Bike the trail along Myrtle Edwards Park with a teenager in tow (rent a ride and helmet from the Pronto station at Pier 69) to see the city come alive in the morning: working train yards, cruise ship ports, and sunlight cresting over Olympic Sculpture Park, with its modern and curious sculptures.
Art leads to culture—and some stunning architecture—at Seattle Public Library, with its Lego-yellow staircase, primal red room, and peekaboo view onto the city. The library is so cool, your teen may stop and shoot a video to share with friends.
From here it’s an easy jaunt to Pike Place Market for lunch, its own kind of adventure for a teen who hasn’t experienced much in exotic eats. Watch with delight as they choose from foods they’ve never heard of, perhaps landing on a hot, doughy treat from Russian bakery Piroshky Piroshky.
From the market, amble to Seattle Center and the always-colorful EMP Museum. In the words of a teen, EMP totally rocks. While the Nirvana exhibits may fascinate adults, kids tend to gravitate to the Fantasy: Worlds of Myth and Magic exhibit, where visitors can dive into the realms of Hogwarts, Middle-Earth, and beyond. Teens also tend to love the Sound Lab, where they play songs on keyboards, attempt chords on the electric guitars, and bang on the drums. Eventually, they may drag you into one of the soundproof recording rooms to lay down your own riffs.
Nearby, in South Lake Union, the Museum of History & Industry is home to a wealth of exhibits about the history of innovation in Seattle. Teens can explore the Bezos Center, where they can see Seattle-made inventions on the patent tree.
Or stick downtown for an afternoon all about heights. There’s no way to go wrong with Columbia Center’s Sky View Observatory at 902 feet and the iconic Space Needle’s 520-foot-high observation deck. Start on the 73rd floor of the Columbia Center, taking in the expanse of the region: islands floating in the distance, Mount Rainier towering on the horizon, and greenery and water galore. Then ascend the Space Needle as your teen compares the real world to virtual via the Space Needle app, which features facts, figures, and 3D views. Record your visit in the digital guest book, then revel in the experience as the sun glints off city and water all around.
*EMP Museum 325 Fifth Ave N; empmuseum.org • *Museum of History & Industry 860 Terry Ave N mohai.org • Myrtle Edwards Park 3130 Alaskan Way • *Olympic Sculpture Park 2901 Western Ave; seattleartmuseum.org • *Pike Place Market First Ave and Pike St; pikeplacemarket.org • Piroshky Piroshky 1908 Pike Pl; piroshkybakery.com • Pronto prontocycleshare.com • *Seattle Center 305 Harrison St; seattlecenter.com • *Seattle Public Library 1000 Fourth Ave; spl.org • *Sky View Observatory 701 Fifth Ave; skyviewobservatory.com • *Space Needle 400 Broad St; spaceneedle.com
*For more family-friendly Visit Seattle partners, go to Family Fun.