Attention parents! Get out the calculator because it’s time to count your lucky stars. Not only do you get to hang with some of the coolest kiddos on the block (namely yours), but you get to do it in one wicked setting. Because Seattle is (as we like to say) a totally awesome place to raise a family. Read on for our favorite things about parenting in Seattle and tell us yours in the comments below.

photo: Angela Barton 

1. The great outdoors. Mountain to Sound, Seattle families get the best of all worlds. Skiing, hiking, boating, biking, camping; getting active with the fam is easy-peasy here.

2. Family-friendly foodie spots. If Food, Glorious Food isn’t our city’s theme song, it should be because the eats here are totally nosh-worthy. Best part? Many of our favorite eateries gladly welcome our mini-me’s, too. Cheers! 

photo: Kelly Sikkema via Flickr 

3. The rain. As if parenting wasn’t challenging enough already, Seattle parents do it in the rain. And do it well! Leave the umbrellas at home, we’ve got this one.

4. Year-round farmers markets. Three in the city and one indoors, it’s easy to go farm to table every day of the week!

photo: daveraley via Flickr

5. Our many colors. You don’t have to hit the International District to be immersed in Seattle’s many cultures. Our diversity shows up everywhere! Just check out local parades, festivals, museums, restaurants and more for our true colors

6. Summer. Enough said.

2 girls on Alki Pia VanHanen

photo: Pia VanHanen

7. Oh, the culture! Seattle Symphony. Pacific Northwest Ballet. Seattle Children’s Theater. These are just a few of the too-many-to-name, ah-mazing Seattle venues that introduce the Littles to the arts through spectacular programming and events. Bravo!

8. Zoo Tunes. Groovy tunes, an outdoor setting, and the kidlets still get to bed at a decent hour? Yes, please!

9. Eclectic parks. Sometimes it takes more than a jungle gym to entertain the tot lot. Gas Works, Oxbow Park and Camp Long are just a few parks bursting with character in the Emerald City.

photo: Allison Rasmussen

10. Ferries. Getting there is half the adventure on this classic PNW mode of transport. Plus, ferries are way more magical than buses and trains, as far as the wee ones are concerned.

11. Spray parks and wading pools. How much fun are these oases in the city and south of the city for kiddos and their parents? We say lots!

HP Spray Park

photo: Allison Sutcliffe

12. Houston, we have a troll. What better way to speak to the myth and magic of childhood than with our own bridge troll? Other cities wish they hosted monsters as cool as this one.

13. A killer (kindie) music scene. It’s hard not to crush on kindie artists who can make Nirvana kid-friendly or find the humor in the endless stream of participation trophies. Parents, we’ve got it good!

14. Snow! We don’t like to drive in it, but families love trading in school and work for unexpected snow days, complete with snowball fights, sledding down the street and steamy cups of hot cocoa with friends and neighbors.

Snow Day Emily Williams

photo: Emily Williams

15. Our neighbors to the north. We’ve got the easiest form of international travel around. A zippy ferry ride or a few hours in the car, and you’ve entered a whole new (well, sort of) world!

What do you love about parenting in Seattle? Leave us a comment and let us know.

—Allison Sutcliffe & Kristina Moy

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