During August, we venture out of the South Sound (just a bit) to share some of our favorite day trip ideas.
Whether you’re looking for ideas for your Puget Sound area, “Staycation,” or just working on squeezing in all the fun you can, we’re here to help!
Today’s post takes you to the waters of the Arboretum in Seattle, where you can paddle right under the busy freeway and into a world of gentle water and lily pad covered coves your explorers will love. We spotted great blue herons, a beaver, and all manner of ducks. The water is totally placid, making it an easy paddle for even a first time boater.
If you have your own canoe or kayak you can find a put in spot on this map (link opens pdf).
If you need to rent a boat, there are a couple options. The cheapest (and therefore the best, if you ask me), is to get one from the waterfront activities center at the UW. It’s in the same parking lot as Husky Stadium if you go to the bottom right, just past the rock climbing wall. You’ll need to pay a small fee to park. The parking lot does fill up, especially on weekends, and boat rental is a popular activity. Go early on a weekend or you may have to wait.
You have your choice of canoes or rowboats, both of which rent for 11.00 an hour to the general public. You do get a discount if you’re a student or alum, or renting on a weekday. There is a maximum of 3 in a canoe and 4 in a rowboat, though I’m honestly not sure how they count very small kiddos. Note that children must be at least 25 pounds and able to walk. Once you’re life jacketed and good to go, you’ll want to aim yourself to the right to head to the arboretum. Otherwise, you can explore Union Bay, but then you’re navigating a lot of big boat traffic.
If you want a ritzier option, kayaks are also available from Agua Verde.
If your paddle isn’t enough of an outing for you,, a walk through the arboretum is also an excellent outing, as is a stroll around the UW campus. Here’s a pdf guide to a family walk around the campus from NW kid hiking guru Joan Burton.
Another option is to explore the South end of Lake Union with a boat from the Center for Wooden Boats . Their rentals start at 30.00 an hour for non-members. They do also offer free public sails on Sundays. CWB offers a whole variety of excellent, hands-0n activities, and admission is free.
Of course, there are any number of kid-friendly destinations you could add on to a Seattle visit. I’d love to hear your favorites!
You might also be interested in one of these fun day trip ideas:
Note that I haven’t updated all of these for 2014 yet, so please do use the links to verify hours and prices before you go.
A Day Trip to Jetty Island Everett
Canoeing the Arboretum in Seattle
Riding the Great Wheel Seattle waterfront
If you’ve got a great Puget Sound area staycation or daytrip idea, let me know! I do have some opportunities this month if you’d like to write for Sounds Fun Mom! Just send an email to email@example.com