What we do on rainy days in Seattle

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To be honest, now that the kids have preschool every day, on days that it rains and storms outside it’s such a nice excuse to just hang out and have a slow morning together at home.  We stay in our pajamas a little later, play some soccer in the basement, make some crafts and simmer a little hot chocolate for breakfast.  But someone recently asked me what we do on rainy days and I think these are our favorite outings.

Free kids' area at Seattle Art Museum

City target and Seattle Art museum

We park at City Target (Seattle Pike Plaza) and head over to the art museum for opening. (I have a Patron membership and the kids are free.) We spend about an hour there playing at the various art stations or checking out the exhibits.  Then we head back to Target and watch the carts go up and down the escalator, and then buy $20 of groceries and other things so we can get our free parking.  If we have a lot of time we sandwich a lunch at Taste or Fonte in the middle of this all.

where to watch bears swim

Woodland Park Zoo

I love how empty the zoo gets on rainy days and how us die-hards greet each other with dripping nods under gortex jackets.  When the guys and I get sopping enough we head to the indoor rainforest and pretend we are on a tropical vacation.  If I’m really prepared I’ll even pack a thermos with hot chocolate. We have had many perfect zoo days in the rain.  After the zoo we love to stop at A La Mode pie (we love their key lime and apple pies!), Fresh Flours, Slate Coffee or Tutta Bella to warm up.

solar power flowers at Seattle Center that make noise when you walk by

Monorail/Seattle center/lunch at Nordstroms

This kind of trip can be as ambitious as you want to make it.  The key is to start out early because everyone will have the same indoor idea you do on a rainy day but no one will want to get out of their warm beds and actually venture out.  So you must.  We find street parking near Seattle Center and head to the Children’s Museum or Science Center for opening. (This is where having a membership is key. With a membership it doesn’t matter if you just pop in) After about an hour or so we head upstairs to the monorail (make sure you have cash) and zoom over to Westlake Center and Pacific Place.  We might lunch here at Nordstroms (I love their kids’ menu!) or zoom back and eat at Mod Pizza or Skillet in the Armory.  We’ll usually grab a bag of bagels at Eltana to take home too.

Other options? A picnic lunch indoors at the Sculpture Park, a trip to the Mohai and lunch in their cafe or a morning visit to the Museum of Flight. Or sometimes we just bundle up and trek somewhere through the rain, because we’re true Seattle-ites, and this is how we teach our young to survive.

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