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Family-Friendly Summer Activities in Seattle

Alt: A skyline of Seattle during a sunset.

With summer in full swing, it’s time to put on some sunscreen, slip into your walking shoes, and explore the streets in quest of new sights! With more than 20 neighborhoods, a thriving arts scene, a plethora of gourmet restaurants, and easy access to some of the most scenic hiking and boating experiences in the Pacific Northwest, the Emerald City has something for everyone. If you have children, you will need to single out family-friendly summer activities in Seattle out of everything it has to offer. Thankfully, we’ve curated a list of the best suggestions for your family adventures.

The best family-friendly summer activities in Seattle

Families may be put off by Seattle’s reputation for rain and dreary skies at first. But don’t let a little rain dampen your spirits. It’s summer, after all!

There is more to keep kids of all ages entertained in Seattle than you could fit into a day or two. Here are some of the most fun locations for parents with children to eat, play, and explore.

Pike Place Market

More than a century old, Pike Place Market is the country’s oldest farmers market and one of Seattle’s most popular attractions. It is a Seattle classic, and while it draws a considerable number of tourists, it certainly keeps its character. Locals still buy here, and the fish, fruit, veggies, and flowers are high-quality and moderately priced.

Caption: All the smells and sounds of the market are a great way to awaken your senses.
Alt: A Public Market Center sign.

Pike Place Market’s best bets for youngsters

  • Gum Wall – Although adults might find it gross, children usually love this vibrant display. Just keep their hands away from it!
  • Market Magic – Aspiring magicians and pranksters will adore the magic tricks, stink bombs, water-squirting rings, and fake poop found here.
  • Golden Age Collectibles – A one-of-a-kind location for comic books, trading cards, and action figures.
  • Sweetie’s Candy – What kid doesn’t love candy?!

There are also numerous kid-friendly snack options and places for a sit-down lunch with the family. They might not be among the most trendy restaurants in Seattle, but you will fall in love with the flavors!

Seattle Center

Exploring Seattle Center is one of the best family activities in Seattle. Throughout the year, a variety of festivals are hosted here. It also houses the legendary Space Needle, which was completely renovated in 2019.

The Pacific Science Center is an excellent destination for families with children. The parents can visit the IMAX theater and watch their favorite new movies, while the kids explore the planetarium and butterfly garden.

The Museum of Pop Culture

The Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP) is an iconic family-friendly Seattle attraction. You can enjoy a day of interactive exhibits that combine music, pop culture, and sci-fi. Sci-fi enthusiasts will enjoy the Star Trek souvenirs, Star Wars artifacts, and scary scenarios from several science fiction films and books.

Caption: The architecture of this one-of-a-kind museum is fascinating as well.
Alt: The exterior of the Museum of Pop Culture, one of the family-friendly summer activities in Seattle.

Children from ages 5 to 10 will be kept busy with this activity for around an hour. Older youngsters might be able to keep their attention for another 90 minutes or more.

Seattle Aquarium

Families with restless youngsters may find the Seattle Aquarium a welcome respite. The foyer features a giant fish tank titled Window on Washington Waters. Sea and river otter residents float hilariously on their backs in the aquarium, as do harbor seals and harbor seal pups. There is an underwater dome on the bottom level that provides a realistic view of Puget Sound fish, and the daily diver show is the finest live entertainment. In the aquarium, children can also touch the starfish and sea urchins.

Alki Beach

Unlike the rest of Seattle, Alki Beach has a distinct Californian flair. Building sandcastles and other seashore joys will be a fulfilling experience for the whole family. There is a bike path, volleyball courts, a miniature Statue of Liberty, and much more.

Caption: Beach family fun is always a memorable experience.
Alt: A mom and three kids at the beach.

Woodland Park Zoo

As one of the top zoological parks in America, Woodland Park Zoo is home to 300 different animal species, including lions, tigers, and snow leopards. Animals here were freed from their cages and instead put in areas built to mimic their natural habitats. It was one of the first zoos in the country to do this. Highlights include tropical rainforest, two gorilla displays, an African savanna, and an Indian rhino sanctuary, among other features.

Babies, toddlers, and preschoolers can burn off energy at Zoomazium, an indoor climbing playground located here.

The Museum of Flight

Seattle was formerly known as Jet City, and you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to check out why. The Museum of Flight is a fantastic museum for people of all ages, especially if you have a child interested in planes. It is listed as one of the best activities in Seattle to explore after you move here, so make sure to check it out if you are new in town.

You will get the opportunity to examine the interior of a Concorde, the first 747 ever constructed. You can also see the original Air Force One, fighters, bombers, and much more. There is a Kids Flight Zone, numerous flight simulators, and highlighted displays that change regularly. The museum is about a 10-minute drive south of downtown Seattle.

Final thoughts

There is so much more to family-friendly summer activities in Seattle than we could’ve fit here. It is frequently regarded as a top family destination, thanks to more than 400 parks, open space, as well as its walkability. The warm summer weather is excellent for visiting all the Emerald City festivals, exploring nature and water attractions, and so much more. The city also offers amazing private schools, so you might even consider moving your whole family here after just taking a visit. We are sure you and your children will have a phenomenal time, whatever you choose!

Meta description: The Emerald City is one of the most famous locations for a family vacation. Take a look at some of the best family-friendly summer activities in Seattle.