Parks and Playgrounds: Family Fun in Spanaway, WA

by | Nov 16, 2023

Spanaway, Washington is a beautiful and vibrant community in Pierce County that offers a wide range of recreational opportunities for families to enjoy. From lakeside adventures to dazzling holiday displays, this area has it all. In this article, we’ll take you on a tour of some of the best parks and attractions that make Spanaway a fantastic place for family fun.

Spanaway Park: A Lakeside Paradise

Park Amenities

Spanaway Park, spanning 135 acres along the picturesque Spanaway Lake, is a favorite destination for year-round activities. The park offers a plethora of aquatic recreation opportunities, including two swimming beaches (please note, no lifeguards on duty), a boat launch, a fishing pier, and handicapped-accessible bathrooms. Families can also delight in a newly renovated picnic area by the south swimming beach and an ADA playground with a seating plaza for parents.

For nature enthusiasts, a three-mile trail system by Little Spanaway Lake provides a peaceful setting to explore, and efforts to restore the shoreline make it an eco-friendly spot. Sports enthusiasts will find softball fields, basketball courts, a children’s play area, and scenic walking trails along thousands of feet of waterfront.

Spanaway Park Picnic Shelters: Perfect for Gatherings

Spanaway Park offers five covered, open-sided picnic shelters that come equipped with electricity, running water, tables, concrete floors, and large grills. These shelters are strategically located throughout the park, providing easy access to lake entry, the playground, and walking trails. Adjacent to Lake Spanaway Golf Course, they are a popular choice for family gatherings, reunions, and special occasions.

Reservations for these shelters are available from April through September and can be made up to six months in advance. Keep in mind that reservation requests should be submitted at least two weeks before your event date. Payment confirmation and issuance of a permit are required to finalize your reservation, and availability is subject to change without notice.

Pierce County Parks Code of Conduct Policy: A Respectful Environment

Pierce County Parks maintains a strong commitment to creating an atmosphere of respect and courtesy for everyone. Regardless of your background, race, religion, or identity, you are expected to:

  • Act respectfully towards other patrons, staff, volunteers, and officials.
  • Follow program and facility rules and regulations.
  • Treat people, property, facilities, and equipment with dignity.
  • Cooperate with and assist County staff in maintaining a safe and enjoyable environment.

Pierce County Parks enforces a strict policy against any form of abuse, whether physical, verbal, mental, sexual, or emotional. Inappropriate behavior may lead to expulsion or removal from Pierce County Parks facilities and programs. This policy extends to actions in person, over the phone, through email, and on social media platforms.

Fantasy Lights: A Magical Winter Wonderland

In the winter, Spanaway Park transforms into a magical winter wonderland with the largest drive-through Christmas lights display in the Northwest—Fantasy Lights. Drive through nearly 300 lighted displays that range from small stationary characters to animated displays and even a tunnel with lighted archways. It’s a mesmerizing experience that will delight the whole family.

Pro tip: Visit on a slower night to savor the displays and make the most of your visit. And don’t forget to check out favorites like the giant red teddy bear and the whimsical animated displays. Fantasy Lights is the perfect way to get into the holiday spirit.

Frontier Park: Where Recreation Abounds

Frontier Park, located on Meridian between Puyallup and Graham, is a 71-acre complex filled with wooded and turf areas. It hosts a variety of events, including the Pierce County Fair, Highland Games, equestrian shows, scouting events, car shows, and more. A $1.3 million renovation project has turned the former home economics building into a rustic lodge, providing a link to local history.

Amenities at Frontier Park include rustic-themed buildings and picnic shelters, a playground, kite flying and turf playing areas, equestrian facilities, and both paved and non-paved trails for walking or riding. Don’t miss the quarter midget race track, perfect for racing enthusiasts.

Stan and Joan Cross Park: A Community Gem

Stan and Joan Cross Park serves the rapidly growing community of Frederickson and offers a wide range of amenities. This 64-acre park features community green space, a universally accessible playground, two historic barns converted into a community center, indoor and outdoor event spaces, and picnic areas.

One unique aspect of this project is the restoration of two historic dairy barns using sustainable building strategies. These buildings serve as a testament to local history and sustainable practices. The park also incorporates pathways and accessible picnicking areas near wetlands and forested areas, allowing residents to connect with nature.

Stan and Joan Cross Park is a valuable resource for the community, providing a space for recreation, education, and relaxation.


Spanaway, WA, is a treasure trove of family-friendly parks and attractions. Whether you’re looking for lakeside fun at Spanaway Park, a winter wonderland at Fantasy Lights, or a day of outdoor activities at Frontier Park and Stan and Joan Cross Park, this community has something for everyone. Enjoy the beauty of nature and create lasting memories with your loved ones in Spanaway.


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