Looking for a fun family vacation? Seattle has plenty of unique and exciting attractions that are perfect for both kids and adults. From exploring the great outdoors to discovering the city’s history, there is something for everyone in this vibrant Pacific Northwest city. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of Seattle’s secret family-friendly spots that will make your trip to Washington state unforgettable.
Explore the Great Outdoors
Get ready for an adventure in Seattle’s great outdoors! With so many fun and exciting activities to choose from, there’s never a dull moment when exploring this vibrant city. Start your outdoor journey at Discovery Park, where you’ll be able to hike through beautiful forests and scenic trails or fly a kite on the beach with your family.
Next up is Green Lake Park, located downtown, which offers plenty of activities such as kayaking, paddle boarding or simply taking a leisurely stroll around the lake. If you’re looking for something more educational but still enjoyable for kids, try visiting Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture. Here you will learn about history while admiring amazing art exhibitions that are sure to impress everyone in your group.
Finally head over to Kerry Park where you can take flight by experiencing one of Seattle’s iconic seaplane tours – it’s not every day that families get such unique opportunities together! Finish off with Kubota Garden – perfect for those who want some peace and quiet whilst enjoying nature’s beauty at its finest. Don’t forget about visiting The Aquarium here too; it is full of interesting things both adults & children alike will love 🐠🦈
Seattle has endless possibilities when it comes to spending quality time with your family outdoors- go ahead and explore today!
Visit the West Point Lighthouse and take in sweeping views of Puget Sound on a clear day. The historic lighthouse, built in 1881, is a popular spot for photos and offers an adventure-filled climb to the top. For more outdoor fun, follow the South Beach Trail through lush forest and along rocky shoreline. Keep an eye out for wildlife like eagles, seals, and even whales.
The West Point Lighthouse in Discovery Park offers a historic and adventurous climb to the top, with sweeping views of Puget Sound.
Explore the Fort Lawton Historic District to learn about Seattle’s military history. See barracks dating back to World War I and stroll past officer housing from the early 1900s. Afterward, head downtown for some family-friendly fun at attractions like the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture or Pacific Science Center featuring interactive exhibits on flight or aquarium life! Don’t forget to snap a photo at Kerry Park with a stunning view of downtown Seattle as your backdrop.
Green Lake Park
Fun for the Whole Family
Looking for a fun family adventure in Seattle? Look no further than Green Lake Park. This expansive park boasts plenty of activities to keep both kids and adults entertained all day long.
Here are just a few of the ways you can enjoy your time at Green Lake:
- Rent paddle boats for a fun family activity on the water
- Pack a picnic and enjoy it on one of the many grassy areas around the lake
- Go for a run or bike ride on the paved path that circles Green Lake
Located just north of downtown Seattle, Green Lake is an easy destination to reach by car or public transportation. And if you have some extra time before or after your visit, be sure to check out nearby attractions like Kerry Park, Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, or even take flight at The Museum Of Flight!
Don’t miss this hidden gem – plan your trip to Green Lake today!
Enjoy an outdoor yoga class surrounded by nature in Kubota Garden’s serene setting. The garden is a peaceful oasis tucked away in the hustle and bustle of downtown Seattle, making it the perfect place to unwind and connect with nature. Take your kids along for a fun adventure that combines exercise, fresh air, and stunning views.
Discover over sixty species of birds that call Kubota Garden home. Bring binoculars! The garden is home to a diverse range of birdlife, including woodpeckers, towhees, chickadees, jays and many more. Spotting these feathered friends can be a thrilling experience for both adults and children alike.
Treat your senses to sights, sounds, and smells of Japanese-inspired landscape design at Kubota Garden. This hidden gem features winding paths through lush greenery leading you past waterfalls cascading into stone pools filled with colorful koi fish. Every corner offers something new to see or hear making it an ideal spot for families looking to learn about history while having fun outdoors.
Other family-friendly activities near Kubota Gardens:
- Burke Museum of Natural History
- Kerry Park with its stunning panoramic view
- Fun day out at the Aquarium
Unleash your family’s creativity with a trip to Seattle’s top art institutions. The Seattle Art Museum offers interactive exhibits and hands-on activities for kids of all ages, while the Frye Art Museum showcases contemporary works that are sure to inspire. For a more immersive experience, head over to the Seattle Children’s Museum where young ones can explore their artistic side through various workshops and play areas. Get ready for a day filled with imagination, innovation and plenty of fun!
Seattle Children’s Museum
Interactive exhibits for all ages await you and your family at the Seattle Children’s Museum. From exploring different cultures around the world to learning about science and technology, these exhibits are bound to leave a lasting impression on visitors of all ages.
Take a break from indoor activities by visiting the Outdoor Discovery Center which features an interactive water feature and exciting climbing structures that will encourage physical activity in children. Daily programs such as story time and art activities also make this museum an excellent spot for families looking for educational fun in Seattle!
Seattle Art Museum
Looking for a fun and educational activity for the whole family? Look no further than the Seattle Art Museum! Not only is admission free for children under 14 years old, but there are also family-friendly tours led by trained guides. These tours provide a great opportunity to learn about art in an engaging and interactive way.
If your kids love getting hands-on with their creativity, be sure to check out SAM Studio. They offer various art-making activities that are perfect for kids of all ages. From painting to printmaking, there’s something for every little artist to enjoy. Plus, you’ll get to take home a unique piece of artwork as a special souvenir from your visit to the museum.
Frye Art Museum
If you’re looking for a fun and educational activity to do with your kids, look no further than the Frye Art Museum. The ‘Small Frye’ program is a perfect fit for young children, as it’s designed specifically with them in mind. They’ll get to explore art through interactive activities that are both engaging and age-appropriate.
The museum also hosts Family Day events, featuring live performances, workshops, and tours that allow families to experience art together. Kids can unleash their creativity with art-making activities using a variety of materials inspired by current exhibitions. It’s an excellent opportunity for families to bond over shared experiences while discovering Seattle’s vibrant arts scene.
Discover Seattle’s History
Seattle’s history is rich and fascinating, and there are many ways to explore it with kids. One unique option is the Seattle Underground Tour, which takes you beneath the city streets to see remnants of the old buildings that were destroyed in the Great Fire of 1889. Kids will love learning about Seattle’s past while exploring a hidden underground world.
Another great way to discover Seattle’s history with your family is by visiting the Museum of History and Industry. This interactive museum offers exhibits on everything from Native American culture to aviation history, making it a fun and educational experience for all ages. Plus, with its beautiful location on Lake Union, you can enjoy stunning views while learning about local history.
Seattle Underground Tour
Pioneer Square is Seattle’s oldest neighborhood, and there’s no better way to explore it than with the Underground Tour. Descend beneath the bustling streets to discover hidden tunnels and pathways that transport you back in time. Along the way, learn about Seattle’s history of fire, prohibition, and skid row from knowledgeable guides who bring it all to life.
The Seattle Underground Tour is a must-do experience for families visiting the city. It offers a unique perspective on its past that both kids and adults will enjoy. Imagine walking down streets that were once at ground level but are now below it! With fascinating stories of secret passageways, buried storefronts, and more – this tour is sure to be a highlight of your trip.
Museum of History and Industry
If you’re looking for a fun and educational experience for the whole family, don’t miss the Museum of History and Industry in Seattle. This museum features exhibits on Native American culture in the Pacific Northwest, allowing visitors to learn about their rich history and traditions.
For tech-savvy kids (and adults!), there are interactive displays on technology innovations from Microsoft and Boeing. Get hands-on with cutting-edge gadgets while learning about how these companies have shaped our world.
Don’t forget to visit the Maritime Gallery with historic ships and boats! Kids will love exploring replicas of old vessels while imagining they’re sailing away into adventure. With so much to see and do, everyone is sure to leave this museum feeling inspired by Seattle’s fascinating history.
Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park
The Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park is a must-visit spot when exploring Seattle with kids. This park offers an exciting glimpse into the lives of prospectors during the Alaska-Yukon gold rush, and there are several family-friendly activities to enjoy.
One of the highlights is the ‘Stomping Grounds’ walking tour where families can explore Pioneer Square landmarks and learn about Seattle’s rich history. The ‘Gold Fever’ exhibit features real-life stories of prospectors in Alaska and Yukon Territory, adding depth to this unique period in history. Families can also experience what it was like for miners on the treacherous terrain by taking part in a virtual hike along Chilkoot Trail.
Other fun activities include panning for gold at Caribou Creek or trying their hand at rope-making techniques used by early settlers during daily demonstrations. A trip to Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park will leave both children and adults intrigued with its immersive experiences that bring history to life.
- Stomping Grounds Walking Tour
- Gold Fever Exhibit featuring Real-Life Stories
- Chilkoot Trail Virtual Hike Experience
Seattle Sports Stadium Tours
Seattle is a city that offers an array of activities and attractions for families with children of all ages. Touring the professional sports stadiums in Seattle is a fantastic opportunity to experience the vibrant sports culture and learn about the history of some of the most iconic teams in the country. Here are some of the tours available for those looking to explore Seattle’s professional sports stadiums.
CenturyLink Field Tour
CenturyLink Field is home to the Seattle Seahawks, and it’s an impressive stadium with breathtaking views of the city. The stadium is open to the public for guided tours, which take visitors behind the scenes to see the locker rooms, press box, and field. Kids will love the chance to run around on the field and pose for pictures in the end zone. The tour also includes a visit to the Seahawks Pro Shop, where you can stock up on team merchandise to take home as souvenirs.
T-Mobile Park Tour
T-Mobile Park is the home of the Seattle Mariners, and it’s a popular destination for sports fans. The stadium’s guided tour takes visitors through the dugout, press box, and visitor’s clubhouse. You’ll also get to see the field from the player’s perspective and learn about the history of the team. The tour ends with a visit to the Mariners Team Store, where you can browse through a wide selection of team memorabilia and souvenirs.
Getting Around Seattle
Seattle has a light rail system with about 15 stops. This can take you from the airport into downtown Seattle. This is a great way to travel into the city, especially if you know where you are going, but aren’t sure how to get there. This is how we traveled from our hotel near the airport into downtown and it was such a relief not to have to drive new roads or scout for parking. Once in the downtown area, there are metro transit buses and a streetcar line.
Do It All in Seattle with CityPass
Well, maybe not all, but most. One of the really cool things that Seattle offers is CityPass. Seattle CityPass gives you admission to 5 attractions for one price. We did this option and it really did save us money. It was a great choice and allowed us to see the sights without worrying about purchasing individual tickets. We would definitely suggest checking out this option for your family.
Seattle Center is probably step number one in any Seattle vacation. Home of the Space Needle, the hulking remnant of the 1962 World’s Fair and Seattle’s landmark icon, Seattle Center is bustling with activity. Even getting to Seattle Center is an attraction: catch the Seattle Center Monorail downtown and bypass the traffic down below. Filled with interactive museums and outdoor attractions, there is always something to do and see.
The Space Needle
The Space Needle is to Seattle what the Eiffel Tower is to Paris. Rising above the city skyline, the views from the 360° observation deck will leave you in awe. Be aware, though, that it can get a bit windy on the observation deck, so make sure you hold on to your belongings!
Museum of Pop Culture
After visiting the Space Needle, you may notice a funky looking building across the way. That would be the Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP). This museum is dedicated to Seattle’s status as the birthplace of Nirvana, Jimi Hendrix, Pearl Jam and more. With exhibits honoring music, science fiction, horror films and all things pop culture, the MoPOP will delight children and adults alike.
Pacific Science Center and Seattle Children’s Museum
Both the Pacific Science Center and the Seattle Children’s Museum are located at Seattle Center. The Pacific Science Center has hands-on exhibits, a butterfly house, a Makerspace, and a planetarium. These are included in the general admission, but for an added fee, you can tack on an IMAX movie or a VR experience. The Seattle Children’s Museum is sure to keep the younger travelers happy. With interactive exhibits catering to a child’s imagination, kids will find no shortage of play and creativity.
Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum
Dale Chihuly is known for his exotic blown glass sculptures. His works are world renowned and make your mind dizzy imagining how such eccentricities were created. Take a walk through the Chihuly Garden and Glass museum and prepare yourself to “ooh” and “aah” as light filters through the glass installations.
The Piers in Seattle
The Seattle piers hold activities all their own. With 1.5 miles of pier and beautiful bay views, you are going to want to allot yourself at least a half day to exploring the piers.
Seattle Aquarium at Pier 59
Pier 59 is the home of the Seattle Aquarium. With both indoor and outdoor exhibits, the aquarium is perfect for getting acquainted with both local and exotic sealife. Check out the Underwater Dome and feel like you are living under the sea!
Seattle Great Wheel at Pier 57
Pier 57 is where you will find the Seattle Great Wheel. This ferris wheel on the pier features glass-enclosed gondolas, which are great for year-round rides. Make sure to take some pictures from the top of the wheel. Also at Pier 57, Miners Landing is the perfect spot for lunch, dinner, or a pick-me-up snack. Amaze the family with a visit to Wings Over Washington while at Miners Landing. Wings Over Washington is a “flying theater” which will give you a taste of Washington in 15 minutes.
Argosy Cruises at Pier 55
At Pier 55, you will find Argosy Cruises. We took the Harbor Cruise and enjoyed the narration throughout the journey. We learned a lot of Seattle history and enjoyed being out on the water. When we go back, however, I hope to take advantage of the Lake Washington Cruise.
Ye Olde Curiosity Shop Pier 54
Ah, the Ye Olde Curiosity Shop. Sitting at Pier 54, this little shop is quite a different experience. Even if you don’t plan to buy, a walk around this interesting store will be enough to satisfy your desire for the weird and unusual. Kids will for sure love the creepy oddities and get a giggle or two.
Pike Place Market
I don’t think you can talk about Seattle and not mention the Pike Place Market. Basically a year-round farmers market, Pike Place Market has food, crafts, fish, and more. Make sure to watch out for flying fish as you go by! A walk through the market is an adventure all itself. With alleys and twists and turns, you never know what will be around the next corner. Try to find the Gum Wall while in Pike Place Market as well. It’s great to look, but don’t touch!
Woodland Park Zoo
What would a vacation be without a visit to the local zoo? The Woodland Park Zoo is 92 acres of animal and plant life. Divided into different zones featuring native species, you are sure to come across something you haven’t seen before. Children will especially enjoy visits to the Butterfly Garden and the Humboldt Penguin exhibit. There is also a Family Farm, Carousel, and a Zoomazium.
Whale Watching Wonders
One of the coolest parts of visiting Seattle is its location on Puget Sound. This waterway allows for some exceptional whale watching opportunities. One of the top tour outfits is Puget Sound Express. With decades in business under their belts and a can’t-be-beat guarantee (if you don’t see whales on your tour, you can take another tour for free!), Puget Sound Express is the perfect once-in-a-lifetime experience to share with your family.
Did you know that Seattle is the birthplace of The Boeing Company? One of the pioneers of aviation, Boeing has made a name for itself in all different sectors of aviation. The Museum of Flight takes a look at all different types of air and space craft. With indoor experiences and hands-on exhibits, the Museum of Flight is not to be missed. Let your inner pilot take to the sky!
Explore Outside the Seattle City Limits
If you will be spending some time in Seattle, I would definitely make time for one of these side trips, all within 3 hours of Seattle:
Tacoma– About 40 minutes south of Seattle, Tacoma has plenty to offer in its own right. With museums, parks and views of Mt. Rainier, Tacoma makes for a great day trip or even a one-night stay.
Mt. Rainier– Approximately 90 minutes from Seattle, Mt. Rainier is over 14,000 feet of glacial wonder. We went in the summer, and it was something else to see snow on the ground in the middle of July! There are plenty of activities to do within the park area and a scenic gondola ride really gives great views of the land. To see it up close is breathtaking!
Leavenworth, Washington– About 2 hours and 15 minutes east of Seattle, this little town was one of my favorite stops. Nestled in the Cascade Mountains, Leavenworth is outfitted as a Bavarian village. The whole experience makes you feel like you are visiting a different country. We stayed the night and woke up to beautiful morning mountain views. Make sure to visit the Nutcracker Museum and take a hike around the area.
Plan to Visit Seattle!
A visit to Seattle has so much to offer. It was truly one of my favorite trips and never felt overwhelming. The surrounding landscape and fresh air just gave our trip a new breath of life. This is a great family trip and something everyone should experience at least once.
Have you been to Seattle? What do you love about it? Let us know anything we missed or any under-the-radar spots that we should check out.