Alright, so now that I have had the chance to settle back in at home after our vacation I want to go over my experience in Seattle. Let me start by saying that state is just BEAUTIFUL. Everything is so green and the trees were just to die for! If I could pick up my job and home and move it there, I would!
My husband and I have made it our tradition to take our children on vacation at least once a year (more of possible) and we have decided to start making it somewhere new every year. We have done Disneyland, Universals, Legoland, etc. But those are all generally in California. So this year we made Seattle our go to travel spot!
Because we are not quite 25 years old yet, we decided to make it a road trip and avoid all those excessive underage fees to rent a car. It was fun…..for the most part! From our home town to our hotel was an estimated time of 11.5 hours. We drove through the night to allow our kids to be asleep most of the ride and took turns driving. So really it was not too bad!
Since none of us knew Seattle and did not know the poppin’ places to go (with children) we kind of navigated by trial and error. That is why I am here to give you guys the go to things to do and what to expect once there!
If you your vacation is long enough, purchase the CityPass from citypass.com. It allows for you to visit multiple locations in the city for a low cost & gives you 9 consecutive days to visit all places offered in any order you would like! We were given 5 locations to go and only paid $99 per adult and $79 for our daughter. Children under the age of 3 are free to enter to most all locations! You are able to purchase the tickets ahead of time and print off or as we did just purchased on our phone the day of and saved our tickets on our Wallet app for easy scanning. Here is the list of locations that are included with the Seattle CityPass:
1: Space Needle – with this ticket you are allowed 2 entrances (Morning and Night)
2: Seattle Aquarium
3: Argosy Cruise Harbor Tour
4: Museum of Pop Culture or Woodland Park Zoo
5: Chihuly Garden & Glass or Pacific Science Center
1: Space Needle, Museum of Pop Culture, Chihuly Garden Glass, & the Pacific Science Center are all within walking distance in the City Center of Seattle.
2: The Seattle Aquarium and Argosy Cruise Harbor Tour are within walking distance of the Pike Place Market & along the Piers.
Click on the link below (affiliate link) to save 50%!Save up to 50% on combined prices for admission to must-see attractions! Shop Now at CityPASS.com!
Now, here is were we learned by trial and error! When arriving to the city center parking is outrageously priced! For 3 hours of parking we paid about $20!!! Which I know in most cities that is commonly seen but it completely through us off guard! Also, when parking you have to pay for your parking ticket before hand so you are limited to the amount of time you paid for!
On our first round of using the CityPass we chose to do the Space Needle, Chihuly Garden & Glass because it was all in the city center.
The ride up is open every 30 min, so upon arriving you scan your ticket and select a time that you want to go up! When your time arrives you get in line to access the elevator. The elevator ride I would say takes about 45 seconds and they have great staff who talk/joke with you the whole ride up or down! Once you are up there if you are a afraid of heights like me your legs might shake a little! (I kid!!) There are two levels, upon arriving you are at the top level where you have a panoramic view of Seattle and where you can walk to the edge and take a seat on the benches provided to get that great picture! To get to the second floor you must take two flights of stairs down where you will find the restrooms, the café, and more amazing Seattle views. The difference between this floor is that the floor is made of glass and you can walk over it!!! I was very nicely placed on the carpeted area where I felt safe! Our children loved this and the views you just can not beat!
Chihuly Garden & Glass
Next on our list, we went to the Chihuly Garden & Glass. This is an art exhibit of Dale Chihuly, an American Glass sculptor. It displays all of his amazing blown glass. They also offer presentations where you can see how the glass is blown and how it creates their amazing shape! It is a very quick walk through that took about 20 min max, unless you are sitting for the presentation.
Woodland Park Zoo
The Woodland Park Zoo is located about 10 min away from the City Center and therefore we went the following day! Which was a good idea! It took us a total of 4 hours to complete!! This place is huge and had many exhibits to see! The best thing there was the Butterfly Room! It is like a green house with different flowers and you are able to walk around and have the butterflies flying around freely! If you are lucky you might even land on you!!
**Tip** This is not just for this Zoo but buying food inside can be pretty pricey! So plan ahead if possible and take a little cooler with food if you aren’t wanting to pay about $50 or more for lunch!!**
Pike Market & Piers
To get to the Piers we parked back at the city center and took the monorail train ($5.00 round trip) to down town. **Tip** The monorail has only two stops, City Center & Downtown mall** We were completely confused and lost upon arriving to the upstairs mall of downtown. We were unaware that it only had those two stops. So we walked a few blocks west until arriving to the Pike Market and explored just a little bit of the Pike Market. It is very populated and expect to walk shoulder to shoulder with others trying to get from one end to the other. If traveling with children in a stroller, I recommend taking a small compact stroller! The Pike Market has multiple levels so make sure to have time to explore all of it! There you can find restaurants, seafood, flower shops, etc. Super cute Farmer’s Market!! As you are walking to the stairs that take you to the piers you will find the FAMOUS GUM WALL! The Piers are about a 5 min walk from the Pike Market and involves multiple flights of stairs! (Make sure to take proper shoes)!!
The Seattle Aquarium
This was our children’s all time favorite! Upon arriving you are greeted with a large floor to ceiling tank with fish but during certain times, you can see divers in there swimming with the fish! They also have an interactive fish tank where you can touch starfish. The aquarium is both indoor and outdoors. If you go outdoors you will see the otters and seals soaking up the sun! It is not very big but allows for great leisure time especially if waiting to eat at one of the delicious restaurants by the pier!
Argosy Cruise Harbor Tour
Included in the city pass is an hour long pier ride. You take a ship around the all of the piers and get the history of Seattle and how it came to be! I am sure it would have been amazing to hear it all but we had a crying baby during half of the ride!! I feel so bad for all the other passengers that had to hear our child! But what could we do? Jump Ship!!? While on the ride you are also free to walk around and go to the other floors for different views. They also offered a bar & ice cream to enjoy with your ride.
The Argosy Cruise Harbor Tour does offer other longer tours that take you to the other side of Seattle to see the islands! Once again, trail and error! We know to upgrade to see the other spots on our next trip!!
If you are a big coffee drinker, Seattle is the place for you! There will be a Starbucks every 5 mins! I am not joking!!! It is no surprise thought, since Starbucks was founded in Seattle. While our stay there we decided to go to the mall to walk around. Well within that same mall, which mind you was big, they had 5 Starbucks!!! Probably more, I just didn’t count or see it! The upside is that coffee smells good! So I wasn’t really complaining!!
Make sure to add Seattle as a spot to visit! Amazing place to go and very kid friendly! There are various things to do with children and makes it enjoyable for everyone!