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 there are so many great things to do in Seattle with kids and family-friendly activities in Seattle, starting with these.
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?
While you’re in Seattle, you’ll want to take an 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.
Wild Waves is a family-favorite. It’s not Disneyland, but your kids will LOVE this Six Flags amusement park. Forty 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.
Woodland Park Zoo is a must-see Seattle destination. The zoo is home to tons of beautiful animals, a vintage carousel, and a really cool 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.
Best Places to Eat in Seattle
Pike Place Market has something for everyone. 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.
A brewery may not seem like the best place to eat with kids, but Peddler Brewing Company really is that good. The restaurant even boasts that it’s “dog and kid friendly,” with a play section for children to enjoy while mom and dad taste any of the dozen beers on tap.
Geraldine’s Counter Restaurant is another Seattle favorite. Geraldine’s serves breakfast all day and was recently proclaimed to have the “most decadent French Toast in Seattle.” The kids menu includes traditional options like chicken fingers and mac-n-cheese as well as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
Free Things to Do in Seattle
The Seattle Waterfront is a beautiful area to just walk around and explore. 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!
Alki Beach will take your breath away. 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 Pizza and Pasta, my favorite Italian restaurant for pizza and a drink!
Take a day trip to Mount Rainier National Park. If you have time for a day trip, I highly recommend jumping on a train or driving to Mount Rainier National Park (about a 3-hour drive) for a close up peek at Washington’s 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 (there are orcas!) and a day at one of the lazy islands.
Snoqualmie Falls are also worth a visit. 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!
And finally, you can’t leave Seattle without seeing 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.
This article was originally published on