If you’re visiting Seattle with the kids and the weather is warm, then your first stop should be the international fountain over at Seattle Center. Water jets shoot out of the central silver dome while music plays and everyone has a blast. Have some flip-flops available so the kids don’t have to go with bare feet.
Once you’ve dried off, you’ll be ready to enjoy these additional fun opportunities that the city has to offer. But before starting, I would recommend you to acquire the Seattle CityPASS. With the Seattle CityPASS, you will save a lot of time as you benefit from direct access to most of the attractions included on the list, skipping the long waiting lines and you will get up to 46% discount on the entry tickets’ prices.
#1. Ride the Ferris wheel
The Seattle Great Wheel is right next door to the Bainbridge Island-Seattle ferry line. The gondolas are fully enclosed, so it’s a great activity if it happens to be raining. You’ve also got access to the curiosity shop, a merry-go-round, and an Ivar’s fish stand all within easy walking distance.
#2. Catch a show at Seattle Children’s Theater
The shows at this theater are just campy enough for the adults and older kids to enjoy them. The younger kids are going to be laughing their heads off throughout the entire show. The company runs shows from fall to spring, taking the summer off, so plan accordingly.
When was the last time you went to a two story arcade? Gameworks is a huge complex that also has a movie theater multiplex in the same building. It’s close to the Monorail, a short walk from Pike Place, and parents can order a beer if they want while everyone enjoys some of the latest titles. If you don’t get a great score, then sooth the sorrows at the Cheesecake Factory across the street.
#4. Seattle Duck Tour
What’s great about the duck tour in Seattle is that it provides time on the streets of downtown and also provides exploration in the waters of Lake Union. The downtown experience often has pedestrians interacting with the tour, giving the kids a chance to interact with the city life in a unique way while you get to see the main sites.
#5. The Underground Tour
There is an amazing number of structures that are underneath Pioneer Square, creating a fun tour that is a one-of-a-kind experience. Maybe you’ll encounter the ghost that is said to haunt the Seattle Underground. Look up and you’ll see the skylights that have been built into the sidewalks. It’s kind of dirty, slightly messy, and fun for everyone.
#6. Woodland Park Zoo
The Woodland Park Zoo has an ongoing emphasis to preserve the natural habitats of the animals they call the gardens their home. The kids will be able to feed penguins if they wish, get to meet a Komodo Dragon, and laugh at the antics of the river otters. There is often live music available as well. Right next door is Woodland Park, which offers a play area and a BMX jump track, as well as a skatepark.
If you don’t mind a short drive, take the trip to Kirkland to enjoy Skymania. It’s a trampoline arena that has video games, foosball, pinball, and endless games of pickup dodgeball to enjoy. The kids are usually who jump on the trampolines, but the adults are welcome to join in on the jumping action.
#8. The Seattle Aquarium
Make your way down to the Waterfront to take a tour of the Seattle Aquarium. Plan for your adventure here to last most of an afternoon. An entire room is dedicated to a hands-on exploration of the tide pools that surround Puget Sound. Attendants are on hand to help children touch all sorts of sea creatures, from snails to sea stars. There’s a jellyfish aquarium to walk underneath and many other interactive exhibits to enjoy for the whole family.
#9. Pacific Science Center
Not only is there an IMAX theater there to enjoy, but the Pacific Science Center has a butterfly garden, interactive dinosaur exhibits, and a really cool planetarium that has a kid-friendly presentation that is for families with children 5 and younger. On a nice day, the open green spaces are a great place for a game of family tag too. You’ll find PSC at Seattle Center.
#10. Pike Place Market
On the lower floor of the marketplace is a kid-friendly comic book store that has candy, toys, and games that everyone is going to love. A novelty toy store is down there as well, away from the bustling crowds of the fish and produce stands at street level. If the kids are old enough, go up to street level, keep them close because the crowds are large, and ask one of the seafood vendors if one of the youngsters can catch a fish. You won’t always get a “yes,” but if you do, the experience is a video-worthy memory to cherish forever.
#11. Hit the Beach.
You might have to break out the sweatshirts, but Seattle has a number of great beaches. Green Lake Beach is the best place for a swim because the water is the warmest. Madison and Matthews Beaches over on Lake Washington are good secondary options.
#12. The Children’s Museum
Also located at Seattle Center, there is a new activity planned every month for kids to enjoy. All of the exhibits are interactive and kids can pretend to be firefighters, chefs, or create their own art to take home. There’s 22,000 square feet to explore. Don’t forget about the EMP/Science Fiction Museum while there so you can make a music video with the kids, play real instruments, and experiment with sound production equipment.
#13. Ballard Locks
There’s no admission to the park and you can watch large boats come through the locks all day long. Bring a sack lunch or stop at one of the local cafes for a bite to eat. If there’s a lull in the action, the flower beds and gardens make for a nice stroll and there’s plenty of room to run around.
Seattle really can be a lot of fun, especially with these options on your itinerary. Add them to your trip and you’ll be having just as much fun as the kids.