What do you do when you have kids and you live in one of the most beautiful and dynamic cities in America? Read on!

  1. Start the day off right at the famous Pike Place Market, and see all that it has to offer. Don’t miss the world-famous fish market, where fresh catches are quite literally tossed about!
  1. While you’re at Pike Place Market, there’s lots more to do and see. You can load up on a serious sugar rush at Sweetie’s Candy Shop.

  1. Enjoy an orange soda and vanilla ice cream Shugsicle at Shug’s Soda Fountain.
  1. Chew on some delicious seasonal dried fruit from Simply The Best.
  1. Savor some handmade cheese from Beecher’s.
  1. Enjoy the view of Puget Sound at Soundview Cafe.
  1. Relax and enjoy a very locally-sourced meal at Lowell’s.
  1. See what’s on the constantly-changing menu today at Steelhead.
  1. When you’ve had your fill of the market, head on over to the Seattle Center, where there are all kinds of activities for the choosing.
  1. To visit The Seattle Center and Pike Place Market on the same trip, the Seattle Monorail makes for a great shortcut.
  1. Be intrigued at the Seattle Center Sculpture Garden.
  1. Grab a bite to eat at the Seattle Center Armory.
  1. Get a revolving overview at the 605-foot high Space Needle, the icon of the city and the heart of Seattle Center.
  1. Have fun learning at the Pacific Science Center, designed by Minoru Yamasaki, the architect of the original World Trade Center in New York.
  1. Explore a kids’ playground designed by artists. Check out the 30-foot tall climbing tower!
  1. If it’s sunny out, kids can splash around in the International Fountain.
  1. Appreciate one of the world’s 11 Anne Frank Trees, descended from the tree outside her Amsterdam annex window.
  1. Introduce them to literature as they read the boulders at the Poetry Garden.
  1. Find out why Seattle is considered the glass capital of the world when you see the stunning glass sculptures at the Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibit (combine this with the Space Needle to save some money).
  1. Volunteer at the world’s biggest (and possibly first ever) parking garage rooftop community garden.
  1. Explore the influence of popular culture while surrounded by Frank Gehry’s groundbreaking architecture at MOPOP (formerly the Experience Music Project).
  1. See a kids’ play at the Seattle Children’s Theatre.
  1. Learn about music together when you sign up with Soundbridge at the Seattle Symphony.
  1. Double back and explore all the activities to be found where the City meets the sound at the Seattle Waterfront.
  1. Check out, and run around in, the waterfront’s Olympic Sculpture Park.
  1. Go in circles in the air on the Seattle Great Wheel at Pier 57.
  1. While you’re there, “fly” over the entire state at Wings over Washington.
  1. There’s a huge variety of other unique ways for kids and parents to enjoy and interact with the city. For instance, you can take an amphibious city and sound tour on a duck! (Actually, it’s an amphibious boat from World War Two!)
  1. Wear the kids out as you tour the city on foot.
  1. Try all kinds of delicious food from around the city with Savor Seattle Tours.
  1. Take a tour exclusively focused on trying lots of chocolate.
  1. Spend a dollar’s worth of quarters to see the entire collection at the Giant Shoe Museum.
  1. Stick something on the amazing and disgusting gum wall.
  1. Shop at America’s oldest comic book store.
  1. Try some Ellenos Greek Yogurt.

Check out Lake Union Park, where you can watch seaplanes take off and, um… land… on the waters of Lake Union.

  1. Go on a bike ride together along the Burke-Gilman Trail.
  1. Learn about mankind’s first century in the air at the Museum of Flight, especially the Kids’ Flight Zone.
  1. Look ahead! Kids over age 7 may enjoy Boeing’s Future of Flight exhibit.
  1. Be inspired to take action and make a difference at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Visitor’s Center.
  1. Explore and be fascinated by the concrete shapes and the lush gardens of the Freeway Park, a small marvel of civil engineering.
  1. Take your best photos of the unparalleled views from Kerry Park.
  1. Learn about all kinds of trees at the Washington Park Arboretum.
  1. Swim and play in all kinds of ways at Lincoln Park.
  1. Check out the Asian Art Museum while you visit Volunteer Park.
  1. Shop or sell on consignment at Kookaburra Kids clothing store.
  1. The kids may not find it so thrilling, but you can get their teeth cleaned.
  1. Explore the history and power of technology at the Living Computers Museum and Labs.
  1. Gain understanding of the world we live in at the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture.
  1. Discover all about what makes Seattle work at the Museum of History and Industry, or MOHAI.
  1. Check out the Kids Club for toys, clothes, and haircuts.

Fascinated by the light table at the Seattle Children’s Museum


  1. Visit a place made especially for them at the Seattle Children’s Museum.
  1. Shop with quality in mind at Bootyland Kids.
  1. Meet the animals that live at the Woodland Park Zoo.
  1. Take a King County Water Taxi to Alki Beach.
  1. Discover what lurks below the city on the Underground Tour.
  1. Take another tour to find out what lies Beneath the Streets of Pioneer Square.
  1. Baseball fans can tour the Seattle Mariners’ Safeco Field.
  1. Football and soccer fans will enjoy touring CenturyLink Field.
  1. Read a million books while surrounded by Rem Koolhaas’ world-renowned architecture at the Seattle Public Library (and use your library card to get free museum passes, too).
  1. Get soaked and scream at Wild Waves water park and Enchanted Village.
  1. Take in the grandeur of Snoqualmie Falls, just a short drive outside the city.

  1. Discover a new park each day for a month along the shores of Lake Washington.
  1. Look down from far above the Space Needle, and the rest of the city, from the top of Columbia Center’s Skyview Observatory on the 73rd floor.
  1. If that doesn’t work out for you, you can get up to the Starbucks on the 40th floor of the Columbia Center tower for free.
  1. Learn about small seacraft, and then rent one, at the Center for Wooden Boats.
  1. Enjoy a variety of water activities, including camps and kayak rentals at Moss Bay on the shores of Lake Union.
  1. Rent a kayak, but come back for some Mexican flavor at Agua Verde.
  1. Explore Green Lake on a paddleboat.
  1. Play all the pinball you can handle at the Pinball Museum.
  1. For extra fun, try combining pinball and ice cream at Full Tilt.
  1. Join the rush at the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park Seattle Unit.
  1. Take an excursion to Chief Seattle’s Tillicum, on Blake Island, via Argosy Cruises.
  1. Learn about marine life at the Seattle Aquarium.
  1. Take a tour of a chocolate factory.
  1. Learn all about old and new fire trucks at the Last Resort Fire Department.
  1. Race go-karts at Traxx Indoor Raceway in Mulkiteo.
  1. Go skydiving without a plane, indoors.
  1. Starting in the springtime, go ziplining.
  1. Get skateboard lessons from Skate Like a Girl.
  1. Go to Golden Gardens Park at low tide and meet the sea creatures of the tide pools.
  1. Jump through the rain wall at Westlake Park in the heart of Downtown.
  1. Visit the Kids Discovery Museum, or KiDiMu on Bainbridge Island.
  1. There’s also the KidsQuest Children’s Museum in Bellevue.
  1. If you’re near Everett, the Imagine Children’s Museum is right downtown.
  1. The Hands-On Children’s Museum is in Olympia.
  1. The Children’s Museum of Tacoma is convenient to much of the Puget Sound region.
  1. There are activities for all ages at the Frye Museum of art.
  1. Many Seattle parks feature indoor play areas for toddlers.
  1. See a movie at the Central Cinema dine-in theater.
  1. There are dozens of restaurants where kids can eat for free on certain days.
  1. Meet the troll who lives under the Aurora Bridge.
  1. Visit the animals of Kelsey Creek Farm in Bellevue.
  1. Buy the freshest produce at one of Seattle’s seven neighborhood Farmers Markets, spread throughout the city.
  1. Consider the nature programs offered at Discovery Park Environmental Learning Center.
  1. REI has excellent staff and services at its stores throughout the country, but there’s nothing like its flagship store in Seattle.
  1. See a movie in a park with the Almost Free Outdoor Cinema.
  1. Watch boats and ships traverse the Ballard Locks between Lake Washington and Puget Sound.
  1. Go on a hike together as a family.
  1. Jump as high as you can at Trampoline Nation in Federal Way.
  1. Browse the Seattle Mystery Bookshop for a good thriller to curl up with. There are books for all ages.

What do you think have you gone through this list yet? I’ve lived in the Seattle area for almost a decade and am still working on it.

Bonus: Read this book with kids to compare your adventures. 


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