First off, we decided to all purchase the Seattle City Pass. If you are unfamiliar, City Pass is actually available in many cities around the U.S. and allows you entrance into 5 attractions (with a few choices) for one discounted fee. It’s really worth it in my opinion to not only save money, but to see some wonderful sites. In Seattle, the pass includes the Experience Music Project museum (or EMP), access to 2 trips up the iconic Space Needle (within one day), a choice between the Pacific Science Center and Chihuly Garden and Glass, the Seattle Aquarium, and a ride on a one-hour Argosy Harbour Cruise.
If you buy it here in Seattle, you’ll then need to use the ticket book within 9 days, so there’s a good amount of time to see everything if you come for a visit. But we knocked all of it out in two days!
In today’s Things to Do in Seattle post, I’m featuring the Space Needle and Chihuly Garden and Glass, two of my personal favorites. They are right next to each other in Seattle Center. We live about 30 minutes from downtown, so we hopped into the fabulous Toyota Highlander Limited loaned to us for our family staycation in Seattle.
This vehicle was wonderful for our outing because of the extra guests we had in town and as the kids put it “all of the features” it has. Some of my favorites are the 3rd row with lots of leg room and this huge sun roof. I promise it wasn’t raining the entire week! The kids loved their personal built in window sunshades and I loved the giant touch screen with full GPS, back up cam, and easy connection to my iPhone. And OMG, it has heated AND cooling seats and a heated steering wheel! Plus lots of versatile storage.
Anyway, off we went to the Seattle Center to start our Seattle Staycation. We met up with the rest of the fam, did the EMP, then walked over to make our reservation to ride up the Space Needle.
Seattle’s Iconic Space Needle
When the Space Needle was built in 1962, it was the tallest building west of the Mississippi River. It includes an outdoor and indoor viewing deck and the SkyCity restuarant that actually revolves (slowly.) We’ve eaten in the restaurant twice and it’s amazing to watch the sunset as you see a full 180-degree view of the city and skyline. A perfect time to make reservations is about 30 to 45 minutes before sunset for that reason.
This is only our 3rd time going up in the 11+ years we’ve lived here (and the kids 2nd) so it’s always a thrill to get a chance to go. The view is spectacular. With the City Pass, you can ride up once during the day and then return in the evening hours. We had the young kids so we didn’t end up doing the 2nd ride up though but it was a great experience nonetheless. If you have dinner reservations, your observation deck ticket is included with your meal.
Gotta get those selfies. I love taking behind the scenes selfie pics! This is a great shot of some of our family including our newest little niece on our visit to the Space Needle. Isn’t she adorable looking at the camera!?! Ellie felt a bit uncomfortable on the outdoor viewing deck so she ended up staying inside most of the time. In there, you can find giant screens to look at historical views of the skyline, current camera angles from around the city and the waterfront, and you can even download your group photos.
Chihuly Garden and Glass
Down at the base of the Needle, is an absolutely enthralling museum and garden showcasing the work of the artist Dale Chihuly. If you’ve ever traveled to Las Vegas, he’s the artist who’s glass sculptures line the ceiling of the Bellagio. His work is incredible.
I had never been before this trip and had always wanted to go. I had thought it was a bit costly at $27 for 13+ and $16 for kids 5-12. I also wasn’t sure if it was worth it to bring the kids. But I really wanted to go and with the City Pass we had the perfect chance. When we left the Space Needle, 6-year-old Ellie had a bit of a meltdown. She was tired and had been a little anxious at the top and she wanted me to buy her a souvenir that was way to expensive. She burst out screaming and I had to drag her away from the gift shop.
But when we walked into Chihuly Garden and Glass all of that just evaporated. Both she and Ronin were enthralled. The glass sculptures are reminiscent of sea life so we spent the time asking them to describe what they thought they were seeing. They wanted to take photos of everything, and honestly so did I. It has stopped raining and as we walked through the outdoor garden area, the weather was beautiful. It was truly my favorite part of the day.
Family Seattle Travel Tip! If your kids are younger than 5, I’d recommend using your City Pass to go to the Pacific Science Center. Chihuly is full of GLASS and I’d certainly be nervous with younger kids running around.
Outdoor Chihuly Garden
I had about a million photos from this trip and this post is getting long so I decided to make a little photo video as well. Enjoy!
Have you been to the Space Needle or Chihuly Garden and Glass?
Stayed tuned for more this summer of Things to Do in Seattle!