What Should We Do This Year?

Erin Wing - Seattle
January 24, 2012

2012 is here, and we've officially started racing through another busy year. Just so you don't wake up next January and wonder where the time has gone, open your new calendar now and pencil in these ten picks for must-do family fun in Seattle. You can bond with the littles while you make the most of our favorite large and small local attractions. By 2013, your kids' brains will be brimming with new discoveries and you'll all have happy memories to toast next New Year's Eve.

  1. Ride a Ferry: Kids love big boats, and in Seattle, we've got a few of them floating around. Consult the WSDOT ferry schedule and hop aboard for a short sail. Take your car along so you can explore the Olympic Peninsula while you're there.
  2. Walk in the Woods: While you're visiting the Olympic Peninsula, take a walk through the Hoh Rainforest and show the kids one of the finest remaining examples of a temperate rainforest in the United States. Note: You won't see toucans and cobras since this forest is temperate not tropical. (You will see lots of cool ferns and moss though!)
  3. Explore Seattle's Backyard: Our local parks are rich with opportunities to escape from the hustle and bustle, to recharge, and to connect with nature without loading the kids in the car. Check the Parks and Recreation site for special programs at your neighborhood park. For example, Seward Park hosts regular nature walks where you can learn to identify local plants and animals in the area.
  4. Cheer for the Home Team: Support your Seahawks, Sounders, Storm or Mariners while you talk teamwork and spot examples of good sportsmanship with your little slugger, kicker or shooter.   
  5. Invent the Next Big Thing: The Creation Station in Lynnwood is a spot for creative minded folk to... create. You'll find a hodgepodge of doodads to create the coolest contraptions.
  6. Wonder and Discover: The Pacific Science Center is the place for kids with questions. So spend a day exploring their latest exhibit and keep the wheels turning in those curious little heads.
  7. Awaken Your Inner Picasso: Look for family day celebrations at Seattle Art Museum and Bellevue Arts Museum. Or check out the drop in offerings at small studios like Roaring Mouse Creative Arts Studio, where each month, kids can explore different artistic styles and practice self expression.    
  8. Hit the Beach: Seattle isn't known for sundrenched, sandy beaches but that doesn't mean we can't enjoy a little slice of beach life, Seattle style. Visit Alki Beach Park for stunning views of downtown Seattle and some killer fish and chips; or explore the tidepools and rugged coast at Golden Gardens.
  9. Visit the Coolest Playground in Town: Adventurous kids can use lumber, bricks and hand tools to build forts, dig in the dirt and create a world of their own at the Adventure Playground on Mercer Island. (Schedule this one for summer, since the playground opens in May for the season.)
  10. Shop Like a Seattleite: Sure, your local QFC is handy, but every once in a while it's fun to head down to the market for fresh seafood, produce and blooms. Pike Place Market is known as the soul of Seattle, and all Seattle kids should know their way around the mazes and market stalls that make up this local institution.

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