Weekend Getaway With a Toddler: Seattle

It can sometimes be challenging to find a place to visit that pleases both parents and toddlers. One of the great cities that delivers for all ages is Seattle. There are many adventures and activities that span a variety of interests, and many of them are family-friendly.

Space Needle, Seattle

Space Needle, Seattle

Must-See Hot Spots

There are so many things to do in Seattle that it would be hard to fit them in just one trip. The Seattle Center offers a variety of activities that will entertain toddlers, teenagers, and adults. Ride the Monorail from or to downtown which is only a mile away, but it is a fun way to see that part of the city and kids love it. On a clear day, you may choose to ride up to the Observation Deck of the Space Needle for a 360-degree view of the surrounding area.

The Pacific Science Center offers a wide number of interactive activities for kids of all ages. Some of the toddler-friendly exhibits that you should check out include:

  • Body Works
  • Just for Tots
  • Outdoor Exhibits
  • Tropical Butterfly House
  • Insect Village
  • Saltwater Tide Pool
  • Animal Exhibits
  • Naked Mole Rat Cam
  • Dinosaurs: A Journey Through Time

If your toddler is a fan of animals, Seattle offers a number of opportunities for them to get up and close. The Woodland Park Zoo is a great place to see animals in the African Savannah, Tropical Asia, Temperate Forest, Northern Trail, Australasia, and the Butterfly Garden.

Pike Place Market is a must-see place to visit on your trip to Seattle. An iconic fish and produce market, it provides a riot of activity and color. Lead your little one to the main fish market, and watch the guys throw around fish and entertain the crowd.

Customers at Pike Place Fish Company wait to order fish at the famous seafood market

Customers at Pike Place Fish Company wait to order fish at the famous seafood market

A short walk from the market is the Seattle Aquarium, where your kids get the chance to see a variety of Northwest sea life. Although it is a smaller aquarium, this makes it the perfect place to get a toddler through fairly quickly while keeping them entertained.

If it is a nice day, you may want to get out in the water. Take a tourist cruise and explore the Seattle Harbor and Elliot Bay, take the Bainbridge Island Ferry, or take a water taxi to West Seattle (kids 5 and under ride free). West Seattle is a fun place to fly a kite or play Frisbee on the open waterfront space.

Ride the Ducks is a land and water tour that, while very touristy and cheesy, is entertaining for both kids and adults. Kids can wear duck lips, and you get to see Pioneer Square, the Seattle waterfront, Pike Place Market, and take a ride around Lake Union to check out the cool house boats. 

Ride the Ducks Land & Water Tour in Seattle.

Ride the Ducks Land & Water Tour in Seattle.

Great Places to Take a Family Photo

Don’t forget to take lots of pictures during your trip to have permanent record of your great time. With its mountain and water views, beaches, and great architecture, Seattle is the perfect place to get awesome photos. Some of the great places to take a family photo include:

  • Washington Park Arboretum- Located on the shores of Lake Washington, this arboretum contains an array of greenery, trees, and bright flowers that offer beautiful backgrounds at any time of the year.
  • Seattle Center- Exhibits, such as the EMP and Chihuly Garden of Glass, provide great opportunities for unforgettable and unusual photos. The monorail, Space Needle, and EMP can also be captured in one shot. On a beautiful day, take a family photo on the top of the needle with the skyline background.
  • Gas Works Park- Brightly-painted equipment made for climbing and city views make this a fun spot to grab a couple of family photos.
  • Pike Place Market- Although it is usually crowded, this is a fun place to take activity pictures. If your toddler is brave, get him involved with the fish-catching process and take a few pics.
  • Golden Gardens Park- Located in the Ballard neighborhood, this picture-worthy area is located on Puget Sound and features a beach, pier, forested trails, and a view of the Olympics.
Washington Park Arboretum. Photo: Beautiful Washington

Washington Park Arboretum. Photo: Beautiful Washington

Must-Try Restaurants/ Snacks/ Food Stands

Seattle offers a variety of great food, from seafood to Thai. When out and about during the day, take advantage of the nearby food stands and quick service restaurants that will fill you up and re-energize you to finish up the afternoon.

If your trip includes a trip to the zoo, check out the Rain Forest Food Pavilion, which has a variety of food options in their food court. If you prefer a sit-down restaurant, the Science Center contains the Fountains Café. 

Because it is Seattle, make sure to take advantage of some of the restaurants that overlook the water. Some great family-friendly sit-down restaurants include:

  • Chinooks at Salmon Bay- Located near the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, you can overlook the bay and see fishing boats coming and going.
  • Ivar’s Acres of Clams- Located on the waterfront near the aquarium, this casual and reasonably-priced restaurant serves great seafood.
  • Red Robin- Always popular with the younger crowd, it is also located near the aquarium and offers an alternative to seafood.

Things to Be Aware Of

No matter what part of the year you are visiting Seattle, make sure to pack rain gear. Be flexible in your planning and make sure you have a mixture of outdoor and indoor activities so you can stay entertained in any type of weather. Pack sunscreen and sunglasses if visiting during the summer.

Travelling with kids is challenging enough, and the thought of packing for them can be daunting. Save yourself some stress and take advantage of baby equipment rental places in the area. Rent car seats, cribs, strollers (a must for this trip), and even toys. Some companies in the area that can deliver straight to you include Happy Little Traveler and Traveling Baby Company.

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