Just because it’s rainy and cold outside doesn’t mean you have to coop up your troop at home. The Emerald City offers a plethora of indoor activities for kids. From museums and aquariums to bookstores, art studios and trampoline parks, we’ve rounded up 35 rainy day activities to keep you and your crew from going loco during the drizzly months. Scroll down!
Plan a Day at the Museum
Sure, museums may be the go-to rainy day rendezvous places. But, they are for a good reason! Kids love them, they’re educational, they get you and your tiny monsters out of the house and the Seattle area is chock-full of fantastic ones. On the next drizzle or downpour, choose from any of the following adventure-filled museums to help you conquer the day:
photo: Jennifer B. Davis
1. KidsQuest Children’s Museum
Migrate out of the mist and head over to the Eastside to enjoy this hands-on, interactive children’s museum. You may remember this place o’ fun being located in Factoria Mall, but in 2017 the museum moved to a new home in downtown Bellevue. The fun and brightly colored exhibits are geared towards the 0-10 set and emphasize skills in science, technology, engineering, art and math. Kids love playing in the big rig, at the large train table, in the atrium climber, at the water gallery or in the story tree. Check out the Museum’s daily calendar for programs to fit your schedule. Your wee ones won’t want to leave!
KidsQuest Children’s Museum
1116 108th Ave. N.E.
Bellevue, WA 98004
photo: Daniel Stockman via Flickr
2. Pacific Science Center
Run from the rainfall and take your little Einsteins to Seattle’s premier science center. The PSC not only offers a safe haven from the weather, but most importantly it gives your young scientists a day to explore the many wonders science, nature and culture PSC has to offer. Flutter about in the Butterfly House, take in the critters in the living exhibits, see how the body works, play in the Science Playground or stomp around with the dinosaurs. You will experience all that and more during your visit!
Pacific Science Center
200 Second Ave. N.
Seattle, WA 98109
photo: Alaina Weimer
3. The Museum of Flight
Sprint in from the sprinkle and make a rainy day visit to The Museum of Flight. Your tiny Earharts and Lindberghs will go gaga over the full size aircraft they get to tour, the space exhibits they get to explore and the kid’s aviation play area they get to conquer. This huge museum will keep you tied up for hours as your mini pilots and astronauts learn about all things flight and space. Psst! Take advantage of free admission on the first Thursday of each month from 5 p.m.-9 p.m.
The Museum of Flight
9404 E. Marginal Way S.
Seattle, WA 98108
photo: Kristina Moy
Take a break from the torrent and pop over to MoPOP, Seattle’s Museum of Pop Culture located next to the Space Needle. This museum is so full of wonders your minuscule inquisitive types won’t know what to check out first. Get the feel for various instruments in the Sound Lab, step through the intricacies of science fiction or jump into the world of video gaming, MoPop’s got all this and more. And for all those Minecraft fanatics, celebrate the game’s 10th anniversary at the world premiere exhibit that combines immersive activities, photo ops, arcade play and more on display through September 7, 2020.
Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP)
325 5th Ave. N.
Seattle, WA 98109
photo: Seattle Aquarium
5. Seattle Aquarium
Wade in out of the wet stuff and add the Seattle Aquarium to your indoor rainy day fun list. All the delights of our local underwater habitat are there to greet you and your mini marine biologists. Wonder at the huge Windows on Washington Waters tank (and learn about the PNW waters from a real scuba diver!), watch giant Pacific octopuses eat lunch, dab at the sea cucumbers and urchins in the touch pool and surround yourself with your water-faring friends in the Underwater Dome. The Seattle Aquarium is a great option to get you and your little fishies out of the house and into some seriously fun aquatic adventures.
1483 Alaskan Way, Pier 59
Seattle, WA 98101
photo: Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium
6. Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium
Race out of the raindrops and add the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium to your rainy day, get-the-wiggles-out fun list. A zoo? In the winter? Why yes, because Point Defiance Zoo has two awesome indoor aquariums. Hightail it to the Pacific Seas Aquarium, a 35,000 square foot aquarium that was years in the making and now has its doors open to you and your nautical Nates and Nellies. Mingle with hammerhead sharks and sea turtles, touch sea stars, get a glimpse into the waters of the Puget Sound and be mesmerized by the moon jellies. You and your crew will be drowning in the wonders of the sea in no time. It’s indoor fun at its finest.
Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium
5400 North Pearl St.
Tacoma, WA 98407
photo: Seattle Children’s Museum
7. Seattle Children’s Museum
Yep, another great kid-centric spot next to the Space Needle is the perfect place to play the rainy day blues away. The Seattle Children’s Museum has over 22,000 square feet of play space with numerous exhibits to delve into as well as programs and activities that are free with admission cost. Send your tots around to figure out how gravity works in Cog City, hit up the play Eye Clinic (no pupil dilation required!), make art of all sorts, get your favorite munchies in the mini Metropolitan Market and more. This is yet another rainy day classic sure to occupy even your most rambunctious rascal.
Seattle Children’s Museum
305 Harrison St.
Seattle, WA 98109
Spend the Day Sliding, Climbing & Bouncing
Maybe a day at a museum or aquarium just isn’t your kids’ jam. No worries. Indoor play spaces abound in and around the city. And more than likely, there’s at least one near your neck of the woods that is worth a visit. From tunnels and slides, to climbing nets and bounce houses, here are some solid ideas to wear your suckers, er sweeties, out!
photo; Brigit Stadler/Life As A Voyager
8. Outer Space Seattle
Head on over to the newly-opened and innovative Outer Space Seattle, an out-of-this-world playspace recently opened by a West Seattle mom. This enclosed, inclusive, custom-built play area is perfect for astronauts 0-12 of all abilities. Let them climb inside the structure’s rocket, fly like a comet through the tunnel slides, blast through the ropes and rollers and overlook their friends in the bubble planet…Outer Space Seattle has got the right mix of awesome space-centric playthings. When tummies start to grumble, you can purchase pizza, sandwiches, salads, fruits, veggies and snacks, right on site.
Pro tip: This place is hoppin’ during Saturday open play. But not to worry, families can simply pre-register for two-hour play spots before heading over. Keep in mind, they are closed on Sundays for parties. Consider booking one for your future astronaut’s birthday to guarantee an out-of-this-world bash.
2820 Alki Ave. S.W., Suite #2
Seattle, WA 98116
photo: Jennifer B. Davis
9. JuzPlay Kids
Dash in from a drencher and get ready to let the kiddos let off that steam at JuzPlay Kids. Located in Issaquah, this cute indoor play space is perfect for the younger set. But don’t let the word “cute” deceive you. It’s actually a decent sized play area filled with tubes, big and little slides, ball launchers, climbing structures, tunnels and moving rides perfect for entertaining your wee one for hours on a less than ideal weather day. Watch your kids go berserk from the sidelines or, bonus, bring another parent friend along and chit-chat it up while you let your tiny buffaloes roam.
1430 N.W. Mall St., Suite B
Issaquah, WA 98027
photo: Allison Sutcliffe
10. Play Date SEA
Looking for a place to park your bum while your lovely lads and lasses go loco? Then, saunter out of the showers and head to Play Date SEA. With a huge play structure, ball launchers, fast slides and sky-high climbing options, this place is a mecca for happiness during the rainy months. Need another incentive to check it out? Play Date SEA has a café at your disposal, and it’s more than just popcorn and goldfish. They offer a full menu filled with kid and adult–friendly options such as pizza, salads, wraps and paninis, plus apps like hummus and mozzarella sticks as well as coffee and drinks (ahem, mom and dad!).
1275 Mercer St.
Seattle, WA 98109
photo: Arena Sports
11. Arena Sports
Hop over those puddles and hit up this one-stop shop for indoor fun. Sure, it’s a place for indoor youth soccer leagues, but it’s also so much more! With locations throughout the area (Issaquah, Magnuson, Mill Creek, Redmond, SoDo), each Arena Sports has an Inflatable FunZone to get out those rainy day wiggles out, and some even have bowling, laser tag and arcades. Make sure and check the FunZone times before you head out as each location offers different hours. Really, what more could a cooped up kiddo ask for?
Click here to find the Inflatable FunZone nearest you!
12. Dave and Buster’s
Guess what? There is only one Dave and Buster’s in the whole state of Washington, and we’ve got it right here in Auburn! Dodge the droplets and head down to D&B’s for an afternoon filled with every arcade game your gangly little gamers can think of. Grab a family table outside of the bar area (you’re free to stay as long as you like, just keep a coat in your booth and you’ve claimed it ’til you leave!) and set your little ones loose, Pac-Man style, to devour as much video game time as they like (or that your prepaid card will allow!). There’s also carnival-type games for your tiny Wreck-It Ralphs in addition to more sophisticated games for the bigger Donkey Kongs in your crew. Since you’ve got that table, take the opportunity for lunch, if you can wrangle the kiddos back into seats, that is!
Dave and Buster’s
1101 Outlet Collection Dr. S.W.
Auburn, WA 98001
photo: Elevated Sportz
13. Elevated Sportz
The weekends aren’t exempt from the drizzles, so when it happens, you might find that you have more than your precocious preschooler to entertain. As you know, the big kids need outlets, too! Avoid that precipitation and cloudy day fatigue and let the energy escape at Elevated Sportz Trampoline Park. With 10,000 square feet of bounce habitat, including a foam pit, a ninja course and trampoline dodge ball area, you will have no problem wiping the kids out. And tiny tykes, you aren’t forgotten. There is also a Kidz Adventure area just right for pint-sized sprouts. No better way to get the jumping beans out!
18311 Bothell-Everett Highway, Suite 140
Bothell, WA 98012
photo: Allison Rasmussen
Another indoor play space fit for both parent and child? Seattle, you have our backs! Escape the elements and head to the 1,800 square foot Wunderkind facility, dedicated to kiddos and their vivid imaginations. You’ll first enter the DUPLO space with bins full of pieces, just waiting for little hands. This area is also filled with train sets and figures for your young conductors to create their own train world. The older set will also find an upstairs room full of LEGOs, train tracks and the hit of the second level—a remote control train! Best part? Think of Wunderkind as a safe space where you won’t have to live in fear of stepping barefoot on a forgotten LEGO piece in the middle of the night! Psst…the other half of Wunderkind is for you, parents! Complete with a café serving espresso and coffee concoctions as well as sammies, salads, kiddo foods, and, wait for it, local craft beers and wines if you want to unwind.
3318 N.E. 55th St.
Seattle, WA 98105
Hit the Mall
Looking for an indoor play place for Little Mr. or Miss Wiggle Wart, but you also need to get some shopping done? On a the next rainy day, kill two birds with one stone. Seattle is full of ways for your minis to get the cloudy day squirmies out and for you to hit that flash sale you’ve been eyeballing. Scroll down to see some of our favorite shopping malls with fantastic play spaces.
photo: Jennifer B. Davis
15. Funtastic Playtorium- Factoria Mall/Alderwood Mall
Definitely one of the more active, crowded and wild of play indoor spaces, the Funtastic Playtorium is a large, friendly, ready-to-romp spot in Factoria Mall (with an additional location at the Alderwood Mall in Lynnwood). Don’t let the clouds keep you down. Head to this space to entertain your most climby-est, slidey-est adventurer. Within a huge meshed-in structure, kids up to 10 years old can tunnel, side, bounce, creep, climb, blast and ride. Unlike smaller play areas, it’s tough to keep an eye on junior the entire time, but the structure is sturdy enough for adults should you need to venture in and be a hero. Psst… bracelets are provided for adults and kids alike to monitor comings and goings.
Funtastic Playtorium – Factoria
4077 Factoria Square Mall S.E., Suite F-16
Bellevue, WA 98006
Funtastic Playtorium – Alderwood
3000 184th St. S.W., Suite 676
Lynnwood, WA 98037
photo: Safari Place via Yelp
16. Westfield Southcenter Mall – Safari Place
Don’t just hang at the homestead. Check out Safari Place at Westfield Southcenter, a prime play spot for kids under 52 inches. The facility is equipped with moving structures, padded surfaces, slides and a ball pit which are guaranteed to stimulate your sidekick. So wear out your little angels and then hit the Nordstrom sale. Bonus: Westfield Southcenter also has a free play space on the first floor if you need a quick drop-in area to kick back and take a break before your next stop!
2867 Southcenter Mall (2nd Floor near JCPenney and H&M)
Tukwila, WA 98188
2800 Southcenter Mall (1st floor by Crazy 8 and JCPenney)
Seattle, WA 98188
photo: Wiggle Works
17. Crossroads Mall – WiggleWorks Kids
Leave the low clouds behind and make a date with your little monkey to get all the wiggles out at WiggleWorks Kids in Bellevue or Puyallup. This soft indoor play spot, complete with moving parts, is a toddler’s dream. And the great bar stool seating along the counter makes is a no-brainer when it comes chillaxing, or keeping a covert eye on your little daring darling while he or she plays. The $10 weekday admission for the first kiddo ($8/child after that) in Bellevue includes a wristband, so you can grab food in the mall and then come back for more!
15600 N.E. 8th St., Suite F15
Bellevue, WA 98008
South Hill Mall
3500 S. Meridian, Suite 215
Puyallup, WA 98373
18. Northgate Mall – Children’s Play Place
If your neck of the woods happens to be north of Seattle near Northgate Mall, you can avoid the drizzle by stopping by the Children’s Play Place for a little indoor entertainment. The lengthy, enclosed play area is long enough for a few games of tag and perfect for getting lots of energy out. There are also comfy seats for parents along the perimeter, and lots of options for kids to explore (think: rocket ship, tugboat, car and slides!).
Children’s Play Place
401 N.E. Northgate Way (across from Old Navy)
Seattle, WA 98125
photo: Shweta M. via Yelp
19. Bellevue Square – The Kid’s Cove
If the cloud coverage is making you and your crew antsy and you feel like a Bellevue Square visit would be just the ticket for a pick-me-up, head to The Kid’s Cove located on the 3rd floor. Geared towards kids under 42 inches tall, this enclosed play space is home to soft climbing toys with fun maritime themes. There are boats to steer, a ferry to crawl through and lots of sea critters to touch and explore. There’s also plenty of room to sit with your mom or dad squad and catch up while your wee ones work out their wiggles. Psst…if you can’t get your sidekick to come out of The Kid’s Cove, entice him or her with a trip to Pinkabella Cupcakes, across from the play space.
The Kid’s Cove
575 Bellevue Square (3rd Floor, above Center Court)
Bellevue, WA 98004
Go to the Movies!
Maybe going to the movies seems like a no-brainer on a super soggy day, but going to the movies with your mini film aficionados is a crowd-pleaser, and should definitely be on your indoor funday list. Check out what these family-friendly theaters have to offer and plan a day at the movies for the next weather-challenged day!
20. Cinemark Theaters
Located throughout the area, Cinemark will give you and your mini movie lovers that quintessential movie experience. With nearby locations in Federal Way, Lincoln Square, and Point Ruston, there is probably a theater relatively nearby your area. Cinemark also offers discounted pricing and special showings, so check their website to see if your neighborhood theater participates and what discounts you can get your deal-seeking hands on. Psst…every Thursday at 10 a.m. at the Lincoln Square location parents and infants under age one can take advantage of the Mommy & Me showings, where parents and tots can watch current movies without having to worry about bothering other movie-goers with a fussy baby. Strollers are accepted and encouraged and the theater even leaves the lights on a bit brighter, so that parents can attend to their little one while they watch!
21. Regal Theaters
Throw a stone toddler-style and you will probably hit a Regal Theater. They’ve got locations all over Western Washington from Bonney Lake to Puyallup and Auburn, to Seattle, Tukwila, Renton, Redmond, Issaquah and Bellevue. There’s no doubt you’ve got a location close enough to easily pull your whole motley crew in and out of the drizzle. Check the Regal website for movie listings at your preferred location and don’t forget to check out their promotions link to see the Regal Value Days or if there are any buy one get one deals you can snag. Psst! If you’re a Regal Crown Club member, get 25% off candy every Monday or 50% off popcorn every Tuesday. Food for thought, quite literally!
photo: Skate Tiffany’s Roller Skating & Family Fun Center Facebook page
22. Rolling With Your Homies
Does your bevy of babes need more than a movie to get the energy out? What about a day at the roller rink? Strap on those rad rollers and get your giddy gliders out on the floor! There are several family-centric roller rinks around the area that are just waiting to take the brunt of your beginning skater’s flails. Seattle, Bremerton, Auburn, Federal Way, Lynnwood, Everett, Marysville, and Puyallup all have skate centers perfect for getting rid of the drizzle downers. Click here for all the insider details and tips on these local rinks. Then, get out there and show your budding bladers how it’s really done!
Hit Up Your Local Bookstore
Seriously, what’s more cozy than a bookstore when it’s raining? Hmm, not much. The next time you’ve got to get your bouncing-off-the-walls bambino outta the abode when Mother Nature rears her head, consider one of these amazing local bookstores. Here are some of our favorites for your drizzly day trip. And be sure to click here for even more bookstore beauties.
photo: Elliott Bay Book Company
23. Elliott Bay Book Company
Clouds moving in? Head over to Capitol Hill and visit the Elliott Bay Book Company. It’s a full service bookstore, home to over 150,000 titles, and features one of our area’s best selections of new books, including a stellar collection of children’s books. The bookstore has great character and an inviting atmosphere for book lovers of all ages. If you have a tween or teen, check out the Underground YA Book Group. The friendly and helpful staff can help you find the perfect book or spend time scanning the shelves to find something that strikes your fancy. While you’re there, be sure to visit Little Oddfellows, the cozy, in-house café that offers baked goods, sandwiches, coffee from Caffe Vita and beer and wine for the more mature patrons.
Elliott Bay Book Company
1521 10th Ave.
Seattle, WA 98122
photo: Third Place Books Lake Forest Park Facebook page
24. Third Place Books
Third Place Books is more than a bookstore; it’s a community gathering place where families, friends, and neighbors can connect over a love of books and playfully lament over the lack of sun. With three Seattle-area locations, you can find one close by that has just what you’re looking for. The flagship store in Lake Forest Park offers a large public commons area, three restaurants, free WiFi and a jam-packed events calendar. Moms and dads, perch yourself at the half-wall, hit up the Honey Bear Bakery and let your toddlers giggle with glee in the safe, enclosed play space. Then, consider breaking up the day with story time at the Lake Forest Park library (just below the bookstore) where kids can participate in toddler story time on Wednesdays at 10 a.m. or hear stories for preschoolers on Wednesdays at 11 a.m.
Town Center at Lake Forest Park
17171 Bothell Way N.E.
Lake Forest Park, WA 98155
25. Secret Garden Bookshop
Just off bustling Market Street in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood, you’ll find Secret Garden Books. This full-service, independent bookstore offers something for everyone, but their primary focus is children’s literature. Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, this neighborhood icon continues to expand its positive impact on our local community by featuring author visits, cultural events and book fairs. The knowledgeable staff includes longtime booksellers who are ready to help pick out books for all readers. And they offer two special book groups for young readers: The Young Readers Society for ages 8–11 and the Teen Book Club for ages 11–14. For the wee ones, there are toddler-sized tables perfect for looking at books. Stop by and peruse the shelves (and shelves!) of books that are waiting to spark your child’s imagination.
Secret Garden Books
2214 N.W. Market St.
Seattle, WA 98107
photo: Abbey McGee
26. University Bookstore
You don’t have to be a Husky to enjoy the University Bookstore. Yes, the store is filled to the brim with purple and gold, but it also boasts an amazing children’s lit department. Don your raincoats and head to the UW Bookstore which has morphed into a Seattle-area favorite, serving every reader from college student to preschooler. The main U-District location hosts dramatic readings of the best in new and class kids’ books, as well as a graphic novel book club geared towards future cartoonists and comic book fans the second Wednesday of every month at 3:30 p.m. The Mill Creek location hosts a weekly story time, complete with refreshments for readers ages 3–7 on Wednesdays at 11 a.m. Check the calendar at your go-to location for what’s on the ever-changing agenda.
To find a location near you, click here.
27. Indoor Pools
Dreaming about lounging by the pool? Grab your pool floats, goggles and cooped up kids and head to one of our favorite indoor pools for lots of energy burning fun. It’s an easy and fun way to banish those rainy day blues. Click here for the all the deets!
photo: Snohomish School District
Pass the Day With Pottery
Hey, mini Monets! You know what’s a fab way to brighten a gray day? Throw some art in it! It can be sunny inside even if it isn’t on the outside. Consider taking your angels to a create-your-own-pottery studio the next time it downpours or when the wee ones are going cuckoo. Check out these amazing art studios below or click here for additional shops and details!
photo: Color Me Mine-Mill Creek Facebook page
28. Color Me Mine
This cheery (not dreary!) spot in the Mill Creek Town Center offers you and your tots (all ages welcome—they even have high chairs for the Littles) the chance to create a pottery masterpiece in a fun setting. Studio fees are only $6/kids and $8/adults with pottery averaging $14, plus you can come back as many times as you want to finish your creation with no additional fees (perfect for moms of wee ones who can only handle an hour of art time). Just pick up your glazed and fired piece in a week’s time and you’ll have a rainy day keepsake to treasure for years.
Color Me Mine
15603 Main St, #105
Mill Creek, WA 98012
photo: Mudhouse Pottery
29. Mudhouse Pottery Painting
This relaxed studio in Gilman Village offers daily hours for any time the pottery painting bug bites you. There are no studio fees and their prices range from $12 to $45, depending on the piece you choose. Their friendly staff will also help you with your arty ideas, and when you’ve completed your masterpiece, they’ll glaze it, fire it and have it ready for pickup in 7 days. No need to make a reservation—just stop on by anytime, rain or shine!
Mudhouse Pottery Painting
317 N.W. Gilman Blvd.
Issaquah, WA 98027
30. Paint Away
When the rain, rain won’t go away, step out and head to Paint Away, your one stop shop for everything arty. Conveniently located in Redmond Town Center, Paint Away’s pottery prices include studio fees and glazing and firing of your bisqueware piece within a week. If you want to try something new, check out their glass-fusing center, which is a unique way to create an art-tastic piece for yourself or as a gift. You start with a blank glass base and create a design on top with smaller glass pieces. They even have “kiddie glass” which is glass that’s been fired to give it rounded, smooth edges, perfect for little fingers.
7329 164th Ave. N.E.
Redmond, WA 98052
photo: Allison Sutcliffe
31. Paint The Town
It’s raining, it’s pouring, what will you do in the morning? Paint The Town! This ideally located paint your own pottery place in U Village offers up a wide variety (as in 250!) do it yourself painting options, from mugs to bowls, figurines to picture frames, in prices ranging from $6 to $60. One price includes the piece you choose and all paints, glazing and firing of your piece. Best of all, you can drop in anytime during business hours to create your masterpiece.
Paint The Town
4611 Village Ct. N.E.
Seattle, WA 98105
Visit an Art Store
If you are filled to the brim with vases and mugs, consider these venues for a day of art classes and crafting. Your eager artists will adore exploring and getting their creative curiosity piqued at these toy/project/art studio hybrid stores. The kids will stay dry during the day, but we can’t guarantee they will stay paint free! Check out these places below or click here for additional artsy fartsy options!
photo: Curious Kidstuff
32. Curious Kidstuff
Originally 3,000 square feet of glorious toy store goodness (providing non-violent and green toys), this popular store in the West Seattle Junction has expanded to include toddler, preschool and elementary art classes. Curious Kidstuff currently offers two all ages classes on Mondays and Fridays from 10 a.m.–11 a.m. for $12. Or stop by the store during regular business hours and let your petite Picasso participate in hands-on play with the many tables set up around this fully engaging store.
4740 California Ave. S.W.
Seattle WA 98116
photo: Leah Singer
33. Lakeshore Learning
Not only does Lakeshore Learning have one of the largest assortments of learning toys, games, books and projects (and extremely knowledgeable and helpful staff), they offer drop in, no reservation required free craft projects every Saturday. Stop by the store anytime between 11 a.m.–3 p.m. with your determined DaVinci (3 & older) and craft away. Their website has a great calendar listing of projects for the month, ranging from butterflies to lions and chicks–oh my!
11027 N.E. 4th St.
Bellevue, WA 98004
photo: Kristina Moy
34. What better way to burn off that rainy day energy than rolling an 8-pound ball down a big ol’ lane! These days, many of our area’s lanes are fantastically family-friendly and accommodate even the tiniest Lebowskis. Most also boast cool extras like arcade games, groovy jams, gourmet grub and even ginormous screens playing your favorite sports teams. From souped-up hipster havens to totally traditional lanes, click here for a uber comprehensive list of where to go for strikes and spares.