Lakes to Take the Kids for a Swim Around Pierce County, Tacoma, South King County, and the greater South Sound
Ready to go for a swim with the kids? If this heat has you ready to go jump in a lake (literally) here’s a list to help!
This round up comes from Sounds Fun Mom Facebook readers who responded to my request for their favorite South Sound lakes for swimming. If I missed a great one you know, leave a comment!
A Couple Boring But Important Cautions
Please do remember that even if a lake has lifeguards, it is important to be vigilant when your children are around water. In June (and even July) the cold temperature can also cause problems. You knew that, right? 🙂
As of this writing a few lakes are also closed to swimming due to water quality conditions. Be sure to use the links to check before you head out.
On to the good stuff….
Lakes for Swimming
Playground, swimming, spray park. Lifeguard hours posted at the park.
Swimming beach on Lake Washington, walking trails, playground, and food concessions. Lifeguards on duty 12pm-8pm mid June through Labor Day. Note from SFM: As of this writing the beach is closed to swimming due to water quality issues.
Lifeguards on duty from 12pm-7pm beginning Mid June; playground, boat rentals, concession stand. Reader Brooke adds that there are clean potties. Bonus!
Lifeguards 12pm-7pm beginning end of June. This big, fun park has a swimming beach, fishing, picnic areas, playground. You can a full review of the awesome park and grounds at Lake Meridian here.
It’s an older one, but still has some good scoop. Let us know if you’d like to update it!
Beach, play structure, concessions . Lifeguards select days and hours. We have a review and pics of the playground here.
A King County Parks property that offers a sandy beach area, swimming, and a recently updated playground! I believe there are also some trails here. Want to write a review? Send me an email! We’ll pay you!
At the South End of Lake Tapps playground, swimming areas, paddle board and kayak rental available. No lifeguards on duty here.
This is a Pierce County Parks property sandy swimming area, concessions, picnic areas This is a hugely popular area with both swimmers and boaters. Go early to find a place to park (there is a parking fee).
This is a state park, so you’ll need a Discover pass. Readers like the calm swimming area, the trail around the lake, the playground, and the clean restrooms. Sounds like a winner to me! Update: Readers keep raving about this spot. You should go!
Private campground with day passes available. Reader Kim likes that this private, Christian camp doesn’t allow alcohol or profanity and says that the atmosphere seems less rowdy as a result. It’s 5.00 per person/kids 7 and under are free. They do also have overnight accommodations and rent to groups, so expect lots of company on busy weekends.
A swimming beach (no lifeguards), play area, and boat rentals.
Note: One of our fb readers wants to warn you that she and her children saw a needle on the beach here last year. I don’t know how common that is, but wanted you to have the info.
Picnic area, a swimming beach, playground, year-round restroom and a public boat launch.
Picnic areas, trails, nice swimming beach. Reader Kristin says there are lifeguards, life jackets, and floating toys.
If you’re up for a bit of a ferry ride, Stephanie offers this suggestion
Reader Andria writes to look out for stumps outside of the swim area, and adds that there are nice trails and bbq spots. Note that if the day use parking is full, they will close the gate to day use. Go early on a hot day!
Mari likes this one! Swimming, fishing, boat rentals, trails for hiking and biking. This is a state park, so you will need a Discover Pass.
Rivers and Streams
In the forest behind the climbing wall at Sprinker Rec Center; there is just enough water for wading and splashing.
Read our full review about water play at Mashell River.
More crick than creek, this shaded park in Puyallup has a little creek just right for toddler wading and splashing. They will get muddy.
Shade, a stream….it’s a secret treasure worth finding! Note that only ONE of the water sources here gets low enough to be safe, and use caution around all rivers and streams, especially in the spring when they run very cold and fast due to snow melt.
For more swimming options, you can check my list of great beach outings, or my list of area beaches with sand! Both are full of options, mostly on chilly Puget Sound, but it may get hot enough for it eventually!
Be sure to also check our our Beat the Heat options for pools, spray parks, and much more!