Explore Seattle, Washington with the Seattle CityPASS

Recently, we took the Clipper from Victoria to the States to explore Seattle, Washington for a weekend. We made the most of our weekend visit by using the Seattle CityPASS. This discount booklet is a super easy way to save almost 50% on Seattle’s top attractions. As we soon discovered, though, you need more like a week to take full advantage of everything in the Seattle CityPASS!

Explore Seattle, Washington with the Seattle CityPASS

We received two complimentary adult Seattle CityPASS booklets for the purposes of this review; all opinions expressed are my own.

While checking into the Seattle Holiday Inn on Friday afternoon, we picked up our Seattle CityPASS booklets (which had been shipped to the hotel, but are also available at any CityPASS attraction). Once we’d put our bags in our room, we set out to explore Seattle, Washington. First on our list: the Experience Music Project and the Space Needle.

The Experience Music Project

The Experience Music Project and the Seattle Space Needle.

The current exhibit at the EMP was about Nirvana and Jimi Hendrix. As I grew up listening to country music, I didn’t really connect with either of these artists or their music. Lily fell asleep in the Ergo, so I followed Sunshine around, listening to random music clips with her. She loved all the headsets and “iPods” to play with. Her dad, who was familiar with the bands and their music, enjoyed reading the displays.

Guitar art at the EMP in Seattle, Washington.

The Avatar exhibit was more interesting, as we’ve seen and love the movie. There was a lot of hands-on activities here too, which Sunshine liked (even though she hasn’t seen the movie). She used a computer to create her own plants, stood in a pair of avatar boots, and tried to do the motion-capture for the movie.  We also watched a big-screen movie about the filming of Avatar.

"Science fiction is the literature of ideas." ~quote at the EMP

Then we wandered downstairs to the sci-fi exhibit. Here, the girls played with a movie camera again while I watched a video with interviews by and about sci-fi greats such as Anne McCaffrey and George Lucas. Because I do enjoy science fiction—both books and movies—I really enjoyed this section. There was some neat movie memorabilia here as well…

The alien from the movie Alien

The Seattle Space Needle

From EMP, we walked around to the Space Needle. Our CityPASS let us bypass the long ticket lineup to head straight for the elevators. As we went up, the girls said, “Oh, wow!” It was fun to see their excitement over the views.

Toddler using a telescope to view Seattle from the Space Needle

Outside on the decks, Sunshine ran from binoculars to telescope to binoculars, checking out all the sights. We saw a clipper ship coming into harbour and looked down on the back side of the Seattle Holiday Inn.

Seattle harbour views from the Space Needle, thanks to the Seattle CityPASS

(That red shape at the edge of the water is the Olympic Sculpture Park, which I visited with my girlfriend on another weekend in Seattle.)

Our Seattle CityPASS would have given us a second admission to the Space Needle on Saturday, except that we got too busy on Saturday with the Zoo…

Seattle Woodland Park Zoo

On Saturday morning, we caught the bus from the Holiday Inn to the Woodland Park Zoo. We had to pay for Sunshine’s admission here, as we’d chosen not to get her a CityPASS—many places let kids under five in for free. We thought we’d explore the Zoo for a couple hours, but we ended up there for most of the day.

Toddler petting a statue at the Woodland Park Zoo.

The girls loved the animals. Even though I have been to quite a few zoos now (from Canada to Mexico!), there were a few new animals here I hadn’t seen before, like the tree kangaroo (who was very cute and very agile in the trees!).

Tree Kangaroo at the Seattle Woodland Park Zoo

They also loved the Zoomazium, an indoor play area for kids under 8 which offered a super cool playground, a toddler area and more. Another place they enjoyed was the Habitat, where they could climb in a spider’s web, hide in a cave, pretend to be turtles, and sit on some eggs in a giant next.

Rope spiders web for kids to play in at the Seattle Woodland Park Zoo

Pacific Science Center

Sunday morning found us checking out of the Holiday Inn and walking back to the Pacific Science Center under the Space Needle.  We only had a few hours to spend here before catching the clipper back to Victoria, so our visit felt rushed.

We caught the toddler’s show at the Planetarium (a little story about the moon, with pictures on a dome-shaped roof). Then we explored the Butterfly House, where one butterfly landed on Lily’s shoe!

Butterfly on a toddler's shoe at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle, Washington.

We also saw Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs. Lily wasn’t feeling very good so spent most of the time in the Ergo on my back, but Sunshine loved all the hands-on activities, from assembling giant wood puzzles to playing with the water machines.

Daddy and preschooler building wooden bugs at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle.

Explore Seattle, Washington with the Seattle CityPASS

After that, it was time to grab lunch and then walk down the hill to the clipper terminal. We ran out of time for the Argosy Harbour Tour or the Seattle Aquarium. We’d also chosen to take the girls to the Zoo rather than the Museum of Flight (CityPASS holders get to choose one or the other).

Overall, it was a fun-packed weekend. We were glad we had the chance to explore Seattle, Washington for a weekend. Next time, we’ll give ourselves more than three days in which to use a CityPASS!

CityPASS is available for nine cities across the United States, plus Toronto, so if you’re on the road this summer, I recommend checking it out.

Do you want to explore Seattle, Washington? Or if you’ve been there, where would you recommend going?

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