Jacqui Boland is the Editor of Red Tricycle, an online city guide that help busy parents have more fun with their kids by offering ideas for cool things to see, eat, make and do. Red Tricycle covers the Bay Area, Seattle, Portland, LA and San Diego.
Madison Park dock. Photo Credit Jacqui Boland
When most people think of visiting Seattle with kids, they immediately think about taking a ride to the top of the Space Needle. And while that certainly will keep the little ones busy for, oh, say 60 minutes, the Emerald City is teaming with pint-sized adventures for families of all ages.
Explore Seattle’s best loved neighborhoods
After spending a day with the kids in Downtown Seattle (visit Pike Place market early and preferably midweek to avoid the crowds, don’t miss the stroller-friendly Olympic Sculpture Park), venture a little further afield to some of Seattle’s best loved neighborhoods, like Ballard, which boasts cute boutique shops, neighborhood pubs, eclectic restaurants, and waterfront parks, including the much-visited the Chittendenlocks Locks. Or Madison Park (an easy bus ride across town), which on warm summer days hosts the most family-friendly beach on Lake Washington, with a high dive and swimming dock all near the shore and absolutely free.
Kid-friendly Seattle coffee shops and indoor playgrounds
If the weather isn’t behaving (hey, this is Seattle after all), no worries, because you’re visiting a city with the largest collection of kid-friendly coffee shops in the US. Kid tables? Check. Books and toys? Check. A little R & R for mom and dad? Check. Once you’re suitable amped on some of the country’s best coffee, head over to the plethora of indoor playspaces and let your little monkeys climb the walls.
Free things to do with kids
If your wallet is feeling a little light and you’re looking for some cost-effective ways to make the most of this family vacation, we’ll dish on a few favorite free activities that are go-tos for Seattle moms to keep the kiddies entertained. For example, did you know you can ride the bus for free anywhere in downtown Seattle? (Raise your hand if your kids like buses). Or, if you’re lucky, you can even take a free sail on Lake Union or enjoy storytime on a tugboat. Read more about our favorite free things to do with kids in Seattle.
Sculpture garden. Photo Credit Jacqui Boland
When you’re ready to see bounty the rainfall bestows on the city (it’s not call the Emerald City for nothing), grab a raincoat and head out to one of Seattle’s vibrant, awe-inspiring gardens (the Arboretum is our favorite and not just because it’s in walking distance to the cafes and shops in Madison Valley).
And finally, when the family is ready to settle down for a meal, don’t settle for fast food. Seattle is host to many fabulous dining experiences with kiddies in tow, including dim sum, sushi and thai food. Here’s a complete list of our favorite kid-friendly world restaurants in Seattle.
More resources for families visiting Seattle
Crybabycomforts.com – rents baby gear, from strollers to high chairs and car seats, even co-sleepers and Amby Hammocks. Picks up and delivers from hotels. Daily or weekly rentals.
Bestsittersinc.com – very reputable Seattle-based baby sitting service that works with many top hotel concierge. $62 for 4 hours (minimum), $12/hour after that.
And if that’s not enough for you — Seattle residents and visitors alike can check out Red Tricycle at redtri.com for an update on the weekly events & activities for kids.