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Things to Do With Kids in Washington State

by Erica Loop

Known as the Evergreen State, Washington is more than just trees and green spaces. Although your kids are sure to get a kick out of the outdoorsy activities that Washington has to offer, they can also enjoy the many other fun-filled activities to do around the state. From the western natural shoreline on the Pacific Ocean to the major cities of Seattle or Spokane, Washington has activities galore for kids of every age.

Museums

Whether your child is a history buff, a mini-Monet or a pint-sized paleontologist, Washington has museums that will entertain and educate. The Washington State History Museum (wshs.org) in Tacoma has 106,000 square feet of exhibits, displays and artifacts such as handcrafted American Indian masks, a model railroad and a history lab learning center. The Seattle Art Museum (seattleartmuseum.org) and its off-site locations, the Seattle Asian Art Museum and the Olympic Sculpture Park, have kids activities such as the art-making Family Fun! program. Seattle's Burke Museum (burkemuseum.org) in Seattle features more than 500 million years of geological history, an ethnobotanical garden with more than 100 species of plants and special exhibits that natural history and science topics such as evolution.

Parks and Camping

If your little nature lover enjoys hiking, biking and all matters outdoors, the Evergreen State has an array of state and national parks that feature these types of activities. Washington state parks vary in specific activities that each one offers, but do typically feature tent camping, cabin rental, yurts and vacation houses. Beach-side parks provide ample room for boating, swimming or even scuba diving, while the more land-locked sites have trails for hiking or horseback riding, bird-watching or bike riding. Washington also has 13 national parks that have camping and outdoors activities similar to those that state parks offer. For example, Mount Rainier National Park has camping and hiking -- some trails are even stroller accessible -- along with the educational Junior Ranger program for kids ages 6 to 11.

Sports

From the all-American summer baseball games to fall football and spring basketball, Washington has sporting events for your child to see in every season. The Seattle Mariners baseball team has a Kids Club for children ages 14 years and younger. The Kids Club membership includes a team hat, backpack and special members-only events and activities. Younger kids can check out the ball park's playground that features monitors with a televised broadcast so mom and dad don't miss the game. Likewise, the Seattle Seahawks football team has a Kids Club. The Seahawk's Club features invitations to special events such as the Generation 12 Kids Club Holiday Party or Movie Day, a T-shirt, a poster and autograph sessions.

Animal Adventures

Animal lovers will enjoy one of Washington's attractions that feature furry, feathered and even scaled friends. The Woodland Park Zoo (zoo.org) in Seattle has more than 1,000 animals from 300 species. Aside from touring the zoo, Woodland park offers classes for toddlers, preschoolers, children and teens. The Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium (pdza.org) in Tacoma has animal areas including the Asian Forest Sanctuary, the Rocky Shores Pacific creatures, the Arctic Tundra, Red Wolf Woods and the North and South Pacific Aquariums.

About the Author

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.

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