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Outdoor Activities

Looking for fun activities that get the entire family outside for the day?  Kid insider is the only local resource for all family oriented outdoor activities in Whatcom County.  From biking and hiking to visiting our local farms, you are bound to find something that will interest even the most tech-addicted kid!

Cycling | Day Trips | Farms | Fishing | Hiking
Parks & Playgrounds | More Fun Outings

Whatcom County Day Trips

Living in such a large county the day trips to be had are endless! From Point Roberts to the North Cascades National Park and everything in between, the options are countless!

  • Birch Bay
  • Ferndale
  • Lynden
  • Mount Baker Area
  • North Cascades
  • Point Roberts
  • Whale Watching

Birch Bay is a must visit for a day trip. This beautiful waterfront community is the perfect place for families to spend the day. Children will spend hours combing the miles of tidal flats for hermit crabs, starfish and clams. They will love building sandcastles and flying kites. During the summer spend the entire day at the beach or visit the waterslides, get a snow cone or miniature golf!
Birch Bay State Park

Birch Bay Waterslides

Miniature World Family Fun Center

Summer is the time to visit Ferndale. With views of Mount Baker it is such a picturesque little town. Visit the historic Pioneer Park. The cedar slab cabins are open to the public during the summer months and the first weekend in December. There are also special events on and off all year including movie nights in the summer.

A whole day can be easily spent at Hovander Homestead Park. This gorgeous park has so many things to see. There are historic homes, a big red barn, grassy areas to let the kids run free, and a playground to play on. There is a lookout tower to climb and view the farm. There are horses, pigs, chickens, geese, turkeys and goats to see and feed where appropriate. Take in a program at the Tenant Lake Interpretive Center or walk the boardwalk around the wetland and view the wildlife, enjoy the sights and smells of the fragrance garden. This park is home to the Bellingham Highland Games every summer. There is always something to do here (or not too)!

Take a walk along the Centennial Riverwalk Park,right in the middle of Ferndale, on the west side of the Nooksack River. As you walk, your kids will enjoy reading the signs about the river and native salmon species. Take a rest a long the way on one of the many benches and enjoy the view!

Hovander Homestead Park Map

For those living or visiting Whatcom County a day trip to historical Lynden is a must. Lynden's dutch heritage adds a special touch to this town. A 72-foot windmill is a beautiful backdrop for a family picture. Spend the day strolling through the many stores, have lunch at the Firehall Cafe at the Jansen Art Center and browse through their space there, visit the Pioneer Museum, bike along the Jim Kaemingk trail or go skating at the Lynden Skateway.

If the kids are getting antsy to run off some energy, visit one of the many parks in Lynden. Million Smiles Playground, which is in
City Park, has a wonderful playground where the kids will love playing for hours. Also, a few miles west of town, is the Berthusen Park where you can walk through old growth forests, see the displays of antique tractors and the 100 year old National Historic Berthusen Barn, play on the playground and have a picnic.

If you are planning a trip in the summer make sure you visit the
Northwest Washington Fair in August!

Park Brochure

Lynden Chamber of Commerce

From snowsports in the winter, to hiking in summer and fall, you will be stunned by the views Mount Baker Skiingfrom the Mount Baker Area. The beautiful drive along the Nooksack River on SR 542 even the kids will enjoy. There are views in every direction. Stop in Maple Falls or Glacier to stretch your legs. The road ends at the Mt. Baker Ski Area, and during the winter, spend the day on the mountain skiing or you can sled (at your own risk) in the designated area. Along SR 542, there are many places to stop and snowshoe too. However, except in the ski area you may have to have either a Sno-Park Permit or a US Forest Service pass to park in these areas.

If you are visiting the area in the summer months, it is best to go to the end of Highway 542 in late summer or early fall because many of the trails are not accessible because of snow until this time (check with the Forest Service in Glacier). The kids will love the trail to Artist Point and munching on the wild blueberries common in the area. If hiking is what you are looking for, there are so many trails to choose from both near the ski area or along the highway (just watch for signs). 

Whatcom county boys hiking Mount Baker Area
On the way home instead of heading back into Bellingham turn onto Highway 9 toward Acme. During the summer, stop at Mama's Garden for some fresh vegetables, take a dip in the Nooksack, visit Everybody's Store in Van Zandt or stop for dinner at the Acme Diner. If you plan it on a day the train is running, the kids will love to ride the Lake Whatcom Railway.

Glacier Public Service Center

Heather Meadows Visitor Center

Washington Trails Association

Andy Porter Photograph of Mount Logan and waterfall North Cascades National Park

Even though most of the North Cascades National Park is not located in Whatcom County, it really is a must see for anyone living in this beautiful area. The park actually ranges from the Canadian border south to Lake Chelan. A day trip to the park should be on everyone's summer "to-do" list.

The park is generally open from May – October. After that Highway 20 closes due to snow. There is a Park and Forest Information Center located on Highway 20 in Sedro-Woolley. They staff an information desk, and also have books, maps and other items available regarding the park and adjacent forest lands. The North Cascades Visitors Center in Newhalem is also a good place to stop for the same type of information on the park. Ask about how your child can become a Junior Ranger and earn an official badge during your trip to the park.

During your stop at the information or visitor center, be sure to inquire as to whether or not you will need a Northwest Forest Pass to park at trailheads. It is not required on the National Park Service Lands, but is required if you are parking at the trailheads on some of the adjacent U.S. Forest Services land.

There are so many things to do during your visit in the park including: hiking, camping, climbing, boating, fishing, bird and wildlife viewing and picnicking.  You can even bring your horse for riding on some of the trails. There are guided tours available through both ranger-led programs and the North Cascades Institute (NCI). Learners of all ages can come to explore and participate in innovative programs at the North Cascades Environmental Learning Center on Diablo Lake in the heart of the North Cascades. Check out their website for a variety of programs and camps for youth and families. You can actually spend a weekend in their beautiful lodge and eat their delicious, healthy food while partaking in one of their planned family getaways.

One last thing you might do on your Day Trip is take an interpretive tour of the Upper Skagit Valley. The NCI and Seattle City Light have partnered to offer these tours to highlight the natural and cultural history of the area. You can choose from a boat tour of Ross Lake, a guided shuttle tour, a tour of the powerhouse, and a walking tour of Newhalem.  Detailed information on the tours is located on the North Cascades Institute website.

Fun Fact: North Cascades NPSC has over 300 glaciers, more than any other park in the lower 48 states. More than half the glaciers in the 48 states are concentrated in this mountainous wilderness region called the North Cascades.

It's hard to believe Point Roberts is part of Whatcom County! It's a little tricky getting there but is so worth it! First of all, you need to make sure you have your passport, enhanced drivers license or Nexus card because you have to go through another country to get there! There are four beautiful beaches to visit and each is in a park, Lighthouse Park, Maple Beach Park, Monument Park and Lily Point Park. In addition to the parks, there is hiking, biking, walking, eagle watching and so many more things to do you might want to stay more than a day!

Point Roberts Living Website

Map of Point Roberts

Is seeing orca whales in the wild on your "bucket list"? Then take a day with your family and get it checked off! Amazing sights await you when you sign up for a whale watching cruise in the San Juan Islands!
whatcom county girl
Island Mariner

San Juan Cruises