What should I do in Seattle with kids aged 1 and 4 next week?
February 28, 2012 11:00 AM   Subscribe

What should I do in Seattle with kids aged 1 and 4 next week? Staying downtown near the Convention Center. I will have a car.

My spouse is attending a big conference at the Convention Center next week. I am going along to see Seattle for the first time and to have a good time with a friend who is coming in to visit and my kids, two boys aged 1 and 4. I have never been to Seattle before, and am looking for fun activities to go out and do together during the day when my spouse is conventioning, mainly Monday through Wednesday.

We will have a car, and are happy to drive around and see other things in the area. We also have a single stroller, so we can walk around a bit, but I would probably have to carry one of the boys which gets tiring. Public transportation is fine, if it can hold a large folded stroller.
posted by carpographer to Travel & Transportation around Seattle, WA (18 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Woodland Park Zoo!
posted by tristeza at 11:08 AM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Do they like mac & cheese? It's fun to watch the cheese get made at Beechers. That'll take up ... maybe 1/2 an hour or so depending on the line. It's next to the Pike Place market, if you want to show them guys yelling and tossing fish around.

The aquarium is quite nice there too.
posted by jabberjaw at 11:13 AM on February 28, 2012

Best answer: Space Needle.

This previous thread has lots of ideas.
posted by grouse at 11:14 AM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

Bus system is good, especially if you time it so you're not trying to fit the strollers on during rush hour crowds - but if you're leaving downtown in the mornings and coming back in at the end of hte conference day, you should be okay. If it's a pretty day (ha!) I recommend going to the Fremont neighborhood, to see the troll under the bridge (good for climbing), a stop at the kite store, and good kite flying on the hills in the park. Also plenty of places for coffee, snacks, etc.
posted by aimedwander at 11:27 AM on February 28, 2012

Monorail, sculpture park, Aquarium, go exploring along the piers - there is a nice little fountain to play in near where the cruise ships dock. Ride the ferry to Bainbridge and back?
posted by misterbrandt at 11:31 AM on February 28, 2012

Aquarium is nice but SO expensive.
posted by jjmoney at 11:44 AM on February 28, 2012

How much money do you want to spend?
posted by mecran01 at 12:05 PM on February 28, 2012

Response by poster: Well, cost isn't a major object. We are spending quite a bit to get out there and look around, so we are willing to pay to do more fun things.

Thanks, grouse, I missed that prior thread. I didn't think of the toddler keyword.
posted by carpographer at 12:12 PM on February 28, 2012

Best answer: The Children's museum is fun.
posted by leahwrenn at 1:21 PM on February 28, 2012

The Children's Museum and the Aquarium are great!

If the weather is nice there are a ton of great playgrounds. The playground at Seward Park (spectacular lake views! old growth forest! bald eagles nesting!) just got revamped and includes an awesome, awesome zipline. Bonus: you'll be able to drive there along Lake Washington Blvd S., which is like the only really unobstructed water drive along the lake. Volunteer Park on Capitol Hill, Gasworks Park in Wallingford, Green Lake also have great playgrounds.

If the weather is not so nice and you need to let them run amok in an enclosed space while you drink coffee, some community centers have toddler gym. The Community Center in Columbia City (Rainer CC I think) has them a few mornings a week; the Green Lake CC has a dedicated space that's open all day.

Columbia City is awesome and kid friendly. If you need kid gear while you're there go visit Sweet Peas (new and consignment clothes and gear). There's a great toy store across the street too, Tutta Bella for an awesome pizza lunch, and Full Tilt ice cream for dessert just up the street, all in easy walking distance.

Have fun! We all miss Seattle, kids included.
posted by Sublimity at 3:06 PM on February 28, 2012

The Pacific Science Center has some very interactive exhibits and is about one bus away from the Convention Center.

It's all indoors as well, which might be preferable to something like the zoo (which is fantastic, but being a zoo it's mostly outdoors) during the next 9 days of rain showers that we're expected to have.
posted by Momorama at 3:28 PM on February 28, 2012

It's a little out of downtown but the Freemont troll is fun. To give you an idea of size the VW is life size (it's real but covered with concrete). It's not roped off or anything so you get up close which works well for campy photos. Standing between the fingers like you had been trapped by the troll was the favorite of our group.

posted by stray thoughts at 8:41 PM on February 28, 2012

King County Metro policy is that strollers must be empty and collapsed. The official policy is that this must happen once boarded, and that the bus driver should operate the lift or ramp for you if request. I have read that some bus drivers instead insist that the stroller must be folded before you board, so be forewarned.

Other than that, it's a great bus system. Bus Chick manages to get around with two small children, so it must be possible.
posted by grouse at 9:01 PM on February 28, 2012

Best answer: Experience Music Project and Science Fiction museum.

The locks in Ballard are fun if the weather's nice-- which might be doubtful-- but it's cool to see the boats going up and down.
posted by lockstitch at 9:27 PM on February 28, 2012

The downtown library had a great kids room, with tons of books to read, comfy couches, puzzles, toys, and computer games. If you need some downtime, it's a good place to go. I'd also recommend taking the ferry. Either to Bainbridge or Bremerton, just walk on with your kids and enjoy the wind and water, and then ride back.

If you want to spend a bit more, the Children's Museum is pretty neat.
posted by Margalo Epps at 10:33 PM on February 28, 2012

Best answer: Five activities my 3-1/2 year old boy loves:
1) Museum of Flight sit in a mock control tower and watch small planes land at a real airport, climb aboard jet cockpits, run through the aisles of a 727.
2) Arena Sports in Magnuson - crazy indoor bouncy house-a-palooza if you need to guarantee a nap.
3) Point Defiance Zoo AND Aquarium in Tacoma, which is not as far as it seems. It's cheaper, less crowded, better scaled for young kids, and set inside a lovely park. Huge plus - Shark Tank!
4) Seattle Aquarium - they've got a new baby sea otter, but my son heads straight for the touch tanks, then the underwater dome, then back to the huge Window on Washington tank for to watch a scuba diver feed the fish.
5) West Seattle - check the (W-F of next week seem to have an okay, but not stellar, mid-morning low for exploring the beaches) then take the water taxi for a short ride over to Seacrest Dock. Explore rocky beaches, watch scuba divers gear up and head out, stop for fish and chips, rent a bike with trailer and cruise along a great bike trail with the best view of downtown.
posted by rube goldberg at 11:07 PM on February 28, 2012

oops, that last one should be check the *tide table*
posted by rube goldberg at 11:08 PM on February 28, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks for the advice. I marked some of the answers as best, based on the first answer I saw for things we enjoyed. The biggest hit was the Children's Museum. My four year old wants to go back to Seattle just for that. The Museum of Flight has a children's section with airplanes and helicopters to sit in, and we battled the Evil Fairies using those for quite a while. The weather was nice, so we did visit Ballard locks and saw boats going in and out, which was fun as well - I'd like to go back during the salmon run to see that. We randomly ended up at Golden Gardens and the climbers on the playground there were quite fun.

The Experience Music Project was fun for the adults, but the kids were still to young. Space Needle was fine, adults liked the view better than the kids, though the kids liked sitting and getting a snack. Beecher's was good - the mac and cheese was really rich. Right down the street is a Chinese place that sells steamed buns and excellent sesame balls. We liked those very much. Fish throwing came second to sitting on the bronze pig statue nearby.

For future thread perusers, we purchased the Seattle City pass, and though we didn't use all the tickets we left them for friends to use. If you do this, either buy them at the first attraction or print the voucher and take them with you. I bought them online and didn't print the voucher which created about 25 minutes of problems when we tried to pick them up.
posted by carpographer at 12:55 PM on March 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

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