On our visit to Seattle last summer we bought a Seattle City Pass in order to visit a bunch of our “must sees”. I even did the math to make sure it was worth it to buy the city pass versus paying for each admission individually. On the City Pass website they also break down the savings. It shows what you would spend if you were to buy tickets to each attraction which was very helpful. The Seattle City Pass includes admission to 5 major Seattle attractions. Each of which are located within the city limits and were easily accessible. We were staying near Lake Union and did not rent a car and were able to get to each place smoothly with public transportation and walking. The attractions included with the pass are:
- Space Needle
- Seattle Aquarium
- Argosy Harbor Cruise Tour
- Museum of Pop Culture OR Woodland Park Zoo
- Chihuly Garden and Glass OR Pacific Science Center
We had two little kids with us for this trip but only had to pay for one child admission. My younger daughter was only 20 months at the time and was free! For the two attractions that we got to choose one or the other we chose the more kid friendly options. But for my next trip to Seattle I’d love to visit the two we skipped. Here’s my low down on the 5 Seattle attractions we visited using the City Pass…
We went to visit when it first opened in the morning around 9 AM. Unfortunately we still had to wait in a line to ride the elevator to the top. The girls were definitely a little bored standing in line waiting to go up. Strollers have to be parked on the bottom before you even wait on the line. The kids were not interested in reading all the history of the Space Needle on the walls. But the line was worth the wait. When we got out of the (quick) elevator ride up to the top the views were absolutely breathtaking. You could see 360 degrees of city line, the sound and mountain ranges. We probably spent a good 20 minutes circling the top on the outside, taking pictures and admiring the views. The girls had a tricky time seeing as well as I could because the railing was quite high for obvious reasons. Fortunately there were some things to stand on for them or I would pick them up to see better. After we saw enough we went back down the elevator and spent a while in the gift shop looking for some cool souvenirs. One of the coolest things about the Space Needle is that you can see it from all over the city. It is just sticking up in the air in the middle of the city for all to see!
Aquariums are no-brainers whenever you have a toddler with you because the tanks are so accessible and the fish are easy to see. We never pass up an opportunity to visit a new aquarium when given the chance. The Seattle Aquarium had lots of your typical fish tanks and displays like we’ve seen in other aquariums. However, it also had a ton of cool things we haven’t seen at other aquariums. We picked up a map but didn’t bother really following it, instead I just let the girls lead the way. They had a place to leave strollers which was nice so my hands were free as I followed the girls around the aquarium as they explored. We probably spent 2 hours here and pretty much saw everything the aquarium had to offer. Our favorite part about the aquarium was the sea otters outside – they are so cute!
We took the one hour harbor cruise tour which was a nice way to see the city from a different angle. Honestly, I think my girls were a bit bored on the cruise other than the fact that they were excited to be on a boat. Most of the narration wasn’t interesting to them – they are just too little. I could see older kids being more interested in the information they were sharing as we cruised around the Puget Sound. You can bring a stroller on board which we did but you had to leave it on the bottom level. We spent time on each level because my girls were not sitting still long but at least we got to see all parts of the boat. I liked the cruise a lot and learned a lot of neat facts about the city. We didn’t see any interesting wild life on our tour. But I have heard that they have seen whales or seals on past tours.
So obviously, we chose the zoo because we had little kids with us and I am sure glad we did. Our family has been to a few great zoos so I wasn’t sure what to expect from this one. But, we soon found out that the zoo in Seattle is seriously awesome. We got there shortly after it opened and it wasn’t very busy at all. The zoo is pretty big! We had a map and tried to go in a logical flow but we were kind of all over the place. It was definitely a lot of walking – but there were plenty of benches to take breaks. If we were to go again I’d pack a lunch because all the food places were fairly busy and we wasted a lot of time waiting for lunch. I am fairly certain we didn’t see every single animal in the zoo. If I lived in Seattle I’d totally get a annual membership to this zoo!
Our last City Pass visit was the Pacific Science Center. We chose it over the Chihuly Garden and Glass museum because of the little kids in tow! The museum was a giant interactive museum for children with a focus on science. The girls played here for a few hours and had a great time. They ran from exhibit to exhibit to find out what they could try next. Outside there were water activities and even a science show was going on. Inside the girls loved the physical fitness centers, butterfly house, laser show, tot area and tons of other interactive exhibits. We probably could have spent even more time here. The museum was super busy the day we were visiting so we didn’t stick around all day.
We definitely took full advantage of all the City Pass in Seattle had to offer! I know we got more than our money’s worth. This was the first time we bought a City Pass for visiting a new city! I plan to look into it for other cities in the future.