Seattle With Teens in Tow
Top attractions for families visiting the Emerald City
Want to experience Seattle, but bringing your teenagers along? They are the perfect age to enjoy cultural offerings, coffeehouses, and outdoor recreation. Here are some teen-approved excursions you’ll enjoy, too.
Next door to the Space Needle, Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP) houses the largest collection of music memorabilia from Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain/Nirvana, and many iconic bands of the grunge era. It also offers outdoor concerts at the Mural and at the indoor Sky Church, free for all ages.
Also at Seattle Center, check out world-renowned KEXP radio station’s free-entry Gathering Space to see DJs spin on-air or watch live, in-studio musical performances by national and local acts. Nearby, stop by La Marzocco Café and museum for baked goods and specialty coffees.
While Starbucks was born at Pike Place Market in 1971, it’s the local, independent coffee shops that serve up the true Seattle flavor and experience. Notable coffeehouses to try in and around downtown include: Caffé D’arte, Zeitgeist Coffee, Café Racer, Slate Coffee Roasters, or Seattle Meowtropolitan, the city’s first cat café.
On sunny days, take a 12-minute water-taxi cruise across Elliott Bay to West Seattle (hourly departures from Pier 55 at the downtown waterfront). You can rent bikes or stroll along the 2.5-mile boardwalk at Alki Beach Park for panoramic views of the city skyline, Puget Sound, and the Olympic Mountains. Or, head to the sandy shores of Golden Gardens Park in Ballard for beach volleyball, bonfires, and spectacular sunsets.
Teen foodies will enjoy sampling flavorful delicacies at restaurants in the Chinatown-International District, from Vietnamese satay at Tamarind Tree to traditional Cantonese dim sum at Jade Garden. Nearby Wing Luke Museum showcases an exhibition on the life and films of former resident and martial arts master Bruce Lee. Afterward, stop by the Seattle Pinball Museum, where the price of admission grants unlimited play on 50-plus vintage pinball machines.
IF YOU GO
Getting around town: Skip the 30-minute cab ride from SeaTac airport. Instead, hop the quick Link Light Rail and go downtown for $3. Also, avoid parking headaches at the Space Needle by catching the Seattle Center Monorail from Westlake Center downtown, which departs every 10 minutes from both stations.
Souvenirs: Try Archie McPhee’s novelty shop in Wallingford or browse the funky clothes and handicrafts by 100-plus local designers at the year-round Fremont Sunday Market.