If I could slide, spin, swim, get dirty and shirk duties, I was in seventh heaven. I remembered that lesson when babysitting my nieces and nephews. Even when staying at my home, we’d take hikes and connect as many parks where they could run, roll and scream to make it a real win. With five children in the family, we never had much money, so most of our trips involved cabins that would house seven for low cost or camping; my dad had a trailer with all the gear packed inside which helped save time. I personally hate cooking while camping, who wants to sit still that long? If you do cook, choose quick cook items, deli picnics and save the baked potatoes for your return home.
#1 Children Dig the Sand at Ocean Shores, Washington
Ocean Shores is all about sandy beaches that you can walk on forever or so it seems. Kids love to build sandcastles, bring a bucket and cups or better yet, troll for trash that can be used to make one. They also love getting soaked dodging waves. Just be sure to keep an eye out for rip tides and sucker waves. Ocean Shores has many hotels that have swimming pools and hot tubs, a golf course, and great restaurants. The same experience can be had at an hour shorter drive in Grayland and many of the cabins are suitable for large families at reduced rates.
#2 Camping at Deception Pass State Park, Washington is Beautiful and Fun
Take the most beautiful campground among evergreen forest and make every space large and private and add trails to the beach and one of the deepest gulches between mainland Washington and Whidbey Island and you have a terrific experience for everyone. Nearby gambling resources can keep mom and dad entertained in another fashion.
#3 Play Time is Promoted at Ephrata, Washington
Ephrata can be a center for exploring the Sun Lakes, Grand Coulee region of Washington. One motor home campground has a par 3 nine hole golf where they let you play all you want for a small price suitable for allowing children to learn their golf skills. Sun Lakes is a great water skiing, beach bathing, camping, horseback riding area. The sunny hot weather is the draw for most West coast Washingtonians.
#4 Children Love that Spitting is Encouraged in Sequim, Washington
I actually like staying in Port Angeles better than Sequim because of the neat waterfront walk, the access to great birding spots past the log mills, and the great selection of restaurants. Sequim hotels are okay. The Dungeness Spit though is a great way to burn lots of energy, not the least from the climb out of the park. A terrific seafood restaurant is the Three Crabs, a bit out of town from Sequim. Sequim hosts two golf courses, although one may be private now. Nearby Hurricane Ridge is a great place to hike, bird, see the elk and adore the wildflowers.
#5 Fishing for Dad and Swimming for Children at Coulee City on Banks Lake, Washington
At the other end of the Sun Lakes canyon lies Coulee City, Washington on the largest manmade lake, Banks Lake. Coulee City has a small park with playground and camping allowed. A dock is fun to swim to although the water is quite cold. Fisherman love Banks Lake. There’s a number of trails, nearby Summer Falls where water in the agriculture canal drops for picnicking and town has a few shops.
#6 River Rafting and Cherry Picking is a Must Do in Yakima, Washington
My parents often took us over during the fruit picking season where they’d buy up quantities of goods for canning. Our reward for helping out was a stop at the local swimming pool. Nearby, the Yakima river has hiking trails and many put rafts in the water and go for a ride. Camping isn’t the best, but there’s great hotels with pools and the horse races are a fun day event.
#7 Save out of Town While Exploring, Seattle, Washington
A day at Seattle Center going on the rides is fun for children, but more time can be spent visiting the Children’s Museum, walking the waterfront to find Ye Olde Curiousity Shop with the ghostly piano that plays itself, chattering teeth, skeletons, fortune teller and much more. Save money on your visit to Seattle if you rent a car by staying at hotels in Tukwila, where there’s a short but challenging golf course at Foster Golf Links. Children also like wandering through the shops at Pike Place Center, riding the ferry and taking a ride on the monorail.
#9 Win the Prize and Do the Puyallup near Tacoma, Washington
The Western Washington Fair held in Puyallup, Washington is a big draw for many. Kids love the rides, the games for prizes, and seeing all the exhibits of food, riding, animals and even famous entertainers. Staying near Tacoma, Washington nets a great walk along the waterfront, visits to the glass museum, Tacoma Zoo at Pt. Defiance Park that has wonderful picnic facilities, a rose garden and pond, and Japanese garden and lots of room to run, hike, and even play on the beach.
#10 See #1. Why do you need a tenth anyway?