Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Things to do with kids and teens in Seattle

For those of you wondering whether to bring your families with you to Seattle for the conference in March, here are a few ideas of Seattle attractions that you can enjoy as a family or they can do while you expand your grants management knowledge and connect with colleagues at the conference. 
·         Seattle Center is within walking distance (or a short Monorail ride) of downtown and has something for every age. Toddlers and younger kids will love the Children’s Museum, where they can walk inside a mountain, see a global village with sample houses from different parts of the world, pretend to put on a play at a mock theater with lights, costumes and curtains, and play in the neighborhood grocery store and restaurant. Elementary to middle school age kids will want to explore the Pacific Science Center, with multiple IMAX screens, hands on activities, a butterfly house, naked mole rats (don’t ask) and a Star Wars exhibit. Tweens and teens will be drawn to the Experience Music Project/Science Fiction Museum, housed in a building that looks like a smashed guitar. In the popular Sound Lab they can try out instruments and perform in a band and bring home a poster and video of their performance.
·         For animal lovers, Woodland Park Zoo is amazing. The 92-acre zoo prides itself in creating habitats for the animals as close as possible to their natural settings. The grizzlies have a hillside to roam, including a river they bathe in, the jaguars are in a state of the art jungle exhibit and the orangutans swing through a ravine of trees. There are interactive researcher stations, a petting zoo and Zoomazium, an indoor play structure for younger kids to burn off extra energy. An easy bus ride from downtown, the zoo is a great place to spend half of a day with all ages of kids.

·         Located south of downtown, the Museum of Flight offers a unique chance to see over 150 historic airplanes and spacecraft. Kids love testing out the interactive flight simulators. You can tour the original Boeing factory “barn” and explore inside an air traffic control tower. For those more interested in fashion than aviation they will be showing exhibit of flight attendant uniforms over the ages in March. This museum is ideal for elementary school age and older kids interested in airplanes or history. Very young children may like the open spaces to run around, but probably won’t get as much out of the exhibits.

·         Try a kayaking adventure on Lake Union. You can rent kayaks from the Northwest Outdoor Center, just a few minutes from central downtown Seattle. From there you can paddle through neighborhoods of houseboats (as seen on the movie Sleepless in Seattle) and stop by Ivar’s, where you can pull up to a dock and warm up with a bowl of clam chowder.  Or you could try Agua Verde Café and Paddle Club, where you can paddle on Lake Union or make your way over to Lake Washington. Upon your return you can enjoy tasty Mexican food at the adjoining café.

·         Sky High Sports is an exciting new trampoline center in the Seattle area where kids can literally bounce off the walls. There are rooms with wall-to-wall trampoline floors and walls, foam pits, and dodgeball arenas. This center is located in Bellevue, a neighbor of Seattle across Lake Washington, and is most easily accessed by rental car. 

·         Seattle is surrounded by mountains – the Cascades to the east, the Olympics to the west, Mr. Rainier to the south and Mt. Baker to the north. In March there are usually still skiing opportunities at multiple locations. (Check this site to learn more about the various options.) If you want to invest less time and expense than a full day of skiing, there is a great tubing center at Snoqualmie Pass, about an hour from Seattle, where kids can sail down in inner tubes and get towed back to the top. If the snow is scarce, there are lower elevations hikes to please all ages. Twin Falls is a great three mile hike along a river and up to some beautiful falls. Tiger Mountain also has hikes for all ages – little kids can take a flat loop through the trees to a pond and more hardy hikers can climb to the top for gorgeous views. Or for a less ambitious jaunt, you could see the impressive Snoqualmie Falls and then have lunch at the upscale Salish Lodge located at the top of the falls.

·         Many of the previous blog suggestions –the Duck Tour, Olympic Sculpture Garden, taking a ferry ride, visiting the Aquarium, and exploring Discovery Park are all family friendly activities.

1 comment:

  1. There are many things which we need to consider while treating with the kids and teens. And hence you have given all the details in the proper manner and we can use them.