I loved reading through all of your comments on my recent giveaway post. It was great to learn what kinds of posts you all enjoy reading and what kinds of posts you want more of. One request that came up a lot was trip planning, which is convenient because I love trip planning and I am going to do it anyway, complete with plastic-sleeved binders, coupons, and maps (I love how Schmerj requested pix of my binders – I will try to include some soon!).
So…Seattle. We’re going to Seattle. And I guess this is turning into a series of posts:
- You can read the nuts and bolts of my travel plan here (air, hotel, car rental).
- Today’s post is about all the fun stuff we’re going to do once we burst onto the scene.
- A future post will detail restaurants we’re planning on trying (my kids are old enough to be foodies, too).
- Of course I will share how the trip really went down.
- I might even have more to say.
When I plan a trip to a new city, the way I find fun and interesting things to do is a multi-step process. My family’s travel style is active, offbeat, and adventurous, so I am always looking for things that fall into those categories. We don’t care if we see all of the major landmarks, but it’s fun to see one or two. We don’t like crowds. We do like to try local food. The people in my family who are under 5 feet tall can’t handle a lot of boring talking or sitting.
I usually search online for “Fun/Cool Things To Do In (Name Of City).” I also look on Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Flyertalk for suggestions. Of course I ask friends. And I cruise Groupon – I’ve found some very fun activities there.
While I have kids, I am not one of those parents who thinks that family trips should be completely child-focused. Do something for everyone, man! However, I always ask my family what they want to do at our destination, and I weave in a little of what each person is hoping for. Including me.
So far here’s what’s on our list:
- Walk around Capitol Hill and see if the house that mommy and daddy rented when they were first married has fallen down yet. It was well on its way to collapse over a dozen years ago…is it still there?
- Zip up to the top of the Space Needle.
- Visit the Gum Wall at Pike Place Market
- Watch people throw fish at Pike Place market
- Enjoy the EMP Museum (Music, Sci-Fi, and Pop Culture).
Ride the Ducks of Seattle– UPDATE – this sounds too over-the-top touristy for us!!!
- Rent a rowboat from the Center For Wooden Boats and paddle around Lake Union
- Consignment shopping and cocktails (where there’s a will, there’s a way)
- Go for a hike somewhere outside the city – so beautiful!
- Visit Chihuly Garden and Glass
What’s missing? If you are a regular reader, you will notice that I didn’t include Hot Tub Boats! Why? Turns out they are SUPER expensive to rent ($160/hour, 2 hour minimum). Also, supposedly they don’t get very hot. So I’m nixing that idea.
For about 5 minutes, I thought it would be a good idea to purchase Seattle City Passes. For $74/adult and $49/kid, you get admission to 6 hot-ticket attractions.
I even found a deal at Costco for $68/adult and $45/kid. However, I decided not to do it because I did the math and learned that the a la carte price for the things we wanted to do was less than I thought it would be, while the package included things we didn’t necessarily want to do. So that was a good reminder to price everything out before you make a final decision.
Things that have not made it on to the list, but that various members of my family would like to do include:
- Glassblowing. Totally random, I know. But there is a backstory: some very good family friends of ours just got back from Seattle with their 3 kids. When I asked the kids what their favorite thing to do was, they said that they LOVED making ornaments at a glassblowing studio. It sounded fantastic, until their mom disclosed that the price tag was astronomical – $120 per kid!! Gulp. I agree that my kids would love it, but for $240, they will have to sit this one out.
- Josh wants to take a ferry to some faraway island. Must admit I wasn’t really listening.
- Walking food tour. I am actually the one who really wants to do this, but I don’t think my 8-year-old son could handle it yet. Next time.
Anyway, once I have my list finalized, I do 3 things:
- I always check online to see if I can find any discounts or Groupons.
- I usually pre-purchase my tickets because normally it is less expensive that way.
- If possible, I make reservations in advance, which is a huge time-saver.
And then I create my binder! (Schmerj, I promise I won’t let you down).
And of course, if any of you have Seattle tips for me, I would love to hear them. Seattle, here we come!