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Layover in Seattle with kids…what to do?

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Feb 21st, 2014, 12:51 PM
  #1
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Layover in Seattle with kids…what to do?

We have a 7 hour layover in Seattle on our way home from Asia next month. We land around 8am and our ongoing flight leaves a little after 3pm. We have a place to stow our carryon bags. So, wondering what we should do? Assuming we clear customs and stash our bags in an hour or so, I am guessing we can be downtown by 10. Space Needle? Pike Place Market? We would want to be back at the airport by 1:30. We are traveling with our 10 and 11 year old boys.

Thanks for any advice.
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Feb 21st, 2014, 01:30 PM
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I think you have some good ideas there. You probably know that there is now a light rail from SeaTac: http://www.soundtransit.org/Schedule...ink-light-rail

It takes about 45min each way. I think you might have the most fun around Pike Place Market and the aquarium is near there as well on Pier 59. There is also the big wheel now-a ferris wheel near that area: https://seattlegreatwheel.com/

Unless you really want to see the Space Needle, it is probably more convenient to stay around the downtown Pike Place market area with the time you have. The Pacific Science Center is also at the Space Needle as in the EMP Museum (the somewhat controversial Gehry building)

http://www.empmuseum.org/

http://www.pacificsciencecenter.org/

IMO it will depend partly on the weather-if it nice than outdoor stuff will be more appealing. But also I would think you guys would be pretty exhausted, so you may not feel like something too hectic.
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Feb 21st, 2014, 01:31 PM
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sorry typing too fast-should read "at the Space Needle as is the EMP Museum"
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Feb 21st, 2014, 07:28 PM
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Not knowing the exact time you will clear customs, and considering the time it will take to travel to and from SeaTac, I would not plan to do more than explore Pike Place Market and the waterfront, which is just below the market. Here is a good link: http://www.seattle.gov/TOUR/pikep.htm

HTtY
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Feb 21st, 2014, 07:52 PM
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You might consider taking a cab or towncar downtown from the airport, then riding the train back. It will be more expensive obviously, but it will save a considerable amount of time. You could have the car take you straight to the market; walk around and have an early lunch or late breakfast, then it's a 5-10 min. walk to the Westlake light rail station for the train back to the airport.

Another idea that might appeal would be to skip downtown and head to the Museum of Flight - http://www.museumofflight.org - which your boys may enjoy hugely. You'd have to cab it, but it's not too far from the airport, the cafe is surprisingly good, and there are lots of hands-on exhibits for kids as well as things like being able to walk through a former Air Force One, a Concorde, and other cool static exhibits. IMO it's the second-best aerospace museum in the country. You can also watch various big and little planes taking off and landing, including Boeing 787s going through their pre-delivery tests.
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Feb 22nd, 2014, 06:27 AM
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Thank you so much for all the advice. Obviously, we will need to play it by ear based on everyone's mood and energy level after a long overnight flight and a couple of busy weeks of traveling. However, I am fairly certain that hanging in the Sky Club for 7 hours will be no one's first choice. Pike Place Market might make sense as would the Museum of Flight. We can save the Space Needle for some future trip.

Taitai
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Feb 22nd, 2014, 06:50 AM
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The Space Needle and EMP would be a good and memorable experience for your family. It's a tough choice.

HTtY
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Feb 22nd, 2014, 07:04 AM
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Theres a perfect opportunity for the Seattle Duck Tour... you ride it from near the needle and EMP... 10 and 11 year olds don't have much interest in the Market after they see the Fish throw... the rest is shops...

www.ridetheducksofseattle.com
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Feb 22nd, 2014, 08:04 AM
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The easiest thing would be Pike Place Market.

Boeing's museum of flight is great but you have to get there from downtown and that could be stressful. Seattle Center is much closer and easily accessed by bus or the monorail running from Westlake. But, with such limited time, I'd just go to Pike Place Market, maybe with a stroll along the waterfront or a walk through the sculpture garden.

That way you can take the light rail service into Union Station near Pioneer Square, walk up to the Market, maybe have lunch there or in one of the excellent restaurants nearby, and return to the airport on the light rail.

Simple and low stress.
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Feb 22nd, 2014, 08:34 AM
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Seattle Wheel would be fun: https://seattlegreatwheel.com.

If you do the Flight Museum, I doubt you will have fun for downtown Seattle. If you go to Pike Place Market and need an indoor activity, you may want to check out the Aquarium. It is not as spectacular as the Baltimore or even Vancouver's but it is entertaining for a couple of hours even for a 10 and 11 year olds, IMHO. I am not hugely impressed by the Space Needle. There is also a Columbia Tower View Deck: http://skyviewobservatory.com.
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