Campgrounds offer many natural playthings to entertain kids: sticks, stones, spiders (OK, maybe not spiders). But one of my favorite childhood memories featured a Washington campground decked out with swings, slides and other fun play equipment. Here’s a quick list of Western Washington kid-friendly campgrounds that roll out the green carpet.
Northwest Washington Kid-Friendly Campgrounds
Belfair State Park. Belfair, Washington. Sleep in one of 120 campsites and let the kids play at the nearby beach or on the simple playground, which has swings, toddler-ready slides and a small climbing structure.
Blake Island Marine State Park. Blake Island, Washington. Only reachable by boat (no roads!), this kid-friendly campground features 44 campsites and petite, older wooden playground with slides and a tire swing.
Cama Beach State Park. Camano Island, Washington. The draw at this location? The family-ready cabins. As for the playground, only a small kid-sized boat and a solitary swing.
Rasar State Park. Concrete, Washington. Kids will enjoy the wood-and-plastic climbing structure with slides and monkey bars over woodchips, and parents enjoy the variety of sleeping options, including walk-in tent sites, lean-to shelters and reservable bunk-bed equipped cabins ready for families of five.
Deception Pass. Oak Harbor, Washington. Reserve one of 167 campsites or the one cabin (requires a boat for access), and let the kids climb on the small playground.
Fort Flagler Historical State Park. Nordland, Washington. Not one but two playgrounds are available at Fort Flagler: at one playground, swing on one of four swings, including infant swings and two tire swings; at the lower campground, kids slide and scramble on the climbing walls and monkey bars. Tired yet? Tuck into one of the 100 sites, including tent-only, full hookup/RV and primitive campsites.
Illahee State Park. Bremerton, Washington. A small saltwater campground with 23 tent sites and a smaller toddler- and preschooler-friendly playground.
Kitsap Memorial State Park. Poulsbo, Washington. When you’re done spotting marine life in the tidepools, head back to your five-person bunk-bed cabin or one of 21 campsites. A wooden play structure keeps kids busy, although better suited for older children.
Lake Sylvia State Park. Montesano, Washington. This campground’s semi-shaded, newer, and fenced-off playground sits below towering firs, and features multi-level climbing facilities and a small tunnel-slide, and benches for parents to rest with babies or toddlers. Just 31 tent spaces here, perfect for families.
Larabee State Park. Bellingham, Washington. Count sea-stars on the beach, then head to the newer playground with balance-boosting equipment, a wide slide, rock-climbing walls (plastic, but OK), ladders and a standing swing. Sleep well in one of the 51 standard tent sites, 26 utility sites or eight primitive sites.
Moran State Park. Olga, Washington. Take the ferry to Orcas Island for 151 campsites and a small playground for the kids.
Saltwater State Park. Des Moines,Washington. Camp out with the kids in one of 47 campsites near the beach, and an older wooden playground with a chain-ladder, slides, monkey bars and platforms.
Scenic Beach. Seabeck, Washington. A larger Western Washington campground with 52 reservable sites, tidepools and two well-shaded playgrounds featuring a tire swing, climbing and slide equipment, ladders and slides.
Sequim Bay. Sequim, Washington. Lay down stakes at this 49-site campground in the Olympic Peninsula. The playground has a few swings, including one toddler swing.
Spencer Spit. Lopez Island, Washington. A more rustic family campground with 37 spaces but no showers or hookups, so maybe not great for long-term camping stays. Small playground.
Southwest Washington Kid-Friendly Campgrounds
Battle Ground State Park. Battle Ground, Washington. Slip down the tunnel slide or corkscrew slide, scramble across the monkey bars and jump from platform to platform at this kid-friendly campground, which also provides 25 campsites and four cabins that accommodate five people (perfect for families with three kids).
Ike Kinswa State Park. Silver Lake, Washington. A giant 101-site and nine-cabin campground situated near a large freshwater lake, offering year-round camping and an older wooden playset with corkscrew slide, tall platforms and tire features.
Rainbow Falls. Chehalis, Washington. The petite playground will entertain kids for a few minutes — just a toddler-approved slide, a few small wooden platforms and hang bar. All sites here are first-come, first-served: 53 campsites, including a few hiker/biker only (walk-in) sites.
Seaquest State Park. Castle Rock, Washington. Yurts! This Mt. St. Helens campground offers five yurts (suitable for families of six), 55 tent spots and 33 utility spaces, along with a small vintage playground featuring metal ladders and wooden platforms.
Did I miss something? Get something wrong? Can you recommend another playground? Do you have photos of any of these playgrounds? Please e-mail me at lora AT cascadiakids.com. I will also add photos as I receive them from state parks.