a VirtualTourist member from Salt Lake City
We'll be arriving in Seattle at 8:10 a.m. on 7/25. We want to see as many sites as possible with our 2-day Go Seattle cards. Because the Space Needle opens at 9, we're heading there first and our 3 kids, 14, 17 and 20, will have to decide between the EMP, etc. By 12:30 we'll either head to the Odyssey Maritime Discovery Center for an hour or possibly the Tacoma Museum of Glass and/or nearby museums. Which one(s) would my kids enjoy the most? They're all included on the Go Seattle Card. Unfortunately, we took a vote and have to go to Wild Waves Amusement Park the end of the first day (it's open until 7 whereas all the museums on the pass close at 5). That's why I'm thinking of checking out some things in Tacoma beforehand since it's so close to Wild Waves. Any suggestions on any of the above or what's a waste of time would be greatly appreciated. I realize we'll be doing a lot of backtracking but it appears unavoidable. We're staying 2 nights in a hotel about 7 miles north of the Space Needle because it's so much cheaper.
That's a really big first day.
I really like the Museum of Glass and the younger ones there seemed quite content. There's even a kids area that the teenagers may even enjoy.
Not much else in Tacoma. The museum is across a bridge from the Downtown area that has a few shops and is pretty nice to walk around. There are coffee shops, boutique and clothing stores and even a brewpub. Just up the road, Old Town Tacoma is nice, but it wouldn't be interesting to teenagers.
Keep distances in mind though. Tacoma will take you over an hour from Downtown Seattle with light traffic. That long a drive plus all of these museums are going to take a toll.
Can I make your life more complex. Don't rush the Space Needle and the museums in the park. When you are done, your kids will enjoy Pike Street Market. Take the mono rail downtown, it is a short trip and you get off at the end and walk downhill to the market. Then head of the back entrance, downhill again and have a bit to eat at the waterfront.
Don't try and drive to the Glass Museum during rush hour, it took me an hour the last time I did that. Wild Waves would be the bottom of my list.
I wouldn't waste my time at the glass museum - they have a hot shop that is fun to watch, but the exhibits are not worth the price of admission (even if it is free). I'd agree with the other answer - see Pikes Market instead - also if you make your way to pioneer square (trolley ride from downtown)there are some glass galleries there where you can watch the glass being made for free. The underground tour is also fun for all ages, and that leaves from Pioneer Square.
Actually on Day 2 we'll be doing the 9 a.m Boeing tour, then visiting Pike Place Market and the Underground tour before catching the 4:30 Blake Island dinner/cruise. Any suggestions on where it's the cheapest to park on Day 2 once we get to the Pike Place area around 11:30 since our cruise won't be over until 8:30? Do the free buses go from Pioneer Square close to Pier 55 where our cruise leaves? How late do they run and how frequently?