Start planning your next family vacation with this list of the 10 best things to do in Seattle with kids. These Seattle travel tips for families will keep comfortable, happy, and entertained for an unforgettable experience.
Seattle with Kids
When we decided to go on a family vacation to Seattle we got a very mixed response. Most of our friends couldn't figure out why we'd be taking our kids to Seattle.
But why does vacation have to cater to kids specifically to be a fun, family destination? It doesn't.
Our girls love traveling and seeing new places. To date, our Las Vegas trip with the kids and Seattle have been some of their favorites.
And neither of these are what most people would be considered kid friendly. But any city can be ideal for families depending on how you travel.
So what's there to do in Seattle? There are so many fun things to do in Seattle with kids. From the popular tourist attractions to hidden gems, green spaces, and free spots. The entire family enjoyed our trip to Seattle and we didn't even do all of the things we could have.
If you're headed to Seattle you have so many family-friendly things to see. Prepare for your next vacation with my kid friendly Seattle tips!
Before you head out to do any of these you need to read my Seattle travel tips post first. This will give you the secrets of how to plan the ultimate family vacation. You'll learn some of the mistakes we made and what you should do differently to save time and money. Like making sure you sign up for the Seattle CityPASS here to save up to 46% off most of the Seattle tourist attractions below.
10 Best Things to do in Seattle with Kids
1. Chihuly Garden & Glass
I saw Chihuly glass for the first time in the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas. The lobby of the hotel was and is breathtaking. It's truly remarkable the shapes that blown glass can take on.
But the Chihuly Garden & Glass Museum in Seattle is on a whole other level. From the moment you arrive, you're greeted by large glass sculptures that only give you a peek of what's inside.
This was our first stop in Seattle. And while it started raining, we enjoyed every minute of the museum. Inside and out. My girls had a great time trying to figure out what some of the more abstract pieces resembled and likened some to something out of Willy Wonka.
Learn more about the Chihuly Garden & Glass Museum in Seattle here.
2. Pacific Science Center
When we travel, most spots are either a science center or a kids' museum. The Pacific Science Center combines the best of both worlds!
Our family spent hours exploring the Pacific Science Center. The center does interactive demos allowing children from the audience to join in with hands-on fun.
Despite several other field trips or camps going on, Brady was selected to help with a live science experience. She joined a scientist and two other kids to learn about the physics of bubbles.
The butterfly garden and petting starfish were some of our highlights. If you have boys or dinosaur lovers, they'll have fun learning about prehistoric times.
Start planning your visit to the Pacific Science Center here.
3. Space Needle (Seattle Must See)
No Seattle sightseeing trip would be complete without a trip to the Space Needle. This iconic Seattle attraction is one of the pricier spots but a must-see.
The heart of Seattle City Center, when we were there they were renovating the observation deck. They're now finished and the floor-to-ceiling glass walls along with the unique glass floors give incredible views of the area.
Get tickets for the Space Needle here.
4. Seattle Great Wheel
If you've already done the Space Needle, or want a comparable view without the long elevator wait, you have to go on the Seattle Great Wheel. On a clear day, you can not only see Centurylink Field but also see the snow-covered peak of Mount Rainier in the Olympic Mountains 60 miles away.
This huge Ferris wheel is located right on Elliott Bay at Pier 57. Each ride is 12 minutes long and makes 3 revolutions over 40 feet in the air allowing you to see the Seattle skyline. The cars are all climate controlled and can hold up to 8 passengers.
Get tickets and more info here.
5. Seattle Aquarium
After visiting the Pacific Science Center, we weren't expecting much to top it. While the Seattle Aquarium didn't top it, it was definitely a must-see.
My girls are all in for anything with animals are sea life so the Seattle Aquarium was a no brainer. But it got better than just seeing the sealife…you could touch it too.
The highlights of the aquarium were touching the starfish and getting involved in another demo. This time the girls were asked to help collect seawater from the Pudget Sound. The Seattle Aquarium tests for barnacle growth at the museum and the girls got a hands-on experience they have not forgotten.
Get more info about the Seattle Aquarium here.
6. Public Market Center aka Pike Place Market (Free)
This is one of the fun, free things to do in Seattle. Located along the waterfront, Public Market is the spot to check out the fishmongers tossing fresh fish. You can also shop the produce, flowers, and handmade items.
And across the street from Pike Place Market, you can visit the very first Starbucks. It's a tiny store and there's often a lot of people waiting to snap a pic or peek inside.
Find out the vendors and hours available here.
7. Gum Wall (Free)
While you're at Pike Place Market, go down the stairs and you'll reach a hidden alley. This is where you'll find the infamous gum wall.
The gum wall is obviously free and adding your own gum to the collection is encouraged. It also makes a fun and colorful backdrop for pictures. Just make sure little ones don't sneak any of it!
Learn the history of the Seattle Gum Wall here.
8. Pop Culture Museum
There's no better place to learn more about pop culture than the Pop Culture Museum. Since Seattle is the birthplace of grunge and Jimi Hendrix, there is no shortage of memorabilia from your favorite musicians.
Little ones will love the interactive experiences in the museum. My girls loved the Nintendo experience (the North American office is based in the Seattle area) where they got to play video games on various devices. And the interactive music experience where they could test out tons of different instruments and mix their own songs.
Kids of all ages will love the outdoor space with playscape, maze, and food carts. Check out the current exhibits at the MoPop Museum here.
9. Olympic Sculpture Garden (Free)
Our last day in Seattle was the warmest of our trip. And by warm, it was in the high line 60s. Since we had a red-eye flight, we were able to add in a trip to the Olympic Sculpture Garden.
We had fun getting out and taking in the art, but also the views. The Olympic Sculpture Garden is 9 acres of beach and garden located on the Seattle waterfront. It has unbeatable views of Elliott Bay which leads into Puget Sound and Bainbridge Island. This fun and free outdoor activity is great for kids of all ages.
Get the location and hours of the Olympic Sculpture Park here.
10. Seattle Children's Museum
We love going to children's museums together when we travel. While we didn't make it to the Seattle Children's Museum we've heard it is one of the best around with over 18,000 square feet of space.
The museum is one of the few kid's activities in Seattle that is a must for younger kids. Babies, toddlers, and preschoolers will probably enjoy this the most. If it's raining, this is a great indoor activity. If you have a mix of ages especially tweens or teens, I'd opt for the Pacific Science Center instead.
Start planning your visit to the Seattle Children's Museum here.
More things to do in Seattle with kids:
- Drive to Mukilteo
- Ride a ferry to Bainbridge Island
- Hike Snoqualmie Falls
- Woodland Park Zoo
- See the view from Smith Tower
More kid-friendly travel tips:
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- Alaska Travel Tips
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