Does your kid shriek with delight when a bus passes by? Ever had to sit in the Costco parking lot counting train cars? Take your little transportation nut on a Seattle wheeled field trip this fall. Good news: kids under five ride free!
The first leg will be a bus ride that will take you to a Link Light Rail station. Kids love to sit up high next to the big bus windows and watch the sights go by; bonus points if you catch an articulated bus that bends in the middle! If you don’t have easy access to a station from where you live, check out Route 48. This is a long route that runs from Loyal Heights/Greeenwood, past Green Lake and the UW to the Mount Baker Transit Center. If you need to drive to the bus, consider parking at the Garfield Community Center, or use the Point-to-Point Trip Planner on the Metro Transit website to plan your own route. Remember to let your little one pull the cord when it is time to get off the bus! (For those of your who take Route 48, don’t panic! The transit center is the last stop, so don’t worry about missing it.)
If you haven’t been on the Link Light Rail before, it’s easy to navigate. All the stations have automated ticket boxes that take credit cards; go ahead and get a round trip ticket to Westlake for the adults in your party. Listen for the bell as the train arrives; the best part about this ride is that it goes underground twice.
Westlake Station is the last stop – take your stroller to the elevator or hold your toddler’s hand up the escalator for the next leg.
Refresh yourself with a hot chocolate or take a moment to visit the potty before walking to the Seattle Streetcar station at 5th Avenue and Olive Way. Tickets are available at the box on the platform or inside the trolley. Hop off at Lake Union Park – the penultimate stop on the line. Wander through the park and explore the docks at The Center for Wooden Boats – see if you can spot a dragon boat or a pirate ship!
Ready for lunch? Hop back on the streetcar downtown and enjoy the kid-friendly atmosphere at Tutta Bella Neapolitan Pizzaria at the Westlake & Denny station, right above Whole Foods Market.