Seattle with Kids: Family Vacation
When temperatures rise in Las Vegas many of us start to look for a cool getaway. This year we found the perfect vacation in and around Seattle, WA. This trip included things to do for ages ranging from 3 years old to adults only, unique venues, outdoor activities, and fun indoor destinations.
Around Seattle: Fun in the Suburbs
This town is about an hour north of Seattle and fantastic for a day trip to enjoy lunch and a stroll.
We had lunch at Trails End which features huge sandwiches, delicious salads, and an extensive list of beers on tap. We highly recommend the Wood Fire Garlic Bread Bites.
After lunch we walked along First Street. One side of the street has locally owned boutiques and the other side is the Centennial Trail. This is a paved trail that runs along the river. You can get to it from First Street and walk a short section that loops back to First Street.
Whenever we are on vacation we try to always find a family-friendly hike. The hikes can be a challenge but it’s always refreshing to see a different part of the area we are visiting. We chose Wallace Falls based on having heard that it had easy and moderate trails and that the trail was along the river so we’d have gorgeous views throughout the hike.
Described as a “hiker’s paradise” this state park features 12 miles of foot trails. The trail we chose has lower, middle and upper viewpoints and increases with difficulty heading into each viewpoint. The lower viewpoint is marked as Easy and we all, including Lucy, the 3 year old, were able to easily make it. There are bridges, a couple of short diversionary trails, and some climbing but the trail is well maintained and well marked. There are also spots along the trail to stop and rest or to take a picture with a river background.
Things to Know:
- Read the signs! Signs at the trailhead let you know what types of animals you might encounter and what types of vegetation is edible.
- Pay attention to mile markers. The trail starts off as easy and we continued thinking we were still on an easy path until we realized it had changed to moderate. The moderate part of the path includes a steeper climb.
- Dogs are allowed but must be on a leash at all times.
- The Railroad Grade is a completely paved and bike accessible path. We used this path on the way back for a bit to give the kids an easier path heading back.
- There are restrooms at the trailhead
- Purchase a one day pass at the automated pay station
Ice Cream Cruise at Lake Union
860 Terry Ave North
Seattle, WA 89109
The kids had done this cruise with their aunt and uncle when they visited a few years ago. They talked about it so much we knew we had to go back. The cruise is a 45 minute trip around Seattle’s Lake Union. Guests can enjoy ice cream bars, cones, and floats while learning about the sights around Lake Union. These include the birthplace of Boeing, an old gas plant turned park, and the site of scenes from Sleepless in Seattle.
Things to Know:
- You can make reservations or try to make it onboard the day of your visit
- Ice cream is optional and can be purchased onboard the boat along with other concessions
- The boat has two decks and an inside area with tables and stools. You can move around the boat throughout the cruise
Our adventure to Whidbey Island started with the ferry ride. The ride lasts about 20 minutes and you can stay in your car or head up to the top of the ferry to see the water, islands, and possibly marine life.
We stopped for breakfast and found out most restaurants on the south side of the island are not open on Monday, even in the middle of summer.
After breakfast we were in search of what we thought was Flintstone Park located at Oak Harbor. Oak Harbor Park borders the water and is lined by a driftwood beach. The beach area is just big enough for sunbathing, most of the kids there were playing in the splash pad located next to the playground. Before stopping at the playground we walked along a story trail and took turns reading the story.
The playground is pirate-themed with benches around it. It had slides, climbing features, and swings but we did not see the Flintstone car so after a short break we kept going. We followed a short trail that led us to the end of the park where we found the Flintstone car. It sits by itself near the street. While it was great for a photo op it was not the attraction we were expecting.
From there we walked around the town where we found that most of the locally owned shops were closed on Monday. There were sculptures around the town that were fun to see and take pictures with.
To head back to Seattle from Whidbey Island you can take the Ferry or head north to Deception Pass bridge. We chose the scenic route and drove north through the rest of the island. Deception Pass bridge is part of the Deception Pass State Park. This is another fabulous option for hiking and exploring nature. We only crossed the bridge but were still able to enjoy the beauty of the state park from the 1,487 foot bridge.
At the end of the bridge is Deception Pass Tours, which hosts a drive thru ice cream shop. One boat of ice cream is easily shareable between 2-3 people!
Things to Know Before Going to Whidbey Island
- Many shops and restaurants are closed on Monday
- We chose to visit Whidbey because it is where Dav Pilkey, one of Max’s favorite authors, lives
2802 Wetmore Ave
Everett, WA 98201
The Funko Headquarters, home to Pop! – square-headed vinyl collectibles, is a retail store with larger-than-life Pops! waiting for a photo.
The store is sectioned into Disney, with classic characters and Marvel
Gotham; featuring a Batmobile, Archam Asylum
Forest with characters paying tribute to the Everett area, home of the Funko HQ.
You can find a wide variety of Pops!, LoungeFly, shirts, pens, and even games with your favorite characters.
In the near future you can even make a custom Pop! in the factory.
Things to Know:
Give yourself time to explore. We spent about an hour in the store taking pictures, looking at the unique Pops! and LoungeFly merchandise and of course trying to decide which Pop! to take home with us!
- Pops, lounge fly, shirts, pens, games
- Make your own
- Give yourself time to wander the store (at least an hour)
Seattle Must-See Attractions
Pike Place Market
Probably one of the most famous places to visit in Seattle Pike Place is unique, lively and worth seeing.
The Pike Place Market is two level of street market. The street level features restaurants, vendor booths, and the world famous fish markets.
Head down the ramp to the underground floor to find the magic shop where you can learn a magic trick or squish a penny. You can also find souvenir shops in this area.
Just across the street from the market is the original Starbucks. Prepare to wait in line to get a cup of coffee from where it all began or to purchase a mug with the original logo.
Just up the street from the market and Starbucks is Pike Place Chowder. Our favorite place to get clam chowder. Choose from Boston or New England style, cup or bread bowl. Be prepared to stand in a line, our group split up and waited in line for about 30 minutes while the rest explored the market. There is a small area of tables to eat at but tables are reserved for patrons that have already picked up their food.
After a delicious bowl of chowder we headed to an equally famous attraction; the Gumwall. This is located at the end of the market, down a short ramp. Bring a colorful piece of your favorite bubble gum, pose for pictures and then find a good spot on the wall to leave it behind.
Pro Tip: Directly across the street from the Gumwall is our favorite shop for souvenirs.
The Museum of Pop Culture features three stories of popular culture exhibits including music, science fiction, video games, movies, fantasy, history, and the new exhibition Heroes and VIllains: The Art of the Disney Costume
We started our visit at the Heroes and Villains where we saw costumes worn by some of our favorite actors including Johnny Depp and Emma Watson. We also found out if we were heroes or villains and which character we were most like. Not only are the breath taking costumes on display but guests can also see how the costumes started as sketches and progressed into detailed drawings that transformed into the costumes on display.
We walked through different worlds of wonder where we saw characters from Star Wars and hoverboards from Back to the Future, items from Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings before heading into the creepy world of horror films (Lucy skipped this exhibit and checked out the music exhibits with Tio Pablo & Tia Missy).
We headed to the music exhibits afterward to switch up the mood. The MoPOP features exhibits on Nirvana, Jimi Hendrix, and an entire floor dedicated to Pearl Jam. Hand written notes, personal photos and outfits worn by the artists are on display. The Pearl Jam floor includes props from concerts and impressive fan art.
Things to Know:
MoPOP admission can be purchased as part of a CityPass
Disney exhibit is an additional charge
Must make reservations to enter the museum
Masks are required while in the museum
There are benches throughout to take a break from walking
Bill & Melinda Gates Visitors Center
Between the MoPOP and Space Needle is a playground that includes a splash pad, grass areas, and seating. It’s a perfect spot to relax after visiting the Space Needle or walking around the area.
Located within walking distance of MoPOP the Armory is a huge food court style building with a wide variety of local fast food options.
We are huge fans of the McMenamins concept; transforming old buildings like schools and making them into unique dining and hotel experiences. We usually enjoy McMenamins as a date night but we took the whole family to the Seattle location after our day exploring Pike Place and MoPOP.
In Seattle: Must See Attractions
Seattle Mariners Baseball Game
If you are in town during baseball season we highly recommend catching a Mariners game. This is one of the most kid friendly ballparks we have been to. I recommend getting there early to enjoy all the family friendly activities.
Meet Moose – meet the beloved mascot of the Mariners! You’ll find him ready for a meet and greet 90 minutes to 30 minutes before the game and during the 2nd, 3rd, 7th and 8th innings in the Moose Den located next to the playground!
Rooftop Boardwalk- see the Puget Sound from the Rooftop Boardwalk. The view is phenomenal and makes for the perfect pictures before, during or after the game! You can also grab a beverage and try your hand in the batting cages.
Kids Club – join the FREE kid’s club! Each child receives a drawstring backpack, official newsletter and discounts. Our backpack included a lanyard and we also got a first game certificate since it was our first time visiting. The kid’s club will also mail your child a newsletter with fun activities and updates.
Playground – kids 14 and under can enjoy this enclosed play area. The area features slides, hitting and pitching challenges and photo opps!
Hall of Fame – fans have enjoyed this Hall of Fame since 1997. Enjoy a little baseball history and see the Mariners that have contributed to the franchise.
T-mobile Park also offers a nursing lounge and a family section. The family section is alcohol free.