Free Seattle: Ballard Splash Park

BallardSplashLet’s face it. Seattle has a very limited number of hot, summer days. Take advantage of them while you can with a trip to one of the city’s many splash parks. My favorite, location-wise, is the Ballard Splash Park. Here’s why …


  • Free
  • Plenty of neighborhood parking
  • Lots of grocery stores and restaurants nearby, for toddler fortification
  • Library across the street for cool, quiet time before or after a hot afternoon of outdoor play
  • JoAnn Fabrics is a block away, for picking up a $1 kids’ craft to do when you get home (thus making it easier to bribe kids away from park fun for home fun)

What to Do:

  • Splish-splash
  • Picnic
  • People watch
  • Soak up that coveted Seattle sunshine

Know Before You Go:

  • There’s one port-a-potty, often shared by Ballard’s friendly neighborhood homeless contingent. Go before you go.
  • There’s hardly any shade, so make sure to bring sunscreen.
  • Sandals and blankets will help protect feet and bottoms from the hot cement.
  • There are some low, kid-level faucets, perfect for filling up buckets. Bring one along or risk possible bucket envy (i.e. tantrums).
  • If you find yourself in need of the mommy basics (sunscreen, water, bandaids, snacks, etc.), there’s a Bartells’ a half block south of the park.
  • Check the Ballard Library calendar before you go. You might be able to fit in a story time, too (and use their bathroom).


For more free Seattle fun, try one of these adventures:

Have your own tips for free things to do in and around Seattle … or your city? Please share!

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11 thoughts on “Free Seattle: Ballard Splash Park

  1. Have you been to the Ballard Locks and fish ladder? I take every visitor there, and the little ones seem to love it most of all! Picnic on the terraced viewing hills of the botanical garden (also free), observe and explore the magnificent way the locks operate, see salmon many times of year, and even take a museum tour when attention spans permit. The bathrooms are pretty clean, too.

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