Built-in Adventures: South Seattle’s Kubota Garden

How do you find time for adventures and outings? For us there are certainly times when we visit parks, museums, and other attractions with it being the sole purpose of our trip out of the house.  More often than not though, our outings are worked into one errand or another.

I’m constantly scheming, and thinking about places we can explore close to that Target, post office or grocery store.  Somehow knowing that we can check out a new place or go somewhere we love, even for a short time makes the boring day-to-day stops more bearable and fun! Sometimes I even turn the whole thing around, and think of the adventure  first, and then figure out how we can also check something off our “to-do” list.

These “built-in adventures” also give Bergen (nearly 2 years old) a chance to spread his wings.  If you didn’t know already, he’s a ball of energy and needs ample time and space to run, climb, and explore.  He’ll tolerate being cooped up in the car seat, shopping cart, stroller, backpack carrier or just being held, but only for so long before he has to let go.

Last week when we had errands on the south side of the city, I thought of Kubota Garden, a beautifully designed space that combines traditional Japanese Garden elements with native Northwest plant life.  We got to spend a little over an hour just wandering around.  I let Bergen lead the way.

South Seattle's Kubota Garden | WildTalesof.com

With very few people, wide paths to toddle down, and not a lot for his little fingers to destroy, I found it an ideal place to catch my breath and really enjoy the little moments with my boy.  Here, I wasn’t chasing or keeping him from grabbing this or that.

South Seattle's Kubota Garden | WildTalesof.com

Because of his size and vantage point, he had me winding down trails that I would have overlooked, and for this visit, I saw the garden through a different perspective: a blissfully curious toddler’s perspective.

South Seattle's Kubota Garden | WildTalesof.com

South Seattle's Kubota Garden | WildTalesof.com

It started to sprinkle, but after several weeks of no precipitation in Seattle, that did not dampen our spirits, we welcomed the rain.  I did hurry Bergen along a little faster only to realize that due to our aimless meandering, we were a little lost and twisted around.  This didn’t last long though as the garden at about 20 acres is not too terribly large, and alas, we were still in the city, and could easily hear the traffic noise that would lead us toward the entrance.

To our surprise, our quick exit to the car to beat the rain was stopped by a couple of new residents.  I’m not sure what the caregivers of the garden think of their presence, but they seem to have made themselves at home after most likely escaping the urban backyard farming life.  Can you guess who’s taken up a new life at the Japanese Garden? (answer in the photo below)

Have you visited Japanese Gardens?

Tell us about your experience in the comments.  

Info to Know:

  • Kubota Garden is located in South Seattle near the Rainier Beach neighborhood:
    • 9817 55th Avenue S, Seattle, WA ‎
    • (206) 684-4584
    • Hours: 6am-10pm
    • FREE!
  • Parking is free with plenty of spaces available in the lot at the entrance.
  • If visiting with little ones, a stroller is definitely possible, though you won’t be able to maneuver each and every path (like Bergen!).

South Seattle's Kubota Garden | WildTalesof.com

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