Planning your next family vacation? Don’t overlook quirky and beautiful Seattle – a short drive from Portland, Oregon or Vancouver, BC, Seattle can be a stop on a fun family road trip or a vibrant family vacation all on it’s own!
Here are some of the best kid-friendly attractions to check out in Seattle, Washington! (And if you’re up for a bigger list, check out our 101 Things to Do in Seattle!)
Seattle is an original, yet memorable target for a family vacation – offering a wide assortment of attractions that can appeal to any interest. As with any trip, family vacations require smart planning, grace under fire, and a little ingenuity at the best of times. Thankfully, Seattle’s options make it easy to find memorable stops everyone in your family can enjoy throughout the city and surrounding areas.
While Seattle is a very walkable city and boasts an excellent monorail system, shuttling you between major attractions and the hotel district, be prepared for lots of walking. Consider renting a car or hopping in an Uber to make transportation easier on little feet. You can also easily rent kid travel gear or equipment from Tiny Tots Travel.
10 Things to Do in Seattle with Kids
Seattle by Foot Kid’s Tour
This two-hour walking tour is designed solely with kids in mind while hitting some of the favorite attractions near Seattle’s waterfront – Pike’s Place Market, the Seattle Art Museum, and the stunning public library. While pricey, these tours are truly tailored to families and frequently sell out, so plan ahead and book early.
The Seattle Center offers countless attractions, museums, shops, restaurants, and gardens for a one-stop day for the entire family. Be sure to visit the observation deck of the Space Needle, the Pacific Science Center which features hands-on and kid-friendly science exhibits, and the Seattle Children’s Museum where kids can touch, play, and explore. The area also offers the Chihuly Garden and Glass for breathtaking glass sculpture inside and out. If you’re looking for a break or simply a free attraction, the Plaza boasts the Artists Play Playground kids will adore and live music and other attractions daily.
Visit Seattle/Alabastro Photography
Best Seattle Attractions for Kids
Pike’s Place Market
A classic Seattle stop that features a wide range of attractions for family members of all ages. Unique shops, local goods, and high-flying fish will keep everyone happy for a couple of hours. Across the street, you’ll find the first Starbucks store and several snack and gift shops along the waterfront.
Seattle underground tours
Visiting the underground tunnels of Seattle’s past offers an unforgettable experience for kids and adults of all ages. Experienced tour guides take you back in time to the somewhat nefarious and logistically complex history of Seattle. Several tour options are available, running daily and year round, lasting from 60 – 75 minutes in length. Check out Bill Spidel’s Underground Tour and Beneath the Streets.
Ballard Locks and Fish Ladder
A visit to Seattle would not be complete without appreciating the connection of the city to the water, and salmon. The Ballard Locks offers visitors the chance to observe the complex system of locks up close, watch salmon struggle upstream in the fish ladder, and a peaceful stroll through lush botanical gardens.
Golden Gardens Park
To enjoy the water and incredible Seattle climate, schedule some time at this park offering countless activities, including tide-pooling on the rocky shore, hiking and walking trails, a children’s play area, and art installations. Bring a picnic or your fishing rod and enjoy the breathtaking vistas.
What is a trip to Seattle without some java? Check out a local coffee shop whenever your fellow travelers could use a pick me up. Try Seattle Anne’s recommendations: Café Diablo, Caffe Ladro or Macrina Bakery.
Do you have a favorite Seattle Attraction for Families that I left off this list, or any experience with the ones that I’ve listed? Let me know in the comments!