A modern metropolis, Seattle offers families plenty of culture and fun in a stunning Pacific Northwest landscape. Read on for our top picks for the best family activities in Seattle.
Pro Tip: If you're spending several days in the city and want to check most of these items off your list, CityPASS offers deals to many of these attractions and also let's you skip to the front of the entry lines.
This iconic spot that makes the Seattle skyline so recognizable is a must for anyone spending time in Seattle. Originally built as the show stopping centerpiece for the 1962 World's Fair, the Space Needle recently underwent a massive renovation and is now an even better experience for visitors than ever. The all-glass windows and panels allow for incredible 360-degree views of the city. Capture the perfect selfies on their built-in cameras or fearlessly stand on the one-of-a-kind rotating glass floor to get a glimpse straight down more than 500 feet. On you way out, don't miss the virtual reality bungee jumping experience.
Showcasing the work of famed glass artist Dale Chihuly, this colorful indoor and outdoor exhibit located just steps from the Space Needle will wow travelers of all ages with its large-scale, imaginative glass sculptures. You'll definitely want to stop in the greenhouse to take a photo of the huge red and yellow flowers lining the glass ceiling that frame a view of the Space Needle from below. It's also a great spot to visit at dusk to see the sculptures in the outdoor gardens lit up. As an added bonus, they also employ professional photographers who will snap a family photo in front of the art for free during your visit.
One of the best family activities in Seattle is a visit to the iconic Pike Place Market. Jostle your way through the crowds to visit the numerous food and craft stalls. Don't be fooled into thinking the upper level in where the market ends. The massive space continues underground with even more stores and restaurants to explore and there are plenty of quiet secret garden spots to reward tourists who wander off the main paths. Be sure to stop at the fish markets to watch them famously toss around the catch of the day.
Just recently opened to visitors, the Chihuly Boat House is an incredible look inside how Chihuly's glass projects come to life. Watch the team at work as the blow glass into gravity-defying shapes and wander through the space to take in some of the artist's personal collections. Especially lucky visitors might even get treated to a brief visit from Dale Chihuly himself as he pops in to check in on his latest creations. Be aware that the boat house is a work space with extremely hot and breakable materials so it is not suitable for the youngest travelers.
Get out on the water and take in the full Seattle skyline view with King County Water Taxi. The short trip through the Puget Sound to West Seattle is well worth it and once you reach the other side be sure to stop at Marination Ma Kai for lunch. Beloved by locals, the mouthwatering tacos and sliders with a Hawaiian twist will leave you satiated.
Kids will love the fun Museum of Pop Culture. New exhibitions are always coming in so it's best to check the museum website for what's currently there, but with everything from Minecraft brought to life to a Guitar Gallery having graced the space, it's safe to say kids will quickly be enthralled with the current exhibitions.
There's no better way to take in Seattle and its lush surrounding landscapes than from high above. We suggest starting you Seattle family vacation with a tour aboard a Kenmore Air Seaplane so you can get your bearings and see the city layout before furthering exploring once you're back on the ground. Highlights of tour including seeing Lake Union's famous houseboat communities, unbeatable views of the skyline, dramatic seaside landscapes and spotting professional sports stadiums and the University of Washington campus. For any nervous flyers, the water takeoff and landing are incredibly smooth.
Curious little minds will love learning in this interactive space. Try out one of their immersive virtual reality experiences like heading out into space to visit Titan, Saturn's largest moon, or take it slow with an intro experience for those new to VR. Stop in for a planetarium show or take young imaginations to the next level in the Tinker Tank where they can bring their innovations to life.
Sports fans will definitely want to catch a game on their Seattle family vacation. Cheer on the Mariners at T-Mobile Park or hit the football stands and be part of the legendary Seattle crowd at a Seahawks game. Even if you aren't in town during a game, you can still take tours to get your stadium fix.
The Thompson Seattle is ideally located in the heart of it all and just a few blocks from Pike Place Market and the water. Besides interconnecting rooms, they also have a two-bedroom family suite available complete with a full kitchen. The hotel's rooftop bar features idyllic views of the water and the Great Wheel. The onsite restaurant, Conversations, also serves up inventive and delicious cuisine for lunch and dinner.