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Seattle’s family-friendly museums cater to kids of all ages, including the young at heart, whether your focus is on the arts and sciences or your interests range from aviation to popular culture. Book admission tickets, combine attractions with a Seattle City Pass, or go sightseeing with a guide. Here are our top recommendations.
Rainy days in Seattle are well-spent at this museum geared toward young children from 10 months to 10 years of age. Kids can get messy with painting and clay at the Imagination Studio, build in the Construction Zone, explore the world at the Global Village, explore STEM-based activities in Cog City, and much more. Visit the Seattle Children’s Museum on a family-oriented tour of Seattle.
Budding scientists will enjoy exhibits where they can conduct their own experiments under the guidance of real-life researchers. From tropical butterflies to robotic dinosaurs to marine life, there’s much to learn about at this complex, which includes two IMAX theaters, a laser dome, and a planetarium. Top off your visit with a stop at the nearby Space Needle.
Formerly named the EMP (Experience Music Project), the Frank Gehry–designed museum at Seattle Center boasts a whimsical exterior constructed of colorful, curved metal. Special and traveling exhibits on pop culture topics—from comic book superheroes and the Star Trek TV series to Seattle garage bands the likes of Nirvana and Pearl Jam—will delight children, teens, and adults alike.
Anyone with an interest in aviation or space exploration will find plenty here to satisfy their curiosity. The Museum of Flight’s claim to fame is being the largest private air-and-space museum in the world. Little ones can wave from the cockpit of a Boeing 737, get up close to a full-scale NASA Space Shuttle Trainer, and watch a 3D film to learn more about the past and future of flying.
This family-friendly venue is located in Tacoma, about a 30-minute drive from Seattle. Discover the interactive process of making glass art during a live demonstration at the Hot Shop; marvel at glassworks in the traveling exhibits and permanent collections; and visit the Education Studio to try your hand at glassmaking. Glass-fusing workshops are available on-site for burgeoning young artists.