I am so excited to introduce a new series that I will be posting occasionally on Tuesdays called Travel in My Town. I have some great guest posts from the blogging community to share with you. I am looking forward to learning some insider tips about favorite activities in their cities! I am honored to begin this series with my writing pal, Keryn. Keryn lives in Seattle, a city that I have never been to but is high on my list of places to visit, and she is sharing her favorite toddler-friendly activities. Be sure to follow the links to her blog, Walkingon Travels, where she writes about everything from flying with children, to exploring Asia with kids and finding inspiration to travel. Keryn is kind, funny and helpful. Someday, I hope to make it to Seattle and maybe we can meet for coffee! Welcome, Keryn!
I’ve lived in Seattle for over 5 years, but I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of all this city has to offer. Whether we are under a seemingly endless rain cloud or enjoying gorgeous summer days (it’s why we all live here after all) I can always find something to do with my toddler son in a city of endless activities and natural wonders.
Woodland Park Zoo
Our local zoo may not be the biggest in the country but it sure does pack a punch. I have been there at least 20 times and I still happen upon exhibits I have never noticed before. Orchids, poisonous frogs and birds fill the Tropical Rainforest building, while snow leopards, tigers and jaguars will have your kids growling and purring in no time. There are daily feedings and animal presentations that both kids and parents can get excited about and learn from. If you are looking for a little break from the animals, there is also an historic carousel you can take a whirl around before setting up a picnic lunch on the lawn.
Pike Place Market
Yes, this seems like a tourist trap to be sure, especially in the summer, but it is also a very active local market. If you love to eat and have kids that can’t wait to try out a few new foods along with some of their old standbys then than Pike Place should not be missed. You will definitely see a few characters offering everything from fresh off the boat fish to bursting with flavor strawberries and a silver necklace with matching t-shirt to boot. Do a little jig along with a street musician, watch cheese masters shoveling curds and gorge yourself on crumpets and donuts from the Daily Dozen. Just watch out for flying fish.
A free park, beautifully maintained and away from the tourist crowds, what’s not to love? I continue to head to this park just south of downtown to soak in the Japanese inspired design. The dramatic colors change with each season and make you wonder what next month will bring. Paths are extremely kid-friendly and there are no park rangers yelling at you to keep off the grass. Be respectful, but also feel free to explore what Mother Nature is cooking up that day.
Ballard Farmers Market
This is by far one of our favorite farmers markets in the city. Held every Sunday, rain or shine, this is the place to go for fresh produce, some delicious street food and a whole lot of people watching. If you aren’t up for Pike Place Market this is a great, if not better, introduction to Seattle’s love of farm fresh food. Pull up a slice of curb, a freshly made tamale and just watch the locals stroll by with kids, dogs and bicycles in tow.
I’m not sure if I get more excited about the various elements in this park that makes multiple trips a must, or the Volunteer Park café down the street that serves up one heck of a breakfast. Whether you want to swing from the monkey bars at the playground, take a peek at a few paintings in the Asian Art Museum, or just warm up with some flowers in the Conservatory, there is something for everyone. Oh and Bruce Lee is buried just behind the park if you feel the need to make a little pilgrimage.
I’ve only seen a fraction of this park but it is already one of my favorites. Stunning views of Mt. Rainier peak over the horizon. There are sandy beaches for kids to splash around in along with a very impressive playground. The Seward Park Environment and Audobon Center leads toddlers on a Little Tykes Tales and Trails expedition, even on rainy mornings, throughout the park.
Mom and active blogger, Keryn Means left the publishing world in 2011 to take care of her growing family and follow her passion for travel. A native of Philadelphia, she spends her days exploring her new home in Seattle with her toddler son and anxiously awaits the arrival of her second born due in late April. When her son is asleep you can find her editing photos and writing away on Walkingon Travels. Keryn follows the mantra that just because you have kids doesn’t mean you have to put your travel dreams aside, if anything they just get bigger and more exciting. Follow Keryn on Twitter and Facebook, too!