Seattle Museum Month, February 1-28, offers Seattle visitors staying in one of our 60+ partner hotels an unbeatable value: 50% off admission at our 40 museum partners, including many of Seattle’s most popular attractions.
You can go to as many museums as you like during your stay, and up to four people staying in the hotel room are eligible to use the discount, so it’s perfect for trips with friends or family. You’ll find the entire list of museums on seattlemuseummonth.com – but how to choose? Let’s dive in and I’ll try to make some suggestions according to your interests.
Today’s topic is: family fun! Here are some of my recommendations if you have kids in the mix.
For anyone who still thinks museums are boring, this tour will definitely change some minds. From rock and roll to horror films, from pinball to VR, and fascinating creatures from land and sea, these spots offer topics and experiences to entertain and engage kids of all ages.
Seattle Aquarium delights visitors young and old on the Seattle waterfront. A leader in hands-on marine experiences and conservation education, the Aquarium makes learning about Puget Sound and our world’s one big ocean fun and engaging. Daily diver shows in the Windows On Washington Waters exhibit introduce the fish that you can find in our Washington waters. Wearing specialized masks, the divers are able to talk back and forth with Aquarium interpreters on the outside of the exhibit, and answer your questions. From February 16-24, don’t miss Octopus Week, a particularly fun time to learn about one of the coolest creatures in Puget Sound, the giant Pacific octopus.
From the waterfront, you can walk on a Washington State Ferry for a 30 minute crossing to Bainbridge Island, where a short stroll up from the dock leads you to Kids Discovery Museum, which is geared for little ones from 6 months to 8 years. If the ferry ride isn’t part of your plan, you’ll also find hands-on fun and discoveries for kids ages 10 months to 10 years at Seattle Children’s Museum, located at Seattle Center, and reachable by a quick ride on the Monorail from downtown Seattle.
Also at Seattle Center, Pacific Science Center has been a favorite spot for generations of Seattle families since 1962. Programs and exhibitions here cover a broad range of ages and interests, such as the Portal to Current Research exhibit, Virtual Reality immersions, the Tinker Tank and the Tropical Butterfly House.
Also at Seattle Center, the colorful Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP) is eye-popping inside and out, and will thrill older kids and their parents too. Music fans can dive deep into exhibits on Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Jimi Hendrix, while fans of Harry Potter or The Wizard of Oz will delight in Fantasy: Worlds of Myth and Magic. Sound Lab offers the chance to actually play and make music in soundproof rooms, while Indie Game Revolution offers an immersion into contemporary video game culture. Maybe zombies, vampires and other things that go bump in the night are more your speed? Then Scared to Death: The Thrill of Horror Film is for you! (Note that this one is for the age 13+ crowd, due to high scare factor & graphic content.) If all that isn’t enough, MoPOP is currently presenting its largest-ever exhibit with MARVEL: Universe of Super Heroes. More than 300 artifacts give a fascinating look at MARVEL’s 80 year history, from comic books to Black Panther. Note: the MARVEL exhibit is not included with regular museum admission but is available to Seattle Museum Month pass holders for a small upcharge.
A few minutes north of Seattle Center is Woodland Park Zoo, another perennial favorite of kids & adults of all ages. For 118 years the Zoo has been an urban oasis and is now a leader in animal conservation efforts. Its 92 acres are divided into bioclimatic zones, featuring natural habitats ranging from humid tropical rain forests and coastal deserts to temperate rain forests like those of the Pacific Northwest, housing a wide range of interesting animals.
I hope you still have energy to spare, because you’re in for another treat: Seattle has a pinball museum! The Seattle Pinball Museum offers about 50 playable games from the 1960s to the present. Your admission allows you unlimited play, although please note that kids must be 7 or older to play the games and must be supervised by an adult. One tip: this can be popular and crowded, so my advice is to choose a non–peak time for your visit if possible, so you can enjoy the games and maybe even talk with the owners, who are passionate pinball fans.
If you haven’t filled up on snacks at the Pinball Museum, you’re in luck because you’re right in the Chinatown-International District, home to delicious dumplings and noodles to finish out your busy day of museum hopping. Fuel up, tomorrow’s another day!
Learn more about Seattle Museum Month at seattlemuseummonth.com and watch this space in the coming weeks for more suggestions for history lovers and seekers of the unique. With 40 museums, we’ve got something for every interest. See you in February!