If you can’t remember the last time you had a spontaneous family adventure or (gasp!) an unplanned Saturday afternoon, it’s time to shake things up a bit. No need to leave town, just put on your Seattle uniform (fleece jacket and Dansko clogs or Chaco sandals… bonus points for Mariners, Huskies, Seahawks or Sounders gear) and grab the gang. It’s time to act like a tourist for the day and visit (or revisit) our favorite touristy Seattle hot spots.

Kayaking Kids

Kayak Lake Union
What could be more tourist-y than kayaking past the houseboat from “Sleepless in Seattle?” Well, maybe kayaking Lake Union, latte in hand (or between your knees more likely), with sea planes overhead, Gasworks Park glittering in the background and a post-paddle snack awaiting you at Ivar's. Kids under 18 will need to paddle with you in a double kayak, but all the more fun. They can be your First Mate and scout out your next landing spot as you cross to the other shore. (Family race, anyone?). Even if you skip the kayaking, and opt for kite flying on the top of the enormous hill at Gasworks, Lake Union is not to be missed on your tourist-y day out. It’s easy to get to, has iconic Seattle skyline views and is the perfect jumping off point for adventures in the Arboretum (to the west) or the Locks (to the east).

Agua Verde Paddle Club
1303 N.E. Boat St.
Seattle, Wa 98105
206-545-8570
Online: aguaverde.com/paddleclub

Cost: $22/hour (double kayak) ; $17/hour (single kayak)
Open: Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-8 p.m. (last rental at 6:30 p.m.); Sat., 9 a.m.-8 p.m. (last rental at 6:30 p.m.); Sun., 9 a.m.-6 p.m. (last rental at 4:30 p.m.)

Note: Hours vary depending on the month and may change due to weather. Visit their website or call for current paddle schedule and weekday discounts and specials.

photo: Woodleywonderworks via flickr

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Did we miss your favorite Seattle tourist activity? Tell us where you like to take out-of-town guests or the fam in the Comments below.

— Katie Gruver, Kristina Moy & Katie Kavulla