Staying in downtown Seattle was the perfect jumping off point for most of the major family-oriented sites. Reliable and affordable public transportation made car travel unnecessary also. We used the monorail system for less than $5/each round trip to get to Seattle Park. The Chihuly Garden and Museum, the Space Needle, the Museum of Pop Culture, and the Pacific Science Museum were all conveniently located in the Park. It would be possible to do all three in one day, but we split our time there into three days.
We used the Seattle Pass at the admission desk (Purchased in advance, $209 covered admission for one adult and one child to visit five Seattle attractions.) The Pacific Science Center did not require advance reservations, and entry began at an outdoor ticket kiosk. Once inside, we had the option to enter multiple areas through a large outdoor courtyard. A large entry led to the laser shows, but we didn’t have time to add it to our visit.
Sight and Sound
Puzzles, Play & Tech
After circling the planetarium, we went to the next large room, with hands-on brain teasers, and optical illusions that explained the science behind how we see.
Living Animal Exhibits
The butterfly house was filled with very active insects, including those hatching from cocoons and chrysalis. They are shipped to the museum in this phase of the life cycle instead of allowing the butterflies to lay eggs because they don’t have enough appropriate host plants to support the larvae phase.
Saltwater Touch Tank
Like at the Seattle Aquarium, a touch tank provided the best examples of the colorful and strange (sea cucumbers!) wildlife found in and around Puget Sound.
Waterworks & Tinkerspace
The words “water cannons” pretty much sums up why this outdoor space was fun.
Tinker Tank Makerspace
The makerspace suggested simple (or complicated depending on the child’s age) experiments. The area provided a lot of open space for creativity, and was a good place to extend our visit a rainy Sunday afternoon.
Space & Dinosaurs
Because they fill a smaller gallery the animatronic dinosaur section felt more immersive than if they were outdoors or in a larger space. The interpretation was also broken down into concepts that would be easy to understand for children and still interesting to adults.
Space Gallery & Science on a Sphere
Even without adding on the Planetarium show we were able to get some time studying space science. I was a big fan of the fact that it highlighted which plants would be most useful to astronauts or long-term space settlers.