All About Our Family Trip to Seattle, Washington

all about our family trip to Seattle Washington

What we did, where we went, and what we ate in Seattle Washington on our family trip over Thanksgiving break!


Over Thanksgiving break we took a family vacation to Seattle, Washington.

I’d never been to Seattle, and we love visiting big cities that are family friendly, so Seattle was a great fit. I wanted to share some details about our trip – what we did, where we stayed, what we ate, what we recommend, and more.

Where we stayed in Seattle

We stayed at the Hyatt at Olive 8, and although I didn’t know the city at all before coming, it ended up being very close to everything. We were within walking distance to Pike Place Market, and even walking distance to the Space Needle — we walked to both with the boys!

It was also in a clean and safe area, and close to lots of restaurants, shopping, and lots of other sites. We walked pretty much everywhere!



merricksart pike place market with the family
merricksart olive 8 hyatt view
macy's seattle storefront window copy
breakfast at le panier seattle

All the family friendly activities and sites we saw in Seattle

  • Pike Place Market. Of course, you have to go here. We had a single stroller with a wheel board with us, and although it was crowded inside the market and a little tricky to navigate, it wasn’t impossible. I’d definitely recommend leaving your double wide stroller at home though! The boys loved walking through here, trying samples and checking out all the seafood and flowers and other items for sale. We purchased meats and cheese and fruit as we wandered through and then had a picnic on the pier — that was so fun!


  • The Great Wheel. This is the giant wheel down on the pier, and although it’s pricey to ride, we had to do it and it was totally worth it. The views were incredible, and we had a blast riding it around a bunch of times.


  • Wings Over Washington. This was a ride right by the Great Wheel, and it was very similar to Soarin’ Over the World at Disneyland. I love that ride, as do my boys, so this was really fun for all of us. It was expensive, and definitely not a must do, but it was super fun.


  • Space Needle. We purchased the Seattle City Pass for four of us (Sanny was free), and we were able to use that on a lot of the places we went around the city, including the Space Needle. My boys loved going up the tower (although the moving glass floor on the lower level scared the heck out of Sanny), and then we spent about an hour playing at the park in the Space Needle complex — it had a huge slide and really fun climbing areas.


  • The Gum Wall. So many people said this was so gross and it smelled like old gum, but I actually loved it. And it didn’t even smell to me. Yes, it was gross, but if you didn’t think too much about it, it was really pretty cool, and so unique. A really nice lady gave us some gum so we could contribute to the wall, and it was very memorable.


merricksart harbor argosy cruise in seattle harbor
boys in front of the great wheel
top of the space needle in seattle
Sanny at the Space Needle copy


  • Ice Skating at Winterfest Skating Rink at Seattle Center Fisher Pavilion. We went ice skating in San Francisco three years ago with the boys, but hadn’t been since then, so we decided to try it again. The big boys loved it and begged to go back every day. Sanny, on the other hand, fell within about a minute of being on the ice, and then hated it the rest of the time. But it was very fun overall, tickets were inexpensive, and they didn’t give you a time limit so you could actually skate for a nice long time.


  • Argosy Boat Cruise. This was another activity included in our city pass, and we really loved this. The boat was big and wasn’t crowded, and the cruise was an hour long. We stayed inside on the lower level so we were nice and warm, and there was a guide who shared all sorts of information and history about the city as we saw it. We definitely recommend this.


  • Seattle Aquarium. This was included in our city pass as well, and ended up being really fun. It wasn’t a huge aquarium, but it had lots of cool exhibits and we spent about an hour there.


  • Pacific Science CenterThis was definitely a highlight for the boys. This museum was so well done, very big, and lots of unique and fun activities and learning centers. They had a huge toddler area with water play, building blocks, music, vehicles, and more. Sanny and I spent the majority of our time there, while Philip took the big boys around to all the other exhibits. The only downside of this museum was that the City Pass gave you entrance to this OR the Chihuly Exhibit, so we had to skip the Chihuly. It was probably best since that one isn’t kid friendly, but I want to go back to see that museum one day!


  • Freemont Troll. I’ve heard about this troll for years and it was funny to actually see it in person. It’s massive, and was fun for the boys to climb on. It’s one of those things that’s probably not really worth the drive, but it’s a big landmark so it’s fun to have seen it.


  • The Seattle Public LibraryWe love going to libraries or bookstores when we travel because it gives all of us a time to relax and read. The Seattle public library was gorgeous, and the children’s section was spectacular. We spent over an hour in there, reading books, doing puzzles, and just relaxing.


seattle public library
merricksart ice skating with boys
gum wall seattle
sanny at the children's museum

Where we ate in Seattle

  • Le Panier. This is a small french bakery right down by Pike Place Market. It’s always crowded, but the line goes fast so it’s worth waiting! They have the most incredible pastries and breads. I definitely recommend the almond croissant and the raspberry croissant. Also the macarons were maybe the best I’ve ever had.
  • Dino’s Tomato Pie. We ordered this to our room on our first night because the restaurant is in a bar and the kids weren’t allowed. But DANG that was seriously good pizza. Definitely recommend.
  • Urbane at Olive 8. This was the restaurant inside of the hotel, and we had brunch there on Thanksgiving morning. It was very convenient and delicious!
  • Din Tai FungWhen we travel, we try to eat at places that are specific to that area and not available where we live. But Din Tai Fung is one of our very favorite restaurants, so we went there for Thanksgiving dinner and gorged ourselves on dumplings and boba. Worth it.
  • Sugar Bakery. This was a fun, modern bakery that we ate at for brunch one morning. Everything was amazing, but their cinnamon rolls were probably the best.
  • Dough Zone. Since we’d just had Din Tai Fung, we thought we’d better do a comparison with Dough Zone. It’s basically the same menu, but we actually thought Dough Zone was even better than our beloved DTF! However, the service was really bad — none of their employees was the least bit friendly, so that was disappointing. But the good food made up for it!
  • Hello Robin. This was a little cookie shop that we stumbled upon one night and it ended up being the best dessert we had. Holy cow, the cookies were incredible.
freemont troll in seattle merricksart
baby jogger city select stroller

How we packed for Seattle

We took two big suitcases and one carry on for all three of us. Whenever we travel as a family, we typically just bring the two big suitcases, but this trip required rain boots, which caused us to bring one carry on with mostly just shoes.

We also took our Baby Jogger stroller. It’s great because it has sturdy wheels, the seats can face forward or backward, they can fully recline, and it has a large basket underneath.  B is old enough to walk now, so although the stroller is a double stroller, we just brought one seat and then also the wheel board for Fos to ride on. That ended up being perfect.


What I brought for the boys for five days of travel

I brought each of them 2 pairs of shoes (one walking pair and one nicer pair for church and family pictures), 2 jackets (one for cold/rain, and one thick sweatshirt for traveling, sleeping, warmer days). Then a shirt for each day, two pairs of pants each, and two pairs of pajamas.

What I brought for myself for five days of travel

Several people asked me about packing coats, because they’re so bulky. I ended up bringing two coats, but honestly I could have brought just one and been fine.

I brought a pair of rain boots, and a pair of ankle boots, and was able to alternate between both of those throughout the five days.

Everything I wore on the trip is linked in THIS POST!


I think that covers most of our trip, but if you have any additional questions about traveling with kids, or anything else we did on the trip, leave a comment!


  1. Denise Davis says:

    Looks like y’all had a great trip! We were just there in September and the PIKE place market was SOOOo CROWDED. I’d never been around so many people in my life!

  2. Fal says:

    So glad you had an awesome trip! Just FYI – the troll neighborhood is Fremont, not Freemont.

  3. Julie says:

    Loved watching your stories while you were visiting our city! So glad you had fun—theres so much to do here. Hopefully you can come back someday in the summer. That’s when seattle really shines! We love following you Merrick and are inspired by you all the time!

  4. Caitlin says:

    Looks like such a fun trip! I haven’t been in years, but your photos bring back so many good memories! What a fun time of year to travel there, too. 🙂

  5. Sarah says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your trip! Im a 3rd generation seattlelite and married a Marine 10 years ago, cuRrently living in japan. I miss home so much and loved looking at your Photos and hearing your thoUghts on my beloved city. Next time, make sure to venture out a bit. A ferry ride is definitely worth it to any of the islands and a trip to the cascades for a short hike less Than an hour from the city is well worth your time. Mt. Si is a popular one.

  6. Mike says:

    Thank you. Great photos. You’re right, Seattle’s a great city to spend time with family. We also went there by car with our friends. It’s a great city with great views. We also visited The Great Wheel, and Yes, it’s expensive, but very cool!. But for us, the whole trip was quite expensive, because we had to travel more than 200 miles to get to Seattle. But we learned about it after the trip, when we calculated the distance using the application.
    Have a nice day

  7. Marvin says:

    Thank you for sharing, i think were BASICALLY doing your same ITINERARY with our 8, 4, and <1 year Old.

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