While we can’t always count on snow in the winter, we can count on an abundance of winter activities for Seattle families. Our advice? If you want to fit it all in, you better start soon. From ice skating and sledding to winter petting zoos and theater productions that are opening soon, our winter bucket list will keep you playing all season long.

ice skating rinks

1. Winter’s “it” sport is back! Glide into one of our favorite ice skating spots when you need a weekend plan. Psst! A few even have drop-in lessons for beginners.

2. If the rainy season is getting to your busy tot (and you!), we’ve got just the place

3. Visit this border town filled with history, endless trails and a "hoppin’" beer scene.

4. When was the last time you and the kids really dug in at the Burke Museum? Learn about life in one cubic foot, a rad new exhibit that’ll be opening soon.

5. Petting zoos aren’t just for summer! These spots should keep your little animals lovers happy in the off-season.

KiDiMu Bainbridge Island

6. Duck into The Museum of Flight for a rain break. Not only can you check out their Stranger Than Fiction exhibit, but the kids can also marvel at the full-scale replicas of Mars vehicles, Perseverance and Ingenuity.

7. Three words: Giant. Shoe. Museum.

8. Now is a great time to ferry over to Bainbridge Island for a day (or the weekend). KiDiMu is always a hit with kids (and it’s totally decked for the season), Bloedel is hosting its popular Winter in the Woods program and there’s a kicking new playground to explore too!

9. We’re torn between a trip to Disco Vinnie’s House and the dueling piano lights up north. Not to worry, there's plenty of time to enjoy both before the New Year.

10. A weekend getaway. A cozy cabin. We’re right there with you!


11. Fill ‘er up at a new holiday experience that’ll captivate your kiddos' imagination.

12. Make like a hockey puck and glide across the ice on this exciting ride.

13. Immerse your kiddos in daVinci’s world at MOHAI’s latest exhibit. Then play a few rounds of mini golf and explore South Lake Union while you’re there.

14. Walk in the footsteps of Lewis & Clark at the confluence of the world’s largest ocean and the West’s largest river. Trust us, you won’t be disappointed when you do.

15. Make dinner easy—order out from one of our favorite (and cheesiest) spots.

model train festival seattle

16. Have you checked out Seattle’s hottest new art exhibit yet? It’s made for tech-lovin’ kids.

17. Flexibility is key when it comes to parenting. Practice yours at a drop-in class that’s just for parents and babes.

18. Grab your train whistle and conductors hat then head south to the Washington State History Museum for the 25th Annual Model Train Festival. It’s sure to be off the rails!

19. We hear snow is in the forecast on the Eastside. What better time to explore the sights and sounds of the holidays in Bellevue and beyond.

20. Take your best shot at PacSci’s latest and greatest exhibit.


21. Cuddle up with the kids! It’s time to cue up one of these local favorites for family movie night. Don’t forget the popcorn!

22. We couldn’t think of a more tropical place to play Marco Polo with your little fish than the North Shore Lagoon.

23. Entice your kiddos to eat their veggies.

24. It wouldn’t be winter if you didn’t take the kids tubing at a local sledding hill or sno-park play spot.

25. Winter is an especially good time to visit the Seattle Aquarium. Watch divers in the Window on Washington, explore the touch tanks and make like Jacques Cousteau at the Underwater Dome. Psst! Put January 29 on you calendar for the Aquarium’s next winter beach walk.

cirque du solieil seattle
Marie-Andrée Lemire

26. Looking for family event that’s a total slam dunk? Grab tickets to see the Harlem Globetrotters when they make their way to the new Climate Pledge Arena in January.

27. Have you ever explored a walking light labyrinth? Plan on it after the New Year.

28. Make like a tourist and hear fascinating new stories about Seattle aboard a one-hour cruise.

29. We can’t wait for this alternative circus show that’ll be under the big top at Marymoor Park in January.

30. Dreaming of blue skies and sunshine? We are too! Now's the right time to plan your escape to warmer climes.

sleigh ride, leavenworth, seattle winter activities
Tony Swartz

31. Bring your little brick heads to Seattle Center to see a LEGO Space Needle, orca and cruise ship read to set sail.

32. The highly anticipated re-opening of this kid-fave is slated for early 2022.

33. A tale as old as time is coming to the 5th Avenue Theatre in January, and tickets are on sale now.

34. Pretend like you’re on vacation when you and your crew float along a lazy river or surf the FlowRider.

35. Over the river and through the woods is just one of the many places you and the kids can go on a scenic sleigh ride.

Allison Sutcliffe

36. Get glowing to Woodland Park Zoo’s wild winter hit.

37. Strike up serious family fun any day of the week.

38. New-to-you playgrounds are always in season. Just remember to bring a towel to dry off the slides and swings when visit!

39. Celebrate the Year of the Tiger when you go on a mysterious scavenger hunt south of the city. It starts around the Lunar New Year, February 1, 2022.

40. Quack your kids up with a trip to see the latest in rubber duckie tableau.

getaway cabin seattle

41. The animal lovers in your fam will love snuggling with baby otters, training brilliant rats and feeding snakes when they need an animal fix.

42. Take a magical wooded walk where you and the kids will see a lovable T-Rex, a goofy gorilla and flowers from the Playa.

43. Turns out you don’t have to go too far to find a hiking adventure your kids will love.

44. Plan a totally unplugged weekend getaway with the kids. No matter what the weather outside, these cozy tiny home cabins will make you feel at home.

45. Whether you love model trains, ice sculpting or twinkling lights, Seattle Center is the place to be this winter.

Allison Sutcliffe

46. Creamy and steamy is the drink of choice in the cold winter months.

47. Winter nights are made for comfort food, whether it’s gooey gourmet cheese sandwiches or fully loaded vegan hot dogs.

48. Leavenworth goes all out for the holiday season. Between the tree lighting, reindeer farm, sledding and sleigh rides, there’s more than enough for families to enjoy over a long weekend.

49. Since rain is always in the forecast for Seattle winters, we’ve got your rainy day playbook right here.

50. This sweet street in Ravenna is always worth a trip in December.

—Allison Sutcliffe & Kristina Moy


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