What's Fun for Kids in Seattle

Don't leave home without our guide to this great family destination.
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1. TO MARKET, TO MARKET In the heart of downtown, lively Pike Place Market offers fresh produce and homemade treats, plus hand-carved toys and other souvenirs. At the south end, seafood sellers playfully throw fish over customers' heads. At the north end, totem poles frame a gorgeous view of Elliott Bay, the Olympic mountains, and Mt. Rainier. Pike Street and Pike Place; 206-682-7453

2. IN THE SWIM Late summer is the prime time to see migrating salmon swim up a fish ladder and jump in the air at the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks. Kids will delight at watching boats travel through the locks, which operate like giant water elevators. You might also catch a free Sunday summer concert. 3015 NW 54th Street; 206-783-7059

3. CIRCLE THE NEEDLE Ride the 1962 World's Fair monorail from downtown to the Seattle Center, home of the iconic Space Needle as well as theaters, museums, and other attractions. The Needle's revolving observation deck and free telescopes show off a panoramic view. 400 Broad Street; 206-905-2100

4. ROCK ON! Jam on full-size drums, electric guitars, and keyboards at the Experience Music Project, an interactive music museum. Architect Frank Gehry's swooping, colorful design includes space for the monorail to come through. 325 5th Avenue N; 877-EMP-LIVE

5. GET SCIENTIFIC Spin giant metal pinwheels with water cannons, then go inside the Pacific Science Center for roaring robotic dinosaurs, a tropical butterfly house, and a special area for tots. After lunch, walk across the lawn to explore the city's Children's Museum. 200 2nd Avenue N; 206-443-2001

6. CELEBRATE ... ANYTHING! Seattlites weary of rain throw outdoor festivals, from medieval days to solstice parades, every weekend of their sunny summer. (Sample local delicacies like barbecued salmon and raspberry scones.) Check the newspaper when you arrive, or go to the events calendar at www.kirotv.com.

7. FERRY TO THE FOREST After a 35-minute car ferry ride to Bainbridge Island, head for the Bloedel Reserve, where you can pick up a bird-sighting booklet and trail map. Kids will love following the path through Zen gardens, forests, and formal landscapes. (Visitor capacity is limited, so make reservations.) 206-842-7631

8. TASTE THE PACIFIC RIM Go to the International District for a dim sum lunch, with arrays of bite-size morsels rolling by on carts. Try the har gow (steamed shrimp dumplings) and hum bow (barbecued pork in a sweet roll) at House of Hong, 409 8th Avenue S (206-622-7997) or China Gate, 516 7th Avenue S (206-624-1730).

9. HOW THE PRESIDENT FLEW The home city of Boeing also houses the Museum of Flight, where families can explore the world of aviation from the Wright brothers to the Concorde. Sit in the cockpit of an SR-71 Blackbird, or step inside the original Air Force One. 9404 East Marginal Way S; 206-764-5720

10. PADDLE & PLAY Slide, climb, and swing at the Green Lake playground, then rent a paddle boat or stroll the lake's three-mile path. For less crowded boating, rent a canoe or rowboat at the University of Washington's boathouse and explore the quiet waterways that pass through the UW arboretum. 7201 East Green Lake Drive N, 206-684-4075; boat rental: 206-527-0171; UW canoe rental: 206-543-9433

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Copyright © 2005. Reprinted with permission from the August 2004 issue of Child magazine.

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