Ye Olde Curiosity Shop

If your grandchild can’t find a souvenir of his Seattle visit at this kitschy combination local institution/waterfront gift shop/ersatz museum of the absurd, he or she won’t be able to find it anywhere. But grandchildren still enjoy one of the oddest collections of stuff this side of Ripley’s Believe It or Not, including a petrified mummy named Sylvester, shrunken heads, a three-tusked walrus, and a two-headed bull. What’s not to love?

Contact no: (206) 682-5844

Location: 1001 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98104

Learn more here.

Washington State Ferries

Sure, there are narrated tours of Puget Sound, but one of the best rides on the water is also one of the cheapest. A half-hour ride to Bainbridge Island not only allows you to show your grandchildren what the waterfront looks like from the water, it enables you to take them on a big trip without really going far at all. Routes range from half an hour to several hours depending on departure point and destination.

Contact no: (206) 464-6400

Location: 801 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98104

Learn more here.

The Fremont Troll

Normally we wouldn’t recommend you take hard-to-impress grandchildren just to check out a lowly statue. This, however, is a different kind of public art. Located under the Aurora Bridge it features a Volkswagen-eating troll with hubcaps for eyes and a Volkswagen in its hands. It’s a great photo opportunity and grandchildren of all ages love climbing around on its head and shoulders.

Contact no:
Location: Troll Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103

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Space Needle

If you and your grandchild can see only one thing during your visit or afternoon out, see everything by going 520 feet above it all. Even the ride up is an adventure because the elevator is on the outside of the building, bringing consternation to some adults and great glee to children. After a few seconds of worry over the ascent, most grandchildren love looking out the windows and watching everything on the ground getting smaller. Up top, you can get an unobstructed panoramic view of the city and a chance to play with the telescopes.

Contact no: (206) 905-2100

Location: 400 Broad Street, Seattle, WA 98109

Learn more here.

Nordic Heritage Museum

Minnesota may have the Prairie Home Companion and Norwegian bachelor farmers, but Seattle has the country’s only museum dedicated to the story of Nordic immigrants. The subject matter is of special interest to non-Nordic families as well, especially newcomers to the neighborhood of Ballard, where most of them settled. The Dream of America Exhibition traces the wave of immigration that took Scandinavian immigrants from Ellis Island and New York through the Midwest to the Pacific Northwest. Additional rooms in the museum focus on the experience of immigrants from specific countries in the region including Iceland, Finland, and Norway. Where else can you and your grandchildren find out what a psalmodikon is?

Contact no: (206) 789-5707

Location: 3014 Northwest 67th Street, Seattle, WA 98117

Learn more here.

Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour

Treat your granchildren to a unique activity, exploring a veritable buried city underneath downtown Seattle. Intrigue, silly stories and a touch of Seattle’s colorful history are the attractions at this 90-minute tour of the rugged underground passages that were once the heart of the city until the Great Seattle Fire burned everything to the ground and raised streets and buildings were erected on its ashes.

Contact no: (206) 682-4646

Location: 608 First Avenue, Seattle, WA 98104

Learn more here.

Fremont Outdoor Cinema

If you remember the outdoor movie scene in Cinema Paradiso, you’re close; with kids running around having a good time on the town square and folks laughing at a movie projected on a wall. Yes, it’s a parking lot and there’s traffic nearby, but there are contests, second-run movies, and good clean family fun on Saturday nights during the summer. Once a month, they play a bad “B” flick with the sound turned down and improvisers filling in the words.

Contact no: (206) 781-4230

Location: 3501 Phinney Avenue North, Seattle, WA 98103

Learn more here.

Archie McPhee

Practical joking and kitsch-loving grandchildren of all ages will thank you for taking them to this internationally-known novelty store run amok. Joy buzzers, boxing nun puppets and an odd scientific surplus are just part of what’s offered at the store that brought you the librarian action figure. Allow at least 30 minutes and don’t be surprised if the kids sing your praises to their parents.

Contact no: (206) 297-0240

Location: 1300 North 45th Street, Seattle, WA 98103

Learn more here.