Seattle is a great place to spend the weekend with the family. It is filled with opportunities to explore historic Seattle, enjoy a fabulous lunch or dinner and learn new information through play. There are activities for all ages, interests and physical abilities to enjoy and participate in.

A child views the dinosaur exhibit at the Pacific Science Center. (Credit, Karen Ulvestad)

Pacific Science Center
200 2nd Ave. N.
Seattle, WA 98109
(206) 443-2001

The Pacific Science Center is located in the Seattle Center at the foot of Queen Anne Hill on the north end of downtown Seattle, and the building is part of the original buildings from the 1962 World’s Fair. The science center hosts ongoing exhibits, such as the dinosaur exhibit and Native American artifacts exhibit. It shows short-term exhibits throughout the year, and is the home of the I-MAX theater. It’s a great place to spend an entire day exploring, grabbing a bite to eat in the cafe and buying a gift from the gift shop.

The jaguar exhibit at the Woodland Park Zoo is a natural landscape. (Credit, Karen Ulvestad)

Woodland Park Zoo
5500 Phinney Ave. N.
Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 548-2500

The Woodland Park Zoo is a great place to explore with the family. The zoo is working on creating natural habitats for all of the animals in their exhibits, and is focused on educational opportunities for the public. It features several different areas like the African Savannah, Tropical Rainforest, Asian Rainforest, Australia and the Northern Territories. There are facilities for children under eight to run, play and explore indoors. Near the north entrance is the location of the ferris wheel, and outside the zoo is a playground for kids. Just outside the south entrance is the formal rose garden. During the summer months, the zoo hosts concerts in the park and summer camps for children.

Seattle Art Museum
1300 1st Ave.
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 654-3100

The Seattle Art Museum is located in downtown Seattle. The museum is open seven days a week, and its displays are suited for all ages (parental discretion is advisable). Exhibits encompass modern and traditional art forms (both 2D and 3D). Asian art is on display at the Asian Art Museum on Capitol Hill in Volunteer Park, and large sculptures can be viewed outdoors at the Olympic Sculpture Park at the north end of the Seattle Waterfront. Every first Thursday is free admission at the Seattle Art Museum, and this applies to all visitors.

The Space Needle is a Seattle landmark from the 1962 World’s Fair. (Credit, Karen Ulvestad)

Space Needle
400 Broad St.
Seattle, WA 98109
(206) 905-2100

The Space Needle is one of the original buildings from the 1962 World’s Fair, and is located in the Seattle Center. This building is one of the Seattle landmarks, and offers incredible views of the Olympic Mountains, Puget Sound, downtown Seattle, the Cascade Mountains and Mount Rainier. The original restaurant at the top revolves, giving guests a changing view. All of the tables at the restaurant enjoy this view, and reservations are recommended. The observation platform at the top offers great views and the highest public viewpoint until the Columbia Tower. To reach the top, visitors ride in an elevator with windows, and it offers views of the surrounding area. Half-way up, there is a second restaurant, and the base has a gift shop. This is a great way to experience historic Seattle with the family.

Moray eel being fed in the large tank at the Seattle Aquarium. (Credit, Karen Ulvestad)

Seattle Aquarium
1483 Alaskan Way
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 386-4300

The Seattle Aquarium is located on the northern end of the Seattle Waterfront. It is the home of river and sea otters, seals, shore birds and various displays of fish (aquatic environments). Just inside the entrance of the aquarium has tide pool displays for visitors to explore. It offers an opportunity to touch a starfish, view jellyfish or see a Pacific Octopus being fed. In the entrance is a large aquarium,where a staff member in scuba equipment hand feeds the fish. It is a great place for visitors to view and experience the underwater environment. The aquarium offers classes throughout the year and camps during the summer months or holiday breaks. This is a great place for the entire family.

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