Seattle is a dynamic city with a lot to offer families. There are many sights that parents and children alike can enjoy.
Seattle Public Market Center: The Public Market is definitely a must-see when visiting Seattle. It’s a feast for all the senses. There are delis, bakeries, and seaside restaurants all along the market. You’ll find fresh seafood and fruits and vegetables you may never have heard of (such as fiddleheads and lychees). There are flower stands for as far as the I can see. You’ll also find many handmade goods including ponchos, hats, and scarves made from alpaca wool. Don’t forget to stop by the Master Calligrapher, Jin Bao Shu’s stand to get your child’s name written in calligraphy.
Gardens: There are many public gardens to stroll through in Seattle.
The Japanese Garden is a great place for families to enjoy. You can stroll through the grounds at your leisure. You can also join a tour, or watch a traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony.
The University of Washington Botanic Gardens offer tours designed for families. They include activities for kids along the nature paths. You can even elect to do a “Park in the Dark” family tour to see some nocturnal animals. (Just remember to bring your own flashlight.)
Don’t forget to include the Chihuly Garden and Glasshouse next door to the Space Needle. Here you’ll see amazing glass sculptures alongside nature’s beauty. There is a discount if you purchase combined Chihuly Garden and Glass and Space Needle tickets together.
Space Needle: Take the elevator and zip up over 500 feet into the air to the observation deck. You’ll have panoramic views of the city (if it’s not a cloudy day). Heading up at sunset can give you a breathtaking view of the Seattle skyline at night.
Seattle Aquarium: At the aquarium you can learn about sea creatures of all sizes from tiny seahorses and jellyfish to the giant octopus and sea otters and seals. There are daily dive shows that allow visitors a view into the ecosystem under Puget Sound. There are also plenty of opportunities for the kiddos to “pet” sea creatures such as starfish, sea anemones, and much more. Check with the visitor center (at the Public Market) before going as they sometimes offer a buy-one, get-one free admission coupon.
Seattle Public Library: Most people may not consider the public library on their list of sights to see when visiting Seattle. However this free and fun space has lots to offer families in addition to being a great escape from the heat or rain. The avant-garde and energy efficient building is a sight to see in and of itself. You’ll also find interesting works in the archives. Best of all (for families with young children), there is a separate large children’s area with doors that close it off from the rest of the library, so the kids can be as loud as they want. There are toys, puzzles, and of course books the kids are sure to find engaging. There is also a Starbucks Teen Center and coffee shop to keep other members of the family happy.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. There is so much to see in Seattle, WA. Hopefully, these suggestions will get your itinerary off to a great start.