All Ages

Seattle Weekend Guide for Families

See recent posts by Amanda Norcross

There’s something really special about Seattle, and only those who’ve visited can truly understand. We could spend an entire week (or more) in the Emerald City, but you can just as easily get a taste (literally and figuratively) of the city in a weekend. Make Seattle your next three-day vacation destination so you can see the famed Space Needle, Pike Place Market, Puget Sound and more with your family.

Written by Amanda Norcross


Day 1: Get Outside

Head to Pike Place Market for breakfast and other goodies to take home -- but not before watching the fishmongers throw the catch of the day to paying customers in one of Seattle's quirkiest traditions! Other fun stops in and around Pike Place Market include the Gum Wall (add a piece!) and World Famous Giant Shoe Museum.

Ride the Ducks of Seattle is one of the best experiences in Seattle - no, seriously. Hop aboard to enjoy a narrated tour and amazing views of the city.

Head across the city to Kerry Park, where you'll enjoy an unforgettable sunset over the city's skyline -- with a prime view of the Space Needle.

Day 2: See the Icons

Your family -- especially teens -- will be wowed by the creations at Chihuly Garden and Glass. You'll see beautiful sculptures both inside and out, with photo ops galore. This is definitely a place where you'll want to purchase a keepsake item to take home.

The Museum of Pop Culture (formerly Experience Music Project) explores the story of Seattle's music, science-fiction and sports scenes, among other pop culture. Featured exhibits highlight the life of David Bowie, Jimmy Hendrix and Jim Henson, and the interactive sound lab is not to be missed, either.

MoPop is located at the base of the Space Needle, so you can easily walk out of the museum and be at the Space Needle in just a few steps. Go at night for a unique perspective of the city.

Day 3: Go to the Beach

If you have an extra day in Seattle, head to the beach! Stop at the Ballard Locks for a historical tour before heading to Passeo to pick up delicious Caribbean sandwiches. Your final stop should be Golden Gardens Park. This quiet beach features beautiful views of Puget Sound, plus a playground for kids. There are also public fire pits right on the beach - huddle around the warmth with S'mores if it's chilly!

Where to Stay: Luxury Seattle Hotel

The Fairmont Olympic Seattle offers spacious guestrooms and suites, kids' amenities, an indoor pool and onsite dining. It also welcomes pets! The luxury hotel is located downtown, with easy access to popular attractions.

Where to Stay: Mid-Range Seattle Hotel

We love a good Kimpton Hotel - and the Hotel Monaco Seattle - A Kimpton Hotel is certainly no exception! This boutique hotel offers something for everyone in the family, from in-room kids' amenities to complimentary wine hours daily. Pets are welcome, too!

Where to Stay: Budget Seattle Hotel

If you want to save and are willing to stay outside of Seattle, the Hampton Inn Seattle/Southcenter is a good option. The budget hotel offers comfortable guestrooms, free breakfast and free Wi-Fi. Downtown Seattle is a 15-minute drive away.

Top 5 Seattle Restaurants Not to Miss

1. The Pink Door
Enjoy delicious Italian fare and a trapeze show at this hidden gem near Pike Place Market. The only way to identify The Pink Door, of course, is by its pink door. The candle-lit restaurant is on the fancier side, so plan accordingly.

2. Beecher's Handmade Cheese
Watch staff churn out fresh cheese at Beecher's Handmade Cheese, and then order something off the menu. The macaroni and cheese is a must, obviously.

3. Starbucks
... and not just any Starbucks. Visit the Starbucks at Pike Place Market (102 Pike Street) - it's the world's very first one!

4. Cupcake Royale
Craving something sweet? Head to Cupcake Royale for cupcakes with interesting flavors -- Fig and Honey, Apple Streusel and Peanut Butter and Jelly, to name a few. Gluten-free options are available.

5. Great State Burger
Great State Burger serves classic, quick-serve burgers -- including a kids' burger -- in a casual space. Be sure to order milkshakes!

Planning & Tips

Seasonal Events and Attractions
In February, Seattle hosts Seattle Museum Month, with free or discounted admission to many museums throughout the city. Bumbershoot has also given the city a name. The music festival draws major headliners each year and is kid-friendly.

Getting Around Car
You can certainly drive a car in and around Seattle, though public transit is easiest.

Public Transportation
Seattle has two clean and efficient rail and bus systems: Sound Transit and King County Metro Transit. It does not have a subway. Kids ages 6 and under ride free with a paying passenger on Sound Transit; kids ages 5 and under ride free on King County Metro Transit.

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