With summer just around the corner, and our new, new normal straight ahead, it’s a great time to get reaquainted with family-friendly activities in Seattle. Since the list of things to do in Seattle with kids is (nearly) endless, we’ve picked out the can’t-miss adventures you’ve got to try at least once. Here’s to making it happen!
1. Ride to the top of the Space Needle and take a selfie on the glass benches that extend out over the Needle. Psst…be sure to look down to see the ah-mazing view!
2. Get a first-hand glimpse at some of the most colorful and eccentric animals on our planet at this popular spot along the Seattle Waterfront.
3. Suit up and go indoor skydiving.
4. This small but mighty museum on Bainbridge Island rocks a giant Lite Brite, an indoor sand box, a kid-sized grocery store and more, plus you get there by taking a totally awesome ferry from Seattle.
5. Take your little water bugs to this tiki-themed indoor pool that makes you feel like you're on vacation, even when you're not.
7. Spend the day at this Eastside haven that is bursting with fun parks, museums, play spaces and shopping malls to explore, along with delicious restaurants to feed your squad.
8. Take a ride on Seattle’s iconic Ferris wheel and see the city like never before.
9. Too tired to cook? These restaurants offer fantastic food and the family-friendly environment you’ve been searching for.
10. Journey to the "Center of the Universe” to visit the troll who lives under the Aurora Bridge.
11. Venture to the Hiram H. Chittendon Locks to see the salmon migrate up the fish ladder from Puget Sound to Lake Washington, watch the boats pass through the Locks and explore the Carl S. English Jr. Botanical Garden.
12. Feed your kids’ need for speed at this nine-acre, four-story museum.
13. Go on a sweet factory tour and watch authentic "candy dippers” finish truffles. Then, try a variety of chocolates—from handmade truffles to creamy caramels.
14. Take a trip around the globe—without leaving the city—at this new spot in Tukwila.
15. Open a portal into a new world—at least virtually—at this spot that puts family fun at the center of the VR experience.
16. Lace up your hiking boots and venture to these outstanding vistas that promise post-worthy pics and plenty of memories.
17. Spend the day (or weekend!) exploring Vashon Island.
18. Unleash your inner rock star, try brand-new indie video games, encounter alien lifeforms and immerse yourself in the history of pop culture at this iconic museum under the Needle.
19. Head to the Eastside to play at one of these beautiful lakefront beaches that also have fantastic playgrounds. Prefer an Eastside park with nibbler-friendly spots nearby? Try these parks and playgrounds.
20. Grab your beach bag and head to one of these secret beaches to avoid the crowds.
21. Ride the rails through the Upper Snoqualmie Valley aboard an antique train.
22. Check out the cool exhibits and airplanes on display at Seattle’s one-of-a-kind aviation museum. Then, head outside to watch the planes take off and land at Boeing Field.
23. With over 150 hands-on exhibits spread over two floors and an Outdoor Discovery Center, you can’t really go wrong at this popular Olympia museum.
24. Learn all about Seattle’s rich history and what’s happening now at this awesome museum in South Lake Union.
25. What’s the buzz? Find out when you bring the kids to this hidden gem.
26. Take a trip to this iconic Wallingford store where you can buy giant googly eyes, a bigfoot research kit and larger-than-life animal masks.
27. See how many fanciful characters your kiddos can find on this magical forest hike.
28. See real mummies, genuine shrunken heads, a two-headed calf and lots of unusual things to pique you and your kids’ curiosity at this popular shop along the Seattle Waterfront.
29. Head out in search of a fantastic natural waterslide and two splash-tastic waterfalls that are all just off I-90.
30. Hang out with your favorite furry, scaly and feathered friends at this zoo in the city.
31. Break out the rain boots and grab your sand buckets—it’s time to explore the shores!
32. Be on the lookout for some “tweet” friends when you visit this favorite Eastside park.
33. Hit a hole in one at these fun and whimsical spots designed for kids and parents.
34. Head to the Seattle Center and let your kids run around this awesome fountain (scheduled to re-open at the end of June, 2021). Psst…bring a change of clothes and a towel because they’re gonna get wet!
35. Seek out important sights and experiences where you and the kids can learn about Black history in Seattle.
36. There’s always something fun going on at this popular museum in Everett that has plans to re-open June 2, 2021.
38,. This Eastside museum received a brand-new home a few years ago, and along with the new digs comes new exhibits and experiences your kids are going to love.
39. Tired of those typical garden-variety attractions? Try this City Center spot for a change of pace.
40. Get up close and personal with the barn yard animals at this farm in the city—from goats to sheep to chickens, your kids will be singing Old Macdonald in no time.
41. Satisfy your little daredevil’s need for speed at one of these thrilling pump tracks.
42. This bright and cheery museum boasts a large water table, a fantastically fun art studio, a climbable vessel reminiscent of an airplane-treehouse-fort and much more. The best part? It’s pay as you will.
43. Go whale watching!
44. Take a trip to Seattle’s only water and theme park.
45. Head to Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium to visit the tigers, camels and polar bears and to see and learn about the marine animals that call the Pacific Northwest home.
46. This low-cost, family-friendly, outdoor activity not only offers a bit of adventure, but amazing sightseeing and a good workout.
47. See and touch creepy crawlers of all shapes and sizes at these spots around the city.
48. Looking for plant-based meals your kiddo will like? Head to one of these restaurants guaranteed to please everyone.
49. Seattle is chock-full of beautiful gardens, but none are more inviting and more peaceful than these.
50. Shop for fresh fruits, veggies and flowers from local farmers and purveyors, visit the arts and craft vendors, try your hand at "tossing” a salmon and nosh on delish food at Seattle’s iconic Pike Place Market.
51. If you’re ready to have some fun on the farm, hit one of these petting farms and zoos.
52. Meet bison, moose and more at this drive-thru animal park that’s also got one of the coolest playgrounds around.
53. Treat yourself and your kids to one of the best cookies in town!
54. Go on an alligator hunt in the forests of West Seattle.
55. Looking to trade city life for mountain life for a few days? Consider a visit to this premier, all-season mountain resort just 80 miles east of Seattle.
56. Scoop the Lake Union loop on this little-known bike trail that’s got plenty of spots to stop for lunch.
57. Dust off your skates and relive your glory days at these retro-fun spots that have stood the test of time.
58. Bring history to life at this outdoor museum that recreates life on the Sound in the mid-1800s.
59. Explore this hidden gem tucked away in the Washington Park Arboretum.
60. Don your fishing gear, grab your fishing pole and head to one of these fantastic fishing holes—perfect for pint-sized anglers.
61. Meet Amanda, the darling blind calf, and other rescued farm animals at this animal sanctuary.
62. Take a tour where you can watch 747, 777 and 787 Dreamliners being assembled on the production line before they take to the sky.
63. It’s no secret that the Emerald City has some amazing views. Thanks to these family-friendly restaurants you can dine while enjoying some jaw-dropping scenery.
64. Speaking of amazing views, here’s where to snap a selfie in front of the city’s best scenery.
65. We’re hard-pressed to find any kid who doesn’t love ice cream. Indulge your little one's sweet tooth at one of our favorite ice cream parlors.
66. Seek out the city’s best stroller-friendly routes for baby and you.
67. Rain or shine, head to one of the city's best new playgrounds for plenty of energy burnin’ fun.
69. Find one of Bellevue’s historic spots that happens to have a secluded swim beach nearby.
70. If you love craft beer, grab a pint with your pint-sized peeps at one of these Seattle brewhouses who not only welcome kids, but cater to them.
71. Want to be wowed with the city’s food scene and find something on the menu to please palates of all ages? Beeline it to one of these restaurants that are parent and kid approved.
72. Home to awesome sculptures, giant art and interactive beauty—the Olympic Sculpture Park is a great way to get your kids appreciating art.
73. Find a shady spot to enjoy an outdoor meal with plenty of room for kids to roam.
74. A garden center might seem like an unlikely attraction for kids, but Swansons Nursery is a perfect spot to do some fish watching, participate in fun monthly activities and even meet reindeer and a friendly camel during the holidays.
75. What kid doesn’t like to nosh on these ring-shaped, filled, glazed or powdered treats? Or how about these gluten-free varieties.
77. From kid-friendly restaurants and toy stores, to awesome bookstores and beaches, this Eastside locale was made for families.
78. Got visiting grandparents? Plan a skip-gen playdate at one of these spots folks from any generation will love.
79. Visit these markets that are open year-round, and each have their own distinct vibe.
81. Satisfy your kiddo’s sweet tooth with a fully loaded shave ice from one of our favorite spots.
82. Make your kiddo’s fairytale dreams come true when you plan a staycation at one of these unforgettable treetop spots.
83. Got early risers? Here’s where to take them so the rest of your crew can sleep.
84. If you’ve got a kiddo who’s sights are set on the stars, check out these otherworldly spots.
85. Take your little chocolate lovers to one of these Seattle cafes that serve cups of hot chocolate that are a step above the rest.
86. If you’ve done the local playground circuit more than you can count, branch out into new territory.
87. Sunday brunch is the new Friday night! Head to one of these spots that are a bit fancier than your local diner, but definitely kid-friendly.
88. Fly a kite at one of these picturesque spots around the city.
89. Spray parks and wading pools are a way of life for Seattle kids in the summer, and (fingers crossed) they plan to be open this year. Put them on your list!
90. Want to go a bit higher? Take your little daredevils to this aerial adventure park known for its extensive high ropes course and three zip lines.
91. We’ve never met a kid who doesn’t love pizza. Here’s where to indulge in a perfect pie when you and your kids are craving the good stuff.
92. From farms and museums, to mountain hikes and bike rides, make a day of it in this gateway town.
94. Introduce your kids to this exciting team sport that has a simple concept.
95. Check off a visit to Georgetown’s own Hat n’ Boots park from your family bucket list.
96. You don't have to go far to find adventure in one of our state's spectacular national parks. In fact, two are just a short ferry ride away!
97. Learn about local history when you visit this lighthouse in the city. It was illuminated by a kerosene lamp for 44 years before it went fully electric.
98. Sit down with your bestie while the kids play nearby at one of Seattle’s best neighborhood coffee shops.
100. A visit to our state capitol is a must for any Seattleite. Plus, it’s easier than you’d think with kids in tow.
—Allison Sutcliffe & Kristina Moy