If you’re looking for a way to move your family’s adventures to the head of the class, try one of these fascinating field trips around Seattle. From a secret sculpture park hidden in the forest, to the sweetest visit in town, these small group tours and experiences earn an A+ in fun. No bus needed!

In-Person Trips

photo: Dondi Budde

Price Sculpture Forest

Ride the ferry to Whidbey Island for this field trip that combines art and nature. Your destination? The new Price Sculpture Forest in Coupeville. Stop by any time between dawn and dusk to take an informative self-guided tour around the 16-acre property on two loop trails. Our favorite for families is Whimsy Way where your Littles will spy the beloved T-Rex, go ape over the gorilla and marvel at the Playa Flowers that were brought in from Burning Man. At each stop, you’ll get to hear from the artists themselves as they talk about their pieces standing right where you are. And the built in incentive of wondering what they’ll find next will keep kids motoring along the stroller-friendly trails. Fair warning—once they’ve done a loop they may want do it again!

Cost: Free, donations appreciated
Ages: All

678 Parker Rd.
Coupeville, WA
Online: sculptureforest.org

photo: Ted Huetter/The Museum of Flight

The Museum of Flight

Prepare for take off with The Museum of Flight’s premium tours. It’s a chance for aviation enthusiasts of all ages to go behind the scenes, see airplane artifacts and take jet-setting experiences in a private museum setting. The tours are available for up to four people from the same household. We think families will learn lots at The Firsts Tour… In Space where the Space Race of the ‘50s and ‘60s takes center stage. Or walk the red carpet at The Celebrity Tour starring planes and props used in some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters. The other tour available for families is all about Diversity in the Skies. It’s a chance to explore the backstories and innovation of flyers who broke the racial, sexual and cultural boundaries of the industry.

Dates & Times: varies, based on tour
Cost: $75-$100/person
Ages: 5 & up

9404 E. Marginal Way S.
Seattle, WA
206-764-5700
Online: museumofflight.org

photo: Seattle Chocolate

Seattle Chocolate Factory Tour

Live out your Charlie Bucket dream when you bring the kids on Seattle Chocolate’s Factory Tour. It’s 50 minutes behind the curtain at this Willy Wonka operation, where you’ll learn how the folks at Seattle Chocolate make their fabu confections, discover fascinating facts about the history of chocolate and even get a taste their signature chocolates to enjoy when you get back home. If you ask us, it’s totally worth the hairnet hair!

Times & Dates: Mon.-Sat., 9 a.m.-2 p.m.; Sun., 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Cost: $10/person
Ages: 6 & up

1180 Andover Park W.
Seattle, WA
425-264-2705
Online: seattlechocolatefactory.com

photo: courtesy MOHAI

Creating a Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt

Take a local civics lesson when you and your group embark on MOHAI's digital scavenger hunt around the South Lake Union neighborhood. All it takes is a smartphone and a willingness to track down clues and answer questions as you make your way around the neighborhood to see how civic action shapes a community. It’s the history lesson you’ve been waiting for. No classroom required! Plus, if you finish up by July 4, 2021 you’ll be entered for a chance to win a MOHAI membership.

Good to know: Families can also participate in this field trip virtually from home. Simply register to get the need-to-know details.

Cost: $10
Ages: All

South Lake Union Neighborhood
Seattle, WA
Online: mohai.org

Fort Nisqually Living History Museum

You don’t need a sweet DeLorean to travel through time with your group. Simply turn back the clock with a visit to the Fort Nisqually Living History Museum in Tacoma. Here, families will learn what pioneer life was like around Puget Sound in 1855. When you visit you’ll get to explore the old fort buildings, like the Factor’s House, Wash House and Smoke House. You'll really get a feel for everyday life at this globally connected settlement. Or wander the crop fields, orchard and meadows. Who knows, maybe your trip will inspire a new, old school hobby.

Good to know: Want to Fort from Home instead? You can find Fort Nisqually’s monthly virtual content on our events calendar.

Dates & Times: Fri.-Sun., 11 a.m.–4 p.m.
Cost: $9/adult; $6/kid, ages 4-17; free, kids 3 & under; $30/family (2 adults & up to 5 kids)
Ages: All

5519 Five Mile Dr.
Tacoma, WA
235-404-3970
Online: metroparkstacoma.org

Virtual Experiences

photo: Pacific Science Center

Pacific Science Center

If your crew misses the live presentations at PacSci, why not host one in your living room? No matter the age or interest of your bunch, you’ll be able to find a virtual field trip to match. Choose Wetland Wonders and Radical Reactions to captivate preschoolers. Or turn to Robots on Mars and Ecosystem Investigators that build on your STEM-loving grade school kiddo’s interest. No matter what direction you go, these programs bring science to life. Pricing starts at $200 and each program has a 40-minute run time.

Online: pacificsciencecenter.org

Bellevue Botanical Garden

Your kiddos don’t have to have a green thumb to really dig these virtual field trips that bring the Bellevue Botanical Garden’s Living Lab into your living room. With programs for preschoolers through fifth graders, there’s a little something for everyone. Whether your group learns about seeds, trees or soil, they’ll build an understanding of earth sciences by watching and doing. The best part? It’s all offered for free.

Online: bellevuebotanical.org

Mary Olson Farm

Your group may not be able to wander the Mary Olson Farm property or meet the animals, but you can still dive into local history and learn about the White River Valley region with this virtual field trip series. All it takes is about an hour or less to tour the farm house, wander through the orchard and even take a peek in the old barn and weaving shed to make your journey complete. Great for Littles with shorter attention spans, these quick clips make it fun.

Online: wrvmuseum.org

—Allison Sutcliffe

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