If Seattle is still on your mind following last night’s Super Bowl win, I think you’ll be pleased to know that Seattle is a fantastic city for kids. There’s so much to do, including many free activities that are must-do’s for you and your kids. Take a look at ten of my favorite kid-friendly activities in Seattle:
1. See Fish Fly at the Pike Place Market: Your kids will be awed as the fishmongers toss around fish at Pike Place Fish. Go in the morning on weekdays to avoid the crowds. Stop in the original Starbucks for coffee, then head to Daily Dozen Doughnuts for mini doughnuts. Before you leave, take pictures with Rachel the Pig (a huge bronze piggy bank), the unofficial mascot of the market, and stop by the gum wall.
2. Explore the Olympic Sculpture Park: Walk around the Olympic Sculpture Park, which is just outside the Seattle Art Museum. Kids will love checking out all of the art works on this nine-acre site. Or, head indoors to the Seattle Art Museum, which offers family programs, like painting and sculpture workshops. The Knudsen Family Room has dress-up clothes, musical instruments and building blocks.
3. Bug Out at the Seattle Bug Safari: Have fun at this live bug zoo where you and your kids will love exploring the behind-the-scenes world of insects. Housing more than 50 different species of insects, you can get up close and personal with spiders, scorpions, centipedes and more. Check into the scout programs for a more in-depth look at insects, their behaviors and roles in our ecosystem.
4. Wake the Fremont Troll: Not so much a grumpy old troll as a friendly concrete giant who’s been living under the Aurora Bridge since 1990. He may be clutching a Volkswagen Beetle, but don’t worry, the Fremont Troll is harmless. There’s plenty of area parking, as well as a variety of restaurants, so stop by for a bite and spend some time climbing and taking pictures of the troll.
5. Take in the Views from the Space Needle: Head up to the top of the Space Needle on a clear day for breathtaking views of the Seattle skyline and Mount Rainer. Even better, head up at sunset to see the colors reflecting on the mountains. If you get hungry, there is a revolving restaurant at the top that should enable you to enjoy the entire 360-degree view while you dine.
6. Be a Kid at the KidsQuest Children’s Museum: Children will love this hands-on, interactive museum that teaches about science, art and the world around them. Look for activity tables, waterways that allow kids to splash and play and a book nook where you can read with your kids at the KidsQuest Children’s Museum. Stop in on the third Thursday evening of each month when admission is just $1.
7. Splash in the International Fountain: When the weather is warm, head to the International Fountain so your kids can splish and splash in this huge fountain. Look for Super Shooters that send water up to 120 feet in the air. There are plenty of benches so you can sit down as your kids play. You may want to bring a change of clothes or put your kids in swimsuits before you head to the fountain.
8. Explore Pop Culture at EMP: The Experience Music Project (EMP) is a newer museum dedicated to exploring pop culture. Best enjoyed by school-age children, current exhibits showcase icons of science fiction, Jimi Hendrix, Nirvana and mythical worlds. You’ll even find sound labs that enable visitors to try out electric guitars, drums and mixing consoles.
9. Learn About Martin Luther King, Jr.: Head to Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Park, a public park featuring a dramatic sculpture at the center of the reflecting pool. Inspired by Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech, take in the sculpture, then stop to take a look at surrounding tiles that describe key events in Dr. King’s life.
10. Enjoy Kid-Friendly Amenities at Sea-Tac: Even the airport in Seattle is family-friendly with plenty of amenities for moms, dads and kids. As you fly in and fly out of Sea-Tac, look for car seats, stroller rentals, even private rooms for nursing mothers. Also, look out for the wooden rocking chairs, which are perfect for rocking babies and toddlers as you watch the airplanes go by.
Have you been to Seattle? What are a few of your favorite things to do there as a family? Let me know in the comments section below.
Photo Credit: Sandro Menzel