7 Fun and Easy Things to Do With Toddlers in Seattle
Let me start by saying this: It's very hard not to fall in love with Seattle, especially as a mom of young kids. Seattle is one of the most family-friendly cities we've visited, and there are so many cool things to do with toddlers, all within short walking distances in the Seattle city center.
It's hard to cover all the activities we can do with kids in Seattle in one post, but here are seven fun and easy things to do there with toddlers and young kids.
1. Let Kids Explore and Relax at Seattle Center
Seattle Center is a large urban park and a conglomerate of many museums, theaters, and activity centers. You can easily spend days at Seattle Center visiting the different attractions and never get bored. Space Needle, Pacific Science Center, Children's Museum are the most toddler-friendly places, but without going indoors and without spending a dime, you can leisurely walk around this big, green park with the kids, let them run around unrestrained, and let the unique architectural structures inspire their imagination. If you're in Seattle and it's not raining, this is a great outdoor activity!
2. Get a 360° View of Seattle from Space Needle
Toddlers are fascinated by tall structures, and they will be well-served in Seattle by Space Needle. Space Needle is the iconic building in Seattle, standing at 605 ft (184 m) tall. You can reach the top by taking the elevator to get a 360 degree view of Seattle and the Puget Sound (the body of water surrounding Seattle). If you get a Seattle CityPass, you can even visit twice in a day: once during the day and once for the splendid night time view!
3. Play and Learn at Seattle Children's Museum
Also located inside Seattle Center, Seattle Children's Museum is a perfect place for kids of all ages. This place is the world in miniature, with a small mountain for hiking, a world village exhibit, Cog City, an art studio, a market place, and a theater with a real stage and a fun backstage to play dress-up. There are also science talks and story times and other organized activities. Be ready to stay a full day, as kids (and adults) won't have a chance to get bored in this place.
4. Be Dazzled at Chihuly Garden and Glass
One of the most visually stunning exhibits we've ever come across, our visit to Chihuly Garden and Glass was eye-opening. Mr. Dale Chihuly created colorful glass work that is full of life and out of this world. You'll be dazzled by these glass creatures, and step outside into the garden to experience Avatar's Pandora glowing jungle in real life. Chihuly Garden and Glass is a sumptuous visual feast you really can't miss on a trip to Seattle.
5. Ride the Seattle Monorail
The Monorail looks like a kid-sized train in the sky to toddlers, and that means excitement squared. The Monorail ride isk;o,, short (only 2 minutes), but it takes you from Seattle Center to Downtown in style, runs all day, and it's free for kids under four! It was built in 1962 for Seattle's World Fair, so the design of the trains, signs, and posters all have a 60's "retro-futuristic" style to them, and that's pretty chic!
6. Stroll Around Downtown Seattle and Count the Starbucks
Seattle downtown is highly pedestrian-friendly. While in downtown, it's nice to drop in at the Central Library for toddler story times in the morning, and maybe popping in to the Seattle Arts Museum or the Seattle Aquarium in the afternoon, and watching the sunset (when it's not raining) atop the Seattle Great Wheel.
Seattle is probably America's coffee capital. Starbucks was born in Seattle in 1971, and since then this Seattle-headquartered coffee chain has exploded and dominated every major street corner in many parts of the world. When you walk around Seattle downtown, you'll be amazed at the number of coffee shops you see, not only Starbucks, but also countless local coffee houses, you start to wonder whether the locals have coffee running in their bloodstream.
As you walk around Seattle downtown with toddlers, why not make it a fun game and have them count the Starbucks they see like a little scavenger hunt? As you take your caffeine shots along the walk, get yourself the lattes, and get the kids "babyccinos": just ask for steamed milk with extra foam on top, and they can enjoy the coffee house culture with you, too!
7. Taste the Local Flavors at Pike Place Market
What's traveling without tasting local flavors? At Pike Place Market, you'll see some live market action from vendors selling their freshest, liveliest catch-of-the-day, and you'll get to taste them, too!
After a stroll through the aisles of Pike Place Market, head over to Pike Place Chowder in charming Post Alley and have some clam chowder. Chowder of the day can include this Lobster Clam Chowder, now that's decadence on a small budget!
Once you're all warmed up by the hot chowder, stop by The Confectional for some mini cheesecakes. Too hard to pick just one flavor? Well, they're mini so get all the flavors you fancy! Our favorites were Strawberry White Chocolate and Raspberry Dark Chocolate.
As a travel foodie, I can spend hours around Pike Place Market browsing through the market stalls and weaving in and out of the novelty food stores. For some of Seattle's local favorites, try the fun fruity flavors of Rachel's Ginger Beer, and sample the varieties of cheeses at Beecher's.
And don't forget to pick up some fresh flowers to bring back to where you're staying, that little gesture can make you feel like a local instantly.
Where to Stay
My absolute favorite place to stay in Seattle. Why? I've been a fan of the Hyatt House apartment suite concept (fully-stocked kitchen and living room area separated from the bedroom), and this location is right by Seattle Center! See my full review of Hyatt House Seattle Downtown here.
Perhaps better for the business traveler than family with toddlers, nevertheless it's a nice downtown hotel with that Hyatt flair. A good choice if you have older kids and if you feel like spending more time downtown for shopping and art galleries, this location is perfect for that.
A Word on Hotel Bookings
I personally like to use Booking.com when I book hotels because of the competitive prices and the free-cancellation policy (most of the times) if something comes up. Book using the above hotel links or the Seattle Page to help support TravelChicMom.com ~ I highly appreciate it.
Don't like hotels? There's always Airbnb. Use this link to get a $30 credit on me.
Here's my Seattle with Toddlers Map including the places mentioned in this post:
Pin for your future reference: