15 Things To Do In Seattle With Kids

Updated On October 8, 2023

Nicknamed “The Emerald City”, for its lush forests, Seattle is a city that’s surrounded by water and mountains.

Located on Puget Sound in Washington State, the city is named after Chief Seattle of the Suquamish tribe.

It’s built on hills similar to San Francisco, so be sure to bring comfortable shoes when visiting.

Seattle is known for several things, not the least of which is being the coffee capital of the United States.

It’s also home to large tech companies like Microsoft and Amazon.

People of a certain age also know it as the birthplace of Grunge music, giving us bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains, and Soundgarden.

The rain-soaked city is also known for some quirky food concoctions like hot dogs with cream cheese.

Odd food choices aside, Seattle offers visitors a lot to do, from arts and culture to nature and adventure.

You’ll never be bored when visiting this town.

As for the kids, there are many options to keep them engaged and happy during a stay.

Read on for a list of exciting things to do in Seattle with kids.

15 Things To Do In Seattle With Kids

Space Needle
Space Needle

1. Space Needle – Seattle, Washington

Kids will love this iconic creation from the 1962 Worlds Fair.

The 605-foot tall structure gives visitors a 360-degree, bird’s eye view of the city and Puget Sound.

After you ascend in the elevator, you’ll be surrounded by floor-to-ceiling glass windows and even a rotating floor.

If you’re hungry after all that, you can visit the rooftop cafe for a bite to eat.

The Space Needle is open year-round from 9:09 AM until 10:30 PM each day.

Artists At Play Playground
Artists At Play Playground

2. Artists At Play Playground – Seattle, Washington

This artist-created playground caters to children ages 5-12.

It’s ADA-accessible and filled with fun, interactive art installations and galleries.

There are musical instruments, sliding tubes, a carousel, rope walks, and a dig-and-find gravel pit.

Kids can also use the listening stations and play mounds.

There are always music, plays, and dance performances to enjoy as well.


3. MoPop – Seattle, Washington

Created by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, MoPop displays historic moments in music, television, and film.

The museum uses pop culture to inspire learning and creativity.

There’s animation and technology around every corner to interact with.

A fully loaded learning lab and culture kitchen await you and your imagination.

An outdoor plaza has even more exhibits, places to eat, and shops.

All exhibits are sensory-friendly.

Woodland Park Zoo
Woodland Park Zoo

4. Woodland Park Zoo – Seattle, Washington

Open daily from 9:30 to 6:00, the zoo is about 92 acres and makes for a great half-day trip.

Opened in 1899, there are almost 1,100 animals.

Visitors can visit the Northwest Trail and see gray wolves, bears, lynxes, turtles, and elk.

Then move to the African Savanna and visit some rhinos, giraffes, and elephants.

There’s also a butterfly garden, a penguin exhibit, and a Tropical Rainforest area.

Be sure to stop by the Bugs Eye View exhibit for some live and animatronic insects.

There are several cafes around the park.

Wheelchairs are available at guest services.

Pacific Science Center
Pacific Science Center

5. Pacific Science Center – Seattle, Washington

The Pacific Science Center is the nation’s very first science and technology center.

It was opened, along with the Space Needle, during the 1962 Worlds Fair.

Exhibits include a tropical rainforest, adventures in sound, an interactive maze, butterfly farming, and more.

There’s also an IMAX theater, a laser dome, and a planetarium.

The center is open daily from 10 AM until 5 PM.

Seattle Aquarium
Seattle Aquarium

6. Seattle Aquarium – Seattle, Washington

Open daily from 9:30 AM until 6 PM, the Seattle Aquarium is a delightful plethora of marine life.

From salmon and seahorses to sea cucumbers and coral, kids will love strolling through the galleries.

There are six major exhibits, including Windows on Washington, (for a peek at indigenous sea life) and Life on the Edge of the Pacific.

Kids can also choose to feed and gently pet selected groups of animals.

Dining and souvenirs are available.


7. Gumwall – Seattle, Washington

One of the most unique (and disgusting) sites to see in Seattle, is the infamous Gumwall.

It all started with that one gross person, who, while waiting in line to see a show, decided to dispose of their gum on the alley wall and top it with a penny.

For whatever reason, many followed suit, and today, the colorful gum art is 8 feet tall, 54 feet wide, and contains approximately 250,000 pieces of gum.

While it’s extremely interesting, and a popular spot for photo shoots, it’s also been named the 2nd most germiest place on earth, just behind the Barney Stone in Ireland.

Seattle Pinball Museum
Seattle Pinball Museum

8. Seattle Pinball Museum – Seattle, Washington

Opened in 2010, the pinball museum’s concept was simple.

They wanted to showcase vintage pinball machines and create an interactive space where older people could wax nostalgic, and younger people could be introduced to the joy a game of pinball can bring.

Visitors can not only view the machines but play over 50 of them as well.

Vintage sodas and snacks are available as well.

The museum is open from Friday through Monday from 12-6.

Alki Beach Park
Alki Beach Park

9. Alki Beach Park – Seattle, Washington

A beautiful white sand beach and fresh, calm water await you right in the middle of the city, at Alki Beach.

It’s a great place to catch some rays and relax on the beach.

Kids will love playing in the calm, wave-free water.

There’s also fishing, boating, volleyball, and a picnic area.

Across the street is a vast array of restaurants and shops.

The beach is free and is open from 4 AM until 11:30 PM.

Museum Of Flight
Museum Of Flight

10. Museum Of Flight – Seattle, Washington

The largest independent non-profit air and space museum in the world, the Museum of Flight has over 150 air and spacecraft.

There are also tens of thousands of artifacts and vintage photos.

Be sure to check out the Apollo Space exhibit and help paint a mural.

You can also take a 3D interactive tour of select aircraft.

The museum is open daily from 10 AM until 5 PM.

Bainbridge Island
Bainbridge Island

11. Washington State Ferries/ Bainbridge Island – Seattle, Washington

Take an exciting ferry ride from Seattle to Bainbridge Island.

See the beautiful skyline and other sites of the city.

Watch for marine life as you cruise gently toward the island.

Once there, you can enjoy the forested grounds that include gardens and museums.

Take a break at the beach and go for a dip in the water.

Don’t forget to stop at the Japanese Exclusion Memorial to take a moment to remember those Americans that were persecuted during WWII.

Seattle Waterfront
Seattle Waterfront

12. Seattle Waterfront – Seattle, Washington

The waterfront pier area is definitely worth a stop if you want to do some shopping and are looking for a great meal.

Watch the boats go by as you enjoy lunch, explore the Olympic Sculpture Park, or stroll around Pikes Peak market for some great buys and unusual gifts.

There’s also an arcade and plenty of places for the kids to play.

Beneath the Streets Tour
Beneath the Streets Tour

13. Beneath The Streets Tour – Seattle, Washington

This fascinating, sometimes eerie 1-hour walking tour, will take you underneath the present streets of Seattle, to the original streets of the city.

That’s right, Seattle is built on – Seattle.

During the tour, your engaging and knowledgeable guide will explain how a fire in the 1890s destroyed much of Seattle, so they simply rebuilt upon the remains.

You’ll also learn about how the walkways have been used and misused over the years.

See remnants of the original city, and learn about the native people that walked the area before anyone else.

The Great Wheel
The Great Wheel

14. The Great Wheel – Seattle, Washington

Located at the waterfront pier, this iconic Ferris wheel is open 7 days a week from 10 AM until 10 PM.

The enclosed cabins, or gondolas, hold up to 8 people, or 1300 pounds.

The ride lasts anywhere from 12 to 20 minutes, depending on the conditions.

It does operate year-round in all weather, except winds above 55 miles per hour.

The ride is wheelchair accessible and appropriate for all ages.

The Museum Of History And Industry
The Museum Of History And Industry

15. The Museum Of History And Industry – Seattle, Washington

If you’re looking for an interesting rainy-day activity, this museum is located right in the water, it will definitely not disappoint.

Trace Seattle’s rich history from the native people and early settlers to its rich contributions to technology and music.

The exhibits are graphically appealing, so kids will stay engaged.

There’s also an outdoor area where visitors can explore a collection of wooden boats that once transported goods along Puget Sound.

A cafe is on-site for you to stop and grab a bite between exhibits.

Seattle Safety Overview

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Frequently Asked Questions

What's the best way to travel around Seattle?

The traffic in Seattle is pretty congested.

It’s recommended that you walk or bike if you can.

If not, take the light rail service.

What should we pack to go to Seattle?

When visiting Seattle, you definitely need to take a rain jacket, comfortable shoes, and some rain boots.

It’s also advisable to bring clothing you can layer, and that’s easy to carry.

What are the safest areas in Seattle for tourists?

Though Seattle is a pretty safe city overall, the best areas for tourists are West Seattle, Magnolia, Fremont, and Columbia City.

What are the best places to stay in Seattle with kids?

Some family-friendly hotels include The Staypineapple, The Grand Hyatt, The Edgewater Hotel, and The Country Inn And Suites.

1 Comment on 15 Things To Do In Seattle With Kids

  1. Seattle, also known as “The Emerald City,” is a beautiful and unique city with plenty of things to do for visitors of all ages.

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