We love our family life and everyday routine living in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. We’re surrounded by natural beauty and a colorful small town experience. We also enjoy getting out of town and heading to nearby Pacific Northwest destinations such as Seattle, Washington. It’s just a 5 hour drive to take our kids to the Seattle area for a few days. We enjoy stopping by many of our favorite places to go with kids in downtown Seattle. This visit we stayed in a house we booked through Home Exchange and browsed the Pike Place Market. Our kids conquered the climbing structure at the Seattle Center Artists at Play playground and we enjoyed a relaxing walk through the Woodland Park Zoo. Families can find many places to go with kids in downtown Seattle.
During our last visit to Seattle, we weren’t able to visit the Pike Place Market. This stop was first on our list this trip. We enjoyed browsing the market on a very typical Seattle weather overcast day. We’ve previously lived in Seattle for 5 years and we really enjoyed these misty days. When you arrive at Pike Place, you’ll have to find parking, which is readily available in the parking garage for an hourly rate.
The Pike Place farmer’s market has something for everyone!
1. Pike Place Market
Pike Place Market is known for its independent vendors, artisans and the 1st ever Starbucks location. We arrived shortly after the market opened at 9am, which gave us the chance to browse the shops without much of a crowd. The vendors provide so much to look at and one booth is as unique and different as the next. We saw vendors selling fresh flowers, fruit and produce, handcrafted leg warmers, artisan jewelry, fine art, t-shirts, sauces and dips of all sorts, fish and meats, gourmet pastries and more!
Handcrafted Organic Skincare
We also stopped the Moon Valley Organics stand, an absolutely divine handcrafted skincare company. I’ve had the chance to try several of their skincare products, lip balms and lotion bars. Several years ago, we stopped by to visit the Moon Valley Organics farm and had the chance to see how some of their Organic skincare products are made.
Artisan Flavored Yogurt
We also enjoyed some artisan probiotic Ellenos Yogurt in flavors lemon curd and mixed berry. It was hard to choose a favorite flavor; other available flavors included activated charcoal yogurt with pomegranate seeds and pumpkin pie yogurt. Everything sounded amazing and the flavors we tried tasted tart and smooth.
Fresh Produce Stands
If you’re looking for color and flavor, don’t miss stopping by one of the Pike Place fruit and produce markets! We had the opportunity to try samples of fresh fruit slices that were being handed out by the fruit vendors. We also purchased some healthy dried strawberries which tasted just as sweet as candy!
2. Seattle Gum Wall
Located at the end of Pike Place Market, the Seattle “gum wall” landmark decorates the walls of old brick buildings. Although colorful, the current gum wall is but a shadow of the version we’ve visited in the past. According to TIME, the city cleaned off 20 years worth of gum in 2015.
“The wall, which was once named the second-germiest tourist attraction in the world, is cleaned regularly with a steamer. But this will be the first time all the gum—an estimated 1 million pieces—will be removed, the Seattle Times reports. Why? Because the chemicals, sugar and additives in the gum are starting to wear on the building’s brick exterior.”
Regardless, the gum wall is a free Seattle destination and a handy place to stick your own gum, in the name of community art.
3. Downtown Seattle Children’s Museum
The Seattle Children’s Museum is another great place to go with kids. Themed sections are filled with activities that encourage kids to explore science, role play and nature.
Kids can shoot ping pong balls through clear tubes using air suction and experiment with levers and gears to send balls rolling down a metal track. Kids can also try out different professions and pretend to be an optometrist, mail carrier or sushi chef. The children’s museum also has lots of play vehicles kids and nature-inspired play areas. You can find the details of our Seattle Children’s Museum visit here.
4. Seattle Library
First on the list of this map created by Seattle KinderCare, the library is a great place to go to read books or attend story time. Kids can sign up for their first library card and explore the library’s many resources. The Seattle Library’s digital media learning programs offer a fun way for the community to learn how to use digital media to succeed at work, school and in life. A stop by the Seattle Library is a relaxing way to enjoy a few hours of down time during your next visit to Seattle.
5. Seattle Center Artists at Play Park
The Artists at Play playground is another Seattle highlight that is located right next to the Museum of Pop Culture. We’ve been to this playground several times during our family trips to Seattle. Our kids are always eager to scale the huge climbing structure and go down the slides. Enclosed hanging walkways allow kids to walk around high above the ground. A network of climbing ropes provide an exciting challenge for kids to scale to get to the top. Our almost 4-year-old climbed up with difficulty the first time, but he persevered and figured out how to get to the top. He was so proud of himself and eagerly completed the climbing structure challenge several more times. The Artists at Play playground is a free attraction and great stop for kids to burn some energy and spend an hour or two climbing around. The park includes the climbing structure, some swings, benches, a walking maze painted on the ground and a smaller toddler-sized playground.
6. Woodland Park Zoo
During our family road trips to Seattle, we almost always visit the Woodland Park Zoo. It’s one of our favorite places to go with kids in downtown Seattle. We love spending a relaxing day seeing the animals, getting a snack and viewing one of the wildlife programs. This trip we visited the zoo on a typical Seattle overcast day. The zoo was not very crowded and many of the animals were out and about close to the viewing areas. Our kids enjoyed seeing the lions, reptiles, gorillas, giraffes, pink flamingos and penguins.
There’s a lot to see at the Woodland Park Zoo! The walking paths are easy for families to navigate with a group of kids or a stroller. Kids can explore lots of little attractions along the paths such as burrows and tunnels to crawl into and an interactive farm area.
Our kids enjoyed taking the lead and finding different zoo attractions using the map. The zoo is a great place for kids to see their favorite animals up close or in their re-created natural habitats.
In the winter, the Woodland Park Zoo hosts a spectacular light display with lots of zoo-inspired creations formed designed using winkle lights.
In the past, we’ve purchased a membership to the zoo, which allowed us to go to the Woodland Park Zoo often and enjoy a few casual hours visiting the animals. Next time your family is in Seattle, we highly recommend spending a morning or afternoon at the zoo!
7. Seattle Aquarium
The Seattle Aquarium is an engaging family destination and opportunity for kids to see birds, mammals and fish up close. This waterfront landmark is a popular attraction for tourists and locals. Kids will especially enjoy getting a look at the Puget Sound’s amazing underwater world. See colorful marine creatures in their recreated natural habitats and feel some of the creatures in the touch pools. Once you learn about Pacific Northwest’s native sea life, you can take your family on an adventure to find some of it on your own along Seattle’s rugged coastline.
8. Seattle Museum of Pop Culture
Situated next to the Space Needle, the artistically designed Seattle Museum of Pop Culture provides a colorful backdrop in the heart of the city. Inside the museum, families can view props and costumes from iconic movies such as The Lord of the Rings, The Wizard of Oz and The Chronicles of Narnia. The Museum of Pop Culture exhibits may rotate, but include topics such as Minecraft: The Exhibition, Fantasy: Worlds of Myth and Magic, and Infinite Worlds of Science Fiction.
9. Fremont Bridge Troll
Last but not least, we took our kids to visit the Fremont bridge troll. Although it may sound spooky, this local gem is a memorable stop to take your family. Created in 1990, the art sculpture was the winner of an art competition hosted by the Fremont Arts Council in attempt to rehabilitate the area under the bridge. Our kids enjoyed climbing on the troll and taking photos in front of it. They didn’t quite believe the idea of a troll living under the bridge until this saw it!
Stay in a House through Home Exchange
As we’ve illustrated, there’s a lot of great places to go with kids in downtown Seattle and we really can’t see everything in just one trip. We try to visit the Seattle, Washington area at least twice a year because it has so many great things to do. Regardless of where you go, resources such as Home Exchange make it even easier to plan a budge friendly vacation. This community allows you to choose the perfect home that fits your needs. You book homes based on point values and you can earn more points by hosting guests in your own home. Home Exchange is essential a “home swap” platform which opens up alot of possibilities for traveling within in the US and abroad.
We’ve had some great experiences with staying in other people’s houses through Home Exchange. The greatest benefit is that you can search for a home that feels like your own, with single or multiple levels, rooms for your whole family and a wide variety of amenities. The people whose homes we’ve stayed in have left their homes “guest-ready” with helpful instructions, plenty of towels and sheets, and even suggestion books about things to do in the area. We’ve also experienced that staying in a home is much more cozy than staying in a traditional vacation rental. Best of all, HomeExchange makes it possible for its members to be able to travel wherever they want in the world!
We hope you enjoy your next trip to Seattle and find some of our tips and suggestions helpful! We feel very blessed to live so close to such a great area in the Pacific Northwest!
Hi, I’m Katie! I live with my husband and 3 kids in beautiful Coeur d’Alane, Idaho. I love Jesus, coffee, DIY projects, photography, homeschooling my kids, traveling, and serving people. I’ve previously worked as a graphic designer, web designer, journalist and barista. I started Create. Play. Travel. to share some of our creative projects and family adventures. I hope you enjoy the highlights of our creative family life!