Best of 2008: Kids
Best Swimming Pool for Teensy Tots
Mountlake Terrace Recreation Pavilion
(Mountlake Terrace, 5303 228th St. SW; 425.776.9173)
Do your kids dream of being like Michael Phelps? Get them started at the inviting pool at the Mountlake Terrace Recreation Pavilion. Kiddos have no fear when the water is a soothing, bath-like 87 degrees and the entry is zero depth, sloping gently to 3 feet. At 25 yards long and 15 feet wide, there’s plenty of room in the pool to frolic and float—spray toys and geysers add to the fun. Kids younger than 1 year old are free; Mountlake Terrace residents, $3.25; non-residents, $3.50.
Best Place for a Swashbuckling Birthday
DragonFire Pirate Birthday Camp
(Vashon Island, 206.463.3944)
This wildly popular pirate-themed summer camp now does birthday parties on summer Fridays and Saturdays for your little Jack or Jackie Sparrow. Parties feature “real” pirates, fairy walks, a pirate fortuneteller, dagger duels and loads of booty. The $550 fee for a group of as many as 15 includes such traditional pirate grub as pizza, birthday cake and homemade ice cream. Eye patches optional.
Best New Addition to the Kids’ Book World
Izilla Toys Bookstore
(Capitol Hill, 1429 12th Ave.; 206.322.8697)
Izilla Toys moved from Madison Valley to Capitol Hill in June, and created within its new toy-stocked walls a new bookstore, which features—along with the glorious selection of kiddie reads—twice-a-week story times, twice-a-month crafts sessions, music classes with local children’s musician Doug Fleming Jr., and family game nights.
Best place to turn your child into a budding artist
Space to Create
(Ballard, 1414 NW 70th St.; 206.784.0401)
Let your little ones’ creativity run wild, under the talented guidance of the Space to Create artists. Kids can learn how to sculpt, make prints, design their own bags, create hand-felted puppets—even make films. Space to Create offers Saturday classes, morning toddler gatherings, birthday party specials, summer camps and after-school classes that double as the coolest day-care options in the city.
Best Carnival Game Someone Is Guaranteed to Win
The Pokémon Shooting Game at Seattle Center’s Outdoor Fun Forest
(Lower Queen Anne, 305 Harrison St.; 206.728.1585)
No one likes to lose, so play to win. Shoot all the Pikachus first (before the Fun Forest closes for good next year)—no matter how long it takes—and win a small but cuddle-sized stuffed animal (our fave: the baby bulldog). Improve your family’s odds by stocking the round with siblings and friends.
Best Place to Grind a Rail
Lower Woodland Skatepark
(Lower Woodland Park, 5201 Green Lake Way N)
The new 17,000-square-foot Lower Woodland Skatepark is a welcome addition to the sparse Seattle skatepark scene. With a flow bowl and plenty of street terrain, there’s something for skaters of all skill levels, who have been rolling out to the new park in droves to ollie and kickflip across the vast new pavement paradise. Skate on!
Best Hands-On Training for Mundane Grown-Up Task
Metropolitan Market Exhibit at The Children’s Museum
(Lower Queen Anne, 305 Harrison St.; 206.441.1768)
Teach the wee ones to fend for themselves (someday) at the Children’s Museum&rs