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A Day in Seattle with Kids

by Megan

Our first full day in Seattle with our four kids was so much fun! We had a long list of things to see and do, so we headed out early and got started.

Melody at Gas Works Park with view of the Space Needle

Seattle was our first long stay during our family gap year. We got an Airbnb on Whidbey Island for four weeks, and we drove into Seattle several times to sightsee and have some fun!

Family Fun in Seattle

Day one was a combination of quick sights and more involved visits, kid-centered and parent-centered activities, and relaxing and exciting adventures! Here is everything we did:

Fremont Troll

Our first stop took us into Fremont which is a cute neighborhood of Seattle. Lots of shops and restaurants and a great place to walk around and take in the area. First, we stopped and saw the Fremont Troll!

Fremont Troll

This guy resides under a bridge, as most trolls do, but he’s more fun than scary!

Kids with Fremont Troll

Apparently this used to be a hotspot for criminal activity, so the city added the troll to scare the criminals away. Well, the troll brought in tourists which scared the criminals away! I think that was probably their brilliant plan to begin with!

Fremont Bridge

Also in Fremont is this colorful drawbridge, the Fremont Bridge. The drawbridge is opened up 35 times per day on average, making it the most frequently opened drawbridge in the US.

Fremont Bridge

On a later trip into the city, I parked in Fremont and walked across the bridge and back. It was a nice relaxing walk with pretty views. Don’t miss spotting the neon Rapunzel in one of the towers!

Meowtropolitan Cat Cafe

The Cat Cafe was a major must-do for us, especially 8-year-old Vanessa! We made reservations ahead of time and planned our day around our mid-morning visit to see the kitties!

Vanessa playing with kitty

We enjoyed some kitty-themed hot chocolate, and the big kids and I got to go in and play with the cats. This remains one of Vanessa’s favorite activities that we did throughout our whole year of traveling!

See more of our visit: Seattle Meowtropolitan Cat Cafe

The Original Diggity Dog

After playing with the kitties, we were ready for some lunch! I hadn’t planned meals or restaurants for the day, because I thought my husband would like to see what we came across. For lunch, we came across The Original Diggity Dog!

It was a small place with cheerful service, and we all enjoyed our meals, but it looks like the place has closed since our visit. Best wishes to the owners- glad we were able to visit!

A Sound Garden

Next on my list was a visit to an art and music installation in a park: A Sound Garden. And yes, the band named themselves after this structure!

The installation is on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration campus, and while admission is free, you do need to show ID and get a day pass at the security booth at the entrance. From there you’ll park and walk a short way to the installation.

A Sound Garden

A Sound Garden is designed to create music and sound when the wind blows through the structures, but it wasn’t overly windy when we visited, and we didn’t hear much.

But, it was a nice walk in the park, and we sat on some benches and relaxed and enjoyed the view of Lake Washington.

Scarecrow Video

After our relaxation time, we were ready to hit the rest of the items on our list! Our next stop was Scarecrow Video, one of the few remaining (and thriving!) video rental shops in the country!

We got a little nostalgic and explained to the kids how it was a highlight of our week when we were young and got to visit the video store and rent a movie! We browsed for a bit and then moved on to the next thing!

Full Tilt Ice Cream & Pinball

I don’t know if I would have ever thought to combine ice cream and pinball, but that’s exactly what they did at Full Tilt, and it turns out they make a wonderful combination for a fun afternoon!

Full Tilt Ice Cream

The kids each picked out an ice cream flavor from their colorful selection, and we sat and ate and admired the art on the walls.

Kids eating ice cream

Then it was time for Mom and Dad to show the kids how to play pinball!

Playing pinball

We got a whole stack of quarters and had lots of fun taking turns with the different machines.

Harry playing pinball

Archie McPhee’s & Rubber Chicken Museum

Because…when there’s a free rubber chicken museum, you go to the rubber chicken museum!

Carter at Rubber Chicken Museum

Archie McPhee is a unique toy/novelty shop in the Fremont area, but let’s be honest- we were there for the rubber chickens.

World's Largest Rubber Chicken

The Rubber Chicken Museum is a very small section of the store where you can find the World’s Largest Rubber Chicken, and many other famous and not-so-famous rubber chickens. Just head on through the turnstile, and you’ll be done in about 5 minutes!

Rubber Chicken Museum
Pretty much the whole “museum” but it’s worth it

We had to have some fun with the pictures on the walls outside on our way out!

Dick’s Drive-In

After the fun of the rubber chickens, we were starting to get hungry for some dinner, so we headed to an iconic Seattle burger joint, Dick’s Drive-In.

We got burgers, fries, and sodas for all and headed to Gas Works Park to have a little picnic and watch the sunset.

Gas Works Park

Gas Works Park was a great place to let the kids run around, enjoy the views of the water and the southern half of Seattle (including the Space Needle), and have our dinner picnic.

Gas Works Park

After the sun went down, we called it a day and headed north to catch the ferry back to Whidbey Island. We saw and did lots of fun things, and this was just Day 1!

View of Seattle from Gas Works Park

Check out our adventures on Day 2! (coming soon) P.S. If you’re wondering where the Space Needle and Pike Place Market are, read Day 2 in Seattle!

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