Things to do in Seattle with Kids – the Guide

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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 like a world (albeit a whole country), away. In order to keep things interesting, we have made it our mission to see, and do something new with the kids each time. Here are our top picks for where to stay, play, and eat in Seattle, when traveling with a baby, toddler or child of any age.

Things to do in Seattle with Kids

Seattle For Kids

What to Do – Family Friendly Seattle Attractions
Where to Stay – Family Friendly Seattle Hotels 
Where to Eat – Family Friendly Seattle Restaurants 

 

Take a peek at our 2 minute video on things to do in Seattle with toddlers and kids, or just read on:

 

 

 

Fun Things to Do in Seattle with Toddlers and Kids

 

Seattle by Foot – Walking Tour for Kids

Local moms Heather and Penny take you on an informative tasting tour of the Pike Place Market, to the Seattle Art Museum to make some art, and to the Seattle Symphony Music Discovery Center to try out some instruments. 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 (map)
Phone:  +1 (206) 508-7017
Cost: Private family tour $100 (2-5 people) or $150 (6-10 people)
Time: Flexible
Reviews: 97% of people rate as very good or excellent on Tripadvisor
Learn more at: seattlebyfoot.com

Seattle by Foot

 

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.

Address: 1483 Alaskan Way (map)
Phone:  +1 (206) 386-4300
For Rates and Hours: See www.seattleaquarium.org
Save Money: The Seattle Aquarium is included in the Seattle City Pass. If you are planning on visiting a lot of attractions this pass can save you money.

 

The Seattle Children’s Museum

The Seattle Children’s 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 are a little less than stellar.  Most parents complain that it is a little on the expensive side, but if you visit in the last hour on weekdays it is “by donation”.

Address: 305 Harrison Street at Seattle Center (map)
Phone: +1 (206) 441-1768
For hours and rates: See website.
Reviews: 65% of people rate as very good or excellent on Tripadvisor

 

Seattle Great Wheel

For a bird’s eye view of Seattle, don’t miss a whirl around on The Great Wheel !

Address: 1301 alaskan way (map)
Phone:  206-623-8600
For current rates and hours: see website
Reviews:74% of people rate as very good or excellent on TripAdvisor

 

Things to Do with Kids Seattle

Seattle Monorail

While not far from the downtown core, what better way to get to Seattle Center than a short ride on the monorail  (it only has 2 stops – downtown and Seattle Centre).  For busy kids who are happiest on the move, this is a perfect way to keep them happy and entertained.

Address: 5th Ave at Pine in Westlake Center (map) going to the Space Needle
Phone: +1 (206) 905-2600
For Hours and Rates: See website
Reviews: 69% of people rate as very good or excellent on Tripadvisor

 

The Seattle Space Needle –  Seattle Center

Experience Seattle from above by taking an elevator up 605 feet to enjoy the view. This iconic tower is a must when visiting Seattle. My kids also very much enjoyed all the interactive touch screen displays at the top.

Address: 400 Broad Street at Seattle Center
For Hours and Rates: See Space Needle website.
Reviews: 72% of people rate as very good or excellent on TripAdvisor.
Save Money: The Space Needle is included in the Seattle City Pass. If you are planning on visiting a lot of Seattle attractions this pass can save you money.

Seattle Space Needle

 

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.

Note: 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.

Address: 200  2nd Ave at Seattle Center (map)
Phone: 206-443-2001
For Hours and Rates: See website.
Reviews: 78% of people rate as very good or excellent on Tripadvisor
Save Money: The Pacific Science Center is included in the Seattle City Pass. If you are planning on visiting a lot of Seattle attractions this pass can save you money.

Pacific Science Center Seattle

 

MoPOP Museum of Pop Culture (EMP) – Seattle Center

Address: 325 5th Ave N, – Seattle Center (map)
Phone: +1 (206) 770-2700
For Hours and Rates: See website.
Reviews:72% of people rate as very good or excellent on Tripadvisor.
Note: We waited to visit this attraction until our kids were in grade school (6 and 9).  I would pass on it with toddlers.
Save Money: The EMP is included in the Seattle City Pass.

Experience Music Project Seattle EMP

 

 

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).

International Fountain Seattle Center

 

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.

 

artists-at-play-seattle

 

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.

Note: My children most enjoyed watching the bears fishing during feeding time, hand feeding exotic birds (a bargain at $1) and the carousel ride (also $1).

Address: 5500 Phinney Avenue North (map) – 15 north of Seattle by car
Phone: +1 (206) 548-2500
For Rates and Hours: See website
Reviews: 85% of people rate as very good or excellent on Tripadvisor
Save Money: The Woodland Park Zoo is included in the Seattle City Pass. If you are planning on visiting a lot of attractions this pass can save you money.

woodland-park-zoo


Seattle Museum of Flight

The museum is very well maintained and has some really interesting things for visitors of all ages, including the ability to climb aboard a retired BA Concorde.  There are also many cool activities for small kids including crafts, flight simulators and an interactive toddler area.  This museum is one of the top rated attractions in the city.

Note: My kids loved having their own flight ID tags made ($8 with chain)
Address: 9404 East Marginal Way South – 10 min south of Seattle by car (map)
Phone: +1 (206) 764-5720
For Rates and Hours: see website
Reviews: 95% of people rate as very good or excellent on Tripadvisor

Seattle Museum of Flight

 

Seattle Family-Friendly Boutique Hotels

Seattle has a lot of great family-friendly hotel options, but here are our top picks for boutique hotel lovers and also for those who prefer bigger hotels (with a pool).

 

Kimpton Monaco Seattle

 


Top Deals - Save on Amazing Getaways on Expedia!
Hotel Monaco Seattle – A Kimpton Hotel

Highlights: Nightly wine tastings, morning coffee and tea, newspaper, goldfish + kids robes for loan, pet friendly.
Hotel Class: 4 star
Rooms: Many configurations for families, including double queen rooms and suites with sofa beds.
Reviews: 91% of family reviewers rate as very good or excellent on Tripadvisor
Note: Join Kimpton Karma Rewards Program for special offers, minibar credit, free wifi and more.
For rates: See website or book now with Expedia.

 

The Alexis – A Kimpton Hotel

Highlights: Wine tastings, morning coffee and tea, newspaper, goldfish + kids robes for loan, pet-friendly.
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
Note: Join Kimpton Karma Rewards Program for special offers, minibar credit, free wifi and more.
For rates: See website or book now with Expedia.

 

The Hotel 1000

Highlights: Complimentary newspaper and wifi, rain showers, virtual golf, rubber ducky, glass of champagne/cookies and milk on arrival, pet friendly.
Hotel Class: 4 star
Rooms: Many configurations for families, including double queen rooms and king plus sofabed suites.
Reviews: 96% rate as very good or excellent
For Rates: See website or book now with Expedia.

 

Seattle Family Friendly Hotels with Pools

 

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: 96% of family reviewers rate as very good or excellent on Tripadvisor.
Note: My children are in love with the Space Needle Sundae served at the restaurant (worth a visit even if you are not staying at the hotel).
For Rates: See website or book now with Expedia.

 

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: 87% of family reviewers rate as very good or excellent on Tripadvisor.
Note: Check their specials page for deals such as 50% off an adjoining room or suite.
For Rates: See website or book now with Expedia.

 
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: 94% of family reviewers rate as very good or excellent on Tripadvisor.
Note: Check their special offers page for family deals.
For Rates: See website or book now with Expedia.

 

Family Friendly Hotel Near Sea Tac Airport (SEA)

Just passing through ? Check out this option as a great hotel for kids near Sea Tac.

The Cedarbrook Lodge

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.

For Rates: See website or book now with Expedia.

 

Family Friendly Seattle Restaurants

The following is a list of our favorite Seattle restaurants that will keep your kids happy, while still allowing you to feel like a grown up and enjoy great 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 +

 


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%

TASTE Restaurant (S.A.M.) (Northwest) $  (L/D) 80%

 

Seattle Desserts

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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