What to do with friends during Seatac lay over?
June 11, 2013 2:03 PM   Subscribe

We are relatively new to Seattle and have some friends who have a five hour layover coming in tomorrow afternoon. We do not have enough room in the car to carry them all, so they (1 father, 2 sons - ages 3 & 5) will jump on the light rail and meet us somewhere. Where would be a good, child-friendly place to meet along the light rail route to hang out for a few hours on what will likely be a rainy afternoon?
posted by lil' ears to Travel & Transportation around Seattle, WA (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I would strongly suggest you meet them at the airport, where there are plenty of places to hang out and eat. They are going to need to allow at least an hour and a half to get back through security and onto their flight, not to mention the time to get to and fro on the light rail.
posted by bearwife at 2:13 PM on June 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

My first thought would be to take a taxi to the Museum of Flight near Boeing Field. It would be about $30 each way plus tax. Or you could drop one person off at the museum on the way and then maybe you'd have room to ferry the other three in your car.
posted by grouse at 2:16 PM on June 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

There are numerous Pho and other Vietnamese/Mexican/Somali restaurants right off of the Othello stop on the Light Rail. There's also a coffeeshop or two there as well.
posted by spinifex23 at 2:26 PM on June 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Columbia City! Bring an umbrella and walk the few blocks along Edmonds from the LR station to the business district. Lots of great places to eat if you need a meal--Tutta Bella especially is incredibly kid-friendly and has absolutely fantastic Neapolitan-style pizza. Great little business district to walk up and down, with two great kid stores (Sweet Peas, and the toy store across the street, which name I don't remember.) Parks all over the north end of the street if the weather is nice, the beautiful library to dawdle in if it's drizzly. It's my old 'hood and my kids and I miss it like crazy. Tell 'em I sent you!
posted by Sublimity at 2:49 PM on June 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

Doesn't the light rail get super close to the family fun center in Tukwilla? They have an arcade and all kinds of other things, and a little restaurant where you guys could get some beers.

And if it isn't crappy out, they have a go kart track(and the karts seat two up, so you could drive the younger guy around if he wasn't up to it) and all kinds of other stuff. I LOVED places like that when I was 5, and I'm sure you could keep the younger kid entertained.

And yea, it's pretty damn close to the airport.
posted by emptythought at 2:53 PM on June 11, 2013

I agree with bearwife, five hours isn't really long enough to do this comfortably unless nothing goes wrong. Imagine a kid has to go to the bathroom at the wrong time, resulting in having to wait for the next train, then security is extra packed, and everyone in line ahead of you is semi-comatose and takes their shoes and jackets off like the walking dead . . . it's not at all unlikely and more stress than it's worth.
posted by HotToddy at 3:01 PM on June 11, 2013

You could take the light rail to Pike Place, grab some delicious produce, used books, and salami. I’d say that might burn up two hours pretty easily.
posted by oceanjesse at 3:13 PM on June 11, 2013

While I think Pike Place is nice, I don't know, it's certainly not worth the trip given the circumstances. Kind of expensive, and the surrounding area is pretty gross. The aquarium, further south, is pretty neat, but out of scope for this trip, I would say.
posted by KokuRyu at 3:29 PM on June 11, 2013

If they can make it downtown, I strongly recommend the Seattle Art Museum. They have designated kid play areas on all floors, lots of places to sit, a restaurant and some pretty great art. You'd be indoors if it's raining too.
posted by saturnine at 4:09 PM on June 11, 2013

You could take the light rail to Pike Place

First, you have to walk to the complete other end of the airport parking lot, then the train is about an hour to get to Westlake Center, then there's a walk through the most crowded part of downtown, then the activity itself, then a walk back, and an hour back to the airport by train, and then walking back through the parking lot.

Pick 'em up at the airport and take them to lunch at the Seatac location of 13 Coins.

Doesn't the light rail get super close to the family fun center in Tukwilla?

No. But it's not far -- pick them up and drive there.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:09 PM on June 11, 2013 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks for all the ideas! Sublimity definitely sold Columbia City!! I do love Tutta Bella :)
posted by lil' ears at 8:07 AM on June 12, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks again Sublimity! Columbia City was definitely the place to go! The kids loved the Rainier Park playground with its cool "spiderman" climbing ropes and then a nice walk over to Tutta Bella...such a cool little neighborhood. Easily manageable for my friends who arrived at 2:35 and departed at 7:50.
posted by lil' ears at 3:18 PM on June 13, 2013 [2 favorites]

So glad to hear it! CC is a real gem.
posted by Sublimity at 8:31 AM on June 15, 2013

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