Bellevue has no shortage of awesome parks, from the water spray park near the Crossroads Mall to the new playground being constructed at the Downtown Bellevue Park, we are spoilt for choice. These next few parks may not be as fancy but they are near and dear to us. Without further ado, here are 3 of Bellevue’s best kept secrets:
One of our favourites in Bellevue is Robinswood Park. We like to come here after a big dim sum meal at Top Gun Restaurant in Factoria for the kids to work their wiggles out.
It works as a great spot to meet friends coming from Mercer Island or Issaquah as it is a convenient midpoint.
I like Robinswood for many reasons, ample parking (on a weekday), great shady trees, seating available for parents, big open fields for kids to run and get their energy out,
playground is somewhat fenced in from the parking lot,
and separate play areas for big kids and little kids!
The bathrooms are far away by the sports fields so don’t wait too long if you guys are potty training to pay the bathroom a visit. There is a huge duck pond with a gravel path around it so do be careful with little kids. I also like that this park has trails that connect it to other parks in Bellevue!
Northtowne Neighborhood Park
This little unassuming park is perfect. Why is it perfect? It is next to the QFC on Bellevue Way. This QFC is smaller than the fancy QFC on 8th but we love to get our grocery shopping done here. It has a good selection of everything and the staff is very friendly. Furthermore, the QFC is just right size that you can actually drop by to pick something quickly and be in and out in 10 minutes. Parking is aplenty and the kids enjoy getting their free piece of fruit. When we head to the QFC, off I go to the supermarket to purchase our groceries (notice I didn’t say grab) and off go T1, T2 and T3 with Big T. to the playground! Win Win! This playground is pretty shady and has a decent amount of seating for parents. It also features a zipline,
a “piano” under the play structure,
balance pods that swivel,
buckets swings for the little ones
and some climbing walls.
The playground is large enough that the kids will be entertained for about 30 minutes so I am not making a mad dash through the aisles. We also don’t have to constantly worry about T2 wanting to buy all the cookies and T1 climbing in and out of the trolley.
This park does have a open field next to it but the few times we have ventured to the field, there are clumps of dog poop around which makes it hard for me to let the kids run freely on the field.
Additionally, the field has a bunch of trees surrounding it so you have to choose the field or the playground. You can’t really keep an eye on one child running on the field and one playing on the playground at the same time.
Also, the park is fenced from the parking lot but it is close to the parking lot, so do keep an eye out if your child likes to stray. The bathroom facilities are at the QFC itself ( in the back by the dairy department) so it will take a good 10 minutes to walk there.
Hidden Valley Park
This park is well named. It is kind of hidden from the main road and easy to miss. Additionally, the entrance to the park is also hidden in a parking lot for a bunch of office complexes. Parking for this park can be kind of a beast during work hours as there aren’t many spots available for the park. Once you’ve overcome these small hurdles, this is truly an awesome park.
We like to come to this park after working hours at about 5 or so as the days get longer for a few reasons: 1. parking is ample and easy to find. 2. the playground is not overrun with big kids from Bellevue Montessori and Cedar Crest 3. the sun is just at the right angle so it is nice and shady. This park is also close the fields of the Boys and Girls Club so you can see a lot of sports games in action.
This park has a play structure, a play kitchen, lots of bouncy seats, and a seesaw for little kids (and parents)
and a play structure for big kids. The slide for big kids is pretty steep and the kids slide down really quickly. T1 used to land on his butt on the ground because he slid down so fast. This isn’t an issue in the summer when it is dry but his pants would get wet in the winter and fall. The big kid structure has a lot of climbing options; in fact some of the climbing options are only accessible by scaling the ropes or monkey bars. There are also lots of buckets seats that spin round and round till you go dizzy.
Additionally, it has bucket seats for little kids and even one of the big net seats that can accommodate a bunch of kids!
The bathroom is big, clean and close (1st big plus!)
There is also ample seating for parents (2nd big plus)! The park is also pretty far from the main road and pretty fenced in (3rd big plus).There is small loop around the playground and people often bring their scooters and bikes to ride around the park. The park is open enough that is easy for parents to keep an eye on a child riding a bike on the loop, another playing on the playground, and another playing tag on the open fields(4th big plus)! There are also tennis courts and basketball courts available at the park.