fun things to do upon arrival in seattle


Alex and I will arrive in Seattle the evening of June 23rd, and we'll have almost two weeks before I start work on the 5th. I'm looking for suggestions--what are the most fun things that he and I can do together during those weeks?

Top of the list right now is a visit to Pike Place Market, where he's really looking forward to watching the fish get tossed around, and eating fresh brioche at the french bakery. But I know there have to more things that will be fun for him, and I'd love to hear from people with kids (or grandkids, or friends) that age who can give us a good list. If there are web sites associated with your suggestions, feel free to link to them, so that Alex can do some exploring in advance.



1. A day in the Ballard area - shopping for absurd things at Archie McPhee, watching boats go through the locks, a walk on the beach at Golden Gardens, lunch at the cool Thai place with a great interior that used to be in Fremont (of COURSE I can't remember the name) and going to the Scandinavian Bakery for stuff to take home. A delightful day.

2. Cruisin the UW. Start at the waterfront activities center and rent kayaks or a canoe and paddle around the edges of Lake Washington. Then walk up to the Hub for lunch. Walk around the campus. Discover the medicinal garden. Ask about the greenhouse where there is a specimin of the worlds' stinkiest flower. Then see the exhibits at the Henry Gallery. Always an edge that kids appreciate. Finish of cruising the ave for music, ice cream or if you are still hungry, burgers or sausages at Schultzys. Oh, and the Burke Museum too. FULL day.

3. Drive up to Mt. Vernon. Cut over to Whidbey. Walk the bridge at Deception pass, then picnic in the State park. Continue down Whidbey, dawdling in the bakeries of each little town, then ferry home.

The Underground Tour is cool. The Experience Music Project is good, but often crowded. The Pike Place Market is fun to wander around in. Snoqualmie Falls is really, really pretty (though not exactly close, ~25 miles East on I-90). Since it's summer, there's lots of hiking to be had in the mountains to all sides.

I was touristing up there a few weeks ago and had a great time. The Seattle area is one of my favorite places to visit.

Great suggestions! Thanks!

I agree on the visit to the Ballard locks, and the Underground Tour, and a ferry ride of some sort. Also fun: a trip up the Space Needle, a day at the Science Center.

Seattle has a lot of nice parks and trails (, and good options for bicycle riding (mostly hilly, but some flatter areas). Check out the REI store, for both a fun time and lots of good books and information about local outdoors activities.

I'm not an expert (yet :), but Seattle Undeground Tour was lots of fun to do -

And - most likely I'll be arriving on 3 July :)

Wild Waves (a six flags water park)

Pacific Science Center, fun for kids and parents (Seattle Center also holds the Experience Music Project and an amusement park)

Leavenworth, beautiful drive especially in the Fall. There is also a Christmas train that leaves out of several Seattle area cities.

Snoqualmie Falls, hike down to the bottom and then picnic lunch or eat at the Salish Lodge

San Juan Islands, lodging cheaper (almost by half in the off peak season). Hike, kayak, whale watch. Beautiful ferry rides.

Hi... we live in WA and one of the things my kids like to do is to attend a Mariners game. They are always fun for our family! We also enjoy the Seattle Aquarium and Woodland Park Zoo. I agree that The Underground Tour is a must do! It is very interesting!

As you said, Pike Place Market is always a fun thing to do. I never tire of the market.

I LOVE Seattle, I always have and I will miss it when we move next month!

I second the campus tour - and if you do come on campus, let me know and I'd be happy to show you and your family around.

Kids do love the Underground Tour - the guides are great.

Going to the locks is always fun, especially watching the salmon come through the fish ladder.

Bike riding on the Burke-Gillman trail is terrific for young and old alike.

Lots of good hikes - pick up one of the Mountaineers books - we just did the Denny Creek water slide hike with my seven-year-old a couple of weeks back and a blast was had by all.

The zoo is a good one - lots of areas where the animals can wander in recreated habitats. There's a good outdoor concert series there that is very family friendly -

If the weather's bad (as it can be in June), the Pacific Science Center has imax movies. My son also likes the Museum of Flight, and the Aquarium is good.

The new Central Library is a must stop for all of us librarian types :)

Out of town - Vancouver BC is a great city for a short urban getaway - very cosmopolitan. And if you're into great world music the Vancouver Folk Festival is top-notch and the best music festival environment for kids I've ever seen - we go every year - July 15-17 -

The Hoh rain forest on the Olympic Peninsula is a fairyland of wonder - worth a couple of day jaunt. Also on the Peninsula is the Dungeness Spit which is gorgeous and a great beach hike (see ) and Port Townsend, a picturesque small town.

And for baseball, while the Mariners at Safeco field is a great show, for a lot less money you can get a lot closer to the action at the Everett Aquasox (Class A short season ball), which my kid and his friends always enjoy - there's even a big open field they can run around in when they're bored.

Ask me more later, I'm sure I'll think of others :)

There's a nice park near where you'll be working. If figure you'd be amused that one of Rochester's favorite musical groups (I don't know why), Spyro Gyra will be performing in the open air on July 2.

My sister and I are going to the Ottmar Liebert concert this coming weekend.

Here's the venue:

Also, Vicki and I will be sticking around home over the 4th. How about coming over to West Seattle, checking out Alki point and also driving along the sound? There's a nice ferry ride (there are lots of nice ferry rides) to Vashon Island.

Later on this summer when my M.Sc dissertation is over (July 28th is the deadline), we're creating a small party to watch the Tacoma Rainiers in Tacoma (nicer venue than for the Red Wings and way more fun than big stuff at the Mariners and Safeco field). August 19 is the date, it will be a fireworks night. Stay tuned ...

I know I kvetched about the climate when I last checked in with you. Actually, it has been gorgeous the past few days, though we are expecting "isolated thunderstorms" on Tuesday or Wednesday, and then back to partly cloudy, showers, etc. It's been cool here. You'll like that, I think.

Keep packing. Have a great trip.

Oh, I've been told that the ball games in Everett are super, as already mentioned. I haven't done it. But my nephew Eric is a great baseball fan and he recommends it too.

This summer, if you're in town don't forget to try and catch the 2004 WNBA Champs Seattle Storm team play! The team has great players, including Sue Bird, Lauren Jackson, Betty Lennox, and many other wonderful players. Tickets are reasonably priced, and you'll have an super fun time even if you don't think you like basketball. You'll love these gals!

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