Want to pack the kids and travel around the world on a globetrotting adventure? If you can't quite swing the real thing, you and your young travelers can still experience the world as you jet around the Jet City. You'll find plenty of opportunities to immerse yourself in other cultures and maybe even explore your own family heritage at one of our favorite worldly picks. So leave the passport at home and pack light. You're about to embark on a 'round the world adventure! (Hold the jetlag.)
A Taste of Greece
Learn about authentic Greek culture and eat your way through the original Seattle Greek Festival on September 16-18. Kids will especially love watching (and joining in) with the Greek Folk Dancers in the heart of the banquet hall. Located at the St. Demetrios Hall & Cultural Center, you'll find free parking and free admission at this well-loved cultural celebration. Proceeds from the festival benefit local charities, so you can feel good about buying one more piece of baklava.
Bring the bambinos to the annual Festa Italiana Seattle on September 24 and 25 at the Seattle Center's Fisher Plaza. Look for special kid-focused activities, including a performance from the Carter Family Marionettes, Italian song and dance displays, and of course, a pizza toss! The whole family will enjoy watching events like the Bocce tournament and the grape stomp. Grown-ups can learn some culinary pointers from the celebrity chefs on hand. (Enjoy plenty of samples. Yum-o!) Naturally, you'll find an Italian food court as well, so come hungry!
The heart of Seattle's Asian-American population, the International District is the place to immerse yourself in Asian culture. Start with a visit to the Wing Luke Museum, our nation's only museum devoted to the Asian Pacific American experience, your young explorers will especially enjoy the interactive KidPLACE area. After your museum visit, be sure to explore the International District. Don't miss the traditional Chinatown Gate which straddles South King Street at Fifth Avenue South. It was built in 2008 to celebrate the Chinese community in the Seattle Chinatown Historic District. Head to Hing Hay Park, located in the center of the International District, where you can often find musical performances, along with people playing chess and practicing their morning Tai-Chi. Dine at one of the area's many dim sum restaurants, or grab lunch at Seattle's flagship Uwajimaya store, where you can find a wide variety of quick choices in the Village Food Court.
Nordic Heritage Museum
Ballard is the place to learn about Seattle's Scandinavian culture. Visit the Nordic Heritage Museum for story time on the first Tuesday of each month. You'll hear children's tales about Nordic cultures and make a related craft to take home. Explore the rest of the museum and check out lifelike dioramas about Scandinavian immigration and displays of art from Nordic countries. After your visit, head up to Larsen's Original Bakery for a famous Kringle or one of their other mouthwatering Danish treats.
French Fare in Our Fair City
If you'd like to introduce your children to French cuisine but you don't relish the thought of entertaining them through several courses at a fancy French bistro, try this: Visit the Pike Place Market for an Almond Croissant or pain au chocolat at Le Panier. Or promenade down Western and stop in to the Paris Grocery to pick up a selection of French cheeses and fresh baguettes. Take your picnic a few blocks west to Waterfront Park, where you'll enjoy views of the big ships in dry dock; take in our gorgeous city skyline and the Olympic Mountains; and enjoy a kid-friendly taste of France in our very own Emerald City.
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