No matter what the season, Seattle is chock-full of endless things to do with kids. But with so many options, it’s hard to know which Seattle activities are best for families. That’s why we’ve scoured the city and surrounding areas to come up with a list of the 100 best things to do with kids in Seattle. Whether you’re new to the Pacific Northwest, a Seattle native or a first-time visitor, scroll down and get ready to fall in love with the Emerald City.
photo: Space Needle
In no particular order….
1 Ride to the top of the Space Needle and take a selfie on the glass benches that extend out over the Needle. Psst…be sure to look down to see the ah-mazing view!
2. Suit up and go indoor skydiving.
3. This small but mighty museum on Bainbridge Island rocks a giant Lite Brite, an indoor sand box, a kid-sized grocery store and more, plus you get there by taking a totally awesome ferry from Seattle.
4. Take your little water bugs to one of our favorite indoor pools that boast everything from lazy rivers, to surf machines and water slides.
5. Get a first-hand glimpse at some of the most colorful and eccentric animals on our planet at this popular spot along the Seattle Waterfront.
photo: Seattle Aquarium
6. Head to Alki Beach via the West Seattle Water Taxi to rollerblade, bike or scooter along the paved trail. Then, make sand castles, put your toes in the water and enjoy a great meal with a fabulous view.
7. Spend the day at this Eastside haven that is bursting with fun parks, museums, play spaces and shopping malls to explore, along with delicious restaurants to feed your squad.
8. Visit the bobblehead company that makes POP! figurines out of every form of pop culture imaginable.
9. Too tired to cook? These restaurants offer fantastic food and the family-friendly environment you’ve been searching for.
10. Journey to the “Center of the Universe” to visit the troll who lives under the Aurora Bridge.
photo: Helen Walker Green
11. Venture to the Hiram H. Chittendon Locks to see the salmon migrate up the fish ladder from Puget Sound to Lake Washington, watch the boats pass through the Locks and explore the Carl S. English Jr. Botanical Garden.
12. Feed your kids’ need for speed at this nine-acre, four-story museum.
13. Go on a sweet factory tour and watch authentic “candy dippers” finish truffles. Then, try a variety of chocolates—from handmade truffles to creamy caramels!
14. From train tables to pinball machines, these Seattle-area eateries will keep your tykes occupied from start to finish.
15. Take a ride on Seattle’s iconic Ferris wheel and see the city like never before.
photo: Kristina Moy
16. Check out the cool exhibits and airplanes on display at Seattle’s one-of-a-kind aviation museum. Then, head outside to watch the planes take off and land at Boeing Field.
17. Spend the day (or weekend!) exploring Vashon Island.
18. Unleash your inner rock star, try brand-new indie video games, encounter alien lifeforms and immerse yourself in the history of pop culture at this iconic museum under the Needle.
19. Head to the Eastside to play at one of these beautiful lakefront beaches that also have fantastic playgrounds. Prefer an Eastside park with nibbler-friendly spots nearby? Try these parks and playgrounds.
20. Go behind the scenes of the coolest baseball field in America and while you’re there, check out its awesome menu curated by Seattle’s top chef and restaurant owner Ethan Stowell. Fried grasshoppers, anyone?
photo: Ben VanHouten
21. Ride the rails through the Upper Snoqualmie Valley aboard an antique train.
22. Lace up your hiking boots and venture to these outstanding vistas that promise post-worthy pics and plenty of memories.
23. Take a trip to this iconic Wallingford store where you can buy giant googly eyes, a bigfoot research kit and larger-than-life animal masks.
24. Learn all about Seattle’s rich history and what’s happening now at this awesome museum in South Lake Union.
25. Visit this sticky spot in Post Alley. Psst…don’t forget the hand sanitizer.
photo: Josh Grenier via Flickr
26. With over 150 hands-on exhibits spread over two floors and an Outdoor Discovery Center, you can’t really go wrong at this popular Olympia museum.
27. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a good time in the Emerald City. Check out these top attractions that are either free (or super cheap) for the 5 and under set.
28. See real mummies, genuine shrunken heads, a two-headed calf and lots of unusual things to pique you and your kids’ curiosity at this popular shop along the Seattle Waterfront.
29. Need to burn off some serious energy? Hit one (or more!) of these indoor play spaces that also boast popular birthday party packages.
30. Hang out with your favorite furry, scaly and feathered friends, in between play stops at Zoomazium, at this zoo in the city.
photo: Woodland Park Zoo
31. Break out the rain boots and grab your sand buckets—it’s time to explore the shores!
32. Take a tour under the city and show your kids what Seattle used to looked like when it was built in the mid-19th century.
33. Hit a hole in one at these fun and whimsical spots designed for kids and parents.
34. Head to the Seattle Center and let your kids run around this awesome fountain. Psst…bring a change of clothes and a towel because they’re gonna get wet!
35. Walk the trails of this popular park on Magnolia, check out the cool lighthouse on the beach and be sure to stop at the brightly colored playground which features tons of fun equipment for ages 2-12.
photo: Kristina Moy
36. There’s always something fun going on at this popular museum in Everett.
37. Planning a mommy-daughter day? Hit one of these spots and pamper your digits together.
38,. This Eastside museum received a brand-new home a few years ago, and along with the new digs comes new exhibits and experiences your kids are going to love.
39. Take a tour of Theo Chocolate—the first organic and fair-trade bean-to-bar chocolate factory in North America, located right in our own backyard!
40. Get up close and personal with the barn yard animals at this farm in the city—from goats to sheep to chickens, your kids will be singing Old Macdonald in no time.
photo: Kristina Moy
41. Tired of shelling out money for meals your kids only take a few bites of? Hit these spots where kids eat free every night of the week!
42. This bright and cheery museum boasts a large water table, a fantastically fun art studio, a climbable vessel reminiscent of an airplane-treehouse-fort and much more. The best part? It’s pay as you will.
43. Go whale watching!
44. This low-cost, family-friendly, outdoor activity not only offers a bit of adventure, but amazing sightseeing and a good workout.
45. Head to Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium to visit the tigers, camels and polar bears and to see and learn about the marine animals that call the Pacific Northwest home.
photo: Oona Copperhill/Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium
46. Take a trip to Seattle’s only water and theme park.
47. See and touch creepy crawlers of all shapes and sizes at these spots around the city.
48. Pinball wizards of all ages can test their mettle in a battle against the inevitability of the drain at this museum in SoDo.
49. Seattle is chock-full of beautiful gardens, but none are more inviting and more peaceful than these ones.
50. Shop for fresh fruits, veggies and flowers from local farmers and purveyors, visit the arts and craft vendors, try your hand at “tossing” a salmon and nosh on delish food at Seattle’s iconic Pike Place Market.
photo: daveraley via Flickr
51. If you’re ready to have some fun on the farm, hit one of these petting farms and zoos.
52. Spend the night (or the weekend!) living it up in luxe digs in the city.
53. Treat yourself and your kids to one of the best cupcakes in town!
55. Looking to trade city life for mountain life for a few days? Consider a visit to this premier, all-season mountain resort just 80 miles east of Seattle.
photo: Kristina Moy
56. Head to the top of Seattle’s very first skyscraper to see if you can spot your house and to enjoy tasty bites and specialty drinks.
57. Dust off your skates and relive your glory days at these retro-fun spots that have stood the test of time.
58. Watch your kids learn about what giving truly means at the Gates Foundation Visitor Center.
59. Explore this hidden gem tucked away in the Washington Park Arboretum.
60. Don your fishing gear, grab your fishing pole and head to one of these fantastic fishing holes—perfect for pint-sized anglers.
photo: Helen Walker Green
61. Introduce your sidekick to the Puget Sound region’s rich Native American Heritage with a visit to this island.
62. Take a tour where you can watch 747, 777 and 787 Dreamliners being assembled on the production line before they take to the sky.
63. It’s no secret that the Emerald City has some amazing views. Thanks to these family-friendly restaurants you can dine while enjoying some jaw-dropping scenery.
64. Take a ride in Seattle’s state-of-the-art flying theater where you can view Washington’s most scenic attractions.
65. We’re hard-pressed to find any kid who doesn’t love ice cream. Indulge your little one’s sweet tooth at one of our favorite ice cream parlors.
photo: Jolie Loeb
66. If you’re planning to be near the Space Needle, plan to spend some time at the Seattle Children’s Museum which boasts over 22,000 square feet of play space, hands-on exhibits, daily programs and art activities that are free with the cost of admission.
67. If you love craft beer, grab a pint with your pint-sized peeps at one of these Seattle brewhouses who not only welcome kids, but cater to them
70. Rain or shine, head to one of these parks and playgrounds for plenty of energy burnin’ fun.
photo: Bellevue Downtown Park via Yelp
71. Want to be wowed with the city’s food scene and find something on the menu to please palates of all ages? Beeline it to one of these restaurants that are parent and kid approved.
72. Home to awesome sculptures, giant art and interactive beauty—the Olympic Sculpture Park is a great way to get your kids appreciating art.
73. Catch a play at this awesome theatre under the shadow of the Space Needle.
74. A garden center might seem like an unlikely attraction for kids, but Swansons Nursery is a perfect spot to do some fish watching, participate in fun monthly activities and even meet reindeer and a friendly camel during the holidays.
75. What kid doesn’t like to nosh on these ring-shaped, filled, glazed or powdered treats? Or how about these gluten-free varieties.
photo: Top Pot Doughnuts
77. From kid-friendly restaurants and toy stores, to awesome bookstores and beaches, this Eastside locale was made for families.
78. The Emerald City offers a plethora of free story times all year-long. Book them now!
79. Visit these markets that are open year-round, and each have their own distinct vibe.
photo: Shahrzad Warkentin
81. From souped-up hipster havens to totally traditional lanes, these popular spots will have your kids shouting for strikes, spares and gutter balls!
82. Fly a kite at one of these picturesque spots around the city.
83. Venture to The Center for Wooden Boats to get up close and personal with tugboats, canoes and sailboats (not to mention the seaplanes taking off nearby) or catch a free Sunday Public Sail or the bi-monthly free Tugboat Storytime aboard the historic tugboat Arthur Foss.
84. Got a big day of shopping planned? Hit these popular shopping centers that also boast awesome play spaces to work the wiggles out.
85. Take your little chocolate lovers to one of these Seattle cafes that serve cups of hot chocolate that are a step above the rest.
photo: Shirley C. via Yelp
86. If you’ve done the local playground circuit more than you can count, branch out into new territory
87. Sunday brunch is the new Friday night! Head to one of these spots that are a bit fancier than your local diner, but definitely kid-friendly.
88. Visit the Seattle Chocolate Tukwila warehouse to see how they make their delicious bars and truffles and sample some during an Experience Chocolate Tour.
89. If your kids are (literally) climbing the walls, take a trip to one of our favorite indoor climbing gyms to burn off some mental and physical energy.
90. Want to go a bit higher? Take your little daredevils to this aerial adventure park known for its extensive high ropes course and three zip lines.
photo: High Trek Adventures
91. We’ve never met a kid who doesn’t love pizza. Here’s where to indulge in a perfect pie when you and your kids are craving the good stuff.
92. From farms and museums, to mountain hikes and bike rides, make a day of it in this gateway town.
94. Introduce your kids to this exciting team sport that has a simple concept.
95. Visit this Georgetown oddity commonly referred to as Hat n’ Boots.
photo: Allison Rasmussen
96. Take a sweet ride with your sidekick at this wickedly cool mountain bike course—it’s like Disneyland for mountain bikers!
97. From waterfront homes, to restored English cottages and Swiss Family Robinson-style treehouses, book a night or long weekend at one of Seattle’s best Airbnbs.
98. Get your culture on—without breaking the bank—by taking advantage of these free or cheap museum days.
99. Head to Crystal Mountain to reach new heights with your kids.
100. A visit to our state capitol is a must for any Seattleite. Plus, it’s easier than you’d think with kids in tow.