Preschool Hikes: Discovering More in Seattle’s Discovery Park

Places often remain wonderful in mind because I haven’t quite discovered all they have to offer.  The mystery and unknown give me reason to come back and explore.  Magic remains.

Seattle’s Discovery Park is one example.  Maybe its because we usually fall into the same routine: Parking in the same area, hiking down the same stairs toward the beach, walking along the same stretch of shore.  Still beautiful, but I always knew there was more.

For this visit, I switched it up and we saw several aspects of the park that I’ve never seen.  And because of that I have an even greater appreciation for the place.  Even better, as you might expect my two little adventurers were also along for the ride, and for one of them (Georgia, 2 months) this was her very first visit.

Environmental Learning Center

I’d heard that there was an indoor learning space here, but never visited myself.  So to make sure we had a chance check it out, I made it our starting point.  The center proved to be a great spot to get our nature juices flowing.  The space is filled with books, puppets, and tons of other hands on materials for little ones to investigate before or after heading off on an outdoor adventure.

Seattle's Discovery Park |

Discovery Park Environmental Learning Center: Seattle, WA |

The Loop Trail

I’d certainly traveled on the 2.8 mile Loop Trail during past visits, but before today, I’d never made the entire journey.  With it’s achievable distance and lack of elevation gain, it was the perfect hike to tackle with Bergen (along with Georgia in the ergo).  I should have known those stats would make it quite the popular Saturday morning activity.  Reflecting back though, the busyness actually worked in our favor as Bergen (aka, “Mr. Friendly” and “Sir-Talks-A lot) just like in our last hike wanted to know the name of each dog that passed by, why this person was doing what they were doing, why that person chose that color to wear, why these people had (insert hiking add-on, such as poles, binoculars, or a backpack), and on and on.  All this chit chat, in addition to the water views, trees, rocks, sticks and tunnel, kept him interested, and kept him moving.

Discovery Park Loop Trail: Seattle, WA |

Discovery Park Loop Trail: Seattle, WA |

Discovery Park Loop Trail: Seattle, WA |

Discovery Park Loop Trail: Seattle, WA |

The Playground

The playground was another spot I’d heard others talk about, but had never visited myself.  You might think that a playground would be unnecessary in such a spectacular park, and most of the time that’s probably true.  However, just mentioning that we might be able to check it out after our hike put a little pep in Bergen’s step, when he’s usually dragging, as we completed the last half mile.  As playgrounds go, it’s nothing too fancy: slides, a bridge, steps to climb, a tire swing, and even a zip line.  What makes this playground special is the setting among towering trees with pine cones sprinkled all around making you feel like you are far away from the hustle and bustle of busy life.

Playground-Discovery Park: Seattle, WA |

 We’d love to hear about one of your favorite city parks! Tell us about the natural gems of your area.

*Read about your adventure at Discovery Park when Bergen was a baby.

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11 thoughts on “Preschool Hikes: Discovering More in Seattle’s Discovery Park

  1. This looks like so much fun. I love all that greenery (we don’t see much where we live) and I know my husband and kids would have a blast hiking around here. We’ll be in Seattle at the end of August so we’re hoping we can stop by the Discovery Park.

    Where is this in relation to downtown Seattle? We’ll be staying there but will have a car so hopefully it isn’t that far of a drive. We should meet up too if you guys are available!

    • Such a great time to visit, Cheryl! Yes, definitely keep in touch–we’d love to explore the park with you guys or just meet up or coffee! It’s an easy drive from downtown–that reminds me that I should add some more info to the post. Discovery Park is in the Magnolia neighborhood, which is northwest of downtown–maybe a 15 or 20 minute drive.

  2. I’ve only even been to Discovery Park for work and never had the chance to check it out. It will have to go on our list of weekday places to go! We just discovered a beach called Hidden Beach at Titlow Park in Tacoma. I’ve been going there for years (since high school) and never knew about it! Definitely a lot of fun when your favorite places have “new” areas to explore!

  3. Exploring Discovery Park with the dogs has been on my list for almost two years! One of the things I love about this park is exactly what you said, I have been there many, many times over the years but have never seen it all. You may have finally inspired me to finally get to discovering Discovery Park.

  4. There are a few parks around us that we often visit during the evening hours because it is just too hot to run around during the day. I love seeing Z learning to climb and jump and slide with confidence. 🙂

    • Oh how fun! I can imagine it would be pretty unbearable to be on the playground in very hot temperatures–good idea to visit in the evening…bet its nice and peaceful too.

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