Seattle Center and Queen Anne for Children

Kids Activities in Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle, Washington



After 25+ years as a resident and preschool owner on top of Queen Anne, I have developed an appreciation of the child-friendly nature of the Queen Anne neighborhood. 

Recently, however, I have begun to host families with young children in my home when I am away on vacation. Reviewing child-friendly activities in Seattle for these parents has helped me to understand just how rich the opportunities are for very young children (toddlers through eight).

While most tour guides are quick to point out the usual Seattle Center favorites in Lower Queen Anne (i.e., the Science Center), they typically fail to list the opportunities that Upper Queen has. These options might be just the ticket for an easy going afternoon after a busy morning sightseeing.

Here are some suggestions Seattle attractions that are sure winners for very young children located in Lower or Upper Queen Anne. All of these locations (with the exception of IMAX and Blue Highway) are suitable for toddlers or at least have a special area devoted to this age. And all of them have proven to be real winners with young children.



Lower Queen Anne

  • International Fountain Wading Pool  - You can’t beat this place on a hot afternoon. The water periodically shoots up, sending the children (with or without bathing suits) screaming. For those who are looking for a lower keyed experience, the nearby Seattle Center Wading Pool (next to SIFF Film Center) is a great place for even the youngest children to wade and climb on rocks.

  • Children’s Museum  - This laid back museum has many different activities for young children: international villages, nature spots, building areas. It’s a great place for a rainy afternoon.

  • Science Center  - This place is awesome. While the Children’s Museum will make your children happy, the Pacific Science center will have something for the whole family. Exhibits tend to be hands-on and cover a range of sciences. There is a special area just for toddlers and preschoolers. Don’t miss the nearby tide pool.

  • MoPOP  - I can’t tell you what you will see at MoPOP, as the exhibits change. But you can be confident that they will be hands on and high quality. Like the Science Center, MoPOP is it’s own unique experience and will appeal to the whole family.

  • IMAX  - Check out the shows, as not all are appropriate for young children. But if you manage to find an age-appropriate show, you will be in for an engrossing experience.


Fun things to do with kids in the Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle, Washington


Upper Queen Anne

  • Blue Highway Games Let me start with this store because it’s quite special. This store is full of games, all of them non-electronic. It’s a great place to pick up a game to take back to the hotel. But that’s not what makes it special. The store has a library of hundreds of games for ages two and up that you and your family can play— free! You can even have a beer while you’re at it! A wonderful place to spend the afternoon after a busy morning of sightseeing.

  • Queen Anne Community Center Gym & Toddler Room If you are looking for a place to hang out on a rainy morning, this is the place. The Toddler Room is just for the youngest, but the nearby gym is open to all ages. Call to find out when the gym is available for free play.

  • Queen Anne Pool Did you decide to spend your summer in Seattle, only to find that it’s raining or too cool to swim in Greenlake? Try QA Pool. Most of our pools are indoor pools, for obvious reasons. Another place to call, to find out when the pool is open for free play. We also have an outdoor wading pool at Little Howe Playground that’s open in the afternoons.

  • Kerry Park Mom and Dad will want to see the famous view— the best in Seattle— of the Seattle Center, the Space Needle and Elliott Bay. The youngest children will be more interested in the playground located down below the lookout. Other park options include Rogers Park, Big Howe Park, and Little Howe Park.

  • Molly Moon Homemade Ice Cream Just the place you want to be after all of the sightseeing, swimming and playing at the park. Molly Moon has possibly the best ice cream in town, with a rotating menu of unusual flavors complimenting some of your favorites. Runner’s Up for favorite places to eat for the younger set: Menchie’s Frozen Yoghurt, Cupcake Royale,and Top Pot Donuts.



Queen Anne is possibly the most child-friendly area in town (I admit to being a little partial). It’s easy to spend several days sightseeing on Lower Queen Anne in the morning, then hanging out on Upper Queen Anne in the afternoon. Whichever activities you choose- you can’t miss!


Author:  Christine Williams is a preschool teacher with 30+ years of experience. Her current preschool, Alcuin School, is located on top of Queen Anne.

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