10 Things To Do In Seattle With Kids

Seattle is home to the highest number of Starbucks than any other city in the USA, meaning you’ll be caffeinated enough to drag your kids all over town. Which is a good thing, because Seattle has a ton to over kids, starting with these things…

1. The Space Needle is the breathtaking, heart of Seattle that you will see from any spot in the city. Head to The Seattle Center and ride to the top of that bad boy! You will get the best views of Seattle and did you know there’s actually a rotating restaurant up there? What kid wouldn’t be impressed with that?

2. Pike Place Market. The Pike Place Market is the fish throwing, coffee drinking, fresh fruit collecting hub of this great city. It is exactly what you see on every TV show or movie that has ever highlighted Seattle. You absolutely must take a stroll through the market and embrace the hustle and bustle of the vendors and visitors gathered there. There’s something for even the pickiest kids.

3. The Seattle Waterfront. The waterfront is just a short walk from Pike Place. When you walk the Seattle Waterfront you will pass a series of piers lined with gift shops, restaurants, and all kinds of tourist friendly activities. Be sure to catch a carriage ride or hop on the merry-go-round!

4. Woodland Park Zoo. Our zoo is home to tons of beautiful animals, a vintage carousel, and a brand new indoor “Zoomazium” that boasts a mountain cave, a rope bridge, and a 20 foot climbing tree! You can spend an entire day walking through the beautiful paths and bridges that lead you through all the different animal exhibits. If you’re lucky you might even catch a concert.

5. Alki Beach. Drive or ferry taxi over to Alki from the waterfront to spend some time building sand castles with a view! Alki is great for quiet time soaking up the sun (if you actually have it), playing volleyball, and for strolling the boardwalk. Rent a bike to make the most your afternoon there and stop by Pegasus, my favorite Italian restaurant for pizza and a drink!

6. Day Trip! If you have time for a day trip, I highly recommend jumping on a train or driving to Mt. Rainier National Park (about a 3 hour drive) for a close up peek at our most famous peak. Snoqualmie Pass is perfect for a day of tubing(about an hour drive), snowboarding, and skiing. And consider catching a boat to The San Juan Islands for a whale watching tour (we have orcas!) and a day at one of our lazy islands.

7. Underground Tour. This is a guided walking tour that begins at Pioneer Square and walks you through about three blocks of what used to be the main entryways and storefronts of old downtown Seattle. Lots of great information about Seattle, if you have kids with some patience.

8. Wild Waves. It’s not Disneyland, but your kids will LOVE this Six Flags amusement park. 40 minutes south of Seattle you will find this half water park, half enchanting village of rides for kids of all ages. You pay a one time entry fee and can spend the entire day exploring rides and water activities to your heart’s content. You do have to pay extra for the zip line, but my kids say it’s worth it.

9. Snoqualmie Falls. The falls at Snoqualmie are a sight for sore eyes and are only about 30 miles outside of Seattle. You’ll find a hiking trail, two observation decks, and luxury suites at the Salish Lodge. Don’t forget your camera – major photo opps here!

10. Lake Washington Parks. Lake Washington is yet another body of water that makes Seattle gorgeous. Choose one of a dozen parks lining this pretty lake that will give the kids somewhere fun to play AND allow you to take in more beautiful views of the city. Oh and also? Free. You can’t beat that. Got your own Seattle tips? Leave them in the comments!

About the writer

Mama Kat is a sarcastic mother of three with a busy home daycare that clashes with her desire to do nothing all day. Find her at Mama Kat's Losin It.


Hanna Jun 2 years ago

Will add: Leavenworth (approximately 2.5 hrs away from downtown Seattle). Nice little German style town.

Jenn L 3 years ago

If you have kids under 6 and you need caffeine or a drink, head over to Cafe Twirl. Nice play area, good food for grown ups and kids, good coffee, wine and beer.

Mary 3 years ago

My mom grew up in Seattle and I was out there at least once a year to visit my grandparents. I agree with everything on the list but also agree with Kellee. Gasworks Park and the Ballard Locks are a must. I would say a ferry ride is a must on the list. Ride either as a walk on or drive your car on and head up to the passenger deck. You don’t have to head to the peninsula either. For a longer trip, go to the San Juan Islands or a short trip, Bainbridge Island.
Of course, I just thought driving across the Montlake Bridge was awesome!

Kellee 4 years ago

Can I add a few?

Pike Place Market is a MUST, as Kathy says – and please don’t call it Pike’s Place – only tourists do that. :) While you’re there, head down Post Alley to the gum wall outside Market Theater. It’s totally gross, and kids love it.

The Fremont Troll is another kid pleaser, and it’s just down the road from Gasworks Park. Gasworks is pretty small as far as the nice city parks go, but it’s right on Lake Union, which borders the south end of down town – and it has the “skeletons” of old refinery machinery that kids love. There’s also a crazy hill at the park, great for flying kites and rolling down.

The Ballard Locks are a favorite too. Great for kids who are interested in boats. (The Locks are, essentially, a boat elevator between the ship canal and Puget Sound. Everything from pleasure boats to gigantic barges use them, and visitors have a front row seat (all for free). Cross the locks, and there’s a fish ladder – a must to watch the salmon runs.

Just down the road from The Locks is Golden Gardens, a large water front park. It’s one of two in-city parks with an actual sand beach (Alki being the other, which was mentioned above). Beaches around Puget Sound are naturally rocky, so these man-made sandy beaches are a treat in Seattle. Two other great waterfront parks are Lincoln Park in West Seattle (same neighborhood as Alki Beach) and Discovery Park. Lincoln Park sits right next to the Vashon/West Seattle Ferry dock, so you can watch the boats come in, and it has an extensive wooded “upper” park in addition to the waterfront. Discovery Park is enormous and requires a pretty good hike down to the beach. It’s an old military post, so there are some fun buildings and a lighthouse that the kids enjoy.

Another great road trip, if you have the time, is out to the peninsula to visit the Hoh Rain Forest. So gorgeous! (And the best way to get there from Seattle is via ferry, which is also always popular with the kids).

And The Elliott Bay Book Company is a must for any book worms.

Okay, stopping now. The point is, there’s a lot of cool stuff here!

Kat 4 years ago

And if you DO come visit, make sure to call me up for drinks! 😉

hilljean 4 years ago

The hubs and I visited Seattle last spring for a conference and I fell in love with it! I love the combo of mountain/city/ocean and all the artsy people singing on the streets. Also? Molly Moons. Holy smokes.

BloggerFather 4 years ago

The zoo is awesome. Wolves in the mist and stuff. I was actually there last month (wrote about it here)

    Selena 2 years ago

    If you are in need of a less stimulating experience try the Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma. It is set up in a series of loops (easy escape plan), there is a indoor aquarium, a antique carousel, and a kid’s play area. A lot less people, cheaper price and just as much fun.


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