Headed to Downtown Seattle with the whole family? Here are 10 of the best things to do with kids in Seattle in the Downtown area, some of them are absolutely free. We just returned from our trip and we had a wonderful time!
Things To Do With Kids In Seattle
We recently returned from a fun trip to Seattle, Washington, it was our first time exploring the city and we loved it! From the Pike Place Market to the views of the iconic Space Needle and the Seattle Great Wheel, we had a wonderful time visiting the city’s attractions with the kids in tow!
If you plan to be in the Seattle area with the kids, it’s a MUST that you take a look at these awesome things to do with kids in Seattle in the Downtown area – some free, some cheap, but all of the attractions are a whole lot of fun! Oh, and while you are in the area, take the time for a day trip to Bainbridge Island, it is gorgeous and totally worth the trip!
10 of the best things to do in Seattle with kids
1. Go up the iconic Space Needle in Seattle for sweeping city views
This is a very neat tourist attraction that can be seen from all over the city. Ride an elevator 605 feet up the side of the Space Needle, which opens up onto the observation deck where you can take in the city sights and have a bite to eat at the revolving SkyCity restaurant. We were pressed for time so we did not go up, but I can just imagine the view! We enjoyed the Seattle Center area, one of the top things to do with kids in Downtown Seattle.
2. Play at the Artists at Play playground (free)
This is truly one of the most innovative playgrounds I have ever seen and one of the top free things to do with toddlers in Seattle! Sitting right in Seattle Center, the musically themed Artists at Play park has a 35-foot rope climbing structure with two tube slides – one of them is 50 feet long! My kids had a blast here, they would have stayed all day if I let them.
3. Splash around in the International Fountain at Seattle Center (free)
Wandering around Downtown looking for things to do with kids in Seattle, we came across this giant, and admittedly awesome fountain. Also located in the Seattle Center area, the International Fountain is a giant silver dome that sprays water out in all directions to the tunes of a musical soundtrack. Pack up your swimsuits (if the weather permits), because my kids were so upset that they couldn’t go right up to the smooth dome and get their splash on!
4. Taste, sip and wander around Pike Place Market (free to wander)
One of the places I have been longing to visit is this public farmers market, it’s the top Seattle tourist attraction, and for good reason. Pike Place Market is huge, spanning across the Seattle waterfront and filled with farm stands, restaurants, craftsmen, antiques, and so many other neat shops. Don’t miss the fish market at the front entrance, they throw those fresh-caught babies in air, clear across the market stall to the other side. Also, if you’re interested, Pike Place Market is home to the original Starbucks coffee shop, the line is always crazy!
5. Ride the Seattle Great Wheel at Waterfront Park
Waterfront Park has a few awesome attractions, but the absolute biggest and best things to do with kids in Downtown Seattle has to be the Seattle Great Wheel. This bad boy stands 175 feet tall, extends 40 feet over the pier into Elliot Bay, and can accommodate over 300 passengers in 42 gondolas at once. There are also plenty of places to lounge and catch a glimpse of the ocean view, plus there were ping pong tables and corn hole games set up for some family fun!
6. Explore the Seattle Aquarium
Right next to Waterfront Park along Elliott Bay, the Seattle Aquarium is a great place to spend some time indoors and explore the sea life of the Pacific Northwest. They are a non-profit organization, self-described as “The region’s premier resource for hands-on marine experiences and conservation education, the Seattle Aquarium offers fun, exciting ways to discover more about the amazing Puget Sound and our world’s one big ocean.” The Seattle Aquarium has many educational programs, and their conservation efforts in the local area are a big part of what they do.
7. Take a tour of Safeco Field, home of the Seattle Mariners
If you’ve got baseball fans in your family, the tour of Safeco Field is pretty cool! My son is a big baseball fan and player, so it was pretty cool to be able to go into the Seattle Mariners and visitors dugouts, behind the scenes where players, warm-up, the press box, the umpires box, and directly onto the field to see what the Mariners see when they play. It’s so much bigger than we thought! The day we went was the day they were retiring Ken Griffey Jr’s number and inducting him into the Hall of Fame. You can see them rolling out the #24 sign onto the field, game time was later that evening.
8. Learn and grow at the Seattle Children’s Museum (free for an hour)
Located near the Seattle Center, the Seattle Children’s Museum is a great place to go to get some hands-on learning and playtime for the kids. This 22,000 square foot museum houses lots of exhibits and programs for families to enjoy and get creative with. Kids can explore different themes and use their imaginations to build forts, paint and create works of art, and even climb a mountain! the museum is indoors, making this a good place to escape the summer heat or a rainy day. The last hour of the day is free for families, they just ask for a donation of whatever your family can afford.
9. Check out the grossly interesting gum wall (free)
The Market Theater gum Wall has to be one of the grossest, most germ-infested attractions in the world, but it draws crowds! Super weird, yet super interesting, tourists can head over to the gum wall in Post Alley and stick their own chewed up gum wherever they please. We did not have time to stop by and see this, but it is really close to Pike Place Market and the Seattle Great Wheel at Waterfront park, I wish we could have gone!
10. Take the water taxi to West Seattle
King County operates a water taxi across Elliott Bay that takes passengers over to West Seattle or Vashon Island. Hop on this ferry in Downtown Seattle at Pier 50 and enjoy a short ride along the Seattle waterfront. Once you’re on the other side, enjoy shopping, sightseeing, restaurants, the beach, and more. The King County Water Taxi is about $5 per way, kids under 5 are always free. This is one of the coolest things to do with kids in Downtown Seattle!