At Northwest Trek, discover Kids’ Trek – one of the largest outdoor playgrounds in Washington. Unlike any play area in the Puget Sound region, it is designed to stimulate imaginations, encourage exploration and immerse kids in the world around them in a fun way.
What is Kids’ Trek? Kids’ Trek is a half-acre playground that allows children to exercise their bodies and imaginations as they slide, climb, clamber, crawl, explore, investigate and experience nature. Kids from toddlers to tweens will find hours of fun and exploration as they connect more closely with the natural world in this one-of-a-kind wonderland. It’s a playing place. A learning space. An “I can’t wait to come back again!” place.
- Engages kids in a new kind of fun on one-of-a-kind play structures that include imaginative slides; climbing nets inside a 20-foot-tall replica of a hollowed out old-growth tree (complete with a surprise inside); a sand-filled area with toys for scooping and building; a stream to splash in; tunnels to crawl through; a simulated eagles’ nest composed of taut ropes to balance on; a “construction area” with natural materials; giant log “stepping stones” and more.
- Encourages children to learn about and investigate nature so they develop a deeper appreciation for the great outdoors and the animals, plants and trees that live there.
- Teaches kids about reusing and recycling materials. Much of the lumber used in various Kids’ Trek structures and benches was reclaimed from Northwest Trek’s Free Roaming-Area, where trees are sometimes removed due to hazard or disease or because they were downed in storms.
- Encompasses a half acre, making it one of the largest outdoor play areas in Washington.
- Fosters the kind of “unorganized free play” recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics for healthy growth and development.
- Embodies Northwest Trek’s conservation mission by helping children connect with nature on many levels; this type of play-based learning is meant to inspire kids to take action to protect wildlife.
- Provides a kid-friendly Spring Break, family holiday, birthday party, day-in-nature destination.
Where is Kids’ Trek? Kids’ Trek sits just inside the main gate at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park, 11610 Trek Drive E., Eatonville, Wash. www.nwtrek.org/event/wild-child and www.nwtrek.org/discover/kids-trek/
How much is admission to Kids’ Trek? Entry into the playground is free with admission or membership to Northwest Trek Wildlife Park. Admission to the wildlife park varies by age and place of residence, with discounts available for Pierce County residents and members of the military. An annual membership to Northwest Trek is a great way to experience the wildlife park all year. www.nwtrek.org/membership
What are the ages for Kids’ Trek? Kids’ Trek has something for children from toddlers to tweens.
How much did Kids’ Trek cost to construct and who paid for it: The $1.9 million construction cost was largely funded by donations from the Northwest Trek Foundation, individuals and companies. Money from a 2014 Metro Parks Tacoma voter-approved bond issue also helped pay for the play area.
ADDRESS: 11610 Trek Dr E, Eatonville, WA 98328
PHONE: (360) 832-6117