We are lucky enough to have family in Seattle, and we have visited several times in the past. However, my kids are now teens so our recent visit meant that I was looking for new, fun places to visit. Here are 11 Totally Lit Things to Do in Seattle With Teens that are officially teen-approved!
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From an underground city tour and pop culture museum to sky-diving and an insta-worthy Starbucks visit, no trip would be complete with these seriously cool things to do in Seattle with teens!
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Fun and Quirky Things to Do in Seattle With Teens
#1. Shop Til You Drop at Bellevue Square
For your shopaholic teen, Seattle has its share of big malls including Southcenter, Northgate Mall, and University Village, but our favourite has to be Bellevue Square. It’s all indoors and home to 200+ shops, as well as plenty of dining options for when hunger strikes. There’s also a movie theatre and bowling alley if you get fed up with the shopping.
Check their website for upcoming events like Fall Fashion Week, Lunar New Year events to celebrate Chinese New Year, and more fun events.
If your teen is into art, then BAM (Bellevue Art Museum) is just across the road from the Mall and has temporary exhibitions.
#2. Go Underground in Seattle
Bill Spiedel’s Underground Tour is one not to be missed. Each tour is led by fun guides who tell interesting stories as they take you down underground to see the original city streets that used to be at the lower level but are now under the sidewalks. The tours are a humorous stroll through intriguing subterranean storefronts and sidewalks entombed when the city rebuilt on top of itself after the Great Fire of 1889.
The 75-minute guided walking tour begins beneath Doc Maynard’s Public House, then spills into historic Pioneer Square, Seattle’s birthplace, before plunging underground for an exclusive, time-capsule view of the buried city. Tours start on the hour daily and you can buy tickets online or at the door.
#3. Stick Some Gum on the Wall At Pike Place Market
The world famous Pike Place Market is a must for any visitor to Seattle. Here are a few must-do’s at the Market:
- Stop first outside the main entrance on First Avenue for an obligatory selfie with the red sign
- Then pat the nose and drop a coin into Rachel the Piggy Bank, the bronze pig at the entrance
- Next, enjoy the famous Flying Fish guys show – they shout and throw fish to each other in a fun show that takes place regularly for the tourists
- Browse some of the food and drink stalls – they usually hand out samples of fare to try
- Next stop, view the cheesemaking at the “World’s Best” Beecher’s Handmade Cheese. You can have lunch in the café, too. And of course get some samples or a go package for a picnic lunch or dinner! And if you fancy some delicious French bread to go with your cheese, then Le Panier French Bakery is definitely a must.
- Enjoy fish & chips or chowder at The Athenian Seafood Restaurant
- See if you can find the World’s Largest Shoe Museum in the Market lower level – it’s a collection of ginormous shoes which you can view by putting quarters into the slot
- Head down to Post Alley below the Market to find the Gum Wall, where yes, you guessed it, everyone sticks their gum by way of leaving their mark on the wall.
And, finally, if your teen likes coffee, then across from the main entrance to Pike Place is the original Starbucks café, which is well worth a visit (even if just to say you have been!).
#4. Go Kayaking
Head to Ballard Kayak Tours and enjoy one of their family-friendly tours, all guided and with equipment supplied.
- Clam Chowder Tour: This tour starts at Shilshole Bay Marina and ends with a piping hot bowl of Ivar’s Famous Clam Chowder. In between, you will paddle through the Ballard Locks, alongside the Deadliest Catch boats and downtown Fremont, under three drawbridges, and across the top of Lake Union for spectacular views of Downtown Seattle.
- Ballard Locks Tour: guides will paddle you through Ballard’s scenic Shilshole Bay, where you will likely see multiple seals, sea lions, osprey and great herons. You will then enter the historic Hiram M. Chittenden (Ballard) Locks.
- 2-Hour Sound Tour: a great chance to see seals, sea lions, great herons and more, out on Puget Sound.
#5. Visit The Troll in Fremont
Known for its offbeat and artsy community, Fremont has much to offer visitors. Boasting a 25-year running Sunday Market with vintage treasures and people-watching as top draw, it runs all through the year, rain or shine.
Stop and see what the ‘Waiting for the Interurban’ are dressed in… it’s Seattle’s most interactive public sculpture, and you can leave your own creative mark if you like!
Make sure to note the 1950’s cold war rocket fuselage that sits on top of one of the buildings and the 7-ton controversial Lenin sculpture pulled from the rubble of Slovakia.
If you enjoy thrifting, head to the Fremont Vintage Mall where you’ll find truly vintage stuff. It’s great fun to browse, you’ll definitely lose track of time in there.
Then comes the troll, an 18-foot troll tucked away beneath the Aurora Bridge (not the Fremont Bridge…confusing, I know). The troll was inspired by the folk tale Billy Goats Gruff, and neither kids nor adults can resist snapping a photo sitting on top of the Troll’s head or (kids) picking his nose!
The fun isn’t over on Saturdays – stay for outdoor cinema in the evening. It runs on donation alone and is a favourite summer community event.
#6. Go To An Event or Museum For $5 With Teen Tix
TeenTix is a non-profit organisation working to empower teens through arts access. Sign up for a FREE TeenTix pass to get into movies, music, theatre, dance at very cheap rates.
Any teenager (13-19 years old) can sign up for a free TeenTix pass which entitles them to purchase $5 day-of-show tickets at any of their 75 partner organisations in Seattle (69) and Tacoma (6).
The TeenTix website also has a very good events calendar so you can browse by date.
#7. Go Sci-Fi and Music Mad at MoPOP
The Museum of Pop Culture, or MoPOP, is a non-profit museum dedicated to contemporary popular culture. It was founded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen in 2000 as the Experience Music Project.
Besides music and science fiction, it has exhibitions about fine art, horror films, fashion, video games and black leather jackets.
Then visit the adjoining Science Fiction Museum, packed with more than 150 artefacts from iconic films and television shows. You’ll experience the incredible range of storytelling found in science fiction: from Star Trek to H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds, from big-budget Men in Black to the Philip K. Dick-inspired Blade Runner to the recent Battlestar Galactica series.
#8. Try The Ninja Course at Elevated Sportz
Experience the awesomeness of the Ninja Obstacle Course at Elevated Sportz. The course includes challenging features such as a sea of rings, swinging steps, hanging platform, battle beam, slackline and more.
Next enjoy jumping around 10,000 sq. ft. of wall-to-wall trampolines in three exciting court areas: Main Court, Dodgeball Court and Foam Pit. Experience anti-gravity as you get airborne off the trampoline side walls!
Afterwards you can enjoy further fun such as Dodgeball, Foam Pit, Laser Maze, VR, Arcade Games and then refresh yourself in iJump Café.
#9. Experience Flying at iFLY Seattle
Make the dream of flight a reality at iFly Seattle, an indoor skydiving facility that allows you to feel the adrenaline rush of flying in a fun, safe environment. iFLY is safe for kids, challenging for adults, exciting for teens, realistic for skydivers and fun for all ages three and up!
iFLY is not a ride or simulator, it is a vertical wind tunnel and you don’t need any previous experience. You will fly with professional and experienced instructors and will be provided with all necessary flight gear.
Included in the cost of the ticket is a classroom training session, which will prepare you to fly safely and have the most fun.
#10. Enjoy Dumplings at Din Tai Fung
Din Tai Fung is a restaurant chain originating in Taiwan, specialising in xiaolongbao or steamed dumplings – amazing little parcels of deliciousness that squirt soup into your mouth when you bite into them.
You can’t make reservations, so be prepared to queue up to get in. The good news is that, while you wait, each of the restaurants has a window onto the kitchen where you can watch the dumplings being made. You’ll be able to watch the staff wearing white coats, baseball caps, hair nets and face masks meticulously weigh and roll out the dough and measure the filling to make the perfect dumplings.
You’ll find Din Tai Fung at U Village, Bellevue, Southcenter and Pacific Place.
#11. Ride the Seattle Great Wheel
Head down to Pier 57 and take a ride on the Seattle Great Wheel, covered in over 500,000 LED lights, and see the city of Seattle like never before. Each gondola can fit eight people and provide an amazing ride that lights up the sky at night. Typical ride times last 12-20 minutes during summer and 10-15 minutes in winter time, depending on amount of people riding. Every ride is three full revolutions of the wheel.
They also run colourful light show displays every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evening. On holidays and game days, watch out for special themed light shows. You can buy tickets to ride on the Wheel at the ticket booth on the pier or online.
Also at Pier 57 you’ll find Wings Over Washington, which is a state-of-the-art “flying theater” that will transport you on an aerial adventure. You are strapped into your seat and then a “spirit eagle” sweeps you upward into flight across the state of Washington, experiencing some of the amazing sights and smells. It’s a wild ride!
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What are your favourite things to do in Seattle with teens? Any other ideas that we could add to our list? Leave a comment below and let us know – we’d love to hear from you!