Fun dad-teen activities in Seattle (besides the obvious)?
April 3, 2023 11:45 AM   Subscribe

I'm taking my daughter (14) to Seattle for a few days next week and we've already done the standard sights (Pike Place, glass museum, space needle, Pop Culture museum, etc) a few times. We're looking for some other fun things to see/do. We're up for sights, tours, neighborhoods, food, even art classes or things like that.

I'm recovering from knee surgery, so nothing too active beyond some moderate walking. We're staying near the Space Needle and we'll have a car. We were just on Whidbey Island for a few days last week, so thinking more in and around the city.
posted by gottabefunky to Travel & Transportation around Seattle, WA (20 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I really enjoyed the Museum of Flight with my kids when we were visiting out there.
posted by procrastination at 11:52 AM on April 3, 2023 [1 favorite]

if they are into anime and/or manga at all, they may really enjoy Kinokuniya Books. It's inside of Uwajimaya, which is a huge, Japanese-centric Asian grocery store and food court. (Uwajimaya is also a fun walkthrough, and a good way to kill some time). Kinokuniya also has a LOT of fun stationary and stickers.

Locationwise, they are both right across the street from the International District/Chinatown Light Rail Station, so walking should be minimal.
posted by spinifex23 at 11:52 AM on April 3, 2023 [1 favorite]

We did an underground tour while we were there and it was quite interesting.
posted by bondcliff at 11:55 AM on April 3, 2023 [4 favorites]

The Museum of History and Industry is pretty fun, especially the supremely weird musical exhibit about the Great Seattle Fire.
posted by darchildre at 11:55 AM on April 3, 2023 [2 favorites]

The underground tour was my favorite thing about seattle!
posted by capnsue at 12:00 PM on April 3, 2023

+1 to Uwaijimaya and the Seattle Underground tour.

Cat cafe

Mariners games are pretty fun and the stadium seems well-designed to not necessitate a ton of stairs and walking. It is cool to see them shut the roof during a game. They have $10 tickets for center field, and the games are also shorter this year.
posted by lizard music at 12:05 PM on April 3, 2023 [3 favorites]

The cherry blossoms at UW are in full bloom and gorgeous, and a fun stop for photography or people-watching. The Burke Museum of natural history and culture is also neat. On Saturday you could also visit the U district farmer's market. The From the U district light rail station (*not* the University of Washington station) that's about 2 miles of walking round-trip. The place will be packed on the weekends so if you are driving, go early to find convenient parking.
posted by esoterrica at 12:08 PM on April 3, 2023

Green Lake is a good spot for a nice spring day. Also Agua Verde in the U District for a gentle kayak rental and Mexican food.
posted by lizard music at 12:13 PM on April 3, 2023

If you go to Green Lake, and like to make things, check out Seattle Recreative, a reuse store for art and craft supplies.
posted by esoterrica at 12:43 PM on April 3, 2023

Lawless Forge for blacksmithing classes. Awesome people who has worked with people of all ages.
posted by tipsyBumblebee at 12:45 PM on April 3, 2023

Since it's Seattle, check out the Duwamish Longhouse and Cultural Center.

Then riffing in that geographic area:
Museum of Communication, if you're into old telephones.
Alki Beach Park and people-watching.
Or Jack Block Park for cargo-crane-watching.
South Seattle College Arboretum.
Omakase at the bar at Mashiko.
posted by away for regrooving at 1:10 PM on April 3, 2023 [1 favorite]

Museum of Communication, if you're into old telephones.

honestly that really sells the museum short, if you have any interest in technology at all it's really worth a visit. Their youtube channel is rad too.
posted by Dr. Twist at 1:18 PM on April 3, 2023 [3 favorites]

How about a kayak tour through Ballard Locks?
posted by SageTrail at 5:55 PM on April 3, 2023 [1 favorite]

The south end of Lake Union has a couple of things that I love:
MOHAI - the Museum of History and Industry, just what it says on the tin, and so much more!
It is next door to the Center for Wooden Boats, which ha s a fantastic livery of rentable sail and row boats, if that’s your jam. Otherwise, they are beautiful to look at.
Also, if it’s a nice day, a visit to the Ballard Locks is always great. Of all the things I’ve taken people to see, the Locks gets the most “Gee, I really enjoyed that.” comments.
Also, the Underground Tour involves a lot of fairly steep stairs, so consider your knee before buying tickets.
posted by dbmcd at 8:41 PM on April 3, 2023 [1 favorite]

If you have time when you are at the Ballard Locks, you can cross
the dam to Commodore Park on the South side of the canal. You might see seals or sea lions swimming in the canal. In the trees above the canal, there are nests of cormorants and blue herons. At the edge of the canal below the trees, you might see a heron standing in the water, completely still for many minutes until they suddenly lunge into the water to catch a fish.

There is also a fish ladder with underground windows where you can see into the depths, but it's too early in the year for a salmon run.
posted by JonJacky at 9:12 PM on April 3, 2023 [1 favorite]

Friday, April 14 is the monthly Chantey Sing at the Center for Wooden Boats (which, as mentioned above, is next to the Museum of History and Industry).

The Seattle Asian Art Museum is wonderful, and right next to it is the Volunteer Park Conservatory, a Victorian greenhouse full of tropical and desert plants.

And there's also the aquarium.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 10:00 PM on April 3, 2023

I know you've been to MoPOP, but there's a great exhibit on about the Laika film studio--Coraline, ParaNorman, Boxtrolls, Kubo and the Two Strings, etc. Lots of puppets and huge set pieces on display, very cool.
posted by moonmoth at 11:00 PM on April 3, 2023

yes but also, Old Telephones, pretty f'ing.
posted by away for regrooving at 12:53 AM on April 4, 2023

It's been more than a decade since I last did it, but what about a Theo Chocolate tour?
posted by msbrauer at 3:55 AM on April 4, 2023

How much did y'all enjoy the glass museum? Do you want to try playing with molten glass?

There are a handful of places in town that do blow-your-own activities, where an experienced glassblower will assist you in creating a piece. I'm familiar with:

* Seattle Glassblowing Studio is the most up-market, and VERY expensive. They have a good gallery and an impressively pristine hot shop.
* Blowing Sands is the place to go if you're the type of person to be charmed by somebody with a materials science degree from MIT who loves sharing his deep knowledge of the craft. It's a fraction of the price of Seattle Glassblowing Studio for a similar experience, but the studio itself is the cluttered lair of a working craftsman. The equipment all works well, but some is literally held together with baling wire. (I love it, but it's not for everybody!)
* Pratt Fine Arts Center will often have family-friendly classes on the weekends. It's also THE place to take ongoing classes in Seattle, and a lot of quite accomplished artists use this hot shop to create their own work. I don't see any intro experiences on the calendar for when you're in town, but if you're interested, it wouldn't hurt to call them and see if any of their instructors would be up for a one-off. There's often space in the studio during the week.
posted by Metasyntactic at 2:49 AM on April 5, 2023

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