Recently we have been enjoying a visit to Seattle. Although we’ve only had a few short days in the city, we’ve had a wonderful time taking in some of the attractions. The littles thought they were enjoying some school free days, but decided our outings were more like amazing field trips.
Just prior to our trip, I renewed one of our families local community memberships to our science museum. I upgraded to a premium membership and received one years participation to the Association of Children’s Museums reciprocal network benefits, and Association of Science-Technology Centers passport program. This will allow my family free general admission, or reduced admission, at participating museums and center.
Day one of our trip was a crazy day of navigating the city streets by car. After we finally found parking, we spent several hours at the Pacific Science Center. It is a participating center and we received free general admission. The littles arrived at the center with a greeting by the giant art work of humming flowers. Once inside, they were overwhelmed with a multitude of hands on activities. From robotic dinosaurs to the working of the human body and so much more, the littles were enthralled. It was a few exhibits into our visit before they were able to slow down long enough to notice and read the displayed educational resources. A tour through the tropical butterfly house was a wonderful adventure as we used a colorful resource sheet to search and identify a number of butterflies and plants. Day two of our trip began with a wet walk to the Seattle Children’s Museum. I had understood it was covered by my reciprocal membership, but learned they no longer participate in the program. Signage at the museum suggested it was best suited for ages up to 10 years, which felt accurate as Columbo had several occasions of not appearing interested in some of the activities. From an educational perspective I was delighted to see global living displays where the littles could see how homes and businesses could be imagined in other parts of the world. Several areas were display only. Although the littles did enjoy a number of hands on activities, they often felt rushed as the high number of visitors required extra attention to turn taking. Day three of our trip took us to the Museum of Flight. We received free admission for our family. We had a two-hour window between picking up dad at his final day of training, and visiting friends in the area. It was clear we could have enjoy more time at this location. Upon arrival I wasn’t too hopeful the exhibits would hold the littles’ attention for long. I was pleasantly surprised to see the boys attention drawn to various planes and excitedly read about the history of aviation. A children’s area allowed imaginations to soar as each of the littles sat in planes, explored an airplane mechanics toolbox and learned about the force of air. This visit has certainly prompted some new reading interests for the boys. Day four of our trip was our final day. With the full family together, we set off for Seattle’s waterfront and a trip to the Seattle Aquarium. The aquarium was not covered in our memberships. The littles were really excited about going, and they were not disappointed. There were many tanks of amazing sea creatures. Along with tanks for visually observing sea life, there was also a hands on tide pool area where they were able to touch living creatures. We were especially impressed with the aquarium staff. Although never intrusive, the staff seemed quietly present whenever there was a need or question. Watching a staff diver feeding the underwater animals, in one of the larger tanks, was a highlight of the trip. By days end, we were ready for our own dinner. I’m afraid the littles did not appreciate my humor when I told them we went to the aquarium to meet new friends, and were going to Ivar’s to eat them. Despite the littles choosing burgers and chicken, mom and dad enjoyed fish dinners. Our experience was complete with a seagull….or two. We’ve had a wonderful visit to the Emerald City. We had some wonderful adventures. As we depart, we are thankful for all we saw during our visit. In spite of all our adventures and fun, I can’t help but to think, there’s no place like home.