball net, some picnic tables and barbecue grills, bathrooms, and last but not least, a public swimming beach. When it gets hot, this beach does fill up, but it doesn’t get too bad. And when it isn’t hot, come down around 3 pm in the afternoon with a camera- the light is perfect to take shots of your little one chasing ducks and digging in the sand.
Kid’s Craft Time at Ben Franklin Craft Store
Address: 15756 Redmond Way – Redmond, WA 98052
Phone: (425) 883-2050
This is another kid’s craft time. I am so impressed that these stores offer these times. Here your kid can learn to make a book mark, do a craft using recycled materials, things like that. It isn’t every Saturday, so check the website before you head on down to the craft store.
Kids Workshops at Home Depot
Address: 17777 NE 76th St, Redmond 98052
Phone: (425) 885-6358
Age: 5 – 12 yrs (with a parent)
If you have a hubby like mine, one who loves to do projects around the house, then chances are you probably spend a lot of time on the weekends at Home Depot. So much time, in fact, that the cashiers know you and you know who will be working at various times throughout the day. Anyway, why not give your kiddo a break from being dragged from plumbing to power tools and let him (or her!) build something at a Kids Workshop. On the first Saturday of each month from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. kids can take part in constructing educational and practical projects, such as birdhouses or bughouses (unlike hubby, who might be converting our garage fridge into a Keggerator).
Address: 16975 Redmond Way, Redmond, WA 98052
Phone: (425) 883-6075
Age: 10 and under
Ok, I know McDonald’s doesn’t have the best reputation, but when it’s raining and you are desparate, a place with an indoor playground can be just the thing. The playspace here is in a confined area, so you don’t have to worry about the kiddos slipping away. The play structure is pretty fun, and it is in great condition, too. There is lots of space for climbing around, a fun curly slide, a corner with toddler-sized play toys, and a basketball hoop with a bucket of little balls. There are even some video game style toys, including a dance game like Dance Dance Revolution. My little one loved this place. Plus, you actually can find some healthy stuff on the menu if you can withstand the chants of “french fries” coming from the back seat. But it’s also ok to just have a fun day, grab a milk shake, and play in the free, dry play space.
Address: 4420 148th Ave NE, Bldg 127, Redmond
Phone: (425) 703-6214
Check out technology and the starts of Microsoft at this little museum. It is only open on weekdays, so it isn’t a weekend trip, but it is worth checking out, especially since it is free. You can try some stuff out, too, like game consoles and computers. So if you have a computer nut for a kid (or a husband) this could be just the thing.
Paint Away! Ceramic Painting and Glass Fusing Studio
Address: 7329 164th Avenue NE. in Redmond Town Center
Phone: (425) 861-8388
Cost: Varies on your project
Paint Away! is a great place to take kids on a rainy day or a long summer afternoon when the kids are bored. You just pick out an item you want to paint, draw a design on it (or freestyle it), then paint away! You leave your work there and the wonderful staff will fire it and then you pick it up later. It’s a great place to make those sweet keepsake gifts for parents and grandparents, like baby’s handprint or footprint. They also have camps available for kiddos. And parents, they aren’t forgetting you, either! Every now and then they have a night where kids can be dropped off so you can enjoy a movie or dinner nearby sans kids. Check it out!
PCC Kids Cook
Address: 11435 Avondale Road N.E., Redmond, WA 98052
Phone: (425) 285-1400
Cost: classes- $30 members, $35 non-members
PCC Natural Market is a Northwest grocery store that offers great fresh foods and a little more. For the kiddies, check out their PCC Kids Cook classes. These are a fun way to introduce kids to the kitchen, whether it is an Old MacDonald-themed lesson for 2-3 year olds or Breakfast Club for 7-9 year olds. As a bonus, the kids get certificates and sometimes prizes for completing the classes.
Reading with Rover Story Time at Redmond Town Center
Address: Redmond Town Center: 16495 NE 74th St, Redmond 98052
Phone: (425) 869-1907
This is a great twist on the traditional story time. Instead of kids listening to someone else read to them, the kids get to do the reading… to therapy dogs! They get to snuggle up and practice their reading with the best listeners. Research has found that kids that are struggling to read really improve when they read to animals, and this program is based on this fact. Check the schedule for Reading with Rover events.
Redmond Town Center
Address: Redmond Town Center: 16495 NE 74th St, Redmond 98052
Phone: (425) 867-0808
Redmond Town Center is a fun outdoor mall that has tons to offer a stir-crazy mom and her kids. Just looking at this page, you can see it is filled with great in-store activities and storytimes. My toddler loves to eat at Ruby’s Diner because it is so kid-friendly, with its crayons, kid toys, cheerios appetizers, and the model train that wanders above the booths (“Choo choo, mommy! Choo choo!”). There is also a theater with plays aimed at kids (Second Story Repertory). Another favorite for kids are the water fountains that attract children in swimsuits and the new musical themed play area. The play area is not huge and is really best for the under-5 set who like to hit things with sticks, as it is filled with instruments and mallets.
Redmond Watershed Preserve
Address: 21760 Novelty Hill Road, Redmond WA
I’ve never seen a porcupine or Wilson’s warblers, but word on the street is if I did then I’d need to go to the Redmond Watershed Preserve. It’s a massive trail system out by Farrel-McWhirter and boasts a wide variety of natural habitat that’s home to quite a few animals. The Treefrog Loop is highly recommended and is stroller-friendly (i.e., paved). Oh, and watch where you’re walking – these trails are a popular equestrian hangout, which means horses leave ‘things’ behind occasionally. Thanks to Ryno for this tip!
REI Climbing Rock
Address: 7500 166th Ave NE (Redmond Town Center), Redmond, WA 98052
Phone: (425) 882-1158
Age: anyone big enough to climb
Cost: Free with lifetime membership ($15)
You already like to shop here, if you are like most Northwesterners. If you have the $15 lifetime membership (which pays you back for everything you buy, so it is definitely worth it if you plan to spend at least $150 there in your lifetime), you and your kids can also climb for free on the giant rock in the front of the store! On the weekends, arrive before noon, when the rock opens, to get in line. They will strap you up and help you climb to the top. If there is already someone there, they will take your name so you can browse the store until they call you. Anyone that can walk and wants to do it is welcome to give it a go between 12:00 and 4:00 on Saturday and Sunday. And if you end up leaving with a cool new waterproof outfit, well, that’s even better!
Children’s Theater at Second Story Repertory
Address: 16587 NE 74th St., in Redmond Town Center, Redmond, WA 98052
Phone: (425) 881-6777
Age: 4 and up, under 3 at first 2 Sunday shows, only
Cost: $8.75 per ticket
Get close to the action at a Sprout performance of a kid-friendly show like Pinnochio! Sprouts puts on shows that are one hour long (perfect for short attention spans!) and full of music and audience participation. These guys know their stuff. So if you are looking for some entertainment away from the TV, drop by Redmond Town Center on the second floor. Kids 3 and under are only permitted at “Small Sibling Sunday” shows on the first Sunday performances.
Vertical World Rock Climbing Gym
Address: 15036 B NE 95th Street, Redmond, WA 98052
Phone: (425) 881.8826
Age: Toddlers and up
Cost: $10 for an all day pass
This is an indoor rock climbing gym, open everyday, and perfect for getting some energy out. There are lots of classes available, but kids under 13 can also come in (with parents) and “boulder”, which means climb around on the boulder area that has padding underneath. They don’t need a rope for this. The other areas are reserved for ropes and classes, which may actually interest your kids when they see it. Developing a love of rock climbing could be a great thing for your kids, not to mention for you!
Willows Run Putt-Putt Mini Golf
Address: 10402 Willows RD NE, Redmond, WA 98052
Phone: (425) 883-1200
Cost: Under 14- $6, Adults- $9; Save $2 before noon
Do you have a little Tiger Woods in the making? Why not take her to where the pros play? At Willows Run Golf Club, there is an 18-hole mini-golf course designed for the whole family. We aren’t talking windmills and silly pyramids. This is real golf on a small scale. The course is designed to mimic four different ecosystems. This is meant for families, so why not take them up on it? Fore!
HappyNest Play Centers
Address: 16701 Cleveland St, Redmond
Ages: newborn to 7 years
Cost: $10/child, $6/sibling
HappyNest is a fabulous indoor play area that will entertain kids up to 7 years old. There are costumes for dress up and make believe, toys for dramatic play, gym equipment, and more to keep kids active and busy. For parents, there’s free WiFi and a coffee and snack bar. Great for a cold or rainy day!