Spring and summer are among the main reasons people who live in the Pacific Northwest choose to endure the often-overcast winters, and why visitors want to explore the region. And in case you missed the news, springtime has arrived, so it’s time to put away the winter coat, break out the still-warm-but-optimistically-less-waterproof spring jacket and start taking advantage of the ever-more-often days of sun and mild temperatures.

Here are a few suggestions to put on your spring calendar.

  • Kids’ Trek at Northwest Trek (opens April 2) – This brand-new half-acre space is a kid’s dream and a parent’s delight. It’s one of the state’s largest playgrounds, where kids can play in a 20-foot-tall hollow tree trunk, shoot down three slides (including a 20-foot tunnel with a 30-degree bend) and explore a stream and an artificial beaver dam. Admission to Kids’ Trek is free with membership or a paid ticket to Northwest Trek.
  • Chase Garden – Ideally situated in Orting, just outside of Tacoma, Chase Garden has been called “one of the ten most beautiful gardens in America,” and with good reason. The 4.5-acre garden artfully combines Japanese and midcentury design with the naturalistic look of a Pacific Northwest woodland landscape. While their season began earlier this month, the perfect time to visit would be for a special event with local gardening celebrity Ciscoe Morris that includes wine tasting from local vineyards, hors d’oeuvres and a silent auction on May 21. You can find more information about Garden Grapes with Ciscoe Morris here.
  • Lakewold Gardens – Lakewold Garden in Lakewood kicks off their spring/summer season on April 1, and it runs through September 30. This Washington State historic landmark features a Georgian-style mansion that’s surrounded by rare and native plants, state champion trees and gardens full of rhododendrons. With a total of 10 acres, visitors can step back in time to an elegant past or enjoy a relaxing moment to contemplate the future.
  • Springtime means Pierce County farmers markets will soon be opening, offering farm-fresh produce and flowers – and in some cases eggs, ice cream and craft projects. Enjoy all the markets across our beautiful county with this handy list.