For families in Seattle, the choices are endless for weekend adventures in the city. This week, we’re profiling one of our favorite neighborhoods for family walks – Ballard. This Scandinavian neighborhood offers a perfect blend of urban excitement with nearby outdoor adventure opportunities that are a great complement to any Seattle walk. To help you plan a weekend walking workout, we’ve outlined three of our favorite places to explore.
Ballard Locks (Hiram M. Chittenden Locks)
You can’t profile Ballard without highlighting one of Seattle’s top tourist attractions. The Ballard Locks link the Puget Sound with Lake Union, allowing boats to go back and forth between the salt and fresh water. In addition to the locks, kids will be mesmerized by the fish ladder, where you can watch spawning fish head upstream. After you’ve taken in the scene, explore the beautiful botanical gardens or cross the locks to Commodore Park in Magnolia for a picnic on the grassy hill.
Golden Gardens Park
To continue this Seattle outdoor adventure, head left at the entrance of the Ballard Locks onto the Burke Gilman trail, a designated biking and pedestrian path, and walk just under two miles along the marina until you reach Golden Gardens Park. Once you’re at the park, you can explore a vast stretch of sandy beach that’s immensely popular in the summer. After you’ve worn out the kids at the beach, head back to your car at the Ballard Locks. You’ll have walked nearly five miles! It’s a great way to get active with your family and have fun while doing it.
Ballard Farmers Market
If you want to add a detour to explore the historic streets of Ballard, there’s no better time than Sunday. The farmers market takes over Ballard Avenue from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. year round with a bustling mix of flower, food and craft vendors. Even the best Seattle walks can be made better with the smell of fresh donuts and the sight of vegetable stands bursting with color. You’ll have a hard time finding a better way to take in the culture of Ballard. Try coming up with a healthy meal idea before you head to the market – that way, you can pick up fresh, flavorful ingredients for your Sunday dinner.
Looking for more to do in Ballard? Check out In Ballard – or, if you have a tip about another Seattle walk that the whole family will enjoy, let us know in the comments!