We spent a week in Seattle in August as part of a family trip to celebrate my parents turning 70. We settled on Alki Beach as our base and each rented a house. I’m not sure I’d recommend the specific house we rented, but the entire family loved Alki Beach area. We loved being on the water and having loads of restaurants just steps away made life a little easier. The location was very kid-friendly as we were right near the beach and plenty to do even when not out and about sightseeing. So let’s cut to the chase – below are 5 kid-friendly things to do in Seattle – one of which I’d skip if I had to do it again.
Chihuly Glass Garden
While a museum and garden full of breakable glass doesn’t sound inherently kid friendly, the kids enjoyed Chihuly Glass Garden immensely. As did the grown ups! The glass sculptures were colorful and incredibly striking in their size and design. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but this was a winner.
Catherine’s Perspective: I thought it was amazing! All the colors shining in the sunlight made everything shimmer when we were in the big sun room. When we were inside, there were actually lights inside of the glass! I absolutely truly tremendously loved it!
Full disclosure: I thought it was overpriced. A family member gave me two passes they weren’t going to use so we only had to pay for 2 passes. That being said, the otters were a hit. And who can resist otters?
Half-day Sailing Adventure
On the last day of our trip we booked a half day sail with Blue Whale Sail leaving out of Bainbridge Island. It was a delightful way to end the trip. We had a quick stop on Blake Island which is only accessible by boat. The twins had the chance to run around and explore. Unfortunately, we couldn’t stay long because of the tides.
The chance to relax and just spend time admiring the sights was wonderful. The couple who own the boat were lovely and very patient with the questions the twins peppered them with over the course of the 4-hour adventure. We had the option of bringing our own food for meals and snacks but opted to have it provided. And what a wonderful spread they prepared for us. It was splurge but worth it.
The Boeing Factory Tour
Given Nate’s love of Boeing airplanes, we couldn’t go to Seattle without adding the Boeing Factory Tour to our itinerary. This wasn’t a win for everyone – Catherine disputed this being on the Top 5 list. That being said, it was really cool and if you’re raising a budding AvGeek, it’s a must do. Just the scope of the factory is amazing. My only complaint is that it felt rushed at points. Once we finished the tour itself, we were able to go to an observation deck and watch the planes coming in on their test runs. That was the best part. The weather was perfect and I could have stayed there all afternoon if only there had been a beverage/snack bar.
Our day spent exploring Whidbey Island was one of my favorites. There is a bridge to access the island from the north, taking you right to Deception Pass State Park. What a delightful spot! We all had a great time enjoying the sunshine while exploring the beach area. The only reason we moved on was because we were hungry and needed lunch. It would have been a great day to pack lunch. Instead, we popped into a grocery store and picked up some prepared food and snacks.
We made our way south and headed to Fort Casey State Park. This park was recommended by a friend. After eating our lunch at one of the many picnic tables, we were off to explore the old fort. The twins created an elaborate game that involved defending the fort from the enemy – thankfully I was not considered the enemy, at least until I told them it was time to hit the road. To head back to Seattle, we hopped on the ferry from the south of Whidbey Island to Mukilteo.
You’ve probably noticed the Space Needle is missing, as is the ferris wheel, Pike Place Market, and the gum wall. Rest assured, we hit those spots and enjoyed them immensely, but I suspect those are already on your list if you’re planning a kid-friendly trip to the Seattle area.