For families searching for affordable activities to do with their children, options abound in the Emerald city. Discovery Park offers 534 acres for hiking, beachcombing, playing and learning. If you’re interested in maritime activities, the Center for Wooden Boats provides hands-on and on-the-water activities for the entire family. And Kelsey Creek Farm and the Snoqualmie Valley Railroad both offer rare journeys back to a simpler time. Lastly, the Seattle Center provides a wide variety of wallet-friendly activities for children of all ages.

Discovery Park
3801 Discovery Park Blvd.
Seattle, WA 98199
(206) 386-4236

Discovery Park features 534 acres for learning, exploration and viewing natural beauty and wildlife. The park has seven-plus miles of hiking trails, an historic lighthouse, miles of beach (including tidal pools), a basketball court, playground complete with a zip line, tennis courts and a learning center. Discovery Park is open from 4 a.m. to 11 p.m. and the learning center is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Sunday. There is no charge to visit this park, but the memories you’ll make there are sure to be priceless.

The Center For Wooden Boats
1010 Valley St.
Seattle, WA 98109
(206) 382-2628

Located only five minutes from downtown Seattle, the Center For Wooden Boats on South Lake Union is an educational, hands-on maritime museum comprised of members, supporters, tourists, families and persons participating in the job skills programs. The Center is open year-round, offering opportunities for direct experience on the water, boat rentals, workshops, classes and lectures. The Center offers a free public sail on every Sunday at 10 a.m. and free dock walks and events. Admission to the center is free, but some programs do have a suggested donation or associated fee.

Kelsey Creek Farm
410 130th Place S.E.
Bellevue, WA 98008
(425) 452-7688

Step back into a simpler time as you visit the white fence-lined rolling hillsides, broad red and white barns and animals of Kelsey Creek Farm in Bellevue. The farm, which is home to goats, sheep, ponies, pigs, rabbits, waterfowl and chickens who can be visited between the hours of 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., is open year-round. No reservations are needed and it’s free to visit. To learn about the farm’s rich history and interact with the animals, you can also schedule a tour for a group of your friends or family at low cost.

Related: Best Volunteer Opportunities For Animal Lovers In Seattle

Seattle Center
305 Harrison St.
Seattle, WA 98109
(206) 684-7200

It’s free to visit the Seattle Center, where your entire family can walk around the fountain (or play in it if it’s warm enough), explore the sculpture garden and view the solar-powered Sonic Bloom art installation a few blocks away at the Pacific Science Center. The Seattle Center also features the Seattle Center Skate Park, which has free drop-in clinics. For a reasonable fee, you can visit the Seattle Children’s Museum, which has 22,000 square feet of fun and exploration for children ages 10 months to 10 years. Exhibits include the Experience Music Project Museum, the Chihuly Garden of Glass and the Seattle International Film Festival Center. You’ll probably work up quite an appetite with all of this exploration and you can grab lunch, dinner or dessert at one of the center’s many cafes and restaurants.

Snoqualmie Valley Railroad
Snoqualmie Depot
38625 S.E. King St.
Snoqualmie, WA 98065
(425) 888-3030

If you love trains, travel and history, this is the activity for your family. Snoqualmie, Washington, which is only 30 minutes east of Seattle, is the home of the Northwest Railway Museum and the Snoqualmie Valley Railroad. The Northwest Railway Museum takes visitors back in time by showing them antique coaches. On Saturdays and Sundays, Snoqualmie Valley Railroad passengers head out on a five-mile journey that takes them through the Upper Snoqualmie Valley, with departures from the Snoqualmie Depot or the North Bend Depot. Passengers who would like to learn more about Washington State history will enjoy the Northwest Railway Museum, which also features a bookstore for further learning.

Related: Best Railroad Experiences In Seattle For Kids

Tracy Campion is a freelance writer covering all things Seattle. Her work can be found on