What can I do with small children in Seattle early Saturday morning?
October 23, 2014 1:34 PM   Subscribe

I need to entertain two small children (under 5) for several hours this Saturday starting at 8 AM. Of course, it's been raining all week, and it's likely to be raining then, and even if it's not raining, all the playgrounds will be wet with dew. All our usual haunts don't open until 10 AM. What can I do that's indoors between 8 and 10? Seattle area - I am willing to drive a bit.
posted by bq to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
8am on a Saturday is pretty early for kid stuff, yeah. I just looked at all the Seattle stuff on this excellent list and the only thing open at 8 is Vios in Ravenna. So maybe have breakfast with them there?

I didn't look at the stuff in surrounding towns because I'm not sure how far you're willing to drive, but it's possible there's something on that list in Bellevue, Kirkland, or Auburn open that early.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 1:51 PM on October 23, 2014

Will you definitely need to leave the house? Are you looking for something active? Do you want to play with them or do you want them to play by themselves?

Children that age love to color, have books read to them, and play with sort of messy things. Put them in a warm bathtub with bubbles and cups of different sizes. Let them play with play-doh or legos. Have a dance party. Make a blanket fort.
posted by woodvine at 2:25 PM on October 23, 2014

Firehouse Coffee in Ballard opens at 6 am and has a play area.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 2:37 PM on October 23, 2014

The toddler room at the Green Lake Community Center opens at 9 am on Saturdays. Info. I used to take our kiddo to a similar room at the Ravenna CC and it worked out well. As rabbitrabbit mentions, Vios is a good place; it has a small enclosed toy area, and is in the same space as Third Place Books, so there's lots of books and aisles to run around in.
posted by sapere aude at 2:38 PM on October 23, 2014

Do you belong to a Y? The one in Shoreline has babysitting starting at 8:30 (call to check that if you're going to do this), and their babysitting areas are great. I believe that if you belong to one of the Ys in the Seattle area, you can go to any one.
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:48 PM on October 23, 2014

No rain boots & rain pants? Kids love tromping about in the rain. Ours like wandering the main trail at Carkeek Park, tossing sticks and leaves into the streams that run under the bridges, and of course splashing in puddles.

Indoors does mean money. We often find ourselves at Phinney Market Pub in the morning as they have a great train table and very good brunch food, and I believe they open at 8. Then you're a short walk to the zoo which opens at 9:30... but then you're outdoors again.

One other idea: the first monorail ride of the day is at 8:30 AM. You could park at Westgate, ride the monorail to the Center House, grab some bagels at Eltana and hang out in the food court until the Children's Museum opens at 10.
posted by rouftop at 2:52 PM on October 23, 2014

If you go with rouftop's zoo idea, there is an indoor play area at the zoo (Zoomazium) as well as several warm indoor exhibits -- the day/night house and rainforest are the largest for good exploring (though the latter asks you to leave strollers outside, which may make it more difficult with two toddlers). I've looked through my various kid-friendly place and none of them are open at 8am.

Alternately, if the kids can have extra clothes at your house, maybe play at the park until they're soaked, have a warm bath, then cocoa at home -- it could be a fun adventure. (I've sometimes taken my daughter on "rain walks" where we get out the umbrellas and rain boots that we rarely use normally and stomp in all the puddles we find.)
posted by Margalo Epps at 3:56 PM on October 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

Just a note about the zoo in Seattle: there's a very active citizen movement to boycott the zoo until they transfer their two remaining elephants to an elephant sanctuary. The details of how they treat their elephants are horrific, and I won't go into them here, but if animal welfare is something that's important to you, I thought you might like to know.
posted by kestralwing at 9:33 PM on October 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

Can you just stay home and make a fancy breakfast as a group? The kids can measure and/or add ingredients, slice up bits of melon with a dull knife, beat scrambled eggs, have impromptu dance parties mid-French Toast. If they've done any cooking before they might be able to help flipping pancakes (this is my 3-year-old's most favorite activity).

Any nearby lightly-wooded area would be good for a hike if everyone has rain gear.
posted by tchemgrrl at 4:28 AM on October 24, 2014

Response by poster: Thanks so much for all the suggestions! As it happens I took them to McDonald's playhouse (AND ATE OATMEAL DON'T JUDGE) and then we went and got flu shots.
posted by bq at 9:10 PM on November 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

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