Located in the heart of the Pacific Northwest, Seattle is a unique and dynamic city. With a reputation for great coffee, vast temperate rainforests, and a vibrant arts scene, the city is perfect for a family vacation. From educational attractions to kid-friendly food tours, Seattle will be a fun experience for the adults and children in your family.
Pike Place Market is a quintessential Seattle attraction you can’t miss. The variety of sites, food, and shops is enough to keep anyone busy for the afternoon. Kids particularly like Sweetie’s Candy shop and the Giant Shoe Museum. You might also consider a Chef-Guided Food Tour, which is kid-friendly and will introduce you to the best of the local food scene.
Take a tour to see the city's many hidden gems. There’s a chocolate indulgence tour that includes stops for cheesecake, hot chocolate, cupcakes, and caramels; the tour is guaranteed to satisfy the sweet tooth of adults and kids alike. For an experience specifically for children, check out the very popular Seattle By Foot Kid’s Tour. It’s designed with your little ones in mind, displaying some of the best of Seattle’s cuisine in a way that’s engaging for even the youngest participants. This tour includes stops at the Pike Place Market, the Seattle Art Museum, and the Public Library. If you're looking to see more of the city, check out the tour of underground Seattle. Your kids will love learning about the secret passages under the city streets.
The aquatic marine life will engage visitors of all ages on display at the Seattle Aquarium. The aquarium features otters, seals, sharks, eels, and even a giant pacific octopus. There are many displays to keep the kids engaged, including a touching pond where they can get up-close and personal with starfish and sea anemones. If you’re lucky, you might also get to see some of the animals being fed.
Seattle didn't get the moniker “Jet City” for nothing. Both you and your kids will have a blast learning about the history of aviation at the Museum of Flight. Take a peek inside a Concorde and explore the first Air Force One before checking out the kid-friendly flight simulators. There's also a Kids Flight Zone that features hang gliding simulators, helicopter cockpits, and a play area for preschool-aged children. If you and your family want to learn more about aviation, check out the Future of Flight Boeing Factory Tour. This tour provides an in-depth look at how airplanes are built and assembled in the Boeing factory north of Seattle. The tour is geared more towards adults, but if your child is over seven and into airplanes, they’re bound to love it.
Spend a relaxing day wandering the beautiful Woodland Park Zoo. Your kids will love watching the monkeys, Komodo dragons, rhinos, and the long-necked Giraffes. Take them to learn about butterflies in the butterfly garden, or journey through the tropical rainforest exhibit to look for the elusive jaguar. For toddlers, there’s Zoomazium, an expansive playground where they can climb and play. The playground is indoors, making it an excellent choice for those rainy Seattle afternoons.
Learn through play at the Seattle Children’s Museum. The museum provides a rich environment for young children to explore, have fun, and be creative. They have a wide variety of programs and exhibits where children can learn about the human eye, how sound travels, nutrition, and even foreign cultures. It’s best for children up to 8-years-old.
The science center is perfect for curious families. It offers a number of fixed and rotating exhibits. The Science Centre hosts demonstrations each day, giving children an opportunity to see science experiments first-hand. Check out the IMAX theatre for educational videos and documentaries on topics like Birds of Prey and Dinosaurs, or choose a recent blockbuster like Black Panther and Birds of Prey. The science center is easily accessible by walking from downtown, but take the monorail for an extra adventure.
Seattle’s answer to the London Eye, the waterfront Ferris wheel is fun for the whole family. Adults will appreciate the breathtaking views and scenery of the Seattle harbor, Elliot Bay, and the Cascade mountains, and your kids will love the ride! Don’t worry—the Ferris wheel gondolas are enclosed, so they’re safe for kids and stay dry on rainy days.
Also called the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, this interesting piece of nautical infrastructure was built to help move boats up and down from Lake Union to the ocean. Children will be interested in the fish ladder, which was built to allow steelhead trout and salmon to move upstream. When you’ve finished watching the fish and the boats go through the locks, take some time to wander around the nearby botanic gardens.
Check off another item from your bucket list and see all of Seattle from the iconic Space Needle, a must-see attraction is great for the whole family. Make sure you get a selfie from this stunning view of the city. Your kids will love the ride up in the glass elevator as well as The Loupe, the world’s only rotating glass floor.