Summer of parks

Discovery Park
One of the key reasons our family has been able to make the car-free life work is that we stay local. By that I mean, the places we go regularly—school, work, church, grocery store, doctor, library, community center—are a walk or short bus ride away. (If we had to deal with long commutes, transfers, and crosstown kid-schlepping on a regular basis, I would have long since lost my mind.) But the fact that we keep our lives local does not mean that we never get around.

Au contraire.

We do our getting around when it counts: on adventures!

Seattle is a city of great parks, and this summer, we took full advantage of these fantastic public resources. Here’s a taste of some of the non-neighborhood* parks we visited in July and August–either to meet up with family and friends, or just because we felt like it. (Bold means we visited more than once.)

Ballard Commons Park: 27 + 40
Cal Anderson Park: 8

Carkeek Park: Zipcar (We had one for our annual pilgrimage to The Mountain and decided to make it a two-fer.)






Coulon Park: 48 + Link + 560
We made it!






Discovery Park: 27 + 33**
Taking the trail to Daybreak Star








Hiawatha Playfield: 27 + Water Taxi + 775 (aka Water Taxi shuttle)
Heading to Hiawatha






Jefferson Park: 27 + 36






Lincoln Park: 27 + Rapid Ride C
Waiting for wading at Lincoln Park






Madison Park: 48 + 11
Madison Park w/ lifelong friends






Madrona Park: 8 + 2 or 27 + walk (On nice days, when we had time, we walked the entire way–and back–using our secret path through the woods as a shortcut.)
The Mountain from Madrona Park






Rainier Beach Community Center/Pool: 8
Baby birthday/pool party






Seacrest Park: 27 + Water Taxi
Godsiblings at Seacrest






Come September, as the obligations of the school year take over, our adventures become less frequent. (Of course we do have a visit to the gigantic park known as the Puyallup Fairgrounds to look forward to later this month.) By the time winter rolls around, and the weather saps our motivation, they are rare.

I am so grateful for the summer of memories we have created.


* We also frequented many nearby parks, including: Powell Barnett, Pratt, Flo Ware, Peppi’s, Spruce, Judkins, and Leschi.
** These days, the 27 turns into the 33 (it used to turn into the 17, and before that it was the 25), so we didn’t even have to transfer.

4 thoughts on “Summer of parks

  1. Ai

    I enjoyed reading about your bus adventures! There is time when I feel like going to the parks outside of WS too. We like going to Jefferson Park(50),Seward Park (50) Children’s playgarden(50+Link+8) and Georgetown Play field(50+106). We went to Coulon Park (love its playground!) once before but only for one hour because we took zipcar there. Your article inspired me,maybe we will take buses next time(C+560,80 minutes):)

    1. BusChick Post author

      I think the key to the long bus trips is to be in the mood for it and to make the travel part of the adventure. It’s something new and different and exciting. Yeah, I bring books in case they get bored, but they almost never do. The hard part (for me) is packing appropriately. I want to have the stuff we’ll need for a long day out (snacks, suits, sunscreen, sand toys) but also not be loaded down with stuff all day. That definitely detracts from the fun.

      I’ve never been to Georgetown Playfield, but my kids have (with friends). They really liked it, so I’ll have to check it out with them (though maybe not until next summer). :)

      And, I agree about the playground at Coulon. We loved it!

  2. Pingback: Westbound 27 stop, Yesler & 3rd, 8:15 AM | Bus Chick

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