Ideas for enjoying the real life of Seattle (that often cost little or nothing).

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Getting out with the Kids

Without benefit of having kids herself (but regularly acting like one), Cascadia Girl tries her hand at ideas for outings with the kinder-folk:

Woodland Park Zoo

A "park within a park" in the Phinney Ridge neighborhood of Seattle, the Woodland Park Zoo is a comfortable and fun affordable outdoor family outing:

Per their website: "Woodland Park Zoo encompasses 92 acres and features more than 1,090 individual animals representing nearly 300 species. The grounds are divided into what are known as bioclimatic zones, the unique habitats around the world, from tropical rain forests to the frigid climes of the Far North."

The grounds are well designed for the wanderings of humans and animals alike. The bioclimatic zones give a feel for the natural habitat and species mix in the large area. (But, no... no lions in with the gazelle... only species that play well together.)

Pacific Science Center

The Pacific Science Center is an interactive, hands-on museum of physical science. Exhibits teach about everything from astronomy to dinosaurs to insects (the butterfly exhibit is my FAVorite). PSI also houses Seattle's IMAX theater.

The Science Center is priced about the same as the zoo, so a family of four would pay about $35 for the day.

Seattle Aquarium

Another great hands-on experience, with thirteen, ever-changing major exhibits and frequent special events, there is always something new here.

Try to time your visit with one of the talks or feeding times.

Cost for a family of four is a bit more here: approximately $40.

Seattle Children's Museum

Quite literally a creative playground, the SCM "challenges visitors to work in teams, manipulate objects, role play, problem solve and develop eye-hand coordination with a variety of unique exhibits and programs."

With 8 permanent exhibits and many other child-sized venues for learning, the Museum transports kids to other parts of the world and history through its programs and activities.

The most affordable of the outings listed, a trip to the Museum for that family of four will cost $30.

Seattle Children's Theater

With a mission to provide children of all ages access to professional theatre, with a focus on new works, and theatre education, SCT has "developed and improved the caliber of plays available for young audiences in the United States and abroad, developing and producing over 90 new works."

Each play is rated for the age-range that would most enjoy the performance. Currently, "Goodbye Moon" is playing, which is great for ages 4 and up.

More expensive than the museums (but well worth the cost), ticket prices range. For a family of four, an evening at the theater would be around $85.

Thistle Theater

For a different type of theater, try Thistle. Thistle Theater, "brings together professional puppeteers, artists and musicians to create unique & diverse puppet theatre productions for the entire family. They specialize in a form of Japanese puppetry called Bunraku. The puppeteers dress in black and operate the puppets from behind.

Thistle performs at more than one venue, so families can often attend a show close to home. Ticket costs for a family of four would be approximately $33.

Museum of flight

More for the older (and much older) kids is Boeing's Museum of Flight, which chronicles the history aeronautics, including many historic planes that visitors can step into, including an Airforce One and a Concorde. There are workshops for the little ones. Cost for a family of four is about $33.

Experience Music Project

Another place for kids of all ages, EMP is part music history museum, part interactive music lab. You can teach yourself to play a guitar, mix an album, or scratch. You can learn about the history of Northwest rock, the evolution of the guitar, or the life history of Jimi Hendrix.

The most expensive of the museums, and understandably once you "experience" it, EMP will cost that family of four $70.

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Anonymous Dale said...

Interesting tips. :)

I see a lot of parallels of things to do around Honolulu. From my experiences (although I have no children of my own either), zoos and science centers are a good alternative to the usual beach outing.

2:46 PM

Blogger Brian said...

Summer in Woodland Park Zoo is even better. There's Butterflies and Blooms, where you pay a buck or two extra to walk into this large enclosure filled with butterflies. It's a sublime experience to have these little guys fluttering all around you and occasionally on you. There is a similar exhibit at the Pacific Science Center, but I don't care for it as much. The Woodland Park butterflies are comfortable with our climate, whereas the Science Center houses tropical varieties which would not do well outside of their room.

Summer at the zoo also includes Zoo Tunes. It consists of several small concerts over the course of a couple months. The lineup varies, and it's obviously not going to be to everybody's tastes. I'm not so sure that the animals would be into Norwegian Death Metal. You never know, though - those peacocks can get pretty raucous sometimes.

There's another tiny piece of trivia that I mentioned on my site, but I'll mention it here too because I think it's cool.

There's a smallish park next to the north gate of the zoo. It's on the corner of Phinney and 57th or 58th, I think. There's a 7-11 across the street from this park.

Go to the northwest corner of the park, turn around, and look down the trail that cuts diagonally across the park. Right now, you are looking at the spot where the "boombox scene" of Say Anything was shot. While you're at it, turn back around and look at the 7-11 across the street. It featured briefly in the movie as well.

My wife and I figured that out one night while we were watching the movie on tape and I went to get some drinks from the 7-11. That was a neat little realization.

Incidentally, do the movie trivia verification before or after doing the zoo thing. I don't think they'll let you back in after you wander outside.

6:38 PM

Blogger Cascadia Girl said...

Hey Brian,

Thanks for the additional commentary on the zoo! Sounds like you haunt the place often. I completely forgot to mention Zoo Tunes, which is a fabulous event.

Best, CG

8:59 AM

Blogger Brian said...

Hey CG,

We lived across the street from the zoo for about three years, and had zoo membership most of that time. It effectively expanded our front yard by many acres ^_^

5:03 PM


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