Seattle might be the unofficial capital of the Pacific Northwest if you’re an adult, but the headquarters of Kurt Cobain and the birthplace of Starbucks might not seem to hold a lot of interest for most kids. But you’d be wrong. Seattle, Washington has a whole host of attractions that are perfect for kids of all ages. Your kids might actually learn something, too. Though it’s got a gloomy reputation, Seattle is a wonderful city for the whole family. Here are 12 destinations that prove Seattle has everyone in mind when it comes to tourism.
1. Take a Water Taxi to Alki Beach
Located in West Seattle, Alki Beach has a ton of great, inexpensive activities that kids will enjoy. Even if the water isn’t warm enough to take a dip, kayaking and paddle boarding are surefire hits with the kids. Lots of restaurant options mean that the kids can take their pick when they’re hungry. The water taxi alone is a fun activity for kids of all ages.
2. Tour the Seattle Underground
Score tickets for a labyrinthine adventure through Seattle’s expansive underground. Great for a rainy day distraction, the Seattle Underground is a popular attraction for people interested in the history of this great American city. You might want to punchase your tickets before you visit, because these extremely popular tours are often sold out.
3. People Watch at Pike Place Market
If you have some older kids to entertain, they’ll likely love the hustle and bustle of Pike Place Market. The popular food market is a great place to pick up some dinner materials (or some charcuterie for a picnic) and the volunteers hanging around can provide an impromptu history lesson for curious kids.
4. Grab Dessert at Full Tilt Ice Cream
Need to feed your kids’ sugar needs right away? Grab a table at Full Tilt Ice Cream, which has a huge selection of homemade ice cream desserts. The flavors are varied and all tastes are welcome. While you wait (or once you’re done) take advantage of Full Tilts assortment of classic pinball and arcade games.
5. Get Into Natural History at the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture
For the truly insightful kid, the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture on the campus of the University of Washington is a great place to explore the science and history of the world around us. When you’re done, the nearby U-district has a host of cheap, fun food alternatives.
6. Learn About Planes at the Museum of Flight
For budding historians, the Museum of Flight catalogues the entire history of man’s journey into the sky with several displays and tons of interactive exhibits to entertain your children. Take your kids and you might even be lucky to see a private plane land in one of the museum’s five fly-in parking spots.
7. Get Lost in the City’s Tidepools
Let your kid’s inner naturalist flourish with the various tide pools in Seattle. Simply install an app that will let you know when the tide has gone out and you can bring your kids to explore a new universe of sea stars, urchins, and a whole array of aquatic life that are exposed during low tide.
8. Catch Feeding Time at the Seattle Aquarium
If you’re looking for a great way to kill two hours, the Seattle Aquarium is perfect for your animal-loving tot. When you’re done in the aquarium, you can hit the city’s waterfront, which is right outside the Aquarium’s front door.
9. Ride the Ferris Wheel on the Seattle Waterfront
While you’re on the waterfront, take the time to ride Seattle’s iconic ferris wheel, the Seattle Great Wheel. Unparalleled views of the city can be had from the top of the wheel. You can even skip the line by purchasing your tickets online before you head out.
10. Soak Up the Moments at the Museum of Pop Culture
For pop culture addicts, the thrills don’t stop from the moment you soak up the incredible facade of the museum of pop culture. Ages ten and up will love the separate displays, and sci-fi fans in particular will get a kick out of the Star Trek souvenirs.
11. Spend a Day (or Three) at the Seattle Center
Seattle Center is the perfect place to occupy any and all kinds of kids. The Space Needle is a wonderful attraction, as is the Pacific Science Center, and the Children’s Museum. On a hot day, the International Fountain is a great diversion. When you’re hungry, the restaurants at the Armory have enough diverse options to please even the pickiest of eaters. You’re guaranteed to find something you love.
12. See a Tiger at the Woodland Park Zoo
Who doesn’t love a good zoo? You can wear out even the most rambunctious kid at the expansive Woodland Park Zoo, which has all the greatest hits: bears, giraffes, tigers, and Komodo dragons. The zoo has tons of fun activities, even on a rainy day, so you’re guaranteed a great time.