Thank you for following our journey as we have been all over the country with our “See the USA” series, exploring the United States as we make our way through the alphabet. This week we have arrived at the letter S and Seattle, Washington. Hopefully you caught the best of Richmond, Virginia last week and Queen City (Charlotte) the week before. This week I have my friend Kim from Stuffed Suitcase sharing the top 5 family friendly things to do in Seattle, one of my favorite cities!
5 Family Friendly Things to Do in Seattle
There’s a reason Seattle is known as the Emerald City. Its lush greenery helps the city remain in color all months of the year, and yes, the wet climate contributes to that. But don’t let the thought of rain scare you away. With temps that remain moderate most months of the year, Seattle is a fabulous city to explore. Here are a few of our local favorite family friendly things to do in Seattle.
1. Ferry to Bainbridge
After moving out to Seattle and discovering ferry transportation, it soon became our must-do for visiting guests. The Washington State Ferry system serves as a vital transportation system for residents, but it’s also a great activity for tourists.
I recommend planning a ride aboard the Seattle to Bainbridge ferry. Try to do it as foot passengers to save money. You’ll get some great skyline shots of the city on your 35-minute ride across the sound, and you’ll have some fun wineries and shops to visit near the terminal on Bainbridge Island. Another great trip is the ferry to Victoria.
2. Pacific Science Center
Both of my girls love exploring the Pacific Science Center. The center has many hands-on activities and learning opportunities. My girls always love visiting the butterflies in the pollination garden.
The Pacific Science Center is also next door to the Space Needle and Experience Music Project, both of which might be of interest for some families.
While I hesitate to recommend something many would consider “touristy”, I put forth the Seattle Aquarium for two important reasons. The Puget Sound and Pacific Ocean are important symbols for many in Seattle. The aquarium does an excellent job of showcasing what amazing creatures can be found just over the side of the aquarium building.
The fact that it sits on the Seattle waterfront makes it supremely fitting for getting a taste of the Pacific Northwest sea life. Another important reason I recommend the aquarium is because it’s just down from Pike Place Market, a hugely popular tourist attraction. While the market isn’t necessarily for kids, it’s a great spot for adults to explore while promising the kids that the aquarium awaits.
4. Catch a Game
For sports loving families, it’s important to mention that Seattle is a city that loves it’s sports teams. With the Mariners, Seahawks, and Sounders competing in their signature bright green and navy colors, locals will wear their colors with pride as well. Keep in mind that attending one of these pro-level games will set you back quite a few dollars. Families looking to save money might consider attending one of the local minor league baseball or hockey games.
5. Ballard Locks
Heading out of the downtown area is my final family friendly Seattle recommendations. The Hiram M. Chittenden (aka Ballard) Locks are an engineering marvel, and the busiest locks in the nation. They work to raise and lower boats between the higher interior fresh water and the lower level Puget Sound.
Another big draw for the locks is the salmon ladders that you’ll often see filled with migrating salmon in the summer months. It’s a fun way to see these fish up close as they work their way from the lower level ocean up into fresh water to spawn.
The list could go on and on with more family-friendly activities in Seattle and beyond. Hopefully your travel plans will allow you a visit to this lovely city on the sea.
Have you been to Seattle? What’s your favorite thing to see or do?
Kimberly Tate is the founder and content creator of Stuffed Suitcase, a family travel & lifestyle website. She’s inspired by her own family vacations and home life with her husband and two daughters. Her blog is packed full of tips for family travel and life between trips, to help encourage others to create lasting family memories. In addition to Stuffed Suitcase, Kimberly also writes for TravelingMom.com as the Active TravelingMom, and co-produces Vacation Mavens, a family travel podcast.