What better way to explore your hometown with kids than to make like a Seattle tourist and ride the Ducks? You’ve seen them around town – the strange-looking boats on wheels that quack at you (this is known as a “quack attack”) as you walk along the waterfront or across the Fremont Bridge. Why not hop on, whether while out-of-towners are visiting, or just for a change of perspective with your kids?
Amphibious landing craft that were developed by the United States Army during World War II to deliver cargo from ships at sea directly to the shore, the Ducks were used in many successful missions during WW II and served the US Military through the 1960’s.
Each Duck is piloted by a Captain (all are Coast-Guard certified and have lots of experience on the water) with a unique name and personality to match. Your kids will love taking to the high seas with Captain Hope Itfloats and her fabulous purple feather boa, rocking the boat with Captain Helen Wheels and her Barbie drumsticks, or singing a sea shanty with Captain Beau Dayshush who has a hat and a theme song for every Seattle landmark.
While on the tour you will see most of the well-known Seattle tourist attractions including the Space Needle, EMP, the Seattle Art Museum, and the Olympic Sculpture Park, in addition to spending some time tootling around Lake Union. Even if you’re a Seattle native you’ll learn a few things you never knew about the city you call home – it’s like a history lesson on wheels (and the water!).
The best part of the tour, however, is that certain something that each Captain brings to the journey. You may find yourself singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” while driving past Safeco Field, doing Duck aerobics to the 70’s hit “Staying Alive” at a stoplight, or launching a “Quack Attack” on a total stranger crossing the Fremont Bridge. And every kid on board gets the chance to “co-pilot” the Duck while cruising Lake Union.
Duck tours run rain or shine and you won’t get wet inside the Duck, but it may be cold so dress for the weather outside. Food and drinks are welcome so feel free to bring lunch or snacks to eat or purchase them at the gift shop at the Seattle Center location. Tours last approximately 90 minutes and there are no bathrooms on the Duck so make sure to hit the head before boarding.
Duck tours depart daily between 9:30 am and 6:00 p.m. from the Seattle Center location at 5th and Broad and weekdays from 11:00 am to 5:00 p.m. and weekends from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm from Westlake Center (4th and Pine). Tickets are $25 for adults, $15 for kids 12 and under and babies 2 and under are free (but still need a ticket so be sure to mention your baby when booking). For just two dollars more you can get a Wacky Quacker noisemaker shaped like a duck bill (they sell for $2.25 in the gift shop) and a 10% discount is available for groups of 10 or more. Advance purchase is recommended, but walk-ups are welcome if space is available. You must arrive 30 minutes in advance of your boarding time. Call 206-441-3825 (DUCK) or visit here for more information or to reserve your tickets.