Summer is here! Many parents worry about their kids not learning anything during the summer months, but in my opinion, that worry is unfounded. Although kids aren’t sitting in a classroom in the summer, chances are they are learning something. Even simple activities such as imaginative play in the backyard encourages learning! But if you’re a Seattle parent looking for more structured summer learning, why not head to one of the Seattle museums?
The city of Seattle has plenty of museums that are kid-friendly and educational. For those of you living in the Seattle area, here are seven Seattle museums worth checking out:
The Seattle Center in South Lake Union is home to a variety of family-friendly attractions, including the Children’s Museum. Located in the Armory building, the museum has exhibits for kids of all ages. Our favorite is the Global Village exhibit, which gives you a glimpse of what it’s like being in another country.
Museum of History and Industry
Also in the South Lake Union area is the Museum of History and Industry, which has a great exhibit covering the history of technology and innovation in Seattle. We love the interactive aspects of the museum, and kids are encouraged to submit and share their own ideas for innovation.
Within the University of Washington campus is a gem of a museum, the Burke Museum. We recently went here for the first time a few weeks ago, and were surprised at how cool it was. My daughter loved the exhibit showcasing the geology and Paleolithic history of the Pacific Northwest (dinosaurs and volcanoes), and we loved the exhibit showcasing the cultures along the Pacific Rim.
Seattle Art Museum
The Seattle Art Museum is a city institution. Located in the heart of downtown Seattle, SAM, as Seattleites like to call it, has quite an impressive list of features exhibits. Some of the more permanent exhibits include classical art, as well as art from other countries. Families will enjoy coming to the Free First Thursdays (free admission on the first Thursday of each month), if they’re willing to maneuver through the crowds.
Frye Art Museum
We watched a spectacular avante garde music and art performance at the Frye Art Museum a few months ago, showcasing a very talented musician friend of mine. Frye Art Museum is one of those Seattle museums that prides itself on showcasing new and innovative art, often combining visual art with performance art. Some parents shy away from exposing their kids to this kind of non-traditional art, but I often think that introducing them early helps them develop a greater appreciation later on.
Museum of Flight
Located in south Seattle is the Museum of Flight, by far one of our favorites among Seattle museums. It’s somewhat of a trek from where we are, but definitely worth a visit. The museum has commercial and military airplanes that you can go inside, and even has an interactive space exhibit. There’s a section of the museum dedicated for young kids, where they can learn about the mechanics of flying through interactive and age-appropriate activities.
One of my favorite museums, though arguably one of the more expensive and touristy museums, is MoPOP. Our first year in Seattle after coming back from DC, we bought a membership to MoPOP (known as the EMP/Sci-Fi Museum at the time), and it was well worth the price. We saw an Avatar exhibit and an exhibit dedicated to horror films. The music portion of the museum is amazing too. I love the exhibit showcasing the history of the guitar. But my kids love the jam room, where they can have a chance to try out and play various instruments.
For long summer days, museums are a great way to pass the time and learn something new in the process. These seven Seattle museums are just a starting point for your kids’ educational exploration. There are plenty of other Seattle museums and activities that you can experience in the city. Feel free to let me know what you stumble across, I’d love to hear your thoughts.
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