City Guide: Seattle

Your one-stop city guide, packed with information on family-friendly hotels, restaurants, and local and unique attractions.

By The Editors

Rain or shine, Seattle is the most vibrant and interesting city in the Pacific Northwest. While its a safe bet to expect a few gray days during your visit, there is plenty of outdoor and indoor fun to be had.

HOTELS:

The Fairmont Olympic Hotel
411 University Street, Seattle, WA
(206) 621-1700
www.fairmont.com/seattle
Price: Rooms starting at $271/night

This downtown hotel offers many kid amenities like no-tear shampoo, children’s sized robes, and milk and cookies at bedtime.

Four Seasons Hotel Seattle
99 Union Street, Seattle, WA
(206) 749-7000
www.fourseasons.com/seattle
Price: Rooms starting at $405/night

With babysitting services available, the Four Seasons is a great place to stay with children while still exploring the more grown-up parts of the city (museums, high-end dining).

Sheraton Seattle
1400 6th Avenue Seattle, WA 
(206) 621-9000
www.sheratonseattle.com
Price: Rooms starting at $159/night

The price for the Sheraton Seattle is definitely right! The location is close to all of Seattle’s main tourist attractions and a short walk from public transportation if you want to do even more exploring.

Pensione Nichols Bed and Breakfast
1923 First Avenue, Seattle, WA
(619) 441-7125
www.pensionenichols.com
Price: Rooms starting at $130/night

Adorable is the first word that comes to mind when describing this downtown bed and breakfast. Located steps from the famous Pike Place Market, most rooms have great views of the city. This B&B is a great place for a special trip with your grandchild. If you’re traveling with a larger group, be advised that the rooms comfortably fit about two people, but larger suites are available.

Red Lion Hotel
1415 5th Avenue, Seattle, WA
(206) 971-8000
www.seattleredlionfifthavenue.com
Price: Rooms starting at $229/night

The Red Lion is an inexpensive Downtown hotel that welcomes families with open arms. With their Seattle Family Vacation package, your grandchildren will receive gifts like a plush red lion, a welcome bag with their own map of Seattle and tickets to the Woodland Park Zoo. This package also grants you access to the Roaring Start Breakfast Buffett and a $50 Chevron gas card. In addition, the Red Lion also offers senior discounts for guests over 50.

FOOD:
 

Original Starbucks Logo
Chris Brown
The Original Starbucks

Twirl Cafe
2111 Queen Anne Avenue North, Seattle, WA
(206) 283-4552
www.twirlcafe.com
Hours:
Monday-Wednesday: 8:30am-5pm
Thursday-Saturday: 8:30am-8pm
Sunday: Closed
Price: $$
Age Range: Baby, Toddler, Preschooler

Families love Twirl Café for its fully contained and spacious play area. The custom built tree playhouse is just one of the things at Twirl Café for kids to climb on and explore. You can visit for “open play” or if you want some time to yourself to relax, come in for “supervised play” and a member of the staff will look after your grandchild while you enjoy some of Twirl’s local and organic menu. Worried about germs? Fear not, the play space is cleaned daily with earth-friendly products and a UV-C sanitizing light!

Rosita’s Mexican Restaurant
7210 Woodlawn Avenue Northeast, Seattle, WA
(206) 523-3031
www.rositasrestaurant.com
Hours:
Monday-Thursday: 11:30am-10pm
Friday: 11:30am-11pm
Saturday: 11:30am-10:30pm
Sunday: 4pm-9pm
Price: $
Age Range: Baby, Toddler, Preschooler, Elementary, Tween, Teen

Rosita’s is perfect for casual dining with your grandchildren. It’s spacious and is always buzzing with noise, so no one will notice if your family gets a bit loud. Every order comes with complimentary chips and salsa, a welcome treat for hungry patrons and kids who need to be distracted before the meal arrives.

Tutta Bella Pizzeria
4411 Stone Way North, Seattle WA
(206) 633-3800
www.tuttabellapizza.com
Hours: Sunday-Thursday: 11am-10pm, Friday-Saturday: 11am-11pm
Price: $
Age Range: Baby, Toddler, Preschooler, Elementary, Tween, Teen

Tutta Bella is the “first certified” Neapolitan pizzeria in the Northwest and a favorite for locals and tourists alike. Can’t agree on what toppings to pick? Don’t worry, everyone can get their own 8” Pizzetta version of any pizza on the menu for just $8.

Ballad Brother’s Seafood and Burgers
5305 15th Avenue Northwest, Seattle, WA
(206) 784-4440
www.ballardbrothersseafoodandburgers.restaurantengines.com
Hours: Monday-Saturday: 11am-9pm, Sunday: 12pm-8pm
Price: $
Age Range: Baby, Toddler, Preschooler, Elementary, Tween, Teen

This super kid-friendly establishment lets kids eat free on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday with the purchase of an adult entrée and kid’s drink. Young seafood lovers can try the kid’s cod fillet and fries, and if your grandchildren don’t like surf, there are plenty of turf options like burgers, chicken fingers, and corn dogs.

Zippy’s Giant Burgers
9614 14th Avenue Southwest, Seattle, WA
(206) 763-1347
www.zippysgiantburgers.com
Hours:
Monday-Friday: 8am-9pm
Saturday: 11am-9pm
Sunday: 1pm-7pm
Price: $
Age Range: Baby, Toddler, Preschooler, Elementary, Tween, Teen

The mouth-watering, award winning burgers aren’t the only reason to come to Zippy’s Giant Burgers. They have an extensive collection of vintage syrup-free sodas and root beer that will be the closest thing to time travel you’ll experience in Seattle.


ATTRACTIONS:

Space Needle
400 Broad Street, Seattle, WA 98109
(800) 937-9582
www.spaceneedle.com
Hours: 9am-12am (daily)
Price: Children (ages 3-11): $12.00, Adults (ages 12-64): $19.00, Seniors (ages 65+): $17.00
Age Range: Baby, Toddler, Preschooler, Elementary, Tween, Teen

A symbol of Seattle and the Pacific Northwest, the Space Needle was built for the 1962 World’s Fair when nearly 20,000 people rode the elevator each day. Today, the Space Needle is home to an observation deck over 500 feet in the air where you can experience great views of the city and beyond. If the ride to the top makes you hungry, sit down for a meal at the SkyCity restaurant, a rotating eatery that completes a 360- degree turn every hour.

Experience Music Project/Science Fiction Museum
325 5th Avenue North, Seattle, WA
(206) 770-2700
www.empmuseum.org
Hours:
May-September: 10am-7pm (daily)
October-April: Daily: 10am-5pm (daily)
Price: Children (ages 5-17): $14, Adult (ages 18-64): $20, Senior (ages 65+): $17
Age Range: Baby, Toddler, Preschooler, Elementary, Tween, Teen

This one-of-a-kind interactive museum is a great time for children, teens, and adults alike. Older music buffs will love all of the priceless artifacts, like Jimi Hendrix’s guitar from Woodstock. Younger musicians will love the Spin Kids Station and Sound Lab where they’ll get the chance to play a plethora of instruments and even record a mini-CD.

Seattle Aquarium
1483 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA
(206) 386-4300
www.seattleaquarium.org
Hours: 9:30am-5pm (daily)
Price: Children (ages 4-12): $12.95, Adults (ages 13+): $19.95
Age Range: Toddler, Preschooler, Elementary, Tween

The Seattle Aquarium is home to a wide-array of local marine life. Don’t miss the Underwater Dome, a 360-degree-view of a 400,000 gallon tank of hundreds of fascinating fish that live in the Puget Sound.

Woodland Park Zoo
601 North 59th Street, Seattle, WA
(206) 548-2500
www.zoo.org
Hours:
May-September: 9:30am-6pm (daily)
October-April: 9:30am-4pm (daily)
Price:
May-September: Children (3-12): $11.50, Adults (ages 13-64): $17.75, Seniors (ages 65+): $15.75
October-April: Children (3-12): $8.50, Adults (ages 13-64): $11.75, Seniors (ages 65+): $9.75
Age Range: Baby, Toddler, Preschooler, Elementary, Tween, Teen

Award-winnings exhibits like the Elephant Forest and Tropical Rain Forest are just a few of the adventures the Woodland Park Zoo to experience with  your family. See a wide array of animals from aardvarks to zebras, or visit the Zoomazium, a nature-themed indoor play space for children eight and under.

Argosy Cruises
1101 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 
(800) 642-7816
www.argosycruises.com
Hours: Open daily, check for cruise times
Price: Children (ages 5-12): $9.75, Adults (ages 13-64): $23.25, Seniors (ages 65+): $19.25
Age Range: Baby, Toddler, Preschooler, Elementary, Tween, Teen

Argosy Cruises have been setting sail in Seattle since 1949, attracting millions of visitors for their one-hour harbor tours. Hop on and experience a narrated tour of Seattle’s beautiful and historic harbor. You’ll see the waterfront, the city skyline and the Cascade and Olympic Mountains, all from an open-air deck.

Pike Place Market
85 Pike Street, Seattle, WA
(206) 624-4271
www.pikeplacemarket.org
Hours: Monday-Saturday: 9am-6pm, Sunday: 9am-5pm
Price: Free
Age Range: Baby, Toddler, Preschooler, Elementary, Tween, Teen

No trip to Seattle is complete without a visit to the Pike Place Market, one of the oldest continually operating farmer’s markets in the United States. First opened in 1907, here you’ll find all sorts of food, crafts, antiques and collectibles. Don’t miss the famous fish throwers at Pike Place Fish Market, where you’ll likely see employees tossing three-foot salmons to each other over the counter.

The Children’s Museum
305 Harrison Street, Seattle, WA
(206) 441-1768
www.thechildrensmuseum.org
Hours: Monday-Friday: 10am-5pm, Saturday-Sunday: 10am-6pm
Price: Adults & Children (ages 12 months & older): $7.50, Grandparents: $6.50
Age Range: Baby, Toddler, Preschooler, Elementary

Let your grandchildren explore 22,000 square feet of hands-on learning at the Children’s Museum in Seattle. Take a tour around the world in the Global Village, where your grandchildren can take a ride through Ghana, pedal through the Philippines or cook in a Japanese kitchen. Every day the museum offers a new program or discovery project for children of all ages.

Gas Works Park
2101 North Northlake Way, Seattle, WA
(206) 233-1509
www.gasworksparkmarina.com
Hours: 6am-10pm (daily)
Price: Free
Age Range: Baby, Toddler, Preschooler, Elementary, Tween, Teen

Gas Works Park has long been heralded as one of the most beautiful parks in the city. Built on the site of the old Seattle Gas Light Company, Gas Works Park offers a large play barn, a hill popular for kite flying and spectacular views of Lake Union, and the city. The old, rusted gasification plant in the middle of the park also makes for a unique photo op.

Pioneer Square
608 First Avenue, Seattle, WA
(206) 682-4646
www.undergroundtour.com
Hours: Open daily, check for tour times
Price: Tours: Children (ages 7-12): $8, Adults (ages 13-59): $16, Seniors (ages 60+): $13
Age Range: Baby, Toddler, Preschooler, Elementary, Tween, Teen


Pioneer Square was once the heart of the city of Seattle. Today, you can visit this historic neighborhood for a peek into how life was before the Great Seattle Fire of 1889. But the history in Pioneer Square isn’t all visible from the street. Beneath the street exists three blocks of the original city, which you can tour on Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour. (Note: be aware that the tour is 75 minutes and may not be the best idea for younger grandchildren). The tour begins inside of Doc Maynard’s Public House, a restored 1890’s saloon.

Museum of Flight
9404 East Marginal Way South, Seattle, WA
(206) 764-5720
www.museumofflight.org
Hours: 10am-5pm (daily)
Price: Children (ages 5-17): $9, Adults (ages 18-64): $17, Seniors (ages 65+): $14
Age Range: Baby, Toddler, Preschooler, Elementary, Tween, Teen

The Museum of Flight is the perfect place for aspiring pilots and plane lovers. Let your grandchildren play pretend in a cockpit or take a ride in a flight simulator. They’ll love looking at the collection of more than 150 historic air and spacecraft related artifacts!

LOCAL UNIQUES:

Starbucks
1912 Pike Place, Seattle, WA
(206) 448-8762
www.starbucks.com
Hours: 6am-9pm (daily)
Price: Drink prices vary
Age Range: Baby, Toddler, Preschooler, Elementary, Tween, Teen

With a Starbucks on every corner in nearly every city, you may be thinking there’s no reason to see another one on your trip. But if you find yourself in need of a snack break, visit the world’s first Starbucks. The native Seattle company opened its first store in 1971 in Pike Place Market. Because the market is a historic district with design guidelines, it retains its original design.

Golden Gardens Park
8498 Seaview Place Northwest, Seattle, WA
(206) 684-4075
www.seattle.gov/parks/park_detail.asp?ID=243
Hours: 6:30am-11pm (daily)
Price: Free
Age Range: Baby, Toddler, Preschooler, Elementary, Tween, Teen


Take advantage of Seattle’s beautiful forests at Golden Gardens Park. This popular outdoor park is great for a sunny spring day picnic. You can hike on one of its many trails, swim in the Puget Sound or take a fishing break off the pier.

Archie McPhee
1300 North 45th Street, Seattle, WA
(206) 297-0240
www.archiemcpheeseattle.com
Hours: Monday-Saturday: 10am-8pm, Sunday: 11am-6pm
Price: Toy prices vary
Age Range: Baby, Toddler, Preschooler, Elementary, Tween, Teen

Wacky is an understatement when it comes to Archie McPhee in Seattle. Kids can easily spend hours perusing the aisles of unique toys and oddities (like the Magical Unicorn Mask or the Yodeling Pickle). Past patrons of the store include Anthony Bourdain, who stopped there while filming his show for the Travel Channel.


The Fremont Troll
North 36th Street at Troll Avenue North, Seattle, WA
www.fremont.com/about/fremonttroll-html
Hours: Open daily
Price: Free
Age Range: Preschooler, Elementary, Tween, Teen

The giant statue under the Aurora Bridge is really something you have to see to believe! Your grandchildren will beg you for a picture, or to climb up the giant mixed media statue, which has become a necessary stop on Seattle trips since it was created in 1990.

 

Comments

My comments as an authentic native: (1): use the city buses to sightsee; (2) NEVER go to the Public Market on the weekend!!!; (3) take a ferry ride -- walking on and just doing a round-trip to Bremerton or Bainbridge Island is fun; (4) explore Schmitz Park to see what the area looked like before all the big cedar trees were cut down; (5) take a bus to Alki Beach and have buy lunch at Spud's Reastaurant.

alkigirl43@gmail.com on 2012-09-27 14:09:52