After the first addition to the family, they say the second just adds to the fun. If this is true, then having three or more means all sorts of fun. That is, until you try to find an activity that everyone will enjoy. Since we know there is a fine line between a bored tween and a crying toddler, we’ve rounded up a handful of activities, in honor of National Siblings Day on April 10, that will bring out the kid in everyone.
photo: Allison Sutcliffe
Seattle Ferry Sunday Ice Cream Cruise
Ice cream is the universal language of fun. And the Seattle Ferry Service has created an afternoon Ice Cream Cruise that is equal parts fun and delicious for the entire family. The year-round, 45-minute cruise is short enough to not be too overwhelming for the Littles, but engaging enough for the older kids in your crew. While the smallest members of your posse sip on root beer floats and enjoy the sites and sounds of the ship, older sibs will find humor in some of the more silly commentary of the tour as well as some interesting tidbits about Seattle’s maritime history. And parents will definitely enjoy seeing some familiar places like the Sleepless in Seattle houseboat, Gasworks Park and the Dale Chihuly’s studio.
Good to Know: The ship’s interior is reminiscent of an old soda shop, with colorful half-moon tables and painted chairs lining the walls, and what looks like antique stained glass letting in light from above. Chess and checkers pieces are set up on painted boards all set to play, so you and your sidekick can have a wicked match while cruising around Lake Union. The chocolate root beer float is what they’re known for, but you can get a traditional one too, as well as an orange dreamsicle or strawberry cream just like grandma used to make. There are plenty of ice cream truck faves for the Littles to choose from (think drumsticks and ice cream sammies), in case fizzy soda tickles too much. And the prices won’t break the bank. Plan to spend between $2-$4 for each treat.
Insider Tip: The first cruise of the day is often the least busiest. Purchase tickets when you board the ship and be prepared with cash in-hand because they do not take cards for tickets or treats. BYO food gets a green light from ship’s captain, so pack a lunch or a light snack to level out the blood sugars after all that yummy ice cream.
Seattle Ferry at Lake Union (just west of MOHAI on Lake Union)
899 Terry Ave. N.
Seattle, Wa 98109
When: Sundays, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. (departs on the hour)
Cost: $12/Adults; $11/Seniors, $8/Kids (5-13); $3 for the under 5 set
photo: Seattle Aquarium
Explore a Tide Pool
Science meets adventure and plenty of family fun in something as simple as a tide pool. Living in the Puget Sound, there are plenty of places to find a quiet tide pool and enjoy everything there is to discover. Little explorers will love the feeling of the sand between their toes while older sibs can share their knowledge of the animals waiting in the wet sand. And with a plethora of places to explore tide pools at low tide, this could become your family’s new go-to activity.
Good to Know: The shared experience of finding a new creature in the shallow waters is enough to build some amazing memories. If you happen to catch a glimpse of a volunteer wearing a red hat, these are Beach Naturalists sent out by the Seattle Aquarium at very low tide to share information about sea life.
Tap Their Inner Rhythm at the World Rhythm Festival
For the last 24 years, drum enthusiasts from all over the world have flocked to Seattle for a special weekend event. The World Rhythm Festival is open to all ages and hosts a full day of activities for families. This is a chance to introduce the smallest drummers to the joy of sharing music, while older musical enthusiasts can join in as well. Whether the kids in your crew only want to only move to the beats or would rather attend a creative workshop, this event is all about connecting with each other through music.
Good to Know: Expand your kids’ knowledge of music through a fun workshop, attend a performance where everyone dances like no one is watching or explore new instruments. Families and opening up music to children are the focus of the first day of this yearly event.
Insider Tip: Drum rentals are $5 and give kids an extra way to participate in the public classes. There are over 100 free courses offered during the three-day event.
24th Annual World Rhythm Festival
305 Harrison St.
Seattle, Wa 98109
Dates: April 28-30, 2017 (Family day is Friday, April 28)
Get Beak to Beak With a Fuzzy Friend
Whether you’ve got little farmers or bigger farm hands, most kids melt when they come face to face with a four-legged friend. It seems no one really ever outgrows a petting zoo. And during the month of April, the Skagit Valley 4-H teams up with the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival to bring the fuzziest of friends out for visitors.
The animals, available for petting, talking to or just watching, include bunnies, piglets, goats, ducks, and chicks. While the Littles admire (or learn how to gently pet) their new fuzzy BFFs, older sibs can share their love of animals with the youngest family members. Psst… we guarantee everyone will giggle when the piglets let out a squeal.
Good to Know: The Tulip Festival offers a broad range of fun events that are either structured or self-guided. Beyond the petting farm, map out the local farms you want to visit and make a day of it!
Beaks, Noses and Bills 4-H Petting Zoo
13391 Avon Allen Rd.
Mount Vernon, Wa 98273
Dates: Saturdays & Sundays during the month of April
Cost: $5 donation per family
Still looking for more ideas? Consider a high-flying adventure at Wings Over Washington, a trek through the Georgetown Trailer Park Mall, a behind-the-scenes tour or an afternoon on the lanes at one of our favorite bowling alleys.
Does your family have a favorite go-to activity to keep everyone happy and entertained? Tell us in the Comments below.
— April Horning
Feature photo courtesy of Natalia Dotto Photography.