15 Things to do in Seattle with Kids – the Guide

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Things to do in Seattle with Kids

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Seattle with Kids – Intro

Since my kids were babies, we have been taking them on short road trips to Seattle (we live in Vancouver, Canada). It’s only a few hours drive from our home and has always provided us with an inexpensive getaway that felt a world (actually a whole country) away. In order to keep things interesting, we have made it our goal to see and do something new with the kids on each visit.

Following are our top picks for things to do in Seattle with kids, the best hotels in Seattle for families, and the top family friendly restaurants in Seattle. Whether you are looking for things to do with toddlers in Seattle or exploring Seattle with teens – we’ve got some great options here. In a hurry? Take a quick peek at our 2 minute video on things to do in Seattle with toddlers and kids, or just read on.



Save Money on Seattle Things to do with Kids

Once we have decided on the best things to do in Seattle with kids for any particular trip, we then set out to see where we might be able to save some money. Why pay more than you need to, right?

Some of the attractions, such as selected museums, have one day of the month when they are free. Other discounts include reduced ticket prices for AAA/CAA members and discounts for purchasing tickets online. I also like to check Groupon, where there are sometimes attractive discounted Seattle family attraction packages (more often in low season than in the summer).

I have tried to make note of all of the discounts I am currently aware of in my list of top family Seattle attractions below. Please feel free to comment on this post if you know of others. If you are planning on visiting a lot of Seattle attractions, you can save 50% or more on Seattle’s 5 best attractions with Seattle CityPASS. You can also check sites such as GetYourGuide.com which often offers discounts on Seattle top attractions (see their most popular Seattle tours here ).


15 Fun Things to do in Seattle with Kids


1. Ride the Seattle Monorail

Start your family fun in Seattle with a monorail ride ! Running from the Seattle downtown core (Westlake Center) to Seattle Center (2 stops only), this short ride is good fun for busy kids who are happiest on the move. If you are visiting Seattle without a car, this is a convenient way to access the many fun things for kids to do in Seattle Center.

For Hours and Rates: See www.seattlemonorail.com.


Seattle Center Monorail


2. The Space Needle –  Family Fun Seattle Center

Experience one of the top Seattle family attractions by taking an elevator up 605 feet to enjoy the incredible view. Hot of an extensive renovation, visitors can also now experience the world’s first rotating glass floor ! On a recent visit with 5 children, we found that the kids all especially enjoyed the interactive touch screen activities.

For Hours and Rates: See www.spaceneedle.com.
Save Money: The Space Needle is included in the Seattle City Pass. There is also a small Space Needle discount if you visit from 10am-12pm (up to $5 per ticket).

Fun for Kids in Seattle

Seattle Attractions for Kids


3. The Pacific Science Center –  Seattle Center

There are exhibits for children of every age at this excellent attraction, including a gated toddler play area, touch pond, rocket ship and live butterfly room. The outdoor water exhibit is also great fun on a nice day.

For Hours and Rates: See www.pacificsciencecenter.org.
Save Money: The Pacific Science Center is included in the Seattle City Pass. If you have a membership to a science or technology museum in your home city, and they are a member of ASTC Passport Program, you may gain free entry. See participating list.


Things to do with toddlers in Seattle


4. The Seattle Children’s Museum – Toddler Activities Seattle

This Seattle kids museum is a 22,000 square foot play space for kids ages 10 months to 10 years old. Throughout the museum are 13 exhibits that invite kids to imagine, play and follow their curiosity, including a man-made mountain, a real stage with costumes (salvaged from a theater company), a grocery store, a restaurant, a construction center and more.

Note: For many years, this was absolutely my children’s favorite place to visit in Seattle despite the fact that the reviews from parents can be a little lackluster (it’s a little pricey). That said, if you are looking for toddler activities in Seattle, this place can be a welcome reprieve in an otherwise exhausting day.

For Hours and Rates: See www.thechildrensmuseum.org.
Save Money: The Seattle Children’s Museum sometimes offers deals on sites such as Groupon. If you plan on visiting, I recommend doing a Google search beforehand.

Seattle with Toddler


5. MoPOP Museum of Pop Culture (EMP) – Seattle Center

The Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP) was founded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen as the Experience Music Project. The unique Gehry designed building regularly hosts very interesting exhibitions alongside its permanent collection. I originally took my kids when they were quite young and they were less than impressed (preferring the fantastic playground outside). The older they get, however, the more they enjoy it. On our most recent visit, for example, they loved the feature exhibition Marvel Universe of Super Heroes (runs until March 3, 2019). If you are looking for the best things to do in Seattle with a teenager, this could be a good option for you.

For Hours and Rates: See www.mopop.org.
Save Money: The MoPOP is included  as an option with the Seattle City Pass (you can choose between this Seattle family attraction and the Woodland Park Zoo).


Things to do in Seattle with teenager


6. Artists at Play – Seattle Center Playground

Simply one of the best playgrounds in Seattle for toddlers and big kids too, this one is conveniently located right beside the Seattle Space Needle. Make a day of it and enjoy all the attractions at Seattle Center.


Family Fun Seattle Center


7. The International Fountain – Seattle Center

No, it wasn’t my imagination, the fountain really was shooting up water to the beat of Pearl Jam’s Even Flow.  This water feature provides all kinds of free fun for kids as they run around to the music, dodging blasts of water. You may want to bring some extra clothes for your little one(s), as getting wet is almost irresistible (as is always the case with my children).


Toddler Activities Seattle


8. The Woodland Park Zoo

Even if you are not a huge fan of the modern day zoo, this one does a great job of educating children on the importance of wildlife protection. Exhibits include many activities for small children. There is even an excellent indoor play area and education center for little ones called the Zoomazium which is perfect for rainy days.

For Hours and Rates: See www.zoo.org.
Save Money: The Woodland Park Zoo is included as an option with the Seattle City Pass. The zoo also offers discounts online for AAA and CAA members.

Family Activities in Seattle


9. Seattle Museum of Flight

The Seattle Museum of Flight houses over 175 aircraft and spacecraft (including a retired BA Concorde), thousands of artifacts, and dozen of exhibits. There are also many cool activities for small kids including crafts, flight simulators and an interactive toddler area.  This non-profit museum is one of the top rated attractions in the city.

For Hours and Rates: See www.museumofflight.org.
Save Money: The museum is free on the first Thursday of each month from 5-9pm. They also offer discounts for AAA and CAA members.

Family Fun in Seattle


10. Seattle Great Wheel – Pier 57 Seattle Waterfront

For a bird’s eye view of Seattle, don’t miss a whirl around on The Great Wheel ! At 175 feet high, it offers spectacular views of Seattle and the Pacific Northwest on clear days.

For Hours and Rates: See http://seattlegreatwheel.com.

Children's Activities Seattle


11. Seattle by Foot – Seattle Family Friendly Tour

Local moms Heather and Penny take you on an informative family tour of Seattle’s Pike Place Market, the Seattle Art Museum and on to explore some of Seattle’s interesting architecture (plus much more). This is a great way for parents to learn more about the city while keeping little ones engaged.

Where: Tours leave from Pike Place Market information booth
Hours and Rates: Flexible times. Tours are 2 hours long. Private family tour $125 (2-5 people) or $175 (6-10 people)
Learn more at: http://seattlebyfoot.com.

Family Tours Seattle


12. Explore Pike Place Market

No visit to Seattle is complete without a visit to the bustling Pike Place Market. Visit in the morning with kids before things get crazy. Pay a visit to Rachel the pig (piggy bank) out front, snack your way through the aisles and visit the secret garden.

For Hours and Rates: See http://pikeplacemarket.org.

Seattle Attractions for Kids


13. The Seattle Aquarium

Aquarium highlights include the Window on Washington Waters, a 120,000 gallon tank holding sea creatures from the coast of Washington, two large touch tide pool tanks (a huge hit with children), tanks featuring jellyfish and the giant pacific octopus, harbor seals, sea otters, and colorful animals of the pacific coral reef.

For Hours and Rates: See www.seattleaquarium.org.
Save Money: The Seattle Aquarium is included in the Seattle City Pass.


14. See a Game

Seattle is a great city for sports lovers. While seeing a Seahawks game is out of the question for most due to the astronomical price of the tickets, Seattle Mariners (MLB) and Seattle Sounders (MLS) games came be much more affordable for a family. There is also the option of doing a tour of CenturyLink Stadium (Seahawks and Sounders) and Safeco Field (Mariners).


Seattle Attractions for Kids


15. The Seattle Art Museum

The SAM does a very good job with kids in that it has many programs for families as well as teens. We first visited when my kids were 3 and 6 years respectively and found it to be quite fun on a rainy day in the city (their favorite art piece was a giant toilet).

For Rates and Hours: See www.seattleartmuseum.org.
Save Money: The Seattle Art Museum is free on the first Thursday of each month (special exhibitions are half price).


Seattle Family Events


Seattle Hotels for Families

There are quite a few family friendly hotels in Seattle, but we have highlighted our favorites here.


Hotel Monaco Seattle – A Kimpton Hotel

Highlights: Nightly wine tastings, lobby morning coffee and tea, Frette linens, newspaper, kids robes for loan, Kimpton Kids special amenities.
Hotel Class: 4 star
Rooms: Many configurations for families, including double queen rooms and suites with sofa beds.
Reviews: 92%of family reviewers rate as Very Good or Excellent on TripAdvisor.
Perks: Join IHG Rewards Club for special offers, Raid the Bar minibar credit and more !
Check Rates and Availability


The Alexis – A Kimpton Hotel

Highlights: Nightly wine tastings, lobby morning coffee and tea, Frette linens, newspaper, kids robes for loan, Kimpton Kids special amenities.
Hotel Class: 4 star
Rooms: Many configurations for families, including double queen rooms and suites with sofa beds.
Reviews: 93%of family reviewers rate as Very Good or Excellent on TripAdvisor.
Perks: Join IHG Rewards Club for special offers, Raid the Bar minibar credit and more !
Check Rates and Availability


Loews Hotel 1000

Highlights: Complimentary newspaper and wifi, rain showers, virtual golf, kids arrival gift (12 and under), pet friendly.
Hotel Class: 4 star
Rooms: Many configurations for families, including double queen rooms and king plus sofabed suites.
Reviews: 93% of family reviewers rate as Very Good or Excellent on TripAdvisor.
Check Rates and Availability


The Four Seasons Seattle

Highlights: Complimentary newspaper, wifi and kids meals at restaurant, child-proofed rooms, kids robes and toiletries.
Hotel Class: 5 star
Rooms: Double/double rooms, adjoining rooms.
Reviews: 93% of family reviewers rate as Very Good or Excellent on TripAdvisor.
Note: We have sometimes popped by their restaurant (The Goldfinch Tavern) for dinner or happy hour even when not staying at the property. While their kids’ menu is not inexpensive ($13 per item), it allowed us parents to enjoy somewhere nice with wee ones in tow.
Check Rates and Availability


The Fairmont Olympic

Highlights: Complimentary wifi and newspaper for loyalty club members (free to join), baby toiletries, occasional surprises such as cookies and milk for kids (and even adults), fun seasonal events such as the “teddy bear suite” at Christmas.
Hotel Class: 5 star
Rooms: Double/Double rooms, adjoining rooms, suites.
Reviews: 89% of family reviewers rate as Very Good or Excellent on TripAdvisor.
Check Rates and Availability


Hyatt at Olive 8

Highlights: LEED certified, salt water pool, occasional surprises for kids including cookies and milk, kids menu, option to have baby supplies delivered to your room with Babies Travel Lite.
Hotel Class: 4 star
Rooms: Queen/Queen rooms, adjoining rooms.
Reviews: 91%of family reviewers rate as Very Good or Excellent on TripAdvisor.
Check Rates and Availability


The Cedarbrook Lodge – Family Hotel Sea Tac Airport

Highlights:  Free shuttle to Sea Tac airport, fitness equipment, complimentary snack lounge including Haagen Daaz ice cream, free wifi, and free continental breakfast (buffet on weekends).
Hotel Class: 3.5 star
Rooms:  1 king or Queen/Queen rooms
Reviews: 96% of family reviewers rate as Very Good or Excellent on TripAdvisor.
Check Rates and Availability


Family Friendly Restaurants Seattle

The following is a list of what we think are some of the best family restaurants in Seattle, that will keep your kids happy, while still allowing you to feel like a grown up and enjoy good food. If the whole idea of going out to a restaurant with your child terrifies you, please start with our page on restaurants with kids.

Percentage %  –  number shown is percentage of families that rated it “good” or “great” on TripAdvisor

Meals offered B=breakfast L=lunch D=dinner

Entrée Price  $ = under $10    $$ = $10-$15    $$$ =  $15-$25    $$$$ = $25 +


Family Friendly Restaurants Seattle


Family Restaurants Seattle

Wild Ginger  (Asian) $$$ (L/D)  89%

Elliot’s Oyster House  (Seafood) $$$ (L/D) 83%

Sazerac (northwest/southern) $$$ (B/L/D) 90%

Barrio Kitchen & Bar (Mexican) $$ (L/D) 83%

Purple Cafe Wine Bar (Northwest) $$$   (L/D)  91%

Mod Pizza (Italian) $ (L/D) 82%

Etta’s Seafood  (Seafood) $$$$ (B/L/D) 80%

Beecher’s Handmade Cheese  (Deli) $ (B/L) 92%

Blue C Sushi (Japanese) $$ (L/D) 84%

Pike Place Chowder (Fish and Chips/Chowder) $ (L) 93%

Nishino Sushi  (Japanese) $$$ (D) 94%

Six Seven (Northwest) $$$$ (B/L/D) 86%

Serious Pie Pizza (Italian) $$$ (L/D) 90%

Tulio Ristorante  (Italian) $$$ (B/L/D) 88%


Seattle Desserts

Molly Moon Ice Cream (Various Locations)

Ellenos (Frozen Yogurt) 100%

Bottega Italiano (Gelato) 95%

Top Pot Doughnuts  (Bakery) $ (B/L)  85%

Sweet Iron (Waffles) $ (B/L) 83%

Le Panier (Bakery) $ (B/L)  94%

Macrina Bakery  (Bakery) $ (B/L) 93%

Yellow Leaf Cupcake  (Bakery) $ (B/L/D)  84%

Gelatiamo  (Bakery and Gelato) $ (B/L/D) 95%



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