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Exploring Kubota Japanese Garden in Seattle with Kids

Family with kids looking at the koi fish in the pond at Kubota Japanese Garden in Seattle.

Nestled in South Seattle, Kubota Garden is a gem that promises a delightful outing for families. This stunning 20-acre park, a blend of Japanese garden principles and native Northwest vegetation, has been open to the public since 1987, offering a tranquil escape from city life at no cost.

Explore Kubota Japanese Garden from the comfort of your home through our series of immersive 360-degree photos. This virtual tour will give you a sense of what to expect on your zen journey before you visit in person.

Free Admission & Practical Tips

First things first, admission to Kubota Garden is completely free, though donations are always welcome to help maintain its beauty. One practical note for families planning a visit: the restroom facilities are limited to porta potties, so prepare accordingly, especially if visiting with little ones.

*We always bring along our trusty OXO porta potty for kids, allowing them to use it in the trunk of our car. We find this to be a much cleaner option than many public restrooms.

Our Pick
OXO Tot 2-in-1 Go Potty
$20.95

The OXO 2-in-1 Go Potty is a versatile solution for potty emergencies at home of on the go. It's designed for standalone use with disposable bags anywhere or as a potty seat on toilets, making it an essential tool for road trips and park adventures with kids. It's perfect for those "I need to go potty" emergencies.

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03/25/2024 10:43 pm GMT

Kid-Friendly Attractions

Children are sure to be enchanted by the various wildlife that inhabits the garden. The ponds are home to fish, ducks, turtles, and koi, providing endless entertainment for young nature enthusiasts. It’s a great opportunity to teach kids about different species and their habitats in a fun and engaging setting.

Unlike the Seattle Japanese Garden, which has a front gate where you can purchase koi fish food, Kubota Garden does not have a ticket gate. However, during our last visit, we met a local who brought his own koi fish food for his children to feed the fish (which he gladly shared with our kids). He mentioned he bought it on Amazon, which might be a good idea if you plan to visit more than once with kids.

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05/02/2024 05:27 pm GMT

A Visual Feast

The garden itself is a visual feast, no matter the season. In the summer, the lush greenery creates a serene backdrop, perfect for leisurely walks or more spirited explorations. The meticulously maintained paths wind through hills and valleys, past streams, waterfalls, and iconic structures like the Japanese red bridges. These bridges are not only functional but hold deep spiritual meaning, enhancing the meditative quality of the garden.

A Year-Round Destination

Kubota Garden transforms with the seasons. Return in autumn to see the fiery colors, or in spring when the garden bursts with blooms. Each visit offers a new perspective and a fresh array of sights and scents.

Perfect for Photoshoots

For those interested in photography, Kubota Garden serves as a picturesque backdrop for both professional and casual photo sessions. It’s a popular spot for professional shoots, and obtaining a permit is straightforward through Seattle Parks & Recreation. Our family took some memorable photos here in the fall of 2022, and it’s easy to see why photographers favor this location.

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