Photo: Visit Seattle.
What do you do with two adults, a ten-year-old and two little girls under three that won’t break the bank and entertains all? Seattle CityPASS! Recently, family friends from France visited me. Amélie had been our exchange student when I was a freshman in high school but her husband Philippe and three kids had never been to Seattle before.
I’ve known about CityPASS through my professional career but haven’t had a real opportunity to use it personally. The booklet of admission tickets to five of the city’s must-see visitor attractions saves you a minimum of 45 percent compared to combined regular box office prices and attractions include the Space Needle, Seattle Aquarium and Argosy Cruises Harbor Tour, as well as your choice between the EMP Museum or Woodland Park Zoo, and another choice between the Pacific Science Center or Chihuly Garden and Glass.
The Space Needle. Photo: Visit Seattle
My friends from France were able to plan ahead and purchase their three ticket books (kids under 4 are free) prior to arrival and my family and I were able to purchase ours and conveniently pick them up at the Space Needle, our first destination.
On the trip up in the elevator, Amélie couldn’t get over how much the city had changed in 25 years since she had been here and her kids’ eyes got wider and wider the higher the elevator went. The weather that day wasn’t made for standing outside for too long but the Panocam made a great way to not only show the kids the city, but allowed us to watch the drippy weather roll in hours earlier.
Hands-on fun at the Pacific Science Center. Photo: Heather Bryant.
Since they were trying to acclimate to local time and because it was so close, we headed over to the Pacific Science Center. What a hit! From the Tropical Butterfly House to the interactive exhibits, there was something for each of the kids.
EMP Museum at the Seattle Center.Photo: Visit Seattle.
The EMP Museum and Chihuly Garden and Glass played host to a well-deserved parents-only afternoon a couple of days later. The trip to EMP provided wildly different accounts from each of them on just how musically inclined Philippe is. But they agreed about how romantic the garden was at Chihuly Garden and Glass, which says a lot coming from a couple who live in La Ville Lumière (the City of Light).
Next on the itinerary? Off to Woodland Park Zoo! It’s a good thing we had as many adults as we did because those kids were all over the place. The day was a whirlwind but what I came away with was that reptiles still scare me, boys of all nationalities like bugs, little French girls like riding tractors in the Family Farm and all of it made for the cutest pictures.
The Family Farm at the Woodland Park Zoo. Photo: Heather Bryant.
While the adults did the Argosy Cruises Harbor Cruise, the kids and I went to the Seattle Aquarium. The challenge of having something so amazing as Window on Washington Waters in your lobby is that it’s hard to get them to any other part of the building. It took a little muscle on my part but we did it.
Argosy Cruises.Photo: Visit Seattle.
Back at Argosy, it was a trip down memory lane. My parents have lived here for over 40 years and with Amélie, having been away for so long, reminisced about how wonderful it used to be and still is. I always say that the city shows a different side of herself from the water and Argosy Cruises makes that an easy sight to see.
A whale of a good time for all at the Seattle Aquarium. Photo: Heather Bryant.
And so, after a 10-day visit, my friends departed. The takeaways were many: once you’re family, you’re always family; my French still stinks; Seattle is an amazing city, whether you’re a visitor or a local viewing it through the visitor’s eyes; and, Seattle CityPASS is a fantastic resource and heck of a good deal for all of us!