Get the scoop on the best family activities in Seattle.

10 Ways to Celebrate Memorial Day Weekend

We know many Seattle families will be hitting the road this Memorial Day Weekend with cars packed full of camping gear. But for those families sticking close to home (you know who you are… been there, done that, never again with little ones), we’ve rounded up 10 family-friendly activities that will keep everyone happy and entertained over the 3-day weekend.

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Northwest Folklife Festival
There’s no shortage of fun things to see, do and eat at the 43rd Annual Northwest Folklife Festival. One of the largest free folk festivals in the country, this annual festival features over 7,000 diverse performers, participatory dances, workshops, arts and crafts, and food booths galore! For younger visitors, Folklife offers tons of hands-on activities in the new Discovery Zone including games, jump rope challenges, toy boat building, make-and-take mosaic art and pop-up puppets, Little Wing music education programs and much more. Bonus: On Monday, catch a special Kindiependent Showcase with kindie faves—The Harmonica Pocket, The Not-Its!, Recess Monkey, Johnny Bregar, and Brian Vogan & his Good Buddies. Friday, May 23 through Sunday, May 25 from 11 a.m.–10 p.m.; Monday, May 26 from 11 a.m.–9 p.m. (Discovery Zone open 11 a.m.-6 p.m., daily). Seattle. Free. All ages. Event details.

Jurassic Quest Return of the Dinosaurs
Calling all paleontologists! This spectacular traveling exhibit is making its debut at the Washington State Fairgrounds over Memorial Day Weekend and you don’t want to miss it. This is your opportunity to explore the world of dinosaurs in an exciting, educational, and fun way. Young paleontologists can see, touch, ride, and dig up their favorite dinosaurs and kiddos (big and small) will love the dino rides, bounce houses, fossil digs, face painting and dino crafts. Saturday, May 24 from 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sunday, May 25 through Monday, May 26 from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. $15 to $24 (under 2 free). Tickets required. All ages. Event details.

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Family Science Weekend
After you hit the Northwest Folklife Festival, take the fam to Pier 59 to learn about the cool science and research projects taking place at the Seattle Aquarium. In addition to lots of hands-on activities, enjoy special talks and demonstrations that will help the whole fam discover science in a fun way! Friday, May 23 through Monday, May 26 from 11:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Seattle. $14.95 to $21.95 (3 and under and members free). All ages. Event details.

Memorial Day Weekend Train Rides
If you and the kiddos are itching to get out of the city for the day, head east to North Bend and celebrate Memorial Day with a scenic 75-minute round-trip excursion through the Cascade Foothills and to Snoqualmie Falls. After your trip, be sure to explore the cute town of North BendBonus: To commemorate the holiday, the Museum is offering $5 round-trip train fare throughout the weekend to members of the military including active duty, guard, reserve, retired, and their dependent family members, with current military ID. Saturday, May 24 through Monday, May 26 from 11 a.m.–4 p.m. North Bend. $10 to $18 (under 2 free). Tickets required. All ages. Event details.

All aboard! Visit the Northwest Railway Museum for a unique living history experience that has been a part of western Washington since 1957. Northwest Railway Museum visitors can catch a train to another time where they experience how railroads influenced settlement and everyday life in Washington State. Full passenger round- trip excursions are 75 minutes long and begin on Saturday, April 5th. Each Saturday and Sunday through October*, the Northwest Railway Museum offers scenic rides through the Cascade Foothills to the top of Snoqualmie Falls. Visitors explore train cars, exhibits, and a Victorian-era depot while following in the footsteps of more than 1 million travellers who have passed through its doors since 1890. They also experience travel before the age of Interstate highways while seeing, riding and feeling the excitement of a working railroad with all of its bells and whistles. Regular trains operate weekends beginning April 5th and run through October 19th. Passengers board the train in Snoqualmie, 38625 SE King Street, at 12:01 p.m., 1:31 p.m. or 3:01 p.m., or in North Bend, 205 McClellan Street, at 12:31 p.m. or 2:01 p.m. Admission is: $10 children, $15 seniors, $18 adults, under 2 ride free. The historic 1890 Snoqualmie Depot and bookstore are open to the public 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. daily. Interested in becoming a Northwest Railway Museum member, go to www.trainmuseum.org. For more info call (425) 888-3030 or visit www.trainmuseum.org. *Regular round-trips suspended during Day Out With Thomas™, July 11-13 and 18-20, 2014

Big Top Rock: Dream On
This rockin’ family show will take place under Teatro ZinZanni’s iconic tent and will feature an awesome mix of rock ‘n roll and cirque performances. Your kids will learn to mosh; fans will transform into rockers; roadies will take flight; and stars will become legends! With a rock repertoire of timeless hits and a band made up of all girls (and one guy), this show isn’t just for kids. Saturday, May 24 and Sunday, May 25 at 11 a.m. Seattle. $19 to $22 (babes in arms free). Tickets required. All ages. Event details.

Memorial Day Weekend Run
If a run around the park is what your kiddos need to get the ya-yas out, lace up your tennis and participate in this fun Memorial Day run! Participants can choose a 5k, 10k or 15k run/walk as well as a Kid’s Dash. The 400-meter Kid’s Dash (for ages 2-10) will start 15 minutes before race time—giving you the perfect chance to run with your kiddo and get warmed up before your race. Insider Tip: When everyone’s done, let Fido run free in the off-leash dog park, just around the corner from the starting line. Saturday, May 24 at 10 a.m. Seattle. $3 to $34. Registration required. Ages 2 and older. Event details.

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Pine & 14th Family Day
The AstroTwins are celebrating the launch of their latest parenting book with day filled with family activities. Head up to Capitol Hill for book signings and mini astrology readings by the twins along with in-store activities, fire engine tours, hands-on photos activities, sweet treats and refreshments and much more. Sat., 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Seattle. Free. All ages. Event details.

Kitsap Harbor Festival
If you are looking for a fun day trip that also involves a ferry ride, this annual Memorial Day Weekend waterfront festival, held at both the Bremerton and Port Orchard downtown waterfronts, is sure to be a big hit. Get a close-up look at the tall ships, grab some local eats at the farmer’s market, catch a classic car show, and enjoy more than 50 food and craft booths and a fab KidZone. Saturday, May 24 & Sunday, May 25 from 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Bremerton/Port Orchard. Free. All ages. Event details.

Memorial Day at Seattle Children’s Museum
Join the folks at the Seattle Children’s Museum on Memorial Day to remember the great citizens who protected our freedom. Kiddos and families can honor those who have served our country by creating Memorial Day paper poppies and participating in other fun hands-on projects. Monday, May 26 from 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Seattle. $7.25 to $8.25 (under 1 and members free). Ages 10 months to 10. Event details.

Join us at the Museum on Memorial Day, as we remember the great citizens who protected our freedom! Kids and families can honor those who have served our country by creating Memorial Day paper poppies.

Memorial Day Ceremony
Teach your kiddos the importance of Memorial Day by taking them to this annual ceremony held at the Museum of Flight. The Museum will honor military service with patriotic music and a ceremony. Bonus: Veterans and active U.S. Military personnel will receive FREE admission to the Museum with identification. Monday, May 26 from 11 a.m.–1 p.m. Seattle. Free. All ages. Event details.

Are you sticking around town this 3-day weekend? What do you have planned? Let us know in a comment below.

–Kristina Moy

Photo credit: Northwest Folklife Festival, Northwest Railway Museum, Jurassic  Quest Facebook page, Seattle Children’s Museum

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