Hobbies are a great way to unwind and experience relaxation. The greater Seattle area is home to many small hobby shops. Many are family-owned. There is a wide variety of products each carry, including model trains, plastic models, remote control planes and a variety of tools. Most hobbies are covered in these stores, along with a helpful, knowledgeable staff that is missing in the large national hobby store chains.
International Model Toys
524 South King St.
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 682-8534

International Model Toys is located in downtown Seattle and carries a wide variety of hobby products. This store carries many car and motorcycle kits, and model building tools/paints. Other products carried by the store include resin kits, gundam kits and collectible figures. They also sell a wide variety of anime paraphernalia and games. Their staff is friendly and helpful, focusing on great customer service.

Skyway Model Shop
12615 Renton Ave. S.
Seattle, WA 98178
(206) 772-1211

Skyway Model Shop is located on the south end of Seattle. The shop specializes in plastic models of all kinds. They carry the largest selection of plastic models in Western Washington, including all the tools and paints needed to complete projects. All of the staff are plastic model builders and are very knowledgeable in the products. They share information on model clubs and events.

Galaxy Hobby
19332 60th Ave. W.
Lynnwood, WA 98036
(425) 670-0454

Galaxy Hobby is located in James Village at the intersection of 196th St. and Hwy. 99 in Lynnwood. It is a full hobby shop, carrying many brand name products. The staff is knowledgeable about the features of the products, and help customers pick out the right one for their needs. The shop carries remote control planes, helicopters and quad-copters, as well as parts and upgrades for their products. Other items they stock include models and all the tools/paint needed to complete the project, how-to books and stone polishing machines. Customer service is number one with the staff.

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Fantasy World Hobbies
10011 Lakeview Ave. S. W.
Lakewood, WA 98499
(877) 318-7144

Fantasy World Hobbies is located just south of Tacoma, and is a family-owned business. This south-end store is one of the oldest in the area. The store opened in 1979 and continues to serve the Tacoma/Lakewood area. They specialize in slot cars, tracks, accessories, sets and parts. The staff is knowledgeable about set-up of new tracks, clubs and technical information. The store carries other hobby products, tools and toys. They focus on customer service, and expert information.

Tacoma Trains & Hobbies
3813 N. 26th St.
Tacoma, WA 98407
(253) 756-7517

Tacoma Trains & Hobbies started as an online-only business and opened its storefront in 1994. Currently, the store is located in the Proctor District. This small business focuses 80 percent of its retail space on trains. Plastic models, Pinewood Derby and rockets make up most of the rest of their product line. This is the place to go for model trains and all the extras that go with the hobby. The staff is fully knowledgeable about the products sold in the store, and focus on customer service.

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Karen Ulvestad is a mother and professional writer/photographer, who lives in the greater Seattle area. She graduated from the University of Washington with a BA in English Composition. Her background is in fitness, travel, photography and writing. She continually researches locations to visit, and/or entertainment opportunities for family outings and/or photo shoots. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.