Winter’s only just begun but somehow it feels it will go to infinity and beyond, doesn’t it? If being cooped up leaves your kids dreaming of space-themed adventures we’ve got you covered. For the little explorer whose world revolves around all things cosmic, we’ve mapped out the top things every space-loving kid should do in the Seattle.
Play at 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.
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.
Good to know: Outer Space Seattle is located on Alki Beach, close to all sorts of yummy eateries and Whale Tail Park, in case you want to make a whole day of it.
2820 Alki Ave. S.W., Suite #2
Seattle, WA 98116
Visit The Museum of Flight
No list is complete without mentioning The Museum of Flight. Airspace and outer space overload, this museum has exhibits and activities covering everything your pint-sized pilots want to unearth about our universe. Although there are numerous areas that predominantly focus on aviation, there are just as many amazing space-fixated exhibits for your planet-riveted posse. If you want to hit up the intergalactic areas first, you can stop by the Apollo exhibit right by the entry where your little ones can marvel at the lunar roving vehicle, the Apollo command module, the Mars landers and the space capsules. Cruise through the Great Gallery then head to the huge space gallery located across the skyway. There your interstellar tots will be wowed by all the space facts and tidbits they can think of (like how an astronaut uses the bathroom and how long it takes to get to Mars), and can venture into the full-scale space shuttle there.
Psst...The space-themed play area, Tranquility Base, is located on the second floor above the Great Gallery. Here they can play in a space module, create a moon map and make calls from mission control.
Good to know: The folks at the museum are hosting a Spacesuit Design Challenge for kids ages 5 & up. Participants are asked to take their inspiration from space travel, past and present as a tribute to Yuri Gagarin (the first person in space). Download a submission package online and then turn your out-of-this-world creation in between Feb. 1 & Mar. 31 to be considered.
9404 E. Marginal Way S.
Seattle, WA 98108
Spend a Day at the Pacific Science Center
What better way to amuse your kids than at the Pacific Science Center? Besides PacSci’s uber cool exhibits such as the Butterfly House, the Living Exhibit and the Wellbody Exhibit, the Science-on-a-Sphere is the exhibit space-lovin' kids should check out. Let your universe-loving lads and lasses interact with the illuminated 6-foot-wide sphere that represents our Earth. Here they will learn about our atmosphere, land, oceans, and climate.
PacSci’s Willard Smith Planetarium is another great option. Your rambunctious rocketeers can enjoy live, interactive programs like Outer Limits: Pluto and Beyond (5 & up) or Sky Tonight, which teaches kids how to read the night sky and a star map. Even the littlest kids can participate. Be sure to catch a showing of Preschool Trip to the Moon.
200 2nd Ave. N.
Seattle, WA 98109
Stargaze at the Pierce College Science Dome & Planetarium
This 58-seat digital planetarium at Peirce College in Fort Steilacoom is great for South Sounders, chock full of awe-inspiring planetarium shows and demonstrations for all ages. It takes just an hour to go through (yay for those with the wiggles), but you can thoroughly investigate the night sky, pick through the intricacies of our solar system and universe, and learn about astronomy through their interactive tours and accompanying dome video. Check out the children’s shows if you’ve got a teensy-weensy space traveler. They feature a different show each month, such as hula hooping with Saturn or making up your own constellation. The best thing? All these shows are wonderfully family-friendly and at $6 a pop, you won't break the bank either.
Good to know: All-ages shows run Fridays at 7 p.m. & Saturdays at 3:15 p.m. Children's shows run Saturdays at 12:30 & 2 p.m.
Rainier Building, Room 263
9401 Farwest Dr. S.W.
Lakewood, WA 98498
Catch a Flick at PacSci's IMAX Theater
The museum is one thing, but any kid's space-based bucket list wouldn't be complete without a trip to the IMAX Theater at PacSci. It’s hard to beat a day at the movies, but when that movie is universe-focused, even better! The two IMAX theaters at PacSci offer you that quintessential, larger-and-louder-than-life IMAX experience. The fact that the support science education across Washington state is a bonus. Although features rotate throughout the year, a ticket to see the spaciest movie around—Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker—should do the trick.
200 2nd Ave. N.
Seattle, WA 98109
Register for Destination Science
It may be winter, but we know the summer months on are Seattle parents' minds. If a week-long day camp is just what you need for your kids, check out Destination Science. Located in Seattle, Bothell, and the bulk of the Eastside communities, this summer day camp will really challenge and encourage your kiddos’ super STEM skills. Stacked with science projects, indoor and outdoor activities, and lots of fun, it might be the perfect idea for your curious-minded minis. There are a few stellar programs to choose from that focus on robotics, engineering, and technology. But if you really want to hone in on that passion for planets, check out the Galactic Space Training Camp. In this program, your young Jedis-in-the-making can build their own Millennium Starship, create a motorized Rover Droid equipped for extraterrestrial challenges, and learn all about our planet’s physics forces. Sign up soon, as they can sell out.
Attend the Aerospace Camp Experience
This list would be remiss if it didn’t include the Aerospace Camp Experience at The Museum Of Flight. Let your kiddos get their science on at this unique and totally space-savvy day camp program set up for Pre-K through 12th graders that offers programs throughout the year. Choose from age-specific programs like Solar Travelers, Flight Camp or Orbital Pioneers to name a few. Here, kids will build rockets, learn about the secrets of our Milky Way, even get into the nitty gritty of our planet and skies. The camps set out to create a lifelong love of science. The fact they let your kids spend extra hang time at The Museum of Flight and have the chance to see the U.S. Navy Blue Angels...well, that's a bonus. The camp brochure has all the need-to-know details.
9404 E. Marginal Way S.
Seattle, WA 98108
featured image: Alaina Weimer