Every year on spring break I take my boys on a road trip. My husband usually stays home to work and I take the opportunity to take them somewhere new for all of us to explore. It is usually centered around kid-friendly activities and for this trip I chose to go back to Seattle. It’s an easy drive for us and it is one of my favourite cities. But for this trip we didn’t go to our usual spots and instead, made the trip about exploring places we hadn’t been but were also kid-friendly.
Seattle Children’s Museum
I had been wanting to take Holter and Heath to the Seattle Children’s Museum for a while as I had heard such positive things about it. We made our way there after breakfast and enjoyed the lovely walk after finding parking for the day. It is located very close to the Space Needle so we had a nice view of it on our walk.
We did get a tiny bit lost trying to find the Children’s Museum but we found a nice lady to point us in the right direction as it is tucked down a side street that we walked right by.
The Seattle Children’s Museum is over 18,000 sq feet of play space designed for kids ages birth to 8 years old to enjoy with their families. There are a number of hands-on exhibits for kiddos to explore, and daily educational programs or activities that are FREE with the cost of admission.
Every area of the Children’s Museum was a place to explore. The boys went from area to area checking it all out and having fun seeing how it all worked. There was an interactive display right in the hallway that Heath spent 20 minutes playing with and the Cog City exhibit captured their attention immediately.
The Dunn Lumber Construction Zone was where they got to wear hard hats and build their projects from scratch. They both love to build things at home and everything from the nuts and bolts to boards were oversized and perfect for their little hands. We were also lucky that there was no one else in the exhibit with us that morning so the boys had it all to themselves.
The Imagination Studio was where we spent the bulk of our time. The boys both fell in love with the glass that they could draw on and use a spray bottle to wipe off. This kept them occupied endlessly. They also painted and worked with clay but it was the standing piece of glass that they were both drawn to.
I highly recommend signing up for a time at the Imagination Studio as soon as you arrive at the Children’s Museum. I didn’t expect them to spend so much time there and luckily we had it to ourselves and were able to stay longer than we would have if there had been a waiting list.
Holter and Heath explored the Eye Clinic, the Market and loved Sound Transit. The opportunities were endless for them to be hands on and use their imagination in every room. We took a break at lunch time and it was really easy to head upstairs to the Marketplace to refuel. There were many different food options and many were healthy options which is always a bonus for us. We spent six hours at the Children’s Museum and the boys were begging to stay longer.
If you decide to visit the Seattle Children’s Museum, pay for parking for longer than you anticipate! I didn’t expect to stay there all day and am happy that I found all day parking that morning. Go first thing in the morning as it was nearly empty when we went mid week in March.
The Seattle Children’s Museum hours are Tuesday to Sunday from 10am until 5pm. It is important to note that their doors close to the public at 4:30pm.
The Space Needle is nearby so you could easily incorporate that into your day as well but since we had a full day at the museum, we headed back to our hotel, jumped into the indoor pool and hot tub and had some unstructured play time before dinner. The boys were exhausted so we had an early night to get ready for day two of our adventure.
Woodland Park Zoo
The next morning we headed to Woodland Park Zoo and found the parking there to be very easy. We spent roughly four hours exploring every inch of the zoo and I have to say that I loved it just about as much as the boys did. I found that it was the perfect size, not overwhelming and we could take our time and visit each exhibit at our own pace.
Woodland Park Zoo’s 92 acres are divided into bioclimatic zones, featuring different natural habitats ranging from humid tropical rain forests and coastal deserts to temperate rain forests like those of the Pacific Northwest. We started off with the Giraffes which is always a crowd pleaser. They were just taking them out to the exhibit when we arrived so we were able to get a sneak peek of them right away.
The Tropical Asia exhibit was the favourite of the day hands down. The Orangutans stole the show with their endless chatter amongst each other and put on a show for the crowd. They are quite loud though so if you have children with sensitive hearing you may want to keep your visit short. The jaguars in the Tropical Rainforest exhibit were a favourite and Holter had fun navigating the way using the map of the zoo.
We ended our time at the zoo at the outdoor playground. No matter where in the world we are exploring, I always find time for the boys to have unstructured play time. Even though at the Woodland Park Zoo we roamed freely and the boys loved their time there, they will never give up a chance to climb, run, jump and just be boys.
Admission to the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle is $13.95 for kids aged 3-12 and $22.95 for adults.
Family Fun Center in Tukwila
After leaving the zoo we stopped for lunch and then made our way to the Family Fun Center in Tukwila just south of Seattle. I kept this adventure for last since it was a treat for the boys and a fun way to end our trip. The options at the Family Fun Center are endless. We were there in mid March so their outdoor options were limited but we had no shortage of fun inside.
The Family Fun Center has an endless list of attractions and we only scratched the surface of the indoor options. They also have a Virtual Reality room, Lazer Extreme, XD Theater which is a motion simulated ride and a Drop & Twist tower. For their outdoor activities they feature The Screamin’ Swing adrenaline ride, Go Karts, Bumper Cars, Mini Golf, Batting Cages, Bumper Boats, Sling Shot and Traffic School in mini kid cars! You could spend all day there and still not have time to explore everything they offer.
The boys headed straight for Kidopolis Playland which is a massive four-level indoor soft playground.
Two hours were spent on the slides, climbing up to the top of the structure and playing hide and seek with each other. We have a similar indoor soft playground in our city but it was a tenth of the size of this one. Even when there was quite a lot of children playing they all had their own space to move about freely.
We moved on to the glow in the dark bowling alley which had a full food menu served right to your table and alcholic drinks for adults which was a lovely feature after being the solo parent on this trip!
After a few games Holter wanted to go on the Frog Hopper ride he spotted just outside the Kidopolis Playground. Heath was a little too scared of going without me so we watched from below as Holter giggled away the entire ride and enjoyed his two minutes of “freedom” riding it on his own.
After four hours and a stop for a quick pizza dinner in their food court, I let the boys loose in the arcade. We have a strict policy of no video games in our home so it becomes quite a treat for them when we go to places like this.
All in all it was a really fun two days and it was easy to find fun things to do in Seattle with kids. It was an easy itinerary for me to handle without Andrew traveling with us and sometimes it is fun to sneak the boys away on my own and I’m sure Andrew enjoys the peace and quiet while we are gone!