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Ultimate guide to Seattle Center with kids

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Seattle Center Fountain kids playing in the water

Seattle Center is the place to go in Seattle especially during the Spring and Summer months. Walking down the street listening to music, chatting with people, exploring unique museums and of course a tourist favorite space needle.  There are tons of things to do, some are even free like the international fountain splash play ground, Artist at play park for kids, and more.. 

Check out our list below of the best things to do at Seattle Center with family. 

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Things to do at the Seattle Center for free 

  • Watch a movie! The Seattle Center often host free movies at the amphitheater.
  • Check out the festivals that they have every year
  • kids can play at the splash park and listen to music there
  • kids can play at the artist at play park which is an attraction of its own
  • have a picnic on the grass


Artist at Play park 

artist at play playgorund at the seattle center in seattle,washington

The artist at play park is a unique and fun park located near the pop culture museum. The park was built in 2014, fully equipped with slides, climbing towers, carousel, swings, and much more. This is one of my favorite areas to take my little ones and the best part of all is its free. 

There is also an area for younger kids under 5 to explore and play. 

International Fountain 

Seattle Center Fountain kids playing in the water
Seattle Center Foutain/@funfrugaladventures

Seattle Center fountain was designed by a Tokyo based architect in the 1900s, this concrete structured fountain was originally inspired by outer space. Throughout the years the fountain has been restructured and now has 274 water jets and led lights for a fun time. 

Seattle Center Fountain occasionally has events around the fountain and they also play music when the fountain is open. I grew up going here and have taken my kids here many times, it is easily my favorite free place to take my little ones in the summer. 

Where is the Seattle Center International Fountain located at?

The fountain is located in the Seattle Center, right next to the arena and a short walk from the food court/ Children’s Museum.

When is the Seattle Center Fountain open?

The fountain is open 24 hrs a day, the music show starts at 10 am – 9 pn and the lights will start 30 minutes before sunset. There are days when there is cleaning or repairs where the fountain may be closed. Be sure to check the website or call before planning a trip to the fountain. 

What should I bring with me when I visit?

  • Water shoes ( this will help your little ones not slip and protect their feet if you go to the fountain)
  • Sunscreen 
  • Bathing suits/towels
  • Change of clothes 
  • Snacks 
  • Wet bag/ plastic shopping bag (for your wet clothes)
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Pacific Science Center 

The Pacific Science Center has been around for years, I have memories of going there as a little girl. The science center is the place for kids to explore the world of science. From the laser shows to fun exhibits, and Imax movies. There are many things to explore and learn. 

How much does it cost?

Are dogs allowed in the center?

Only service animals are allowed in the center.

When is the science center open?

The Pacific Science center is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and closed Mondays and Tuesdays. 

Children’s museum 

The Children’s museum is another great activity to do while at the Seattle Center. There are a number of different exhibits for your little ones to explore. Some of those exhibits include the orca cove, the raindrop reading room, amazing Airways, the mountain, corner Workshop, and more. There is also a variety of classes that you can sign your little one up for. 

Open Wednesday- Monday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Check out current pricing for the children’s museum 

Pop Music museum 

museum of pop culture building

The Museum of Pop culture is a really unique museum all about pop culture throughout the years. 

Some of the exhibits include Nirvana, jimmy hendrix, indie games, fantasy, a guitar gallery and much, much more. 

Space Needle 

One of Seattle’s most known attractions is the Space Needle.  If you and your family are not afraid of heights, this is an amazing experience. I have personally gone to the space needle a few times and it is worth it to go at least once. You will have an amazing view of the city and you can even have dinner at the top. 

Here is a list of sites where you can get discounted tickets:

Chihuly Glass museum 

This museum is absolutely amazing, with colorful glass sculptures by Dave Chihuly. It also features a beautiful garden that you can walk through and enjoy. There is also a bar inside of the museum where you can enjoy a few cocktails and a bookstore. 

Here is a list of sites where you can get discounted tickets:

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Here I have a list of hotels that near the Seattle center so that you can take the monorail, bus, or walk to the center.

Where to stay near the Seattle Center?

What hotels are near the monorail station?

The monorail station is located at the Westlake Center Station: 400 Pine Street, 3rd Floor, Seattle, WA 98101. Here are some hotels nearby:

Below are a list of frequently asked questions about the Seattle Center.

What is there to do at the Seattle Center?

  • Play in the water  at the fountain (free)
  • Take your kids Artist at Play Park (free)
  • Have a picnic in the grass(free)
  • Head to the Children’s Museum 
  • Grab a bite to eat at the food court
  • Go to the Pacific Science Center 
  • Check out the Space Needle 
  • Check out the Chihuly Glass Museum 
  • Go to the Museum of Pop

How much does it cost to visit?

The Seattle center is free to enter, the international fountain and artists at play park are all FREE as well ! 

If you would like to go to the other activities there like the Pacific Science Center, Museum of Popp Culture, Space Needle, etc. there is a separate fee to enter. 

Is there a restaurant or café?

Yes, there is a full food court at the Seattle Center. 

  • Mod Pizza 
  • Subway 
  • Skillet counter 
  • Cool guys fry bar 
  • Bubble tea shop
  • Matt’s fish basket 

And more….

Budget Food Option:

  • Pack a lunch 
  • Buy food from somewhere cheap like Wendy’s or Mc Donalds. Use a hot/cold bag, and bring that instead of spending money at the restaurants.
  • You can also eat lunch afterwards and only bring water and a few snacks. ( this is what we did when we went to just the park and splash/ fountain, however it truly depends on how long you plan on staying) 

How to get to the Seattle Center?

There are many ways to get to seattle center including Bus, moneral, uber, or you can drive. 

What is the parking situation at the Seattle Center?

  • Dedicated parking lots across the street from the center 
  • Parking lot right at the center 
  • Paid parking on the street (under $7)
  • Free parking on the street 

My favorite area to park is right across from the arena. Sometimes you can find free parking or paid meter parking there (which is not expensive). So it is best to drive around the center near the pacific science center and arena (here you will find the cheapest/ best parking). You will also be near the fountain and pacific science center entrance.

If you are parking on the street don’t forget to pay close attention to the signs. Look to the left and right. Make sure that you are not parking in a no-parking zone. 

How much does the monorail cost?

Adutls – (age 19-64)  – $3.50

Youth (ages 6-18) – $1.75

Discounted rate – 1.75 ( seniors, disabled, military, person with Medicaid card, 

Kids under 5 are FREE!

Prices are subject to change – monorail website for current pricing 

When is the best time to visit?

The best time to visit is in the spring/summer time. During this time the fountain is running daily unless they do cleaning or repairs. 

The best day and time to visit are on a weekday and in the morning, there will be a lot fewer people and you can find better parking.

Check out f more fun things to do in and near Seattle Center!