While school is out, keeping kids entertained and learning can be a challenge. From Pacific Science Center’s King Tut exhibit to the annual Viking Day festival celebrating the region’s Scandinavian heritage, there is plenty to experience this summer before jumping back into the classroom. Check out these ideas around Seattle for a great day of family fun.
Nordic Heritage Museum
3014 N.W. 67th St.
Seattle, WA 98117
The 30th annual Viking Days festival at the Nordic Heritage Museum in Ballard, Aug. 17 and 18, is a must-see this summer. The weekend features food from each of the five Scandinavian countries, craft vendors, Viking re-enactments, and special activities and crafts for kids. The festival includes a traditional Swedish pancake breakfast Saturday and Sunday, with a salmon barbecue dinner Saturday. The museum will be open both days for visitors.
Woodland Park Zoo
750 N. 50th St.
Seattle, WA 98103
Price: $17.75 adults/$11.50 children 3 to 12/free toddlers ages 0 to 2
Woodland Park Zoo is always a hit for kids of all ages, and this summer it welcomes three new snow leopard cubs to the mix. In mid-July the zoo estimates the cubs will be strong enough to be outdoors in their exhibit, and until then, the cubs’ father Tom will be on display. For Seattle’s not-so-sunny summer days, the zoo offers a rainy-day guide on how to see as much as possible while staying dry. The popular summer concert series welcomes national touring acts to a family friendly venue that encourages guests to spread out picnic-style on the grass. Veterans recommend getting in to the zoo early in the morning for a unique experience of seeing the keepers feeding the animals.
1483 Alaskan Way
Seattle, WA 98101
Price: $21.95 adults/$14.95 children 4 to 12/free toddlers 0 to 3
The Seattle Aquarium offers ample events and programs to enjoy throughout the summer. For a more interactive experience, visit the website beforehand and schedule your visit around feedings and daily programming. Parents beat the crowds, and kids are offered free cocoa or lemonade in the café throughout the day.
7351 E. Green Lake Drive North
Seattle, WA 98115
Price: $17 per hour kayak, canoe, pedal boats, row boats, stand up paddle boards/$20 per hour sailboats
Greenlake Boathouse offers a variety of activities perfect for families throughout the summer. Pedal boats allow families to break up into pairs and work their way around the lake in teams for a bonding experience like none other. Older kids and parents may enjoy the new stand-up paddle boards as well; they are a bit trickier but offer great exercise on a sunny afternoon.
Pacific Science Center
200 Second Ave. North
Seattle, WA 98108
NASA’s Destination: Station multi-media exhibit immerses guests in the story of the International Space Station. You’ll learn about the 24/7/365 space-based research that brings results down to Earth to play a role in our lives. You’ll also learn how the space station operates as a result of a peaceful international partnership of five space agencies representing 15 countries. The exhibit includes hands-on activities, imagery and audio and visual technology to connect you with your place in space, communicating the real and potential impacts of the space station on our everyday lives.
This exhibit is designed for all ages. Entry to Destination: Station is included with the price of general admission — free for Pacific Science Center members.
Megan Knight resides in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle, WA. During the day she works in IT Management and at night is a royal news junkie. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.