Top 5 Family-Friendly Tours to Try While in Seattle
It’s no secret that cruise excursions are especially popular for vacationing families. With hundreds of sailings offering a packed roster of on-board activities designed for family members of all ages, it’s no wonder that the little ones are just as likely to enjoy themselves as parents and teens.
But the fun doesn’t have to end when the cruise disembarks. If you’re traveling to or from a Seattle cruise port with family in tow, add these kid-friendly local tours to your pre- or post-cruise itinerary and keep the good times going!
Seattle’s legendary Pike Place Market is a wonderland of tastes, aromas, and colorful stalls offering block after block of cultural immersion for all ages. Show Me Seattle provides a can’t-miss opportunity to catch all the highlights in one fun-packed visit. This 2.5-hour guided tour leads you through rows of vendors and storefronts for a sampling of favorite local bites, historical storytelling, and urban entertainment.
Sample everything from the savory (including Indian samosas, fresh buttermilk biscuits, award-winning seafood chowder, and Mexico City-style street tacos) to the sweet (traditional Greek yogurt piled with toppings, authentic Italian gelato, and more). Exact lineup is subject to change based on availability.
Tours depart from a predetermined market meeting point at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., and each booking includes at least 8 tastings that add up to a light lunch. Kids under 5 are invited to join the fun for free!
Seattle by Foot is owned and operated by two local moms, so you know this kid-approved walking tour is going to be good. Designed with little legs in mind, the tour clocks in at just over half a mile total and passes through up to 5 kid-friendly stops along the way (typically a 2-hour duration).
Children and parents alike will enjoy educational sightseeing in downtown Seattle and its surrounding neighborhoods, fun and engaging activities, and loads of insider information about the city’s history, evolution, and culture. Sample yummy snacks from world-famous Pike Place Market vendors, explore the wonders found at the Seattle Art Museum, and make memories that the little ones will be raving about for years to come.
The best part? These tours are offered on a private basis, so the whole family can enjoy one another’s company and receive a completely customized experience! Times are flexible to fit your unique needs and itinerary, and pricing is based on family size (between 2 and 10 attendees).
Head to the coastal Washington town of Edmonds, just north of Seattle, for a boat tour experience like no other. The whole family is sure to be awe-inspired by a mix of majestic Pacific Northwestern marine life. Puget Sound Express, a multigenerational family-operated tour company, has designed two single-day trips of varying lengths departing from Edmonds for nearby Seattle visitors.
From now through December (excluding holidays), board the Chilkat Express for a whale watching journey across the sound to the San Juan Islands. As you cross waters that are home to a diverse variety of sea animals, you’ll have the chance to observe Orcas, Humpbacks, and other seafaring friends. Sit back and enjoy the ride at an indoor seat next to large viewing windows, or venture out to the observation deck for a closeup peek. If you get hungry on your 5-hour expedition, visit the on-board galley, or pre-purchase a box lunch option. Each whale watching trip comes with two guarantees: a steadfast commitment to responsible and sustainable boating practices… and a promise that you’ll see whales — or your next trip is free!
During bird migration season, you can also opt for the Puget Sound Bird Fest Tour — a 3-hour birdwatching outing led by a professional naturalist. This boat tour coasts by islands, bluffs, bays, port towns, and peninsulas, all the while following seabird migration patterns and hotspots. Grab your binoculars and scout birds in flight or those feeding on the shore. Children under 2 ride for no additional cost.
Got a mini sports fanatic in the family? Before the Mariners take the field, catch an exclusive, up-close look at the home of Seattle’s own Major League Baseball team. Throughout the 1-hour tour, you’ll receive insider access to the nearly 20-acre outdoor ballpark (equipped with a retractable roof for inclement weather!). Experience areas that are typically restricted to the public, including the field, dugouts, press box, owner’s’ suite, all-star club, and more. Leave with souvenirs from the team store (don’t forget your favorite player’s jersey!). This tour is wheelchair and stroller accessible.
Grab a seat on one of the wackiest, wildest tour experiences Seattle has to offer. On any given day, the amphibious Ride the Ducks trucks cruise the Emerald City streets — and along the excursion, they make their way right into the water! Kids of all ages will be delighted as the wheels leave the shore and the car suddenly transforms into a boat. Passengers are encouraged to join in on the excitement by sounding a personal duckbill-shaped “quacker,” dancing along to music (while safely seated, of course!) and laughing along with guides as they tell local trivia, historical fun facts, and plenty of jokes and riddles.
Each Land and Water Tour is approximately 90 minutes long and covers a 20-mile route through Fremont, Lake Union, Seattle Center, downtown, Pioneer Square, and the Seattle waterfront. Groups depart from either Westlake Center or Seattle Center at your chosen tour time. Small children up to age 3 can ride for only $5, and group pricing is available for groups of 10 or more.
Tip: if you’ve got basic luggage in tow, browse the tours departing from Seattle Center, as this location is able to store a few small items while you ride.