Need a fun place to cool off with the kids today?
If a little natural air conditioning is in order, here is a list of great shady parks and playgrounds in and around Tacoma, Puyallup, Gig Harbor, Olympia, and beyond!
Be sure to also check the comments for more ideas from our great readers!
Tehaleh Trails Bonney Lake Many shaded walking trails at this Bonney Lake area development. No, you don’t have to be a resident, and yes, they have a trail map!
Loyalty Park Sumner Fun playground and huge trees that provide ample shade. We haven’t been here since the playground updates. If you’d like to send a review, let me know!
Wildwood Park Puyallup A great choice on a hot day. It features a little crick for kids to splash in right next to the playground, and tall trees provide shade. Kids will get very dirty here. New story walk!
Main City Park Orting Reader Laura wrote in to say that it has nice shade. Several other readers have recommended its newly improved play areas.
Wright Park Tacoma Some of the city’s oldest and most beautiful trees offer lots of shaded spots, plus there is a sprayground (currently scheduled to open the 26th of June).
Decoursey Park Puyallup Many shaded picnic areas, ponds that are fun for kids to check out. A nice nature walk for young children-maybe a nature toddle? Here’s a post on the playground . It’s now older, but I believe the playground to be much the same-it’s a good choice for older kids who like to climb.
Clarks Creek South Puyallup Note from SFM: It’s been a minute since I’ve been here. I know there is updated exercise equipment. I’m not sure about the status of the hatchery, but the trails behind it should be open?? Let me know if you have any recent tips/info. There are some wooded trails-try the one that goes to the fish hatchery, and a very small section across from the dog park where kids can dunk their feet in the muddy crick. There used to be a spot where you could actually sit on the bank and access the whole creek, but it has been planted and fenced off. Thanks to reader, Amy, for reminding me about this. I think this part is technically Clarks Creek North-they’re connected, but there are two different signs/parking areas. The one at Clarks Creek South is bigger and close to the playground. The Clarks Creek North entrance is by the tennis courts, and across from Decoursey.
WonderWood Park Lacey My son and I discovered this one after a very hot soccer game. It’s a bit hidden at the end of a residential neighborhood, but there is a lovely, paved path through forest and lots of shaded picnic spots and benches under mature trees. Tennis courts, ball fields, and a playground, too, though they’re in sun. This is a good one to discover if you’re a Lacey area reader.
and pro tip….Lacey and Olympia have a LOT of great parks and trails. If you’ve only been to a few and you live nearby, make it a goal to discover some more this summer!
Harry Fain Olympia Readers suggest this small, hidden park for shaded play
Narrows Beach Gig Harbor Lots of wooded trails, and bonus-there is a beach at the bottom of them!
I’m sure I’ve missed lots of great ones, so do feel free to share your favorites and read the comments for other reader suggestions. Or head here for our complete beat the heat guide.-I am hard at work updating this guide but haven’t yet gotten to all the posts.