Orca cove exhibit at the Seattle Children's Museum

Our Review of the Seattle Children’s Museum

Last Updated on March 28, 2024 by Kelly

The Seattle Children’s Museum has been on our radar for years, and we finally had a chance to visit! It was closed for nearly two years during the pandemic, so we were excited to finally check out the space. We’ve been to lots of children’s museums around the country, and this was definitely a favorite! The museum had lots of immersive play experiences, and we liked that it was close to many other family-friendly attractions in the Seattle Center. In this post, we’re sharing our full review of the Seattle Children’s Museum. We’re including lots of photos of the different exhibits, as well as our best tips for visiting.  

Overall, we really liked that the different play areas had distinct rooms, which made it a more quiet experience and less overwhelming. As a drawback, there were no outdoor play areas specifically at the museum. However, there’s a nearby playground at the Seattle Center if you’re also looking for some outdoor play! Overall, we think that the Seattle Children’s Museum is one of our favorite things to do with kids in Seattle

Our Thoughts on Each Exhibit 

The Seattle Children’s Museum contains 15 different exhibits! Here’s a brief summary of what we thought of each exhibit:

  • Amazing Airways: Super fun trying to catch the scarves after they were propelled through the tubes. This is located right at the entrance by the gift shop. 
  • Corner Workshop: Great space to create some art. We didn’t spend a lot of time here, because our kiddos were attracted to all the immersive play options
  • The Mountain: Our kiddo liked crawling through the tunnels and the slide at the end. There was a guided nature walk during our visit, and that was a lot of fun. We got to search for “wild animals” throughout the trail.
  • Orca Cove: There’s a magnetic fishing area that was a big hit for us. It kept us entertained for a long time!
  • Raindrop Reading Room: When you’re ready for some quiet time, this is a nice place for a rest break. 
  • Transit: If your kid likes train tracks, there’s tons of train pieces to build the ultimate track! 
  • Tribal Tales: Wonderful way to learn about indigenous stories. Be sure to time your visit with the posted schedule. There’s a puppet theatre there that was a lot of fun.
  • Twists & Turns: This area had some really fun hills to race toy cars. We enjoyed “racing” cars down the hilly tracks.
  • Bijou Theatre: This space had everything kids need for the performing arts, including sound and lighting effects! We could push a button and add an applause, laughter, and more. We could also push buttons to change the lighting colors. As a parent, it was a nice break for us to sit down and enjoy the show!
  • Community Clinic: Great space to pretend to be an eye doctor. There were lots of eye glasses on the wall, vision testing tools, and a check-in desk. 
  • Construction Zone: There weren’t a ton of pieces here, so we didn’t spend as much time here. Kids can practice using nuts and bolts. There was a little section for Lego blocks, but there weren’t a lot of pieces.
  • Fire Station: This is a really small area, but kids can climb into the front of the fire truck. There were fire hats and outfits to put on too.
  • The Market: I was impressed with how much pretend food they had stocked! Kids could grab a “shopping list” and use the grocery carts to grab what they need. There was also a dessert counter that had lots of pretend cupcakes.
  • Neighborhood Paws: This veterinarian clinic was so cute because it was stocked with stuffed animals! There was an area to “wash” the animals and give them check-ups.
  • Post Office: This area had lots of packages and letters to deliver across the whole museum. There were packages, letters, carts, a stationary postal vehicle, and of course mail boxes!

Our favorite exhibits were in “The Neighborhood” section: the theatre, post office, and the grocery store!

Fishing dock at the Orca Cove
Fishing dock at the Orca Cove

Bijou Theatre

We loved playing at the theatre! The set-up had everything a real theatre would have: a stage, curtain, dress-up outfits, chairs for the audience, lighting effects, and sound effects. We probably spent an hour just at this exhibit! 

Bijou Theatre Stage
Bijou Theatre Stage

Post Office

The post office area had a car, packages, dress-up outfits, and mailboxes. What we really liked about this exhibit was the fact that there were mailboxes located throughout the museum. The packages and mail also contained pictures and text for the “address” so kids of all ages would know where to deliver each package. For example, if a package had a picture of a theatre on it, then the child would know to deliver it to the theatre. This was a hit with so many of the kids!

Post office exhibit at the Seattle Children's museum
Lots of things to do at the Post Office!

The Market

My favorite exhibit was the grocery store space. There were lots of shopping carts and multiple aisles stocked with lots of pretend food. There was even a check-out stand with a scanner. I remember visiting this exhibit when I was a kid, and I still have fond memories of playing there! It was pretty cool to see my kids enjoying it as well. 

The Neighborhood at the Seattle Children's Museum
We really loved The Neighborhood section

Tips For Visiting

  • There’s a coat rack and cubbies so you don’t have to carry all your things around. The cubbies aren’t lockers, so we don’t recommend leaving anything valuable.
  • There’s also a spot for stroller parking so you don’t have to move a stroller from exhibit to exhibit. 
  • There’s only one entrance/exit to the museum, which makes it easy to supervise kids. 
  • There’s a lactation room for nursing if you bring a baby. The lactation room has a comfortable chair, a sink, and a baby-changing table. You can find the entrance to the room in the Orca Cove. I was really appreciative of this quiet space to take care of our baby.
  • The museum has several areas where there are dress-up outfits provided. We didn’t like the idea of sharing hats, so we skipped that part.
  • We visited on a Friday afternoon and it wasn’t overly crowded. We’ve visited several other children’s museums in the area, and we actually liked that this museum was a bit smaller. Some of the other museums can be very overwhelming and sensory overload. We liked the layout of the Seattle Children’s Museum because many of the exhibits were in separate rooms. 
  • Parking can be pretty expensive near the Seattle Center, so keep that in mind!
  • Check the museum’s schedule for daily programming. We went on a “nature walk” through the Mountain section. Our guide taught us all about local wildlife while we went on a bit of a scavenger hunt.
  • If you’re local to the area, you can also consider getting a membership if you plan to visit more than once!
Comfortable lactation room
Comfortable seating in the lactation room

Additional Photos

Tribal tales
Tribal Tales
Tent exhibit for immersive play
Tent set up for play
Bijour Theatre Entrance
Entrance to the Theatre
Dress up area
Dress up area at the theatre
Veterinarian clinic exhibit
Veterinarian Clinic

Nearby Activities

One of the best parts about visiting the Seattle Children’s Museum is the fact that there are tons of other kid-friendly activities nearby! You can easily make a full day out of visiting the Seattle Center. 

Here’s a few of our favorite nearby activities hat are kid-friendly:

  • Ride the monorail: Young kids will especially love the experience of riding the monorail through Seattle
  • Visit the “Artists at Play” Playground: This playground has it all and it’s the perfect place to get the wiggles out
  • Explore the MoPOP: If your kids like music, this is the place to go (Be sure to see our full guide to the MoPOP!)
  • Go to the Top of the Space Needle: The elevator ride to the top is so fun, and you’ll have amazing views of Seattle (Also see our experience at the Space Needle!)
  • Catch a show at the Seattle Children’s Theatre: The theatre has so many entertaining shows
  • Spend the Day at the Pacific Science Center: This museum also has numerous kid-friendly exhibits, as well as laser shows, a planetarium, and an IMAX theater


I grew up visiting the Seattle Children’s Museum, and now it’s so fun to bring my own family there to play! The museum has lots of immersive play experiences, and we love that it’s close to so many fun Seattle activities. We recommend spending at least 2 hours at the Seattle Children’s Museum. We personally spent 4 hours there and we could have stayed longer!

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Hi, I’m Kelly!

After studying abroad in Spain, I became passionate about international travel. Since then, I’ve traveled to 6 continents and 36 states within the United States. When I’m not travel blogging, you can find me hiking, reading books in Spanish, or playing cribbage. I hope my blog inspires you to see the world!