Though I love checking out all of the tourist attractions around a new location, I also love checking out the more simple and free things to do as well. So when visiting Washington I decided to dig around on google a bit until I gathered a list of free things to do in the Seattle area for kids. We decided to split them up into a couple of days so we could have time to explore everything thoroughly and it was a blast. Though there are probably a ton more activities we could have done, our time was limited as we had other destinations to conquer. So here are my top 8 free things to do in the Seattle area for kids that they won’t find boring or dull.
Bug Museum & Reptile Room
I have personally never been to a bug museum before so when I found this little gem I was pretty excited! I mean…my boys were really excited. The Bug Museum & Reptile Room is a small little building just off the highway with loads of neat bugs inside. Let me just say, I have been to many zoos and this museum had so many bugs and insects that I had never seen before in my life. The Reptile Room though small was filled with snakes that I have never encountered in a zoo before such as corn snakes and king snakes. Common snakes in some areas but still neat to see up close and personal. We also picked up a scavenger hunt activity sheet for my oldest to complete while we read up on all of the different animals. Once we drew our favorite bugs on the chalk board, we picked up a couple of souvenirs and donated a couple of dollars for offering an awesome free experience.
Kitsap Live Steamers
Okay, think of full size trains, the steam propelled ones and the more modern Amtrek ones, now shrink them down to a small child’s size and that’s what you have at the Kitsap Live Steamers. When we walked up and saw the trains I became immediately excited to hop aboard! I felt like a little kid and could barely contain my excitement for a ride on the little train. Since there are no age restrictions my 1 year old was able to hop on board with me and hang on for the 5-7 minute ride which went over bridges and all through the forest. This attraction only runs twice a month so be sure to check out their site and plan accordingly.
Visit a Hobbit House
My oldest absolute loves the Hobbit as well as the Lord of the Rings so when I found out there was a Hobbit House nearby I knew we would have to add it to our list. The Hobbit House is located inside the Brother’s Greenhouse which is one of the best greenhouses I have ever visited. They had so many plants and flowers to fairy houses and a whole Shire town. The Hobbit House itself is beautifully set up and even has a wooden bench and fireplace inside. I also found out that clearly I’m as short as a hobbit since I could stand upright with no problems inside.
See the Fremont Troll
As the fairy tale goes, there’s always a troll living under a bridge and in Seattle, this still stands true. The Fremont Troll is a giant troll located under a bridge that is an awesome sight to see with littles. The troll is decorated from time to time and sadly people feel the need to destroy it with graffiti etc. however that doesn’t take away from the majestic size and sight of him.
The Center for Wooden Boats
Continuing a 25 year tradition, volunteer skippers take passengers out on Lake Union for a free cruise every Sunday at The Center for Wooden Boats. Sign ups are in person every Sunday starting at 10am so if you want to secure your limited spot then its best to show up early!
As the centerpiece of the broad open space and lawn, The International Fountain has been transformed into a water wonderland for the young and old. Children can play in the fountain bowl and venture right up to the smooth silver dome that spouts triple treated recycled water, making it possibly the cleanest water in the city.
This viking ridden town is full of adventure for little ones to explore. In the month of July they held a “Where’s Waldo” exploration for kiddos to find and earn a prize while giving you the opportunity to chomp down on a local doughnut and admire all of the local art murals around town. There’s even a couple of free museums that you can check out when your littles have grown tired of the shops.
Pike Place Market
From throwing fish to adding your gum to walls in the city, Pike Place Market has something to offer everyone. There’s no fee to walk around the market but you’ll want to bring some cash to spend on some local artistry or freshly grown flowers. Don’t forget to grab a cup of mac-n-cheese from Beechers too, you won’t regret it!