Toddlers in Seattle: What to do, and how to survive!

seattle activities for toddlers

Are you feeling over-whelmed with all the travel itinerary, packing, and planning that goes along with traveling with your family! We know your struggle!

Traveling with toddler and pre-school kids can be a little stressful.  We can help keep stress down once you arrive in Seattle with some favorite things to do with little kids, suggested by a  local (our very own Darik, the owner of Seattle Oasis Vacation Rentals) with a 3 and 4.5 year old. Read on for navigation tips for our beauitful city with young ones in tow!

We live in the suburbs south of the city, so being a tourist in the city I grew up in with my boys is one of my favorite things to do.  What follows is a kid-friendly to-do list of activites while you are enjoying your downtown Seattle vacation rental..

Start at the Seattle Aquarium, which is short jaunt from most of our properties. It’s a great place to go with kids, rain or shine.  A unique feature of the  Aquarium is that most of the creatures are local to the waters of Elliott Bay, Puget Sound and the greater Salish Sea. Never heard of the Salish Sea? Well you can learn about that, watch divers feed fish in the huge entry aquarium, get wet and explore the touch tank and so much more!

Seattle Toddler Tip #1:  When your little ones start getting cranky, the Seattle Aquarium Café can be a lifesaver. While by no means a 5 star dinning experience, the adults in the group can easily find something to enjoy on the menu with made to order salads, panini’s and local microbrews should the day call for it!

Seattle Toddler Tip #2: The Seattle Aquarium is one of the attractions featured on The Seattle City Pass.  If you hit up at least ½ the attractions on the list, it is worth buying as you get to skip the lines at all but the very first attraction you visit. Once you buy the passes online, you take those passes to the first attraction you visit and they will give you a booklet with your tickets for the rest of the attractions that are featured. Then your family can skip the ticket lines at the rest of the places you visit!  That can be a lifesaver for short attention spans and curious minds! This is a great way to get more done with your family while visiting Seattle!

My next suggestion is perfect for kids of any age, as well as kids at heart.  Seattle is know for the Space Needle, our mountain (Mt. Rainier) and our lakes, rivers, bays, sound, and sea.  The Washington State Ferry System is a way of life, supporting communities that ring Puget Sound, and is a fun and restful experience ride.

We often get asked about which ferry to take, and really the answer is where do you want to go and do? Bremerton is an option for those that want to visit the Naval Shipyard, as well as a revitalized downtown area.  This trip is about an hour one-way.

However, our families favorite is to go to Bainbridge Island, a 35 minute ride, and friendly for folks with or without a vehicle.

Without a car, you can walk right onto the Ferry and its an uphill, but short walk to the downtown area of Winslow.. There are shops, restaurants, and even a little park that you can play tag in if your little ones get board with the shopping options. That being said, if they are good, you can always bribe them with a stop in Calico Toy Shoppe, which has toys for nearly all ages, and a great place to pick up a souvenir for growing minds.  

If you do have a car and want to explore Bainbridge Island, one of our family’s favorite stops is the Bloedel Reserve. With acres upon acres to expore, and 12 distinct gardens, including one of the top Japanese Gardens in the United States. The Reserve was the summer and eventually the retirement home of an area logging family that were early conservationists and appreciated nature’s bounty.

The next stop on our Toddler Tour of Seattle is Seattle’s Museum of Flight.

Musuem of flight is located just south of Downtown Seattle on Boeing Field. The original hanger where the company was founded is part of the museum. You can see everything from early aircraft, to the latest in Space Exploration and technology.

There are lots of interactive experiences. Your kids can climb in the cockpit of a SR71 Blackbird and pretend to "drive" their airplane. They can also practice being a FAA control tower engineer, experience the Space Shuttle Trainer and more. There has been a recent expansion of the Aviation Pavilion across the street from the main museum. This area is a 3 acre covered display area that houses 19 unique and rare aircraft including the first Airforce One used by Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon.

Seattle Toddler Tip #3: Much like the Seattle Aquarium, the Museum of flight has two different areas where you can get snacks and food. So if you are nearing a toddler meltdown, you can extend your day by not have to leaving the property to get a snack and refuel for takeoff!

Seattle Foodie Tip: While it can be difficult for families as it’s a small joint that often has a wait, the nearby Hangar Cafe has great food.

Pictured here is the Triple B: Apple Smoked Bacon, Brie, and Fresh Basil ontop of a Belgain Waffle! They feature Crapes, Waffles and Both Hot and Cold Sandwiches. This is a local favorite that you probably wouldn’t find without a local telling you about it, but is well worth the wait!

These are just a few ideas, as Seattle is packed with activites for families. If you need any additional tips or ideas, just give us a call and any of our team can help you plan an itinerary along with your stay.


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