/ The Seattle Traveler
Seattle — By Mary Jo Manzanares on August 14, 2010 at 12:43 pm
Filed under: Events, family activities, kids, museum, outdoors, parks, summer, top-feature

23 Family Activities for the Remaining Seattle Summer

Seattle skyline The countdown to the end of summer has begun, with parents and kids alike eying the calendar for the start of school.  There’s lots of things to be done, but there’s also lots of time to enjoy those waning days of summer.  Here are 23 suggestions of things to do, one for each remaining day through Labor Day, offering a variety of family friendly Seattle activities to help you end the summer with a bang!

  1. Visit Woodland Park Zoo (map).  This is one of my all-time favorite things to do in Seattle regardless of the time of year, but it’s especially wonderful in the summertime.  With a wealth of activities and special summer events you’ll find plenty to do.  Or just wander and enjoy – my preferred way to visit.  Visit the Rose Garden, pack a picnic lunch, and make this a full day experience.
  2. Enjoy free music and movies at the Seattle Center (map).  Add in a visit to the Pacific Science Center (map), the EMP (map), Science Fiction Museum (map), and/or the Seattle Children’s Museum (), and you can easily make a full day of it.
  3. Go on a picnic.  With lots of parks to choose from (Gas Works Park (map), Cal Anderson Park (map), and Alki Beach are my personal favorites) you aren’t far away from the perfect spot.
  4. Catch a Mariner’s baseball game.  Don’t worry if it’s rains, they’ll close the roof.  Or maybe take a tour of Safeco Field ().
  5. Plan a museum day.  Tap into your family’s interests and choose among some of the outstanding choices in the area:  Seattle Art Museum (map), Frye Museum (map) with its free admission, Museum of Glass in Tacoma (map), the Burke Museum (map) on the University of Washington campus, or the Museum of Flight (map).  A museum visit is a great choice to have in your back pocket for when the weather doesn’t cooperate.
  6. Visit the Seattle Aquarium (map) for a chance to view sea life and learn about the importance of our waters.
  7. Go on a tour of the Seattle Underground.  It’s a little cheesy at times but it’s still a great way to learn some of the history of Seattle.  The tour starts in Pioneer Square (map), so while you’re there catch some of the other neighborhood sights:  the Waterfall Garden (map), Totem Pole, the Smith Tower (map), and the Pergola.
  8. Ride the Monorail.  It’s a Seattle institution dating back to the World’s Fair, but there are still lots of residents who haven’t ridden.  It will make for easy moving between downtown’s Westlake Center (map) and the Seattle Center, and gives you a nice look at Seattle while doing it.
  9. Learn about one of Seattle’s vital industries, fishing, as well as pick up something yummy for dinner with a visit to Fishermen’s Terminal (map).
  10. Take a ferry boat ride.  Enjoy some time on the water, and take the chance to visit Bremerton, Vashon Island, or Bainbridge Island.
  11. Duck inside on a rainy day for a little play time at the Seattle Waterfront Arcade (map).  It provides a perfect balance to all those education sights you’ve been visiting, and gives the kids a chance to release some of that pent up energy.
  12. Go hiking at Mud Mountain Dam (map).  It’s an easy day trip from Seattle, and a beautiful spot with a variety of recreational activities.
  13. Enjoy family friendly food at the XXX Rootbeer Drive In (map) in Issaquah.  You wouldn’t want to make a steady diet of these burgers, fries, and milkshakes, but it makes for a wonderful treat.
  14. Stop off for an old-fashioned ice cream treat at Don’s Ruston Market (map), and then continue on to Point Definance Zoo and Aquarium (map).  Either choice is great on its own, too!
  15. Take a drive to the Olympic Peninsula.  You can choose a nature-based drive along the Waterfall Trail or tap into the pop culture craze of Twilight.
  16. Get in touch with the quirky side of Seattle with a visit to the Gum Wall or the statue of Lenin in Fremont (map).  While the latter has some educational value and is a good starting point for discussions of politics, the Cold War and more, the Gum Wall is just weird.
  17. Watch the Sport of Kings (thoroughbred horse racing) at Emerald Downs (map).  While betting is for those 21 and over only, the track makes every effort to be family friendly with lots of special events.
  18. Visit Kubota Gardens (map) to appreciate landscape art and peaceful beauty.  It can also serve as a starting point for a discussion on the history of Japanese immigrants and the internment camps.
  19. Visit the Pike Place Market (map).  You can lets the small kids climb on Rachel, the market’s bronze pig, pick up a coffee at the original Starbuck’s (map), watch street performers, and still pick up everything you need for dinner.  It’s a fun and practical trip.
  20. Visit a local bookstore and pick up one last book for summer reading.  There are plenty of large chain stores to choose from, or opt for a local bookstore like Elliott Bay Books (map)  or the genre specific Mystery Book Store (map).  Or visit the Seattle Central Library for free reading and impressive architecture.  Make reading a family activity and pick up something for yourself as well.
  21. Finish up your back-to-school shopping and save some money at one of the Seattle area outlet malls.  They’re a little bit out of the city, so combine a fun side trip along with your practical shopping.
  22. Enjoy the majesty of the Columbia River with a trip along the scenic Columbia River gorge.  It’s a very long day trip from Seattle, so consider making it a weekend getaway – perhaps with an overnight at Skamania Lodge (map).
  23. Spend Labor Day Weekend enjoy the ultimate arts experience at Bumbershoot at the Seattle Center.  Music, dance, performance art, food, and so much more that it’s impossible to list, it’s Seattle’s last hurrah of the summer.

Those are my picks on what to do for the remaining summer days – and I’ve got several of them on my personal to-do list!

Photo credit: SXC

Related places:
  1. A
    Woodland Park Zoo
    View Details and Book
  2. B
    Seattle Center
    305 Harrison St, Seattle, , United States
    View Details and Book
  3. C
    Pacific Science Center
    View Details and Book
  4. D
    Science Fiction Museum
    View Details and Book
  5. E
    Science Fiction Museum
    View Details and Book
  6. F
    Childrens Museum Seattle
    View Details and Book
  7. G
    Gas Works Park
    View Details and Book
  8. H
    Cal Anderson Park
    1635 11th Ave, Seattle, , United States
    View Details and Book
  9. I
    Safeco Field
    View Details and Book
  10. J
    Seattle Art Museum
    1300 First Avenue, Seattle, WA, 98101, USA
    View Details and Book
  11. K
    Frye Art Museum
    704 Terry Avenue, Seattle, WA, 98104, USA
    View Details and Book
  12. L
    Museum of Glass
    View Details and Book
  13. M
    Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture
    View Details and Book
  14. N
    The Museum of Flight
    View Details and Book
  15. O
    Seattle Aquarium
    View Details and Book
  16. P
    Pioneer Square, Seattle, WA
    Pioneer Square, Seattle, WA
    View Details and Book
  17. Q
    Waterfall Garden
    219 2nd Ave S, Seattle, , United States
    View Details and Book
  18. R
    Smith Tower
    View Details and Book
  19. S
    Westlake Center
    View Details and Book
  20. T
    Fishermen's Terminal
    3919 18th Avenue W, Seattle, WA, 98119, USA
    View Details and Book
  21. U
    Seattle Water Front Arcade
    , , , , ,
    View Details and Book
  22. V
    United States Government Dept of Army: Mud Mountain Dam
    30525 Southeast Mud Mountain Road, Enumclaw, WA
    View Details and Book
  23. W
    Triple xxx Rootbeer Drive-In
    , , , , ,
    View Details and Book
  24. X
    Ruston Market & Deli Don's
    5102 North Winnifred Street, Ruston, WA
    View Details and Book
  25. Y
    Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium
    View Details and Book
  26. Z
    Statue of Lenin
    Seattle, Washington, undefined
    View Details and Book
  27. Emerald Downs
    View Details and Book
  28. Kubota Gardens
    View Details and Book
  29. Pike Place Market
    85 Pike Street, Seattle, WA, 98101, US
    View Details and Book
  30. Starbucks
    1912 Pike Place, Seattle, WA, United States
    View Details and Book
  31. Elliott Bay Book Company
    View Details and Book
  32. Seattle Mystery Bookshop
    117 Cherry St, Seattle, WA, United States
    View Details and Book
  33. Skamania Lodge
    View Details and Book
Tags: Events, family activities, kids, museum, outdoors, parks, summer, top-feature

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