Challenger School

Family Trip to Seattle

Seattle is a great family trip, especially during the summer, and a quick flight from Salt Lake City.  I recently took a weeklong trip with my family, including daughters Shelby & Claire, ages 11 & 10.  Here are a few of the attractions and restaurants, and one resort, we enjoyed.



If you’re looking for a cluster of activities, start at Seattle Center.  While there, we visited the iconic Space Needle, a 605-foot observatory which gives you sweeping views of Seattle and the surrounding area.  They have a variety of interactive exhibits to help you identify the Seattle skyline, and you can buy snacks and drinks at the top (there is a restaurant below the observatory, too).  Check out their digital guest book with interactive globe and colorful display.  Buy your tickets online beforehand and you can save money and pick your time to go up; you can also go up during off-peak times and save money as well.

During the warmer summer months, wear your bathing suit and try out the International Fountain, a short walk from the Space Needle.  It features a 220-foot bowl, the centerpiece of which is a large dome that shoots jets of water as high as 120 feet.  The fountain shoots its water at irregular intervals and is set to classical and rock ‘n roll music.  Lots of fun, and it’s free.

Summer is a great time to be outdoors in the Seattle area, so visit one of the many beautiful parks in the area.  We started with Kelsey Creek Farm, located in the Seattle suburb Bellevue.  The park has many farm animals—horses, pigs, chickens, sheep—and extensive forests that are perfect in which to take a hike or jog.  There is a large child’s play area near the entrance, and vast lawns that make it perfect for a picnic.

Driving an hour and a half north of Seattle, we also visited Whatcom Falls Park in Bellingham.  It also features some great hiking trails in the forest, as well as streams and small waterfalls.  One of its highlights is an old WPA stone bridge built many decades ago.



Drive a few hours north of Seattle to the U.S.-Canadian border town of Blaine, Washington, and you’ll encounter the fabulous Semiahmoo Resort.  We stayed two nights in an ocean-view room.  The most magnificent feature of this property is its beautiful location, on the tip of a peninsula on Semiahmoo Bay and Drayton Harbor opposite the Vancouver suburb of White Rock.  There are a variety of resort activities, such as games, a nearby beach for sunbathing and water sports, opportunities for hiking and biking, a pool and spa and golf nearby.  We enjoyed a delicious seafood dinner at the Resort’s Pierside Kitchen; they also offer the option of the more casual Seaview Breakfast Café and Packers Oyster Bar for lunch and dinner.  The location was very kid-friendly, including kids’ menus and evening S’mores.  The rooms were clean and the staff friendly and prices reasonable.  Vancouver is just 40 miles away, so bring your passport and make a quick visit to America’s northern neighbor.



Mod Pizza – Mod was a great find.  It offers custom artisan-style pizzas and salads quickly.  Design your own pizza with a choice of over 30 toppings, or enjoy one of their options.  Get a regular size pizza and split it with someone, or get a 6-inch mini for yourself.  Get whatever toppings you wish all for one price.  It’s fast, delicious and reasonably priced with many locations in the Seattle area.  (Two sites currently in Utah, with three more coming soon.  See the website for specific locations.)

Chipotle is another kid-friendly restaurant with many locations in the Seattle area.  Enjoy a burrito, bowl, salad or taco all made fresh in front of you while you watch.  They also offer a kid’s menu.  They offer a variety of meats, rice, beans and toppings; save room for a chips and guacamole side.

Red Robin has been a standard for my family for many years.  It’s an inexpensive place to enjoy specially-made burger, as well as salads, soups and a variety of other entrees, drinks and desserts.  It’s geared to kids and families, but adults can have a great time as well.  Join the Red Robin Royalty club and you can take advantage of discounts and get a free burger on your birthday.

And, I had my first-time experience at an iconic Seattle-area burger restaurant, Dick’s Drive-in Restaurant.  They are family owned and operated, and have six locations in the Seattle area.  Five are drive-in, so you eat in the car or take it back to your hotel.  The menu is basic—some burger choices, fries, shakes and drinks—and not made to order (you can’t say, hold the mustard!)  You pay five cents for condiments, such as ketchup.  It is tasty, quick and bargain-priced.  It is also popular with the locals; in our two visits the lines were long.


Seattle is a great place for families to visit.  Take a trip there soon.

About author

Jim Graves

Jim Graves

Jim Graves is a family travel writer. He is married to wife Carol, and has two daughters, Shelby & Claire. He specializes in finding family-friendly travel opportunities and sharing them with other parents.