For old-school fun, head to Seattle Pinball Museum (*508 Maynard Ave S) in the Chinatown-International District, where you can play more than 50 pinball machines from the 1930s to present day. Challenge your teen to a nostalgic round of Ms. Pac-Man on a VIC-20 at Living Computers: Museums & Labs (*2245 First Ave S) or watch them speed into the future at the self-driving car simulation, augmented reality exhibits, and video game designing studio. Find beloved characters remade as Pop! vinyls at Funko’s (2802 Wetmore Ave, Everett) headquarters in Everett, or customize your own version of these mega-popular creations with oversize heads.
Little engineers can dive hands-first into Pacific Science Center’s (*200 Second Ave N) Tinker Tank, an immersive makerspace with instruction on rockets and robots, and the whole family will enjoy the tropical butterfly house, where butterflies will land on patiently outstretched arms. For more wildlife, dip your hands in the Seattle Aquarium’s (*1483 Alaskan Way) touch tanks to feel the tough skin of sea stars and prickly spines of sea urchins.
Nearby, stretch your legs and explore Olympic Sculpture Park’s (*2901 Western Ave) larger-than-life works of art and breathtaking waterfront views. The climbing walls at Beacon Hill’s Seattle Bouldering Project (900 Poplar Pl S) and South Lake Union’s flagship REI (222 Yale Ave N) are great spots to burn off energy. For ADA-accessible play, Seattle Sensory Garden (700 N 50th St) and Inspiration Playground (100 100th Ave NE, Bellevue) in Bellevue offer heightened sensory experiences like wind chimes, raised-bed gardens, wheelchair-friendly swings and slides, and water features.
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