I always get a little bit of the winter blues around February each year it seems, so when Black Friday deals for travel came out back in November, I thought, “We should get away in February! I’m going to need some sun!” Well it so happened that the best deal we found was airfare to Seattle … the cloudiest major US city. So … maybe I didn’t get a ton of sun, but Seattle was a great place for a family trip! And we did actually have really nice weather there . We also were able to add in a couple other locations not too far of a drive from Seattle (check out our Pacific Northwest post or our multi-city travel post for more on that). This post will share about our time in Seattle and Vancouver with kids
To City Pass or not to City Pass:
We’ve done it both ways. Our first trip to Seattle without kids, we got the City Pass, and that is a great way to go. But for this trip we decided it wasn’t going to be best for us because of what all we wanted to do/didn’t want to do. So it all depends on what activities you have on your list as far as if the pass is worth it.
For our family, we wanted to do the Space Needle, Chihuly Garden and Glass, and the Museum of Flight. We couldn’t find that combination of tickets online, but when we went to the Space Needle there were self-serve kiosks outside where we were able to bundle these tickets for a discount.
The Space Needle
This is kind of expensive, but I think worth it. The kids really enjoyed it. When you get to the top there is a revolving glass floor and glass walls with lots of cool views and photo ops.
Chihuly Garden and Glass
This museum of glass art inspired by Dale Chihuly is spectacular. It is right by the Space Needle, part indoor, part outdoor. It was something I truly enjoyed and remembered from our first trip. At first we debated on whether or not to take the kids. I wasn’t sure if they would really enjoy it or not, but I’m so glad we did because they loved it! It was cool to see them appreciate the beauty in this art.
Museum of Flight
This place is HUGE! It really is awesome. Josh is a general aviation pilot, so is of course, very much into all aircraft. Our boys also loved this place, especially our oldest son who is 12. He wanted pictures of all the planes and to see every single thing there. Our girls (ages 8 and 10) were not quite as enthused, but they still had a good time. A favorite of everyone was the section where they had actual aircraft you could go in and walk through. There is also a cute and fun play area for little ones.
Now for the part of the city you don’t need tickets for!
Pike Place Market
This place is SO fun! So much good food and art and music – we were all super impressed by a guy who had his upright piano on wheels playing original songs with gloves on! Then there are the fish throwers who are so fun to watch. Our little guy (4 years old) loved that part!
The handmade products there are incredible. I got some copper earrings, and we got a piece of art to hang on our wall at home, a wood carving of a tree with all its roots.
And of course the famous (and gross) gum wall is here! This was apparently pretty memorable to our 8 year old daughter because after we got home from the trip I saw her playing with Play-Doh making lots of small balls of different colors, and she said she was recreating the gum wall!
Let’s talk Pike Place Market FOOD! I have to mention our favorite experience from our first trip to Seattle which was a Savor Seattle food tour. Through that experience we were able to sample a ton of amazing food, and our guide was genuinely funny while also teaching us some history along the way. We did not do the Savor Seattle tour with our whole family however, because for one, it is quite pricey, and we’ve got a couple pretty picky eaters. I definitely didn’t want to pay for them to not try the food! What is cool though is that Josh and I remembered most of the places and foods we tried on our tour so we could find those again!
Our top favorites:
–Daily Dozen Donuts: Other members of my family may argue this, but the cinnamon ones are by far the best and the way to go! Of course you can get an assortment for the family, and a whole bag of cinnamon ones for yourself!
–Pike Place Chowder: I don’t even like clam chowder all that much, but from here …. Yes! Yum!
Chuckar Cherries: So many tasty choices here, but our favorites are the raspberry truffles and chocolate honey pecans.
A pretty stroll from Pike Place and a fun place to walk out close to the water and to shop for souvenirs.
Other Honorable Mention for Seattle: Molly Moon’s Ice Cream
~ The cinnamon roll flavor is unforgettable. Just maybe I have a thing for cinnamon …
Driving from Seattle to Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada takes about 3 hours and is well worth the visit! Crossing the border into Canada for the first time ever was fun for the kids. We only spent a short time in Vancouver, and unfortunately this was the rainy part of our trip, but we still very much enjoyed visiting Vancouver with kids.
Stanley Park is beautiful even in the rain. I do wish we could have experienced it with better weather, but we made the most of it. We had not planned to go to the aquarium there in the park, but decided to try it out since it was raining. We just happened to hit it on family weekend so the kids were free!
This was a great spot to visit in Vancouver! By the water and lots of shops and restaurants and artsy boutiques here. We ate at a unique place called Burgoo … very cozy, amazing soups, and chocolate fondue for dessert. It was a family favorite and a perfect cozy treat at the end of our chilly rainy day.
I know there is a lot more to Vancouver that we didn’t have time for and lots more Pacific Northwest exploring we’d love to do, but for this trip to Seattle and Vancouver with kids ~ what a great experience!