The Iron Horse Railway at Country Village
The Country Village Shops, located about 20 miles southeast of Seattle, is a country-themed, partially outdoor mall and home of The Iron Horse Railway. Kids can hop aboard a child-sized train and enjoy the scenery. The train ride takes children around the back of the shops, through the shops and through a field. Country Village also features over 45 retail shops, a duck pond, pirate ship play structure, toy trains to play with, restaurants and a children's theater. Besides the ducks, kids will get a kick out of the chickens, roosters, rabbits and peacocks that roam about.
Fox Hollow Family Farm
Fox Hollow Family Farms is located about 20 miles southeast of the city. The farm features a little red train that kids can ride comfortably while enjoying the picturesque journey. The train chugs through the forest and stops at the Squak Mountain Station, where kids can relax indoors and watch others ride the train. Make a day of the farm. After the train ride, your family can check out the rope swings, hop a ride on one of many mini tractors and jeeps, and view and pet the many animals, including rabbits, horses, pigs, sheep, goats and peacocks.
Remlinger Farm and Family Fun Park
Remlinger Farm and Family Fun Park is well worth the 30-mile drive east of Seattle. Your young conductor in training can ride the Tolt River Railroad Steam Train Ride. The train is a genuine steam train, only half the size of an original. The train goes along the lovely Tolt River and through the farm. While there, kids can ride the miniature antique cars, roller coaster, Ferris wheel, canoes and barrel ride. Animals are on site, including goats, sheep, ponies, horses, rabbits, pigs, cows, alpacas and donkeys.
The Northwest Railway Museum
The Northwest Railway Museum is located 30 miles east of Seattle. The museum runs the Snoqualmie Valley Railroad, and children can board the train at the historic Snoqualmie Depot, which also houses exhibits about rail history. The antique train runs to North Bend Depot and back, offering views of Snoqualmie Falls and the scenic valley. The museum often offers special train rides, including the Santa Train and Day Out With Thomas.
Fathoms O’ Fun (fathomsofun.org) is a community service organization that provides family-friendly activities and festivals. Held weekly from June to September, "Concerts by the Bay" at Waterfront Park give families the opportunity to hear music from a variety of genres, including jazz, rock, blues and R&B. The Fathoms Summer Festival Craft and Vendor Show features a Grand Parade, a pageant, craft and vendor booths, pony rides and puppet shows. The Kitsap Harbor Festival (kitsapharborfestival.org) spans both the Port Orchard and Bremerton boardwalks, and includes vendor booths, costume contests, a beer garden, car show, pancake breakfast and boat viewing.
Herd the kiddos over to one of Port Orchard's (kitsapgov.com/parks/) many parks for some fresh air and active fun. Horseshoe Lake County Park features lake access with swimming, a playground, trails and picnic areas. South Kitsap Regional Park is the stomping grounds for the Kitsap Live Steamers (kitsaplivesteamers.org) and their scale railroad. Kids can hop on the miniature steam locomotive and ride along a 4,000-foot stretch of track. The park is also home to ball fields, a basketball hoop, a playground, horseshoe pits, a skate park, batting cages and trails.
Take your child on a learning adventure at the Log Cabin Museum (sidneymuseumandarts.com). Your children can get a glimpse of what life was like over the past 100 years with the changing home-life exhibits. The museum is housed in a cabin built in 1914, still on its original site. The Sidney Museum (sidneymuseumandarts.com) is located on the upstairs floor of a 1908 building, with an art gallery downstairs. The museum features informative displays including a general store, doctor's office and school that offer a glimpse into early life in Port Orchard.
When the weather turns unpleasant, head over to Imagination Station (imaginationstationenrichmentcenter.com). Children up to age 6 can play in the 2,200-square-foot enclosed area, featuring a clubhouse with a slide, a playhouse with a kitchen and a variety of toys. Older children and parents will enjoy the free Wi-Fi and can purchase food and drinks. Sk8 Town (sk8townpo.com) is an indoor roller skating rink. Lessons are available. Special events, like the "End of the School Year All Night Lock-In" are offered, where kids can skate all night, get breakfast, snacks, music and games.
Seattle has several landmarks that distinguish it from other cities. The Pike Place Market (pikeplacemarket.org), best known for the fish flinging across the counter, is a fun destination for teens. Hundreds of vendors sell handcrafted foods, jewelry and crafts. Many street performers line the market as well. The most recognizable landmark in Seattle is the Space Needle (spaceneedle.com). Teens will appreciate the view from the top and perhaps even enjoy eating at the Sky City Restaurant.
Seattle is home to many museums that would interest young minds. The Museum of History and Industry (mohai.org) features engaging exhibits such as a WWII-era periscope providing panoramic views of the city, multimedia presentations of Seattle history and an exploration of movie history. The EMP Museum (empmuseum.org) provides a look into the history of pop culture and music with interactive exhibits and programs. Teens can participate in an artist workshop that allows them to be a part of a rock band, perform on stage or help write a sci-fi script. The Pacific Science Center (pacificsciencecenter.org) presents science exploration with a planetarium, an IMAX theater, a laser dome and a live science stage.
Shopping at fun and interesting sites can be enough to entertain some teens. The University Village (uvillage.com) is an open-air mall full of clothing, gift and fashion stores along with plenty of places to eat. For teens with an eccentric taste, Ye Olde Curiosity Shop (yeoldecuriosityshop.com) would pique their interest. They can find all sorts of trinkets, novelties, masks and other weird stuff. A teen could spend hours searching through the wealth of strange and interesting items in this shop.
Games and Shows
For the ultimate arcade experience, Gameworks (gameworks.com) is the place to go. This giant complex features hundreds of arcade games, prize games, billiards, air hockey, darts, flight simulators and food. One of the premier concert venues in Seattle is the El Corazon (elcorazonseattle.com). Regular shows are often scheduled for teens. Security is tight, so teens can enjoy the show without fear of harm.
Fun Centers and Gyms
The Family Fun Center at Bullwinkles Restaurant in Tukwila, 11 miles south of downtown Seattle, will host your party. It has bumper boats, kiddie rides, go-karts, a multi-level play structure, bumper cars, laser tag, flight simulators, mini golf and bungee swings. The party package consists of a party table, pizza, soda, party favors and access to several of the attractions. Seattle Gymnastics Academy is also an option, providing a gymnastics arena for a party place. It will take care of the setup, cleanup, goody bags and party space while the kids can play on the trampolines, foam pits, obstacle courses and an inflatable mountain toy.
Southgate Roller Rink has a party package that includes 90 minutes at a party table, pizza, soda, ice cream and rolling skate admission. At Highland Ice Arena in Shoreline, 11 miles north of Seattle, you can reserve table space for your party and receive a group rate for skating. It allows you to bring in your own food, drinks and decorations. Castle Ice Arena in Renton, 16 miles from Seattle, offers several party packages. Your party can include a private party room, goody bags, decorations, public skating or private rink rental, broom ball parties and skate rentals.
The Seattle Children's Museum is a hands-on exhibit facility geared for kids 10 and younger. Party packages include all-day admission, a themed party room, help with cleanup and a T-shirt for the party honoree. After-hours party packages are also available that allow private access to the museum. You can also consider taking your party to the zoo. The Woodland Park Zoo offers party room rentals next to its historic carousel. The party package includes a ride on the carousel for the party-goers, two hours in the party room and zoo admission.
Arts Aloft is an art studio for people 4 to 12 years old. For your party, you can choose from several art projects such as pandas, pirates, horses, dioramas and power boards. You bring the food, decorations and paper products while the studio provides the art supplies, direction and cleanup. The Roaring Mouse Creative Arts Studio will also provide you with a party place for kids between 2 to 10 years old. It allows you to choose a special project geared to your child's favorite toy, game or book. Kids will also have access to the play room filled with toys. You are welcome to bring your own cake and party supplies as well.