Family Fun

The Olympic Peninsula is a playground for all ages, and there’s no better place for memorable, family fun all year round. While there are some activities you really shouldn’t miss, here are a few to consider for each season that aren’t quite as well known, and will keep you coming back for more.

Fall

Celebrate Twilight. If you and the kids are fans of Twilight, head to Forks and La Push, backdrops for the beloved Stephenie Meyers’ modern-day love story between a vampire and a human. Peruse the world’s largest collection of Twilight movie props and costumes, stroll the historic timber town and explore scenic beaches. If you’re really big fans, take in the two-day Forever Twilight in Forks celebration in September.

Take a family-friendly farm tour. Celebrate the Olympic Peninsula’s locally-grown food, fiber and farm-made products. The Jefferson County Farm Tour features more than a dozen farms along with live music and kid’s activities. The two-day event in September is a great way to learn about and connect with local farmers.

Winter

Hit the slopes at Hurricane Ridge. The quaint, family-friendly Hurricane Ridge Ski and Snowboard Area has been around for 60 years. Along with downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding and tubing, you can also take in ranger-led guided snowshoe walks on weekends. The ski and snowboard school features a small-scale snow-play area ideal for beginners.

Delve into the Makah culture. The Makah Cultural and Research Center in Neah Bay is a nice respite on a wet winter day. Along with replicas of cedar longhouses and whaling and fishing canoes, the museum houses artifacts from the world-renowned Ozette archeological dig from 1966-1981 that unearthed remains of a Makah whaling village more than 300 years old.

Spring

Take a hike with the elk. The Hoh Rainforest is a prime spot to see herds of Roosevelt Elk, especially during spring. Take a guided hike with a naturalist to see and learn more about these regal beasts of the forest and the old-growth temperate rainforest ecology.

Follow the totem-pole trail. More than 40 hand-carved S’Klallam totem poles are scattered through the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe’s 7 Cedars Resort, Longhouse Market, Tribal Enterprises property, the Cedars at Dungeness Golf Course near Sequim and Sequim City Hall Plaza. Most of the totems are accessible via the Olympic Discovery Trail and local bike paths. To get rolling, pick up a free map at Ben’s Bikes. The Longhouse Market and the Casino property are on the south side of Hwy 101. Probably best not to cross the highway on your bike.

 

SUMMER

Explore a historic fort. Fort Worden State Park, a former military base just outside the charming Victorian town of Port Townsend, features more than 70 historic buildings, the Port Townsend Marine Science Center and waterside fun. Want to make your visit an unforgettable experience? Camp near the beach or book one of the fort’s unique accommodations, including a historic castle and former officer quarters. Climb around and over some of the old fort’s bunkers.

Discover a lesser-known beach. Also known as Marlyn Nelson County Park, Port Williams is a one-acre hidden gem in Sequim that might be small, but offers a big-time payoff in family fun. Kayak or boat around peaceful Sequim Bay, walk the beach and take in some truly exceptional scenery. Bring your binoculars; this beach is a popular spot for birds.