Rain or shine, cold weather or mild, Seattle is a great place to bring the family for a day trip or weekend adventure. Natural and man-made wonders mix in perfect harmony as you wander the neighborhoods and explore a few hidden treasures. From museums, gardens and farmers markets, our guide to the things to do in Seattle with toddlers will tempt even the most timid of travelers.
Things to do in Seattle with Toddlers
On cold and rainy days my toddler and I head to the Volunteer Park Conservatory, Butterfly Room at the Pacific Science Center or the Tropical House at the Woodland Park Zoo. Each brings a little warmth to our day and teaches us about nature. It also allows us to pull our coats off for a few minutes and take a break from the dreary, windy weather.
If the sun is shining, whether it is warm or not, you will find Seattle families outside. Start any day by heading over to the Japanese Garden to say hello to the giant fish before walking the trails of the Washington Arboretum.
Soak in a little art at the Olympic Sculpture Park, an extremely family-friendly outdoor space with some of the world’s top installation artists work on display. [TTM tip: This fabulous Sculpture Park is equally appealing to tweens & teens!]
Once the weather warms up grab your swimsuit and splash around at Seward Park or Golden Gardens. The water may be freezing but I have yet to find a kid that won’t happily jump on in. If you are up for a little more nature exploration wander over to the neighborhood of Magnolia for a hike through the meadows, forest and driftwood filled seashore of Discovery Park.
Where to Eat in Seattle with Kids
Once you have had your fill of walking the streets of Seattle and exploring the bounty mother nature has provided you may need a little something to get your energy back up. Our family favorites around town are kid-friendly spaces that have menus both parents and kids can get on board with.
Volunteer Park Café – the perfect stop if you are exploring the Volunteer Park Conservatory, taking a stroll through the park grounds or hanging from the monkey bars at the playground. The sophisticated menu won’t scare little palettes. There is something for everyone at this Capital Hill neighborhood hot spot.
Redmill Burgers– what family doesn’t love burgers? And these are the best in town. Non-red meat eaters should not be afraid. Chicken and veggie burgers are also available. Fries, onion rings and a milk shake round out this culinary grease fest. It might not be the healthiest option in town, but it will certainly satisfy the hungriest traveler.
La Isla – a little island style on a dreary winter day is the perfect pick me up. This Ballard neighborhood institution has been churning out some amazing Puerto Rican delicacies for as long as we have lived here. Head over for an early dinner and take advantage of the large happy hour menu. Most items are half off and can fill any tummy. Do not miss out on the pernil (slow roast pig), a house specialty that never disappoints.
Ballard Farmers Market– Sundays are bustling down in Ballard when the farmers market is in full swing. Grab some produce and a $5 bunch of flowers before hitting up one of the prepared food stands for fresh tamales, crepes and wood-fired pizza.
Photo Credits: K. Means
We’re very pleased to have this guest article from Keryn Means of Walkingon Travels. An active mom & blogger, Keryn left the publishing world in 2011 to take care of her growing family and follow her passion for travel. Keryn was based in Seattle but is now living with her family on the east coast. She believes that just because you have kids doesn’t mean you have to put your travel dreams aside – if anything they just get bigger and more exciting!
Have you enjoyed visits to any of these great kid-friendly spots in Seattle? Share your comment below.