There are so many things to do in Seattle with kids! You won’t run out of fun excursions whether you’re coming to the Emerald City with your toddler or teen.
I’m a Seattle local who worked in childcare for nearly a decade. I’ve taken kids to both popular attractions like the Seattle Aquarium and under-the-radar gems that only local families know about.
A lot of the best things to do in Seattle are good for kids. That said, this list will focus more specifically on how to keep your little ones entertained while visiting Seattle. Here are 33 of the best things to do in Seattle with kids!
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33 Things to Do in Seattle With Kids
Enjoy an epic playground, kid-friendly museums, and city landmarks at a top attraction.
There’s so much at the Seattle Center that’s great for kids! It’s one of the reasons Queen Anne is a good place for families to stay. Seattle Center has museums, a playground, a children’s theater, and more.
Take the Seattle Center Monorail from Westlake Center to get here. It’ll drop you off by the Museum of Pop Culture and the Seattle Space Needle. Kids will love to ride to the top of this stunning Seattle landmark where you can admire 360-degree views of the city.
Let kids play, climb, and swing at the epic Artists At Play Playground. Bring a swimsuit in the summer so they can run and splash in the International Fountain. When lunchtime comes around, head to the food court in the Seattle Center Armory to cool off and enjoy lots of kid-friendly snacks.
Check out my Seattle Center Guide to get more insider tips on the best way to spend a day at this attraction.
Touch, admire, and learn about marine animals in Puget Sound.
Seattle Aquarium is a no-brainer when it comes to things to do in Seattle with kids. It’s right on the Seattle waterfront and has plenty of engaging exhibits.
The touch tanks are especially popular. These are filled with sea stars, anemones, sea cucumbers, and other critters you’ll find in Puget Sound. The staff gives daily presentations on some of the most popular animals like the harbor seals and sea otters. Come during feeding time to see the animals get active.
The Seattle Aquarium isn’t particularly big. You can count on getting in and out without feeling overwhelmed on a trip. There’s also a play area inside with toys and books if kids get restless.
Pacific Science Center
Play and learn with interactive STEM exhibits at this Seattle Center attraction.
📍 Google Maps | Phone: +1 206 443 2001 | Website | Hours: 10 am – 5 pm daily | Entrance: $22.95+, adults, $17.95+, youth (3-17), free, toddler (under 3)
Kid-friendly activities abound at the Pacific Science Center. This Seattle Center attraction has interactive exhibits to help kids learn about space, physics, sound, and much more.
The Tropical Butterfly House is one of the best exhibits for all ages. You can get up close to hundreds of beautiful butterflies, and they might even land on you!
The Planetarium and Laser Dome Shows are hits with kids and adults. Both are included with general admission for daytime visits. Snag tickets for a documentary or movie at PacSci’s IMAX Theater if you’re coming in the evening or are searching for a rainy-day activity.
Woodland Park Zoo
Learn about countless animals and their habitats at a fun, conservation-focused zoo.
The Woodland Park Zoo is a gem. Animal-loving families will adore this north Seattle attraction.
You’ll see brown bears of the Northwest, tigers and tapirs from Asia, and Peruvian penguins! Attend daily zookeeper talks to see animal ambassadors and learn more about all the unique critters.
The Woodland Park Zoo has a play space called the Zoomazium where kids can run wild after a day of exploring. Make sure to check the calendar for annual family-friendly events at the zoo. WildLanterns in the winter is always a big hit.
💰 Save Some Money: The Seattle CityPASS is a good way to save money on several of the best attractions for kids. Get discounts for the zoo, aquarium, Space Needle, and more if you purchase one on your visit!
Museum of Flight
Learn about the city’s aviation history and step inside vintage planes at a huge museum.
The Museum of Flight is easily one of Seattle’s coolest museums. This air and space museum is huge, with dozens of planes displayed on the ground and suspended from the ceiling.
The Museum of Flight has amazing spacecraft displays and a lot of information on the history of aviation. However, there are two things kids will especially love.
The first is the chance to step inside a former Air Force One, the first Boeing 747, and a British Concorde. The second is the flight simulators. Both of these are surefire ways to engage the youngest and oldest of every group.
👉 Pro Tip: Go to the Museum of Flight on the first Thursday of the month to do Seattle on a budget. On First Thursdays, the flight museum (and several others) are free. Alternatively, you can reserve free tickets through the Seattle Public Library if you’re a resident!
Take a trip to a fun city across the water on the ferry for an inexpensive outing.
Go to Bainbridge Island for a fun-filled family day trip! It’s simple to get there from Seattle. Just take a 30-minute ferry ride from the Bainbridge Island Ferry terminal.
You don’t need a car to experience the best of Bainbridge. I recommend walking on the ferry to cut down on expenses.
Spend time in Winslow if you visit without a car. Go to the Kids Discovery Museum, get ice cream from Mora Iced Creamery, or go sightseeing around the quaint town. Venture out to Fay Bainbridge Park or Battle Point Park for outdoor fun if you drive.
Pike Place Market
Explore, eat, and shop your way through Seattle’s famous market.
Seattle’s best attraction has something for everyone, families included! Visit Pike Place Market for a few hours of fun.
Let kids take pictures with Rachel, the bronze pig mascot, and then watch the famous flying fish at Pike Place Fish Market. Check out the gross (but eye-catching) gum wall, and go to the lower level of the market. You’ll find Golden Age Collectibles, which have comic books, posters, Funko Pop toys, and more.
Families should also consider taking a Pike Place Market food tour. It’s led by a chef who will guide you through the maze of a market. You’ll learn all about its history and fill up on generous samples from food vendors along the way.
Seattle Great Wheel
Take in a view of the city and Puget Sound from 175 feet above the ground.
📍 Google Maps | Phone: +1 206 623 8607 | Website | Hours: 11 am – 10 pm Monday-Thursday, 11 am – 11 pm Friday, 10 am – 11 pm Saturday, 10 am – 10 pm Sunday | Entrance: $17, adults (12-64), $12 youth (3-11), free, children 2 and under
The Seattle Great Wheel is one of the biggest attractions on the downtown waterfront. This giant Ferris wheel takes visitors 175 feet up in the air to look out over Puget Sound and downtown Seattle.
You’ll ride in a private, climate-controlled cabin. This makes the family-friendly attraction comfortable enough to do year-round. Let kids take pictures and point out sights as the Ferris wheel makes several revolutions. You’ll have a good time whether you go on a warm and clear day, during sunset, or later in the evening.
Root for Seattle’s favorite baseball team and be sure to get a photo op with the Moose.
Bring your family to the home of the Seattle Mariners. T-Mobile Park in Seattle’s SODO neighborhood is a great place to hang out on a warm summer day. Tickets are inexpensive and there’s something for kids of all ages.
Take kids to the Kids Play Area, which has a playground and TVs so parents can keep up with the game. Bring them to the Kids Corner, which has timed running, hitting, and pitching challenges. Or go to the Moose Den for photo ops with the Mariners mascot, the Moose.
Cruise through one of the city’s most popular attractions.
The Ballard Locks are one of the best things to do in the Ballard neighborhood. The locks allow boats to pass from Lake Washington to Puget Sound, seamlessly moving from freshwater to saltwater.
Walk atop the locks and get a firsthand glimpse of how they work. Spot wildlife like seals, sea lions, and herons. Head to the Ballard Locks Fish Ladder to watch salmon jumping upstream on their way to spawn in early fall.
One of the best ways to experience the Ballard Locks is by going through them. Book a tour with Argosy Cruises to do this! The locks tour will take you from the Seattle waterfront to the locks on a 2-hour journey. You’ll learn about the city and see famous Seattle landmarks along the way.
Rainy Day Fun
Seattle Children’s Museum
Play, create, and imagine at a museum just for kids in Seattle Center.
The Seattle Children’s Museum is another spot in Seattle Center that kids will love. Toddlers and younger kids will have the most fun here. The exhibits and rooms are designed to engage their imaginations and get them playing.
Have fun in the theater room, which has costumes, props, and lighting controls. Kids also love the “exam room” and “veterinarian clinic” where they can play the role of a doctor or vet. A “grocery store” with everything from carts and registers to pretend food is another fun place to play. The Seattle Children’s Museum is the perfect rainy day spot with kids.
Let kids run wild at an epic indoor playground where kids can run, climb, slide, and jump.
PlayDate SEA is a godsend for parents who have kids with tons of energy. It’s a great escape, especially on cold and wet days. This indoor playground in the South Lake Union neighborhood has a huge play area for kids where they can run, climb, slide, and jump.
There’s a cafe in PlayDate SEA too. The food menu includes a variety of kid favorites like pizza, chicken nuggets, fries, and fruit. There’s plenty for adults as well. Grab a coffee, local craft beers, and wine from the cafe while the kids play.
Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture
Check out fossils and dinosaur bones and learn about the state’s natural history.
Have a dinosaur-obsessed kid? Take them to the Burke Museum. This natural history museum is where you’ll find Washington State’s only dinosaur bones. This includes a meticulously preserved T-Rex skull.
The Burke Museum has taxidermy displays of various animals in addition to dinosaurs and fossils. There are interactive exhibits and spaces where kids can make crafts.
One of the best things about the museum is that it doubles as a lab. Peak through windows to watch scientists working on excavations, panning, cleaning up fossils, and more.
Seattle Children’s Theatre
Watch kid-friendly performances at a theater just for kids.
Want to take kids to a show, but can’t find one they’d like? Seattle Children’s Theater solves this problem since all of the performances here are geared toward kids. The theater even has a vast range of accessibility offerings so kids of all abilities can attend.
Shows range from retellings of classics like “A Tale of Peter Rabbit” to modern, kid-friendly musicals. Don’t worry if kids start getting restless during a performance. There’s a quiet viewing room you can take them to when they need a break.
Seattle Bouldering Project
Test your climbing and scrambling skills on a variety of fun walls.
Take adventurous kids of any age to Seattle Bouldering Project. There are gyms in both Fremont and Beacon Hill, and you can climb any time of the year.
The gyms have a variety of walls for people of all skills. Older children can attempt to tackle some of the bigger walls with adults. Bring the younger visitors to the sections with walls designed just for them.
Pacific Northwest Ballet
Watch professional ballet performances of classic stories.
Go to the Pacific Northwest Ballet at Seattle Center’s McCaw Hall to watch a fantastic show. This ballet troupe puts on several shows a year, but one of the best is The Nutcracker. Seeing it is a tradition for many local families. Visitors will love it too.
Check the website before you visit to get an idea of other kid-friendly shows to see. You’ll have a wider selection to choose from if you’re visiting with teens.
Seattle Art Museum
Peruse a collection of local, domestic, and international art at one of the best Seattle museums.
The Seattle Art Museum in downtown Seattle is huge. It has several floors worth of local, domestic, and international art to look at, and it’s one of the best museums in the city. The Seattle Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park and the Olympic Sculpture Park on the waterfront are also parts of the SAM.
Walk through the museum and chat about art with the kids. The Seattle Art Museum has various experiences geared toward families. There are family-friendly rooms with toys and art supplies. There are also free cultural performances and celebrations throughout the year.
Teens and Older Kids
Museum of Pop Culture
Check out beloved pop culture memorabilia and learn all about grunge.
The Museum of Pop Culture is a great museum for families with older children and teens. This cool contemporary museum is right across from the Space Needle. The stunning outside of the building is the first hint of the awesome exhibits inside.
Wander through worlds of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. You’ll see artifacts, memorabilia, costumes, and more from pop culture classics like Lord of the Rings and The Walking Dead.
Music also features heavily in the MoPOP. Check out displays that detail Seattle’s grunge history. There are tributes to Nirvana, Jimi Hendrix, and Pearl Jam. There’s also a particularly eye-catching guitar sculpture.
Seattle Pinball Museum
Have an all-you-can-play pinball day at a funky International District museum.
Need a place game-loving kids won’t want to leave? Seattle Pinball Museum in the International District is a good bet. This small museum is full of over 50 vintage and modern pinball machines. Just pay the admission fee and you can play as many rounds of pinball as you like.
There are snacks and drinks available (including local beers and ciders), so you can munch, sip and play for a while. The minimum age to play is 7, so this isn’t a great excursion for young children.
Green Lake Park
Swim, play sports, and ride bikes at this north Seattle park.
Green Lake Park is one of the best Seattle parks for outdoor recreation. This large park surrounding the lake has plenty for sporty and active families. Come for the baseball and soccer fields or basketball and tennis courts. A path loops around the lake with lanes for biking, rollerblading, and running.
Greenlake Boathouse has rentals available if you want to get on the lake. Rent kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, or incredibly fun water bikes for an adventure on this calm and pretty lake.
Chihuly Garden and Glass
Check out intricate glass art and watch glass-blowing demos.
Chihuly Garden and Glass is one of the most stunning museums in Seattle. This Seattle Center attraction is a great excursion for families with kids aged 10 and up. The trip to the glass museum will likely be too boring for younger ones (and stressful for adults trying to keep them from breaking the glass).
Chihuly Garden and Glass is right next to the Space Needle, which you’ll look right up at when you enter the glasshouse. Wander through to admire intricate glass sculptures. Interested in learning how it’s all made? There are live glassblowing demonstrations right in the museum!
A visit to the Chihuly Museum will appeal most to kids who enjoy art and don’t mind visiting a museum where there’s a lot to see, but not a lot to touch.
Mox Boarding House
Play board games in a cool cafe in the Ballard neighborhood.
Mox Boarding House will be a hit with kids! This spot is part board game store and part cafe. There’s a huge collection of games that visitors can borrow for free and play right away in the store or adjoining cafe. If you find a game you like, grab a new copy from the store and take it home with you!
The food at the cafe is also surprisingly good. The menu includes things like sandwiches, salads, and curry. There are even beer, cider, mead, and cocktails for adults. This is the place to go if you have kids who love to sit and play games for hours.
Hike pretty trails, explore tide pools, and visit a lighthouse at the largest city park.
The largest park in Seattle is Discovery Park. It’s over 500 acres and has miles of trails throughout. Discovery Park is a great place to go on a family hike without leaving the city. Forested trails take visitors to various parts of the park.
Head to the bluffs where you can soak up views over Puget Sound. Or take a trip down to the beach with pretty, windswept grasses, tide pools, and the historic West Point Lighthouse. You may spot seals, bald eagles, and other wildlife on your visit.
Spray Parks and Wading Pools
Cool off during a heatwave at several locations throughout Seattle.
Website | Hours: May – September, hours vary depending on the park
Seattle City Parks open up wading pools and spray parks during the summer. These are great places to bring kids to cool off and play during the heat. You’ll find them at various parks throughout the city, so you can choose one that’s close to you.
Bring some water toys, lots of snacks, and towels, and get ready for a great time.
Spend a day at a pretty, popular park on Capitol Hill.
Volunteer Park is one of Seattle’s prettiest parks in one of its best neighborhoods.
Hang out at the playground or splash around at the wading pool in the summer. Big shady trees and open fields throughout the park make it a good one for picnics. Go duck spotting in the ponds or climb the steps to the top of the Water Tower Observation Deck.
Volunteer Park is home to the Seattle Asian Art Museum and the Volunteer Park Conservatory. The museum is stunning, with tons of sculptures and artwork to admire. The conservatory is compact but filled with tropical, native, and desert plants. Come in December to see the space decked out in festive colors and a model train.
The Center for Wooden Boats
Book a free pea boat rental or take a free ride on the lake in one of the historic boats.
The pea boat rental program at the Center for Wooden Boats is a great free activity for families. The boats can accommodate multiple kids and adults and are easy to rent online. Boat rentals fill up fast in the summer. Make sure you book something as soon as they open new time slots.
Check out the Sunday Public Sail if you’d rather let someone else direct the boat. These are completely free events that are open to the public. You’ll get a chance to ride on one of the Center’s historic boats. Hop on a yacht, schooner, steamboat, and more while a volunteer takes you on a tour around Lake Union.
Play at a forest park playground and swim at an outdoor heated pool.
One of my favorite parks in Seattle is Lincoln Park. This West Seattle park is spacious and pretty with two distinct parts to play.
Stay in the “forest part” of Lincoln Park for the playground. It’s large and shady, and there are a variety of play structures for kids of all ages and abilities. There’s also a zipline and a wading pool.
Down by the waterfront part of the park, you’ll find a long path that’s perfect for riding bikes and scooters. Explore the driftwood-laden shore and watch the ferries.
In the summer, the best place in Lincoln Park is Colman Pool. This free outdoor, heated, saltwater pool has a waterslide, diving boards, and lots of room to play.
Alki Beach Park
Spend a warm day playing at the beach.
Alki Beach is one of the best beaches in the city. Taking the King County Water Taxi from downtown is the most scenic way to get here. You’ll have views of the gorgeous Seattle skyline on the way over. Rent scooters to get down to the main strip of the beach once you arrive in West Seattle.
Alki Beach is a mostly sandy beach perfect for sunbathing and playing in the sand. There are volleyball courts, bonfire pits, and a path beside the beach for rollerblading, jogging, or biking. I suggest renting bikes or a surrey from Wheel Fun Rentals for a fun family ride.
Out-of-the-Box Local Gems
DubSEA Fishsticks Game
Watch a college league baseball game at a casual, kid-friendly venue.
Grab tickets to a DubSEA Fishsticks baseball game if you want to take kids to a ballpark that’s less crowded than T-Mobile Park. This is a college summer league team that plays at Mel Olson Stadium in White Center. It’s perfect for families with young kids.
The stadium is small and the crowds are more manageable. The whole experience is less overstimulating for kids. Tickets are also inexpensive, especially on Thursdays when you can get them for just $3.
Grab sweet treats at this kid-approved local donut shop.
Mighty-O Donuts is a local donut chain. All of their donuts are vegan and they only use organic ingredients to make them. Because of this, they’re great for people with dietary restrictions and are delightfully kid and parent-approved.
You’ll find Mighty-O Donuts in various neighborhoods including Greenlake, Capitol Hill, and Ballard. They specialize in cake donuts with a soft and chewy inside and slightly crisp exterior.
Try French Toast or Raspberry Riot if you can’t decide which flavor to get. These two are always winners.
Full Tilt Ice Cream
Enjoy ice cream and arcade games in a funky local shop.
Full Tilt is a popular ice cream shop for Seattle families. The vibe at Full Tilt is funky and laid back, and there’s plenty of fun art to look at.
There are always tons of ice cream flavors to choose from whether you want classic vanilla or Ube. Get your ice cream in a cone, turn it into a malted milkshake, or grab a sundae. Adults can have a beer with their ice cream or combine the two for a (surprisingly good) beer float.
One thing kids love about Full Tilt? There are arcade games in both locations. Play pinball, pac-man, crazy taxi, and more.
Southgate Roller Rink
Skate for hours at the city’s best roller rink located in White Center.
Southgate Roller Rink in White Center is another must-visit spot. This roller skating rink has been around for years. It’s a blast for kids and adults! Go on the weekends for the family skate sessions.
Southgate also offers learn-to-skate classes if kids (or parents) are feeling rusty. Rent some skates, dance to the music, and enjoy food and fun in this beloved local skating rink.
Seattle Ice Cream Cruise
Ride through Lake Union while munching on frozen treats.
What’s better than ice cream? Ice cream on a boat. Sign up for a Seattle Ice Cream Cruise on Lake Union for something the whole family will love. You’ll get an informative tour while you enjoy your sweet treat above or below deck.
The Ice Cream Cruise takes visitors near the houseboats of the city’s floating home community. You’ll also get a glimpse at the old gasification buildings at Gasworks Park. This is a great cruise to learn some unexpected and interesting Seattle facts. And it’ll satisfy your sweet tooth while you do.
FAQs About What to Do in Seattle with Kids
Is Seattle good for families?
What is there to do with kids in Seattle?
There are plenty of fun things to do with kids in Seattle. Take younger kids to the Children’s Museum, playgrounds and wading pools, and the zoo. Older children and teens will love the Pinball Museum, Mox Boarding House, and T-Mobile Park. Popular Seattle attractions like Pike Place Market and Seattle Center are also kid-friendly.
Exploring Seattle with the whole family is easy when you know what to do! Any of these places are great for kids and will ensure you’ll have a great time in the Emerald City. Before you go, be sure to check out my full list of 50+ things to do in Seattle or my guide to where to stay in Seattle.
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