Slurpee In Seattle
July 11, 2011 8:16 PM   Subscribe

The most awesome things for families to do in the Seattle/Tacoma/Peninsula area?

After several months of working up here, the family is finally relocating (YAY!) - however, Lady Roboton and the Three Kids Roboton are not too thrilled about it. I'm compiling a list of things to do so that when they get here we can get after enjoying everything the area has to offer and hopefully help them weather (yuck,yuck) the transition.

Food, Camping, Hiking, Day Trips, Parks, Museums, Aquariums, Shops, Farms whatever, just tell me what you think would amaze and awe a sweet family that is feeling the bittersweet tug of homesickness.

(P.S. - They will be up in August)
posted by roboton666 to Society & Culture (19 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Jetty island is a fun day trip- I think it is free toothed outdoor concerts are great over the summer months. In August we have Seafair. Great Airshow and boat races. Go to agua Verde near £
UW rents kayaks. Or Mercer slough or UW boats all fun. Mariner games. Train rides in north bend. How old are your kids? What do they like?
posted by jennstra at 8:26 PM on July 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: 15, 10 and 7. They like Zoos, Train rides, camping, farms, nature, shoe shopping, music and playing in parks
posted by roboton666 at 8:32 PM on July 11, 2011

Kelsey Creek farm in Bellevue. Sounder train. MT.Trainer train. Amtrak -north or south pretty route either way. Shoes -nordstrom RACK. Molly Moon ice cream. Portland anytime. Vancouver anytime. Turtle camping through the state Parks. You can contact me if you want!
posted by jennstra at 8:41 PM on July 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

The Seattle Zoo and Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium are both fun, and I like the Seattle Aquarium and nearby shops such as Ye Olde Curiosity Shop. If they're coming up in August, there are a couple of shows at Zoo Tunes (at the Seattle Zoo) which aren't sold out.

You can rent paddleboats at Greenlake and paddle around the lake. I haven't been on one in years and years, but Argosy Cruises has a number of sightseeing trips that look good, including one which goes through the Locks. Speaking of which, July/August is probably the best time to visit the fish ladder at the Locks.

I've always wanted to visit one of the many alpaca farms in the area; most of them offer tours if you call first.

For stereotypical Seattle tourist-y stuff, the Seattle Underground Tour is a lot of fun. Riding the Ducks looks like it might be fun, but seems overpriced to me.

You could take them to the REI flagship store and plan a few hikes and camping trips from there. Another good resource for hiking/camping/day trips in the area is The Mountaineers.
posted by hades at 8:58 PM on July 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

I'll just ignore your unkind remarks about our wonderful weather.

Where y'all moving from? What did they like about home?

Here are some general suggestions in no particular order:

Tacoma has Point Defiance Zoo, which is a small zoo but wonderful. They have baby tigers and a nifty aquarium. Also? Polar bears. And oomingmak. Seattle's Woodland Park is much, much bigger and fancier. (PDZ seems to focus their collection on the pacific rim, which I think is cool. Woodland Park has African animals. They're both very nice facilities. Woodland Park is particularly good if your family is relocating from a flatter part of the country, since the crazy Seattle hills are an excellent introduction to Seattle's crazy hilliness.)

Visit the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge (about an hour and a half south of Seattle.) It's beautiful and unique. We were down there recently and saw an honest-to-goodness river otter. The bird watching is good too. Lots of eagles.

You MUST do the Puyallup Fair at least once, and when you do you're required to eat your weight in scones. This year the fair runs from September 9-25--just in time for the Robotons' arrival.

If you like living history stuff visit Eatonville's Pioneer Farm. I LOVED this place as a wee child. It's in the same town as Northwest Trek, which is just spectacular and involves a tram. (Kids like trams.)

Come on down to Steilacoom for the Apple Squeeze on the first Sunday in October (if you like adorable small town hijinks.) While you're here, ride the ferry over to Anderson Island, which is very pretty. You can get a lovely and unique view of Mount Rainier from the island. It's a nice day trip--maybe bring bikes or something?

The Mariners are fine and whatever but the real fun is a little south at a Rainiers game. I'm not even a sports person, really, but I have wonderful memories of attending Rainiers games with my dad back in the day.

If anybody in your family is into cars you should check out the LeMay Museum. I haven't been to the actual museum yet but the LeMay collection of classic cars is delightful. I'm looking forward to visiting the museum soon and hope to take my car-obsessed nephews someday.

And yes, as much camping and hiking as you can talk 'em into.

Please feel free to memail me if you'd like.
posted by Neofelis at 9:00 PM on July 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Neofelis: They are moving up from Austin Texas. They like hot weather, swimming year round and going to texas beaches. In short, I am taking them away from everything they love. I gotta replace it with what makes the PNW so special!
posted by roboton666 at 9:04 PM on July 11, 2011

Response by poster: I don't want to cheapen the "best answer" option, so I favorited you all! Thanks!!!!
posted by roboton666 at 9:06 PM on July 11, 2011

Ha, I specifically moved back here after five years in Texas because of the animosity between me and the sun. Hm. (Of course I was in the part of Texas that seems to manufacture high-grade humidity for export to the rest of the country. Austin seemed much more livable.) I might not be the best person to answer this since I am a lover of dolor and drizzle.

I remember the first time I made my (Texas-born) husband visit a Pacific beach on the Washington coast. He was a little traumatized. Being used to Galveston, where the water is basically tepid YooHoo, he just didn't realize how cold the ocean water would be. Beaches here are beautiful but not so great for swimming, unfortunately. Year-round outdoor swimming just doesn't happen around here, which is too bad. Maybe they could grow to love snowboarding or skiing?

Maybe when you get the chance y'all can drive down south a bit to the Oregon coast. It's not much warmer but I feel like Oregon's beaches are...beachier than ours.

They'll probably like it better in August/September than they would if they'd moved out a few months ago. We usually get some truly lovely, balmy late summer weather in those months. And because school will probably start very late compared to when schools seemed to start in Texas there will be at least a few weeks or a month to appreciate the outdoors. But yeah, if they really need warm sunny weather to be happy this might be a difficult transition.

I guess my only real advice there would be to try to get used to doing outdoorsy stuff even when it's gray and drizzly. Except in the dead of winter it doesn't get too horribly cold, and the advantage of going outside to play on a grayish day is that the fun outdoor spots won't be swarming with people. And at least you grow to truly appreciate the sunny days since they're not the majority.

Good luck! Obviously I'm a fan of the PNW and hope your kids and wife grow to love it. At least if they're coming from Austin to Seattle it won't be a huge culture shock.
posted by Neofelis at 9:34 PM on July 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

Just across the mountains in Leavenworth you can go tubing in the wenatchee river. It's a lot of fun and the area is gorgeous.

Camping in the San Juans, Olympic National Forest or on the coast like Ocean Shores (ocean city campground iirc) are all good options. One nice thing I have found with many Washington State campgrounds is that they are reservable.

Also, fewer of our insects are poisonous!
posted by HMSSM at 9:43 PM on July 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Also in the winter, tubing at snoqualmie pass is fun! Especially if you are looking for something cheaper and less demanding of coordination than snowboarding/skiing.
posted by HMSSM at 9:48 PM on July 11, 2011

Response by poster: Holy crap HMSSM! That's *exactly* what we need!!!
posted by roboton666 at 10:14 PM on July 11, 2011

East of the mountains is high desert. Take your pick from the links here.
posted by brujita at 10:14 PM on July 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

Was down in Redmond over the weekend. At Marymoor park, they seem to have an area specifically set aside for R/C planes and stuff. YMMV, but that blew my mind. I would go there just to watch other peoples' stuff fly, but I guess you could actually participate, too.
posted by TangoCharlie at 11:49 PM on July 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Yeah, RC planes, cars and model rocketry is always an A+ with my tribe.
posted by roboton666 at 12:44 AM on July 12, 2011

Definitely check out the r/c planes at Marymoor. There used to be folks who would hot air balloon around there, too, but I haven't been out there to see it so I don't know if it still goes on. Seeing them land was pretty cool, though.

Head to the peninsula. Sol Duc hot springs is a nice trip - the hiking path is very accessible. Also, Hurricane Ridge, to look into the heart of the Olympic mountains. If you head out to Cape Flaherty, on the Makah Indian reservation, you can visit the northwest-most point in the continental US.

Visit the Ballard locks in Seattle - depending on the season, you can watch fish going in or out as part of the spawning lifecycle, and watch ships rise and fall in the locks themselves.

Drive out route two and back via the North Cascades Highway -- you drive thru agricultural areas and then through the Cascades - quite lovely, and there'll often still be big snowbanks next to the road as far along the season as late June. It's a day's drive our I 90 to Idaho and Montana, too.
posted by rmd1023 at 4:23 AM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

The ferries! The ferries! The ferries! Here is the route map, sorry for the cutting and pasting: Walking on (or biking on) is cheaper, and you can do so much fun exploring via the ferries. Also, we really love the san juan islands, which are very close to the city. I think all the little islands all over are really a selling point of the area. People have mentioned the locks too-they are awesome, you can see some neat stuff coming though. The fish ladder there is neat. Another thing to share with the kids is that we have WHALES and SEALS and OCTOPUS and STARFISH and other types of super cool sea life here. And mountains! And a volcano! Bald Eagles everywhere! It still might be a hard sell, but maybe your family will be charmed. Get them some fleece.

I see someone mentioned marymoor park-they have a velodrome there and on friday nights in the summer have races, and also have kiddy races as well. Really neat to pack a picnic dinner and watch the bike races.

Also, if you have a dog, your dog won the dog lottery. The dog parks are amazing (like the one at marymoor) and your dog can even ride the bus.
posted by 58 at 9:32 PM on July 12, 2011

Welcome to Seattle! Please remember the following in order to ensure a pleasant stay:

1. Seattlites are impervious to all but the most extreme cold. I once saw a mailman delivering mail in shorts while it was snowing. I am typing this to you wearing a tank top when it's 56 F, and I have all the windows open and a fan blowing directly on me. This is my definition of "room temperature". My husband from North Carolina has learned to rely on thermal underwear and layers to survive.

2. If you wait for it to stop raining, you will grow old before you leave the house. Unless it's dumping buckets (which usually isn't the case, it's mostly just a drizzle) go ahead with your plans.

3. Drive for 2 hours east and you are in the "desert" (by Seattlite standards, everything east of the mountains is "desert"). I don't recommend going over the pass in the winter months, but if they need the heat in summer, it's right there.

Some of my favorite things to do as a kid:
Driving at the crack of dawn to watch the sunrise on Mt Rainier
Climbing Mt Pilchuck (I was about 10 and my sister was about 7, so it's doable for kids)
Big Four Ice Caves

Pacific Science Center, Seattle Aquarium, Woodland Park Zoo, Museum of History and Industry (my personal favorite as a kid), and Gasworks Park are all in the city and worth your time.

The Puyallup Fair each September is fun.
Northwest Trek could be a cool introduction to the wildlife of the Pacific Northwest.
I loved going to Tillicum Village as a kid, especially because we could take a friend's boat out to the island rather than the cruise. We felt cooler than everyone else :)

Fort Casey is great for a day trip. It's a huge abandoned fort with big guns, foxholes, and creepy dark rooms to explore. One of my all time favorite trips we took as a kid. You can also go to Fort Ebey while you are in the area, it is less impressive as a fort, but it has some amazing views.
posted by evilcupcakes at 7:11 AM on July 13, 2011 [1 favorite]

Oh, yeah, Fort Worden, too, out on the penninsula. Another cool old fort, this one also notable for being the site used as a military base in "Officer and a Gentleman" (in case it looks a bit familiar...)
posted by rmd1023 at 9:58 AM on July 13, 2011

Response by poster: Evilcupcakes, you asploded my mind.
posted by roboton666 at 10:38 PM on July 13, 2011

« Older Movin' to the country, gonna eat me a lot of...   |   How much propane is in the tank? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.