Ultimate Guide To 14 Things To Do In Seattle With Kids

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Lizzie Lau

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 Attractions

  1. Seattle Center & the Space Needle
  2. Pacific Science Center
  3. Chihuly Garden and Glass
  4. Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP)
  5. Seattle Center Monorail
  6. Seattle Children’s Museum
  7. Pacific Northwest Ballet
  8. Seattle Great Wheel
  9. Seattle Aquarium
  10. Olympic Sculpture Park
  11. Pike Place Market
  12. Seattle Art Museum
  13. T-Mobile Park for a Mariners Game or a Tour
  14. 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.

A beautiful butterfly at Seattle's Pacific Science Center
Things to do in Seattle for kids - Kids being goofy at Seattle's Pacific Science Center
Things to do Seattle with kids - Playing with the giant guitar at Seattle's Pacific Science Center

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.

Family Friendly Seattle Chihuly Garden and Glass
Family Friendly Seattle Chihuly Garden and Glass

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.

Things to do in Seattle for kids - MoPop Chris Cornell
things to do seattle kids - museum of pop culture

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.

A rainbow over the International Fountain at Seattle Center
Things to do in Seattle with kids – International Fountain.

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.

View of the Seattle Waterfront from the marina with the Seattle Great Wheel in the background
Seattle activities for kids – The Great Wheel.
On board a boat in the marina at Seattle's Waterfront
Seattle with kids – at the waterfront.

Seattle Aquarium

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.

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Ultimate Guide To 14 Things To Do In Seattle With Kids

21 thoughts on “Ultimate Guide To 14 Things To Do In Seattle With Kids”

  1. I can’t wait to visit Seattle. Even though I don’t have kids, I’d love to visit many of places you’ve highlighted like the Chihuly’s gardens, ballet and museum. Hope to get there soon!

  2. This is a great list. We almost made it, and now our son is too old to vacation with us, but I did just see that gorgeous Chihuly Museum on my nephews Instagram, he is out there this whole week! I am going to send him this post.

  3. We live in Boise, Idaho so we visit Seattle a lot. We love it. My parents actually met and married in Seattle. We love the Space Needle and this year went to the Children’s Museum too it was a lot of fun.

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