Your own private beach: The park borders the only undeveloped stretch of Lake Washington—3,000 feet of shoreline ideal for fishing (warm, shallow water makes for great wading), picnicking, or kayaking and canoeing, if you’re willing to haul in your own boat. 425/823-2992; wdfw.wa.gov for fishing license.
Be a kid again ... for an afternoon: Kids—and maybe a few parents—can run wild at the park’s all-volunteer-built playground, which has a mini climbing wall and forts. Next to it is a sprawling green lawn made for picnicking. Bring a blanket or nab one of the tables. 425/823-2992.
Mingle with the locals: At Third Place Commons, a mall-cum–community center just a short drive from the park, you can browse the super-stocked indie bookstore, indulge in organic coffee and a slice of mile-high layer cake at the cafe, or play chess or watch a concert in the large common area. On Sundays, a farmers’ market takes over the lower parking lot. 17171 Bothell Way N.E., Lake Forest Park; thirdplacecommons.org
Take a woodsy hike: Amble just a few switchbacks down any of the park’s hiking trails, and the hubbub gives way to canyons, creeks, and towering firs. The 6-mile North trail cuts through 80-year-old cedars while the easy Seminary trail has wide paths for strolling; cardio-junkies should tackle the steep, 1-mile South Ridge trail. Prefer pedaling? That’s allowed on most trails too. 425/823-2992.