Visiting Bellingham and Whatcom County with Kids

90-minutes north of Seattle, you will find yourself in the northwest corner of Washington State. Known for its unique and local museums, shops, galleries, breweries and restaurants, Bellingham is a must-see town when visiting the West Coast with kids. Here is a list of family-friendly travel ideas in and around Bellingham, WA. 

Bellewood Farms

This 62 acre apple farm is full of family-friendly activities. Explore the orchard and 10 Mile Creek before heading inside for fresh apple pie at Bellewood Cafe. Also check their events calendar for fun seasonal activities such as Easter egg hunts and pumpkin patch visits.

Bellingham Bells

The Bellingham Bells are known to cater to kids and families on Sundays throughout the summer months but there's never a bad day for a family outing to Joe Martin Field. The Bells offer a variety of family-friendly activities including "Run the bases with Dinger," the Bell's mascot, during the middle of the fifth inning.

Travel Tip: Check out our blog Put the Bellingham Bells on your summer bucket list for the inside scoop on all the family fun.

Bellingham Farmers Market

The Bellingham Farmers Market is a local favorite and a must-do for visitors. It is hosted every Saturday in the Depot Market Square in Downtown Bellingham with over 100 vendors selling local produce and artisan crafts. There is also live music, street performances and special events including Kids Vending Day (last Saturday of the month) and Demo Days where families can learn how to cook using Bellingham's local ingredients.

Boulevard Park

This gem is located right on Bellingham bay, along the South Bay Trail that runs from Historic Fairhaven District to downtown Bellingham. A pirate-themed playtoy and sandy beach area are perfect for the kids, and parents will appreciate The Woods Coffee located in the park. Also, a great place to watch the trains go by.

Family Interactive Gallery at the Whatcom Museum

Located in the Whatcom Museum's Lightcatcher Building, The Family Interactive Gallery (FIG) offers hands-on learning for all ages. With exhibits and experiences to help keep little hands and minds busy, spend the day learning and exploring as a family.

Hovander Homestead Park

Established in 1971, Hovander Park and is home to the historic Hovander Home, a 65-foot red barn, farm animals, a forest-themed playground, and acres of grass to run and play on. The park was established to preserve the rich history of Ferndale's pioneer farms and is rich in history and family-fun.

Travel Tip: Top 5 Parks for Kids in Bellingham and Whatcom County

Lake Padden

Looking for a free and exciting time? Head to Lake Padden Park. In addition to the lake, golf course, dog park, basketball courts and 3 mile trail around the lake, Padden has picnic shelters, kayak rentals and a playground available for families. Pack a lunch and spend the day playing outside!

Mallard Ice Cream

I scream, you scream, kids definitely scream for ice cream! Mallards handcrafted ice cream featuring local ingredients and out of this world flavors.


Marine Life Center

For a look into the mysterious deep of Bellingham Bay and the Salish Sea, look no further than the Marine Life Center. Visitors can literally “get a feel for marine life," The center’s touch tank is a main attraction, allowing all ages to feel a sea cucumber or identify with a sea urchin.


Million Smiles Park

Also known as Lynden’s City Park, Million Smiles is known for having the “best playground ever.” The playground features a tot lot, climbing wall, swings, jungle gym, a castle maze, and a 35-foot-tall tree house with a slide.  Many children have left their handprints in the playground and families and business left there names etched into a picket fence marking a memory of fun for generations to com


Mindport

If your kids have ever been disappointed about not being able to touch the exhibits in a museum or art gallery, Mindport is for you. Mindport encourages everyone young or old to explore their interactive science and art exhibits with all your senses.


Miniature World Family Fun Center

Only a half-mile from the beach, Miniature World is a great addition to all the family fun in Birch Bay. Stop by and play a round of golf, ride a miniature train or race go-karts.

San Juan Cruises

Explore the San Juan Islands and the Salish Sea during a half or whole day whale watching trip with San Juan Cruises. The Salish Sea is home to orca whales, humpback whales, harbor seals and porpoises there's no telling what your kids are going to discover.

Travel Tip: Discover the San Juan Islands on a Small Ship Cruise out of Bellingham

SPARK Museum

This interactive museum offers fun, educational and "electrical" experiences for all ages! Learn about about the history of electricity through interactive exhibits before the hands-on demonstration with the MegaZapper!

Summit Trampoline Park

Kids bouncing off the walls? Head to Summit trampoline park where kids can jump around on their parkour walls, play a pick up game of basketball and test out their arm strength at the climbing wall.

Sumas International Motorsports Academy

This world class go kart track offers kart rentals, racing and lessons year round.

Travel Trip: Kids 17 years and younger must be accompanied by a parent.

Vital Climbing Gym

Vital is an indoor climbing gym that offers bouldering, also known as rock climbing that doesn't require a rope or harness. These low walls offer a variety of climbing levels and with padded floors you don't have to worry about kids falling or climbing too high.

Cost for an all-day is $17, so come climb, take a break for lunch at a nearby restaurant, then come climb some more.

Travel Tip: Vital Climbing Gym Saved my Kids from Climbing the Walls

Waypoint Park & Waterfront Pump Track

Waypoint Park is one of the latest additions to Bellingham's redeveloped waterfront. The park is home to a "huge metallic globe," known as the Waypoint Sculpture, a unique playground, beach access and now an all-ages pump track.

Travel Tip: Check out Hilary's blog Waypoint Park: The Perfect Place to Start Your Waterfront Adventure in Bellingham to learn more about visiting downtown with kids!

Whatcom Falls Park

Best known for its namesake waterfall, this 241-acre park has something for everyone. Bring your bikes and explore over 5 miles of trails or head to Whatcom Creek to check out the fish hatchery and feed some ducks.

The little ones love the lower half of the park where the playground is made for their size and the hatchery ponds where Steelhead are a hop, skip and a jump away. The upper playground is appropriate for older kids as well, plus everyone flocks to the large boulder next to the playground.

Travel Tip: Check out our blog Exploring the Hidden Treasures in Whatcom Falls Park for the inside scoop!

Where to Go with Toddlers

  • Bellewood Farms
  • Boulevard Park
  • Family Interactive Gallery
  • Hovander Homestead Park
  • Lake Padden
  • Marine Life Center
  • Million Smiles Park
  • Waypoint Park
  • Whatcom Falls Park

Where to Go with Kids

  • Bellewood Farms
  • Bellingham Bells
  • Boulevard Park
  • Family Interactive Gallery
  • Hovander Homestead Park
  • Lake Padden
  • Marine Life Center
  • Million Smiles Park
  • Mindport
  • Minature World Family Fun Center
  • San Juan Cruises
  • SPARK Museum
  • Summit Trampoline Park
  • Vital Climbing Gym
  • Waypoint Park
  • Whatcom Falls Park

Where to Go with Pre-Teens & Teens

  • Bellewood Farms
  • Bellingham Bells
  • Bellingham Farmers Market
  • Boulevard Park
  • Lake Padden
  • Mindport
  • Miniature World Family Fun Center
  • San Juan Cruises
  • SPARK Museum
  • Summit Trampoline Park
  • Sumas International Motorsports Academy
  • Vital Climbing Gym
  • Waypoint Park
  • Whatcom Falls Park
        We acknowledge that Whatcom County is located on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples. They cared for the lands that included what we’d call the Puget Sound region, Vancouver Island and British Columbia since time immemorial. This gives us the great obligation and opportunity to learn how to care for our surrounding areas and all the natural and human resources we require to live. We express our deepest respect and gratitude for our indigenous neighbors, the Lummi Nation and Nooksack Tribe, for their enduring care and protection of our shared lands and waterways.
Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism
Visitor Center Located at I-5 Exit 253 - Check Hours
904 Potter Street, Bellingham, WA 98229
Phone: 360-671-3990
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