Parks in general are a great location for families to run, play, eat or rest. Tacoma is a city that has provided a place for families to be entertained while not having to spend a ton of money. If you are looking for things to do in Tacoma there are 5 parks in the city of Tacoma that are worth visiting. Not all parks in Tacoma were created the same and there are different things to do in each of the parks that are shared.
The Wapato Park has come a long way over the past couple of years. When I originally began visiting the parking with my family we would feed the ducks, take a small walk and play on the play set. This was one of those inexpensive outings we would take advantage of in the area.
New and improved Wapato
Birds and Paths
Over the past year Tacoma is making huge steps to make Wapato Park one of the best parks in Tacoma. The city has added and enforced a do not feed the animals rule. This was done to control the overpopulation of Canadian Geese and other types of birds. This has made for a more enjoyable experience when walking through the newly paved oversized paths.
Roped off Lake
The city has replanted vegetation and roped off the area near the water detouring those that would step on the landscape. As you walk or run around the park you will like see a few people fishing from the shore of the lake in designated areas.
One of the biggest additions to Wapato park is the dog park. The very large dog park has 3 sections for dogs to play in. One of the provided sections is exclusive to smaller dogs.
Kids and Picnics
Near the lake there are two play set areas for children. One of the play sets is a bit smaller for the younger children. There are two swing sets and plenty of running room.
There are several covered areas for parties and barbecuing. The large coverings allow for large parties to take place without having to worry about unexpected bad weather.
Overall I believe the park is very beautiful and functional for the community to enjoy. The city did a great job with this park.
The park is located at 6500 South Sheridan Avenue, Tacoma, Washington 98408. The park opens ½ hour before sunrise and closes ½ hour after sunset.
Wapato Hill Park
Nestled in the South Hill residential area of Tacoma is the Wapato Hill Park. This nearly 15 acre park has an extremely large grass field that is typically used for grass volley ball games, soccer practice, baseball games, kite flying and more.
The park has a very large play set that appeals to children of all ages. In addition to the play set is the basketball court with six hoops. A cement trail circles the park for those that are looking to get a bit of exercise.
Behind the park in the wooded area is a nature walking trail for those that are feeling adventurous.
The reason this park it a gem in Tacoma is the spray ground play ground. Sprinklers from under the cement spray into the air and the kids have a blast running through the water. In the summer this park is an absolute hit with families.
Park Hint: Parking is restricted in the general park area without a special permit. If you park in a restricted area you risk the chance of receiving a ticket.
The park is located at 6231 South Wapato Street, Tacoma, Washington 98409.
Point Defiance Park
The Point Defiance Park is the park that has everything. With approximately 2 million visitors each year, the 702 acre Point Defiance Park covers just about any typical activity typical parks have and more.
Here are just a few of the thing at the Point Defiance Park:
- The five mile drive and trails
- Owen Beach (walk along the water or rent a kayak)
- Point Defiance Pagoda (recently renovated)
- The Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium (awesome zoo!)
- Point Defiance Marina (with Anthony’s Fish House on the water)
- Fort Nisqually Living History Museum (A big fort with reenactments every day they are open)
- Point Defiance Rose Garden
- Go Carts and Batting Cages (just outside the park)
- Dog Park (you will see it on the 5 mile drive)
There is a playground and numerous picnic areas in the park. This park is truly unique.
Hint: Raccoons and other wild life will stand on the side of the road which makes for great photo opportunities.
My family goes to this park at least a dozen times a year because there is just too much to do in one day.
The address to the park is 5400 North Pearl Street, Tacoma, Washington 98407.
The Ruston Way park at the Tacoma waterfront is the runner, walkers, roller bladders and bicyclist dream area. Situated along the Commencement Bay there is a two mile path that follows along the water line of the bay. Those who love to fish can be found doing so on the beach or the Les Davis Pier.
My family and I like to make our way over to the Chinese Reconciliation Park area and walk on the beach. My children and I try to skip rocks on the water and find sea shells.
Aside from lovely view there are plenty of things to see along your walk like the large red boat or antique fire truck located in the building next to the boat.
Look out into the water while you are on your walk and you will see scuba divers either entering or exiting the bay.
If you are hungry then you may want to stop and eat at one of the several water front restaurants. My family is partial to the Ram restaurant and Brewery Duke’s Chowder House and Katie Downs. I haven’t tried all the restaurants but I can vouch for the aforementioned ones.
Finally to go to Ruston Way on the Fourth of July for the biggest party at the water. There is plenty of food, vendors, kid fun and live music. Don’t miss the air show with planes and Air Force Jets flying over the water. We go to this event every year.
The parks listed above are what I believe to be the best parks in Tacoma. I hope that you enjoy these parks as much as my family and I have.