Seattle is synonymous with the Pacific Northwest and a must-see stop on any West Coast road trip. Here are some of my picks for 14 things to do in Seattle with kids. Download my free Seattle Guide with all the addresses, hours and ticket rates.
- Seattle Center & the Space Needle
- Pacific Science Center
- Chihuly Garden and Glass
- Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP)
- Seattle Center Monorail
- Seattle Children’s Museum
- Pacific Northwest Ballet
- Seattle Great Wheel
- Seattle Aquarium
- Olympic Sculpture Park
- Pike Place Market
- Seattle Art Museum
- T-Mobile Park for a Mariners Game or a Tour
- Museum of History and Industry
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Seattle Center & the Space Needle – hub for Seattle Kids Activities
Originally built for the 1962 World’s Fair, Seattle Center, the Space Needle and the Monorail, have stood the test of time and are iconic attractions. With multiple stages and pavilions, Children’s Museums, Seattle Center always has something going on and are the venue for internationally renowned events like the Northwest Folklife Festival, Bumbershoot and the Seattle International Film Festival. You don’t have to spend a fortune to visit the area. The kids will love hanging out at the International Fountain.
Pacific Science Center
The whole family will enjoy this museum where science is brought to life with their award winning interactive programs. Pacific Science Center.
We’ve never seen so many fantastic hands on exhibits. Our favorites were the butterflies and the bubble wall.
Chihuly Garden and Glass
World-renowned PNW artist Dale Chihuly’s work with glass is fantastical and captivating. I first saw it at the Arboretum in Dallas and was in awe at the detail and scale of the pieces on display there. The Chihuly Garden and Glass includes eight galleries, a garden, and the Glasshouse, where the sculptures colors and appearance change with the natural sunlight overhead.
Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP)
Music, science fiction, and pop culture all come together at the fascinating Museum of Pop Culture. The Frank Gehry-designed building looks like a smashed guitar from above, while inside, its colorful exhibits cover everything from the history of indie video games and horror films to Nirvana, the Seahawks, and more.
Seattle Center Monorail
Also built for the 1962 World’s Fair and designated a historic landmark, the Monorail links Seattle Center to Westlake Center (downtown) reaching a top speed of 45 miles per hour during the 1 mile trip.
Seattle Children’s Museum
The Seattle Children’s Museum is an 18,000 sq ft space full of hands-on exhibits and art, culture, and STEM/inquiry-based programming for children ages 6 months to 8 years. Nearby are also the International Fountain, which is a magnet for kids in the summer, and the “Artists At Play” Playground, a fun outdoor play area with a huge climbing structure, musical instruments & merry-go-round.
Pacific Northwest Ballet
This world renowned dance company performs a variety of classical and modern shows in Seattle Center’s beautiful McCaw Hall. See the Pacific Northwest Ballet website for performance schedule and tickets.
Seattle Great Wheel
A recent addition to the waterfront on Pier 57, the Seattle Great Wheel was built in 2012 and has become one of the most popular things to do Seattle with kids. Your ticket gets you three revolutions to take in the spectacular views.
Known for “The Window on Washington Waters”, a 120,000-gallon exhibit filled with Northwest sea life. Touching pools feature live sea stars, urchins and more in the Life on the Edge tide pool exhibit. Pop into the Underwater Dome for a 360° view. Enjoy a virtual trip to the tropics in the Pacific Coral Reef exhibit. Daily diver shows and animal feedings. Visit the Seattle Aquarium website for hours and tickets.
Olympic Sculpture Park
A 9 acre award-winning outdoor sculpture park on the waterfront a mile north of the Seattle Art Museum. Walk through Seattle’s largest downtown green space with views of the city, harbor and mountains, and admire all the sculptures.
Pike Place Market
Every list of Seattle attractions includes Pike Place Market, usually with a photo of a fish display. While it is a year round bustling market for fresh produce, seafood, and meats, there is so much more to it that tourists can enjoy. Delicious local cheese, pastries, gelato and more can be sampled while wandering the 9 acre market. Get takeout from one of the many food counters and find a place to sit and listen to the street performers. There are 200+ shops as well as a crafts market featuring 225 local and regional creators.
Seattle Art Museum
Seattle’s largest museum dates back to the 1930s and houses a massive collection of artwork. Check their website for current special exhibits and installations. The free, public outdoor extension of the museum, the Olympic Sculpture Park, is about a mile away at the waterfront.
T-Mobile Park for a Mariners Game or a Tour
Located in the SoDo (South of Downtown) district, T-Mobile Park (formerly Safeco) is an iconic structure on the Seattle skyline. If the timing is right you can take in a Seattle Mariners game, otherwise there are daily public tours of the facility as well as the Baseball Museum of the Pacific Northwest, and the Mariners Hall of Fame.
Museum of History and Industry
MOHAI’s permanent exhibit is True Northwest: The Seattle Journey and takes you through the Seattle’s origin story: from when Native American cultures first came into contact with Europeans to the city’s transformation into a major metropolis.