Looking for fun things to do with kids in Seattle this fall? We saved you some precious free time by doing the legwork to create an epic list of all the kid-friendly activities you can do in Seattle, from the obvious (of course you gotta go to the aquarium) to the not-so-obvious. Whether you’re just visiting or grew up here, we bet there is something on this list that may surprise you. The best part is that many of these activities are budget-friendly or even free!
We’ve split up our suggestions into two categories: indoor activities and outdoor activities. Check out the indoor activities below for rainy, chilly days and then just scroll down a bit further for all the outdoor fun that you can do year-round.
Here are the top 45 things to do with kids in Seattle:
Witches and wizards of all ages will be excited to discover Harry’s world at Harry Potter™: Magic at Play, opening in Seattle this November! The enchanting experience will have you start your adventure just as Harry Potter did at the Dursley residence at 4 Privet Drive. Created by Warner Bros. Themed Entertainment and Original X Productions (formerly Superfly X), you and your kids will marvel at this one-of-a-kind experience that’s only in town for a limited time, taking over The Shops at The Bravern. Guests of all ages can interact, explore, play, and climb through the most iconic moments at Hogwarts™.Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime adventure for wizards, witches, and even muggles (gasp!)—Accio tickets!
2. Compete in the Little Mermaid scavenger hunt
The Little Mermaid Experience is a scavenger hunt taking place in Seattle! This immersive scavenger hunt will have you playing against other teams as you use your phone to find the mermaids’ treasure in Seattle. All ages are welcome, and there will be costume prizes so be sure to get creative. There are still tickets available!
4. Take advantage of free museum admission
Many Seattle museums have daily free admission for children. These include:
- Seattle Art Museum (free for age 14 and under)
- Museum of Flight (free for age 4 and under)
- Museum of History and Industry (free for age 14 and under)
- Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture (free for age 3 and under)
- Seattle Asian Art Museum (free for age 14 and under)
- Museum of Pop Culture (free for age 4 and under)
- Henry Art Gallery (children of all ages are admitted free; adult admission is a suggested donation)
- Frye Art Museum (always free for all ages—plus check out their free activities and events on their website)
If you don’t want to have to purchase a ticket for yourself to accompany your kids, you can also check out our guide to Seattle museums’ free admission days.
5. Visit the Seattle library
The Seattle Central Library, located downtown, is always worth a visit for its striking architectural design and beautiful 11-story interior. It’s also a blessing for parents because it’s open seven days a week and you’ll find free parking, free Wi-Fi, air-conditioning on hot days, plenty of restrooms, and a children’s center. You can also visit one of the many other branches of the Seattle Public Library; they have nearly 30 locations throughout Seattle.
6. Go to a Candlelight concert
If you know your kid is at the right age to sit through an hour-long concert, Seattle has a Candlelight Concert series that would be a really special treat for older kids who love music. Here are two Candlelight Concerts in Seattle that feature music that kids might be familiar with (for ages 8 and up):
7. Eat out at these kid-friendly restaurants and breweries
Looking to grab a tasty meal with your kiddo in Seattle? Here are some of our favorite kid-friendly Seattle restaurants:
- 5 Spot in Queen Anne
- Cafe Flora in Capitol Hill (vegetarian/vegan)
- Easy Street Records & Cafe in West Seattle (grab brunch with your kid and then take them record shopping!)
- Flora Bakehouse in Beacon Hill
- Hi Spot Cafe in Madrona
- Luna Park Cafe in West Seattle (temporarily closed but reopening soon)
- Muriel’s in Seward Park (located inside Third Place Books; afterwards you can browse the bookstore and then swing by the Seward Park playground)
- Portage Bay Cafe (multiple locations)
- Ridge Pizza in Phinney Ridge
- Skillet in Capitol Hill
- Uneeda Burger in Fremont
- Wayward Vegan Cafe in Roosevelt (vegan)
And a few Seattle breweries that are kid-friendly:
- Here Today Brewery in Downtown Seattle
- Métier Brewing Taproom in Central District
- Fremont Brewing’s Urban Beer Garden in Fremont
- Optimism Brewing in Capitol Hill
- Urban Family Brewing Co. in Ballard
7. Shop for a new toy at Seattle’s children’s stores
We know that sometimes it can be a real roll of the dice to walk into a toy store with your kid in tow. That said, if it’s a special treat day or you know you can trust your kid to keep their chill when surrounded by cool toys for sale, here are our recommendations for the best children’s stores in Seattle:
- Archie McPhee in Wallingford is a kids’ paradise, with tons of funny toys, games, and gag items.
- Bootyland in Capitol Hill is the place to go for ethical, sustainable kids’ toys and clothes.
- Flora and Henri in Pioneer Square has a very sophisticated (and often high-priced) vibe, so this may be a place to take older kids.
- Fremont Vintage Mall in Fremont is not technically for children, but if they’re old enough to be careful they’ll have lots of fun browsing the vintage posters, toys, and knick-knacks.
- Magic Mouse Toys in Pioneer Square is a two-story space absolutely packed with a wide variety of toys, games, books, puzzles, and more.
- Portage Bay Goods in Fremont is a quirky little gift shop with enough fun items to interest older children.
- The Original Children’s Shop in Madison Park is a great place to shop for clothes for your little one.
Also, if you’re shopping for your kiddo on a budget you’ll find a great selection of pre-owned children’s clothes, toys and gear at Childish Things in Greenwood and Kym’s Kiddy Corner in Phinney Ridge.
8. Ice skate at the Kraken Community Iceplex
Home to the Seattle Kraken, the Kraken Community Iceplex is a great place to spend the day with kids. The rink opens to all ages for public skate sessions over lunch hours, weekends and evenings, and kids age 4 and under get to skate for free (not including the cost of skate rentals).
You can also register for Tot Play Hour, which is $12 for adults and free for kids age 6 and under (not including the cost of skate rentals).
Afterwards you can grab a bite with your kiddo at the family-friendly 32 Bar & Grill located in the Iceplex.
9. Visit the Seattle Aquarium
If you’re looking for a fun indoor activity for kids of all ages that will keep them busy for at least a couple of hours, the Seattle Aquarium is open daily and is always a good time! Plus its central location on the waterfront means that it’s easy to find a place to grab a bite afterwards.
You can also take advantage of the aquarium’s Toddler Time program, which offers free hands-on activities for you and your young children to enjoy together on select Sundays and Mondays.
10. Join a Seattle art walk
If you have an older kid with an appreciation for art, take them on a Seattle art walk. Once a month, a handful of Seattle neighborhoods invite you to walk through participating galleries and businesses to view art for free. You can read more about the various Seattle art walks and their schedules.
11. Explore Pike Place Market
There’s so much you can do with kids at Pike Place Market! Introduce your kids to Rachel, the bronze pig; let them stick a piece of gum onto the Gum Wall; take them to watch the fish fly; and let them eat as much delicious food as they can.
As far as the food is concerned, most kids will enjoy:
- Beecher’s mac and cheese
- Ellenos Yogurt
- Honest Biscuits
- Shug’s Soda Fountain & Ice Cream
- Daily Dozen Doughnuts
- Pasta Casalinga
There are also a lot of shops and vendors in Pike Place Market that kids will love such as:
- Lionheart Bookstore
- Careful It Bites
- 3D Wood Puzzles
- Golden Age Collectables
- Lamplight Books
12. Learn something new at Pacific Science Center
There is fun for all ages at Seattle’s Pacific Science Center. You can easily spend a whole day there exploring the salt water tide pool, watching shows in the Laser Dome and the Planetarium, and playing an augmented reality game. Kids under the age of 3 are granted free admission. They also have a free sensory-friendly day; the next one is coming up on January 21, 2023.
13. Tour the Seattle Chocolate Factory
Does your kiddo have a sweet tooth? Take them to tour Seattle’s very own chocolate factory! Book your Seattle Chocolate Factory Tour here.
14. Reach new heights on an indoor climbing wall
Is your kid climbing the walls at home? Take them to an indoor climbing gym in Seattle. Seattle Bouldering Project has various youth programs available at both their locations. Edgeworks in Ballard also has youth programs. And the REI flagship store allows youth to climb their Pinnacle wall.
14. Play at the Seattle Pinball Museum
Although admission is limited to ages 7 and up, this is a great place to take kids for a few hours of fun. For the entrance price of $17 ($20 for adults) you get unlimited access to over 50 pinball machines. They also sell snacks and sodas.
15. See a show at Pacific Northwest Ballet
If your kiddo is old enough to sit through an entire ballet, take them to see one of the many performances at Pacific Northwest Ballet. The Nutcracker is a beloved classic that you can enjoy together in the winter months.
16. Take the Monorail to Seattle Center
Going for a ride on the elevated Monorail is a fun adventure on its own. As a bonus, you can get off at Seattle Center and explore the many attractions there: the Space Needle, the Museum of Pop Culture, Chihuly Garden & Glass, the International Fountain, and the many ongoing events at Seattle Center (most of which are free!).
17. Seattle Children’s Theatre
Seattle Children’s Theatre puts on productions for young audiences, and also offers classes and camps. If you’d like to take your kid to see a show there you can find info on their website such as the location, the age recommendation, and accessible performances.
18. Pick out a book at The Elliot Bay Book Co.
We love this bookstore in Capitol Hill for many reasons, one of which is its cozy and welcoming kids’ section. They even have a castle for kids to curl up in while they read.
19. Go on an adventure with Wings Over Washington
If you find yourself on the Seattle waterfront with your kiddo, you have to take them on the Wings Over Washington ride. This virtual reality ride is brief but more fun than the Great Wheel (in our opinion, anyway); you really feel like you’re flying over Seattle and the beautiful state of Washington.
20. Take The Underground Tour
If your kid enjoys history and doesn’t mind being in a slightly dark, enclosed space, then go with them on Seattle’s Underground Tour located in Pioneer Square. You’ll both learn a lot about the fascinating history of Seattle’s underground. Keep in mind that this 75-minute tour is recommended for ages 7 and up.
21. Go inside the Seattle Spheres
The Seattle Spheres are open to all ages and free to visit. Inside you’ll find a lush indoor garden kept at a balmy temperature of 70-something degrees year-round. There’s also a donut store inside! Just keep in mind that you have to reserve your entrance in advance.
22. Tear up the skate park
If your kid likes zooming around on their skateboard or roller blades, there are a few kid-friendly spots in Seattle for them. Take them to Judkins Skate Park in Central District, the paved loop around Green Lake and the adjacent Lower Woodland Skate Park, or Sea Sk8 at Seattle Center (which has a food court as a bonus).
23. Walk around Olympic Sculpture Park
A free outdoor activity to do with your little art lover in Seattle is visiting Olympic Sculpture Park. This beautiful outdoor sculpture park is right along the Seattle waterfront, so it’s easy to get to and has beautiful views.
24. Hit up Seattle’s best playgrounds
There’s nothing like a playground for giving your kid fresh air, exercise, and socializing. Here are five of Seattle’s very best playgrounds:
- Artists at Play is a city-wide favorite located at Seattle Center (pictured above).
- Alki Playground is right by the beach in West Seattle and has a beloved whale tail sculpture.
- Roxhill Park in West Seattle has a castle that kids love.
- Seward Park Playground has a stunning view and a really fun zip line.
- West Woodland Park Playground is conveniently right by the zoo.
25. See a light show at the International Fountain
In the summer, kids love splashing around the International Fountain at Seattle Center. It’s also enjoyable in the winter, thanks to the fountain’s evening light shows that occur during the holidays for Seattle Center Winterfest.
26. Go for a bike ride
If your kid is older, they might enjoy seeing the city via the Burke-Gilman trail. Younger kids can bike at their own pace along the Green Lake loop. True Seattleites bike in all kinds of weather, rain or shine—just be sure to wear the appropriate waterproof and reflective gear!
27. Look for salmon at the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks
Take your kid to Ballard for the day, where you can spot salmon and watch the locks in action at the Hiram Chittenden Locks. If the weather turns, you can dry off with a visit to the nearby Nordic Museum.
28. Explore Seattle’s tide pools
Of course this depends on low tide, but a fun and free outdoor activity to do with your kids in Seattle is exploring tide pools. You can read all about the best Seattle beaches for tide pools, or learn from Seattle Aquarium’s Beach Naturalists.
29. Visit the Woodland Park Zoo
By day, the Woodland Park Zoo is a great place to see a wide variety of animals with your kid. There’s also an adjacent rose garden that is free to visit and the nearby West Woodland Park Playground. After dark in the winter months, the zoo gets lit up for WildLanterns!
30. Scale an outdoor climbing wall
When it’s too nice out to be climbing an indoor wall, take your kiddo to the climbing tower in the Artists at Play playground at Seattle Center or the outdoor wall at Edgeworks Seattle.
31. Go for a free rowboat ride
The Center for Wooden Boats in Seattle offers free one-hour rowboat rentals on Lake Union year-round. Reserve yours in advance and take your kids out for a boat ride on a dry day!
32. Enjoy free fun on Pier 62
The first part of the new Waterfront Park to open, Pier 62 often has free, family-friendly events going on all year round. See the upcoming events page on their website.
33. Visit the Pacific Bonsai Museum
This outdoor bonsai museum in Federal Way is open every day except for Mondays and is free for children (adults are asked to pay a suggested donation of $12 for their admission). Visit on the evening of the winter solstice to see all the bonsai trees lit up.
35. Enjoy free activities in Seattle’s downtown parks
The Downtown Seattle Association often organizes free, family-friendly fun in Pioneer Square and Westlake Park. In the summer, you can take your kid downtown for Parties in the Parks for food trucks, mini golf, and more free fun. And in the winter months, Seattle’s downtown parks celebrate the holiday season with lights, Christmas trees, free hot cocoa, caroling, and even a free ice skating rink.
36. Have a beach day
Seattle has a wide variety of beaches that you and your kids can enjoy year-round. If you want the classic sandy beach experience, go to Alki Beach in West Seattle. We also love Golden Gardens in Ballard if you’re located closer to North Seattle. Both of these beaches allow bonfires so you can warm up if it’s really chilly out.
37. Take them to a hockey game
There’s nothing like enjoying a Kraken game in Seattle in the winter. Kids especially love the team’s new mascot Buoy.
39. Explore Volunteer Park
Volunteer Park in Capitol Hill has a lot of fun places to explore with kids at any time of the year. You can have fun on the playground and if it starts to rain you can dry off in the Volunteer Park Conservatory (pictured above) or climb the steps of the water tower for a really cool view.
40. Stroll around Green Lake
Green Lake has a paved three-mile path all around it that is great for walking and biking year-round. Older kids might also enjoy paddle boarding or kayaking on the lake.
41. Take a ferry ride
Seattle has many islands in close proximity if you’d like to take your kid on a ferry for a day trip or weekend adventure, such as Bainbridge Island and Vashon Island. You could also take the water taxi over to West Seattle for the day. Here are some ideas for day trips from Seattle.
42. Visit a classic Seattle diner
A cozy, laidback meal at a diner is the perfect thing to do with kids on those long winter days. Luna Park Cafe in West Seattle is particularly kid-friendly. See our full list of the best Seattle diners.
43. Explore Discovery Park
Discovery Park is Seattle’s largest city park. It has a beach where you can explore tide pools, lots of trails for easy hiking, and the Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center.
44. Fly a kite at Gas Works Park
Gas Works Park has one of the best views in Seattle. Go there any time of year to fly a kite, or pack a picnic if it’s really nice out. Just keep in mind that the nicer the weather, the more crowded the small park will be.
45. Explore the Washington Park Arboretum
The Washington Park Arboretum is a beautiful place to visit year-round (and free!). Bundle up and enjoy a long nature walk throughout the arboretum whenever the cabin fever starts to get to you and the kids.