Chocolate factories, cheerful otters, bug safaris – finding fun activities for children while on vacation can sometimes be a chore, but not in this city. Rain or shine, there’s always plenty of fun (and educational!) things to do that are kid friendly in Seattle.
The Space Needle is one of Seattle’s most popular tourist attractions, and it’s surrounded by Seattle Center – one of the city’s best areas for kids. With nearly 75 acres filled with indoor and outdoor rides, an arcade, mini-golf, a children’s museum and theater, and plenty of carnival-style food, the Center is a great place to turn kids loose and let them burn off excess energy. Also located in the Center are the Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Museums, both of which feature exhibits that encourage kids to touch and play with the instruments and games.
On a sunny summer day, the Waterfront is the place to be in Seattle for kids and adults alike. After watching the ferries and seagulls on the Puget Sound, children will love checking out all the aquatic life in the Seattle Aquarium, which features a “hands-on” tide pool, sea otters who swim in perfect sync, and a giant octopus.
If the weather isn’t so great, there’s still plenty of things to do that are kid friendly in Seattle, such as the Pacific Science Center. Filled with robotic ants and dinosaurs, virtual reality activities, a planetarium and an IMAX theater, this place is a full day’s worth of entertainment. The PSC also regular offers interactive, temporary exhibitions for kids, such as their Harry Potter or Star Wars exhibits.
Shopping at Pike Place Market isn’t always as exciting for adults as it is for their little ones. Just a block from the market is the Bug Safari – a “live bug zoo” filled with over 50 varieties of centipedes, scorpions, tarantulas, and all kinds of fun creepy crawlies. This attraction also features an educated staff trained to lead school tours and field trips.
Just north of Seattle, the Woodland Park Zoo is waiting for animal-loving kids to come take a peek at nearly 300 species of animals. One of the oldest zoos on the West Coast, the grounds sprawl over 90 acres and include a large food court and seating area ideal for having a picnic lunch. But save room for desert – the Theo Chocolate Factory is in the same neighborhood, and offers daily tours for families to see the process of making organic chocolate from bean to bar. Samples included!
And on the other side of the city in south Seattle, the incredible Museum of Flight is the place to take kids fascinated by planes. The Great Hall is enough reason to visit, with over twenty real planes, such as an F-5 supersonic fighter and a Blackbird spy plane, dangling overhead. After learning about the history of air and space flight by walking through the museum’s chronologically arranged exhibits, kids can “play pilot” in the interactive center built just for them. Or duck into the air-traffic control tower, which simulates being in a real tower by streaming real-time transmissions of pilots landing at the Boeing airport right next door.