One of the best ways to explore any city is through its galleries and museums, especially in the winter months. When it comes to Seattle, you don’t need many excuses to duck inside and explore while escaping winter weather. Seattle Museum Month gives visitors a great reason to head to the Pacific Northwest to enjoy the art, sounds and engineering marvels that the Emerald City has to offer. No matter the city’s reputation, it doesn’t actually rain every day, which is good, because some of these museums have incredible outdoor spaces you won’t want to miss.
Seattle Museum Month
Much like a restaurant week, Seattle Museum Month offers great value to anyone looking to explore a number of hot spots across the city for a fraction of the price. When I first peeked at the list of participating museums and saw the Chihuly Garden and Glass on the list, I immediately knew this was a bargain deal.
As one of the most popular and more expensive attractions in the city, getting any type of discount at this museum is a bonus any time of the year. But where will you stay? Luxury hotels smack in the center of downtown, as well as a few out in the quieter, yet restaurant packed neighborhoods, offer the museum pass, making it easy to get an overall view of why so many people are moving to this part of the country. So, how does the deal work?
How’s the Deal Work?
Seattle Museum Month is quite simple. Stay at any participating downtown Seattle hotel and request a Seattle Museum Month packet. Inside you will find a map and a guest pass. Present that pass to any participating museum and receive half-price admission for up to four people staying in your room during your hotel stay dates. A few caveats:
- You must be staying in a participating hotel
- You must show your Seattle Museum Guest Pass (no one can magically guess that you have it)
- Discount works for up to four people per pass
Traveling with Kids? 3 Seattle Museums Not to Skip
There is no end to the things to do in Seattle with kids, thanks to its status as the fastest growing city in America. Most visitors think the locals crave only green spaces and hiking.
While it’s true, locals do like to get out into nature, the arts thrive in this city and the nearby towns. The museums also bring the outdoors inside in clever ways. After all, you need to get creative when chasing away the winter blues (or those grey Seattle days).
Chihuly Garden and Glass
Not many parents think of bringing their children to a glass museum. Many thought I was crazy when I first told people I brought an infant and a toddler to Chihuly Garden and Glass shortly after it opened.
As one of the most stunning, and dare I say, Instagrammed spaces (next to the Space Needle of course) in Seattle these days, you really can’t miss it.
Chihuly is Seattle’s hometown artist and he finally got his own museum back in 2012. It is one of the most popular and more expensive museums in town, so make sure you use your pass to enter so you take full advantage of that half-price ticket.
If you can visit on a sunny day, do, but don’t skip the outdoor garden, even in the rain. Bring your umbrella and enjoy the brilliant colors and integration of art into nature. As long as you have a nice little chat with your kids about their college funds being in this museum and how if they break anything that college fund will disappear, you should be OK. Oh, and holding little ones’ hands and keeping smaller children in strollers helps too.
Woodland Park Zoo
You will see many Seattle moms of babies and toddlers wandering around the Woodland Park Zoo during the week with their kids in tow. This is a great indoor/outdoor zoo with plenty of animals to see and places for children to run.
The animals are well cared for and have loads of room to wander, unlike other zoos where creatures are kept in tiny, chain link cages all of their lives.
Zoomazium is a haven on rainy days, but also a place for kids ages 8 and younger to learn about the environment through imaginative play. Throughout the zoo, you will find stations to learn about the animals, their native habitats, and how you can help conserve these spaces throughout the world.
Best of all, this zoo isn’t huge, but it is definitely large enough to fill up a good portion of your day. Even better, Red Mill Burger is just up the road; one of Seattle’s best burger joints. Just make sure you don’t show up on Monday when Red Mill is closed.
Pacific Science Center
Pacific Science Center is one of those museums that has a little something for everyone. They have an innovative, hands-on toddler zone that is blocked off and guarded, so big kids can’t go in, and little ones can’t escape. Kids can play with water, jump into a helicopter or see what air can really do.
Moms will love warming up in the tropical Butterfly House, while older kids can test their engineering and design skills in Tinker Tank, learn about snakes during a live creature talk, journey back in time with dinosaurs, or discover the wonders of the universe through the special exhibits, planetarium and IMAX theater.
Other Seattle Museums We Love for Both Kids And Adults
- Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP)
- Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI)
- Bellevue Arts
- Kids Discovery Museum
- Olympic Sculpture Park (free)
- Seattle Aquarium
- Seattle Art Museum
Seattle Hotels We Recommend
One of the biggest questions I get asked when people visit Seattle is “where do we stay?” Having lived in the city almost a decade, it was one of the hardest questions to answer. When you live in a place, you rarely have need to sleep in a hotel.
Thankfully, I was able to sneak away with girlfriends for a moms’ night off or with my kids for a little holiday fun downtown every now and then. We definitely have our favorites, but the Seattle Museum Month hotel list is impressive and can fit most budgets.
Kimpton Hotel Monaco
The Kimpton line of hotels is always my go-to recommendation for families looking for friendly service, a boutique atmosphere, great perks and pet-friendly accommodation. Hotel Monaco is their family-friendly hotel line, and it has never missed the mark for us.
Child bathrobes, wine hour for mom and dad, a coffee and hot cocoa bar in the morning to get us out the door and goldfish you can borrow if you get lonely, are just a sampling of what you can expect. Room configurations are perfect for parents looking for a little privacy as well.
Pan Pacific Hotel Seattle
Asian-style meets Pacific Northwest sensibility at the Pan Pacific Hotel Seattle. It’s in the heart of the Amazon campus, which means there are loads of restaurants to explore, and more popping up all of the time to accommodate the ever-growing workforce. Pets are welcome, and a shuttle service can you get you to may downtown attractions without having to use your car or walk.
Sheraton Seattle Hotel
Sheraton Seattle Hotel is an institution in the city. Every parent knows to bring their kids here during the holidays for the Gingerbread Village. The rest of the year, parents flock to this hotel because of the indoor pool – not something every hotel in Seattle has to offer their guests, but every kid craves on vacation.
The Sheraton is in the middle of Seattle’s downtown shopping district. Parents won’t have to walk far for some of the best coffee in town, or a great meal, theater show, shopping and easy access to the monorail that can take families to Seattle Center.
Fairmont Olympic Hotel
Downtown luxury comes in many forms, but we love the Fairmont Olympic. Not only is this hotel an easy walk to many of Seattle’s top attractions, but it also has a fabulous afternoon tea. And no one knows how to treat tired parents like the Fairmont staff.
The hotel has an indoor pool with pool toys that are complimentary to borrow. There are also plenty of restaurants and shops close by. You can’t beat The Crumpet Shop in Pike Place Market for breakfast.
Seattle is known for its “get back to nature” mentality. The arts, sciences and things we find quirky as locals and visitors embraces this spirit of the outdoors, brings it inside and is interpreted in all different forms for us to discover with our kids. We believe winter is the best time to get to know the Seattle museum scene thanks to Seattle Museum Month. Now it is time to ask the hardest question of all…
What Seattle museums will you explore this year?
This post is part of a paid partnership with Seattle Museum Month and Travel Mindset. As always, my opinions are my own. When they aren’t you will be the first to know.