Blake Walsh

15 Free Things to Do in Renton, WA

  • Published 2023/03/07

Renton was dedicated as a city in King County, Washington, on September 6, 1901.

Back then, timber processing and coal mining were their most significant economic industries.

Located 11 miles southeast of downtown Seattle, the city spans the southeast shore of Lake Washington, situated at the brook of the Cedar River.

Renton’s first settlers were of European descent, and it became a fishing area for Native Americans.

The city’s early economy depended on coal mining, timber exports, and clay production.

Today, it is the final assembly point for the family of commercial airplanes, the Boeing 737.

Currently, it’s the sixth-largest municipality in greater Seattle and the ninth-biggest in Washington state.

Discover a budget-friendly vacation with this list of free things to do in Renton, Washington.

Visit Jimi Hendrix’s Grave at Greenwood Memorial Park and Cemetery

Jimi Hendrix memorial at Greenwood Memorial Park and Cemetery

Mariusz S. Jurgielewicz /

Born Johnny Allen Hendrix in Seattle on November 27, 1942, Jimi Hendrix is the most famous resident of Greenwood Memorial Park and Cemetery.

Located on Monroe Ave NE, Jimi Hendrix’s gravesite features a half-dollar monument with a life-size bronze sculpture and a purple fountain.

There’s a stone block shaded by a granite dome that stands 30 feet high, settled on three pearl-gray granite columns adorned in “rainbow” marble.

Join the countless pilgrims visiting Jimi Hendrix’s grave site at the Greenwood Memorial Park and Cemetery.

The grounds of Greenwood Memorial Park and Cemetery

Glenn Watkins from Vancouver, Canada, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Bring Your Dog to Cedar River Dog Park

Your pet will be glad if you take them to Cedar River Dog Park, South Grady Way.

This four-acre dog park is open all year round and has two entrances that provide access to a big, open area and a smaller field for little and shy canines.

It also features two shade structures, benches, and a nimbleness course.

Bring snacks or lunch your family and dog love because picnic tables are provided.

Allow your dog to mingle with other dogs off-leash.

Citizen volunteers and donors established Cedar River Dog Park in 2009, now under the management of the City of Renton Parks and Trails Division.

Have a Great Picnic at Riverview Park

In 1979, the Community Development Block Grant funds acquired Riverview Park, which spans 11 acres.

It’s now a significant portion of Renton’s Cedar River Greenway System.

The System contains more than 550 acres of established and under-established parks, trails, and open space, including the Maplewood Golf Course adjacent to the Cedar River.

The park provides visitors access to Cedar River Trail, allowing them to see wildlife.

There are picnic tables and barbecue grills the family can use for a great meal and paved parking for your car.

Located along Maplewood Golf Course, the open meadows in Riverview Park are great for kids to run around or play soccer or Frisbee.

Enjoy the Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park

Gorgeous sunset at Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park

Roman Khomlyak /

Located on Lake Washington Blvd North, Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park has 57 acres across Lake Washington’s southeastern shore.

The park was named after Eugene “Gene” Louis Coulon, the second and possibly the longest-serving director.

Your kids can play with the playground equipment and on the horseshoe pits.

You and your family will enjoy land-based and water-related recreational activities.

A pier at Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park

Checubus /

Challenge your friends or family to a tennis game on either of the two courts.

Take note that dogs and bikes aren’t allowed in the park.

The entire family will surely enjoy other amenities in the Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park.

Trail with foliage at Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park

huyenhoang /

Meet Tommy the Turtle at Kennydale Beach Park

You may not know Tommy the Turtle, but he is a turtle sculpture many people love.

Today, you can see him at Kennydale Beach Park.

Tommy the Turtle is near the current play area overlooking Lake Washington.

The park measures 1.8 acres featuring a swimming beach and play equipment.

There’s a pier and log beam that identifies the swimming area and a new playground equipment that kids will be happy to play with.

Children of different ages will enjoy the varied slides, rope bridges, and climbers.

Located along Lake Washington Blvd North, Kennydale Beach Park features clean restrooms, benches, picnic tables, and a shade structure.

Spend Family Day at Meadow Crest Playground

If you’re looking for an inclusive park, go to the Meadow Crest Playground on NE 16th Street.

The park features a dynamic and exciting outdoor space that offers fun and challenges for people regardless of age, color, and abilities.

The playground was established along with the Renton School District.

It also serves nearby Meadow Crest Early Learning Center and the public at North Highlands Park for the greater Renton neighborhood.

The playground has four areas to accommodate different age groups with various equipment such as swings, climbing equipment, a sliding glider, and a spinning ring.

The Nature Area, which sits below the skyscraping Douglas fir trees, showcases a climbable bear cub and relaxing gathering areas.

Meadow Crest Playground offers other amenities, such as picnic tables and shelters, seating areas, and clean restrooms.

You can also watch butterflies and birds from their houses.

Explore Cedar River Trail Park

Daytime view of Cedar River Trail Park

GeorgeColePhoto /

The TRACK Trail in Cedar River Trail Park is a free self-guided hike and the first in the state to use educational brochures for families and children.

Located along Nishiwaki Lane, this park spans 24 acres, has picnic areas near the water with a non-motorized boat launch and is ADA-accessible.

Your kids can use the equipment while you watch and take pictures of birds, such as blue herons and bald eagles.

Bicycle ride along Cedar River Trail Park

CL Shebley /

It’s also where you can observe the yearly migration of salmon into the Cedar River watershed aside from canoeing, kayaking, and fishing.

The Cedar River Trail traverses the Cedar River, where it accesses Lake Washington upriver to the Landsburg community at the border of Seattle’s Cedar River Watershed.

This beautiful trail also provides a roadside bicycle path that joins an urban river walk and a more rustic river walk across a previous rail bed.

Spend the Day at Tiffany Park

Located on the intersection of Glenwood Avenue SE and Lake Youngs Way SE, Tiffany Park spans seven acres.

Your kids will love playing with their new playground equipment, including ladders, slides, and activity panels designed for children two to 12 years old.

Meanwhile, you can take a leisurely walk on the trails or paths with your toddler or dog, then rest on the bleachers under ample shade.

There are also tennis and basketball courts.

After you finish your activities, enjoy lunch or a snack at the picnic tables.

Tiffany Park also offers swings, a ball field, and more amenities.

Show Off Your Skating Skills at Liberty Park

Formerly called “City Park,” it was later named “Liberty Park” to keep the memory of the First World War alive.

Renton bought the 12-acre park from the Sartori family on July 14, 1914.

It is the oldest park facility in Renton.

The park is downtown; it has a ballfield with a new playground that offers different play structures for children.

Play structures include slides, swings, a rocker seat for children with all abilities, spinners, a wheelchair glider, climbing structures, and free-standing facilities.

To make it safer for kids, a poured-in-place rubberized surface replaced the Engineered Wood Fiber play surface.

Liberty Park also features an 8,400-square-foot skate park located on Bronson Way North.

Enjoy a thrilling experience from its various obstacles, such as bowls and hips.

Hike Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park

A waterfall at Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park

Walter Siegmund, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Situated along SE Cougar Mountain Drive, Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park has more than 35 miles of trails.

They cross varying habitats, including cliffs, nearby caves, fully-grown forests, streams, and wetlands.

Most of the trails in the park are for hiking.

Some routes can be used for horseriding, though not for mountain bikes.

This 3,000-acre park is linked to Squak Mountain State Park by Cougar-Squak Corridor Park.

Together, the property comprises around 50,000 acres, a sanctuary known as the “Issaquah Alps.”

This beautiful park rises between 1,000 and 1,600 feet above sea level, giving you a fabulous view of the Cascades, Seattle, Lake Sammamish, Bellevue, and beyond.

You can bring snacks or lunch you can eat at the picnic area while observing nature.

Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park also allows dogs so you can have company while hiking.

Get a Spectacular View of the Sunset at Sunset Neighborhood Park

Just across the Renton Highlands Library, Sunset Neighborhood Park spans 3.2 acres on Sunset Lane North East.

You can take a leisurely walk and rest in several seating areas.

There are play areas for you and your kids and a vast lawn for a get-together or activities.

Your kids will love the play equipment while you use the fitness equipment.

Climb the spider web tower and get a spectacular view of the sunset.

Sunset Neighborhood Park also features an overhead pergola and clean restrooms.

Discover Various Recreational Activities at Thomas Teasdale Park

Each family member enjoys different activities.

Find the activity you love at Thomas Teasdale Park, named after a previous park board member.

This ten-acre community park offers a multitude of recreational activities for both young and older adults to enjoy and love and clean restrooms to use.

Kids will get busy exploring the play equipment and running around the park’s massive space.

Tall evergreen trees surround the shelter, providing shade during hot sunny days and making the air fresh and cool.

You can bring some food since many benches are ideal for a quick snack or lunch break.

Thomas Teasdale Park features other amenities, including a basketball court and a ball field with bleachers, great for a friendly game with loved ones or friends.

Explore Nature at Black River Riparian Forest and Wetland

The waters of Black River Riparian Forest and Wetland

knelson20 /

Located on Oakesdale Ave SW, Black River Riparian Forest, and Wetland provides refuge to over 50 bird species, including the giant blue heron colonies.

The site marks the remnants of the Black River that disappeared, which flowed out of Lake Washington going south into the Duwamish River.

It’s an all-year-round haven for bird watchers.

At the same time, it provides a one-of-a-kind view of nature.

Woodland trail at Black River Riparian Forest and Wetland

knelson20 /

The site features a complex system that abounds in wildlife habitat, so don’t forget to bring your binoculars.

The Springbrook Creek Wetland & Habitat Mitigation Bank Project is inside the Black River Riparian Forest and Wetland.

Thousands of resident plants thrive there, including the Pacific willow, snowberry, black cottonwood, bog leaf maple, and western red cedar, to name a few.

The Washington State Department of Transportation built the Springbrook Trail Boardwalk to educate visitors regarding the benefits of wetlands.

Celebrate with Family at Philip Arnold Park

On top of Renton Hill lies Philip Arnold Park, a ten-acre triangular park between Jones Avenue South and Beacon Way Southeast.

This fantastic neighborhood park provides excellent views of the Kent Valley, Olympic Mountain Range, Lake Washington, and Seattle.

Explore the 10.5-kilometer loop trail, generally considered a somewhat challenging course and a favorite trail for mountain biking.

The park offers various amenities, including barbecues and picnic tables for celebrating birthdays or simple family get-togethers.

Your kids can keep themselves preoccupied with the play equipment or ride on the swings.

There are also bleachers and benches when you want to rest after a trek or if you want to have some quiet time alone.

Philip Arnold Park was named after Philip Keith Arnold, an eighth grader at Renton Junior-Senior High who was accidentally electrocuted in December 1948.

Check Out the Trails at Ron Regis Park

Named after a city park board member, Ron Regis, Ron Regis Park is along Maple Valley Highway.

Ron served the city for more than 35 years.

The magnificent Ron Regis Park offers recreational facilities, including a basketball court, a soccer field, and practice areas.

There are also portable bathrooms and a paved parking lot that can accommodate 120 cars.

You can check out the trails that are wonderfully maintained by the city; you’ll find that Cedar River Trail is connected to the park.

Additionally, you can go fishing in the river or take a hike and bring your dog along as company while you walk.

Final Thoughts

Going to a different place and doing exciting activities are much more fun with friends or family.

Taking time off work can benefit your mind and body since you can relax and relieve stress.

Discover the free things to do in Renton, Washington, and savor a budget-friendly experience.

© All rights reserved.