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Washington’s Top 12 Family Attractions

Here's what you need to know...
  • Many of the best destinations are close to Seattle so you won’t have to travel far from the biggest city in Washington
  • Before visiting any destination, it is important to make sure you are prepared for anything that could go wrong
  • Destinations in Washington are family friendly so you can take everyone along for the trip
Washington is a West Coast destination many people flock to because the abundance of indoor and outdoor activities, the mild weather and the positive attitude people have in the state.

Many of the state’s best activities are in the Western portion of the state in Seattle and beyond. Whether you are looking for somewhere fun for the family, somewhere to take a quick jaunt to or a great location to make your yearly vacation, Seattle has exactly what you need.

Don’t let the rainy weather rumor weigh too heavily on your mind. Washington isn’t actually as rainy as other places in the United States, like New Orleans.

When the cloud cover does clear, you’ll be treated to some of the most vibrant colors you’ve ever seen in the landscape. While most of the attractions are in or near Seattle, don’t be afraid to head out of the city to see what the Pacific Northwest has to offer.

Make sure to compare rates with our free quote tool above before you head out for your road trip!

#12 – Seattle Public Library

Price: Free
Hours: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Monday-Thursday; Friday-Saturday 10 a.m.- 6 p.m.; Sunday 12 p.m.-6 p.m.

Keeping with the tradition of impressive PNW libraries, the Seattle Public Library library offers something for everyone who’s visiting the city. If you’re a visitor, you may not be able to borrow books, but you can pop into the library to get out of the gloom.

Settle down in one of the comfortable chairs and read a great book while you look out on the Seattle Skyline.

The central library on Fourth Avenue is also open Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sunday Noon – 6 p.m. Other locations throughout the city have different hours and there is almost always something exciting going on for children and adults.

#11 – Mount Rainier National Park

Price: $25 per vehicle
Hours: Sunrise to Sunset

As one of the highest peaks in the United States, Mount Rainier National Park provides the perfect backdrop to Seattle. While you can see it from the city, it takes about an hour to get to the park from the city.

While you are there, you can visit any of the trails, you can take a drive on the loop and you can get a thrill being up close and personal with a volcano that’s due for an eruption.

There are camping opportunities that also go beyond the traditional hours.

#10 –Northwest Trek Wildlife Park

Price: $10 – $25
Hours: 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. seasonally

If you’ve ever wanted to go on a safari, Tacoma may be the last place you expect to do it at. You can take a wild ride through the sanctuary for animals at the Northwest Trek Wildlife Park.

The park is open yearly, but hours change depending on the season. Winter hours are weekends only.

#9 – Fort Worden State Park

Price: Free, some activities may cost money
Hours: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Located in the Puget Sound, Fort Worden State Park provides one of the most relaxing state park atmospheres in Washington.

It is one of the only parks in Washington that doesn’t boast a volcano, but there is still plenty for the whole family to do while they’re here. The park has over 500 acres for visitors to enjoy.

#8 – Seattle Aquarium

Price: $30
Hours: 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

The Seattle Aquarium sits right on the outskirts of the city close to the water where many of the animals have come from. The aquarium sits on Pier 59.

It has many species of both freshwater and saltwater animals.

It even has some animals that would typically only be found in Alaska thanks to the climate in Seattle. The aquarium is not open on bank holidays.

#7 – Space Needle

Price: $12
Hours: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

One of the most iconic things about the Seattle skyline is the Space Needle. Everyone who visits has to go, at least, once. Take a glass elevator up to the top and watch the city shrink below you.

Take a break on the observation deck and get a 360-degree view of the city that you can’t find anywhere else. The Space Needle is open from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. daily.

#6 – Burke Museum

Price: $10
Hours: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

The Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture has exhibits year round for people to learn more about Washington and the history behind it.

The museum’s cultural exhibits feature Native Americans, Inuits and some of the first humans to ever set foot on the land in Washington.

There are also some cultural exhibits that are directly related to Alaska which is a great friend of Washington.

#5 – The Pacific Science Center

Price: $16 for children, $22 for adults
Hours: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. weekdays

At the Pacific Science Center, children and adults can enjoy the hands-on experiences, the laser dome and the IMAX theater.

There are always science demonstrations going on and activities for children to get in on the fun at the Pacific Science Center. The science center is open year round and has weekend hours until 8 p.m.

#4 – Hand’s On Children’s Museum

Price: $12.95, free nights available
Hours: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. weekdays

Located about one hour South of Seattle in Olympia, the Hand’s On Children’s Museum is a mecca for kids. It has traditional hands-on exhibits for children to learn about STEM and even history.

It also has an outdoor center where children can explore how waterways work, how soil is produced and even how they can create their own town. The museum is open weekdays and 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. on weekends.

#3 – Olympic Flight Museum

Price: $10-$39
Hours: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

While there is a Boeing Museum (and headquarters) in Seattle, going just a bit Southwest outside of Olympia will allow you to check out the Olympic Flight Museum.

Here, you can learn more about flight, planes and all manner of aircraft. The museum also has air shows on a regular basis. Admission varies depending on what you are visiting the museum for.

#2 – Port Defiance Park

Price: Free
Hours: Sunrise to Sunset

Located in the city adjacent to Seattle, Port Defiance Park is Tacoma’s gem. It has a beach,  marina and museum. There is also a golf course close by people can visit.

The five-mile drive allows you to check out all the sites without having to worry about even getting out of your vehicle.

Different attractions at the park have different hours, but it is generally open from sunrise to sunset.

#1 – Woodland Park Zoo

Price: $9.95 for children, $14.95 for adults
Hours: 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

In the heart of Seattle lies the Woodland Park Zoo. Along with traditional zoo exhibits, the Woodland Park Zoo has features that are unique to Washington.

There are gardens, walking trails and even restaurants within the zoo. It takes up over 92 acres of the Phinney Ridge neighborhood and is a quick drive from some of the other best locations in Seattle.

The zoo offers special classes and demonstrations for children and adults.

Safety for Families While Traveling

AdobeStock_38015788-1600x1600 (1)Whether you plan to travel 100 miles to Washington or 3,000 miles from the other side of the country, you should be prepared for things that could go wrong. The number one thing you always need is car insurance.

Even if you’re flying and renting a car when you get there, make sure your policy is exactly what you need. Washington requires you to have car insurance coverage of, at least, $25,000 for liability.

Before leaving on your trip, call to verify your policy is active and that you’ll be covered while you’re visiting Washington. Always compare policies on a regular basis to ensure you are getting the best coverage possible.

A few things to check and always have in your vehicle:

  • Unexpired car seats or booster seats
  • Emergency preparedness kit including flares
  • First aid kit with everything you might need
  • Emergency blankets and water
  • Extra sunscreen – even the Seattle cloud cover lets harmful rays through

Check your vehicle’s tires before leaving, get your oil changed if its due and have a tune-up before you set out on your trip. The day of your trip, pack everything you need.

Check the backseat to be sure you are going to be safe, and make a habit of doing it regularly so no little ones get left behind.

While you probably won’t encounter snow anywhere near Seattle, consider keeping winter emergency items in your trunk just in case. Don’t miss out on our free quote tool below! Just enter your zip code and get your free quote now!

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