Washington is an ideal spot for a family vacation, boasting plenty of unique things to see and do. With children in tow, plan some time at these museums that cater specifically to little ones or feature kid-friendly exhibits. From hands-on experiences to delving into the state’s history, the whole family will have a chance to enjoy and learn.
Museum of Flight
A collection of historic air and spacecrafts are on display, including an out-of-service Air Force One jet, WWII planes and a full-size replica of the International Space Station’s research lab. Aspiring pilots can jump into the cockpit of a real reconnaissance plane or the mock-up of a fighter jet. Additionally, the Kid’s Flight Zone exhibit tailors the experience to children of all ages.
Pacific Science Center
Delve into innovative science-, math- and technology-related exhibits that encourage interaction. See how an electric motor works in the Science Playground, let little ones experiment with water at the Just for Tots stream table or catch an IMAX movie.
Children’s Museum of Tacoma
Targeted to children age 8 and under, this museum features five different playscapes to explore. Kids will use their imagination and curiosity for fort building in the Woods area, controlling the flow of a waterfall in the Water area or creating works of art in Becka’s Studio. The Pay As You Will admission makes a visit even more family-friendly.
KidsQuest Children’s Museum
Unleash creativity through hands-on exhibits and guided activities that focus on science, technology, engineering, art and math. Check out the Activity Table for art projects, The Backyard for tots age 3 and under, face painting and more.
Get up close to creepy crawlies at this free museum, which has live bugs and reptiles on display—from tarantulas to pythons. View the giant ant farm, peek at bugs under a microscope or don a pair of special glasses that give you bug vision.
Imagine Children’s Museum
Play is the name of the game at this award-winning venue. Bring children age 12 and under for fun at the Rise and Shine Farm, rooftop playground, Imagine WaterWorks and other displays.
The Children’s Museum of Skagit County
Head inside the Cascades Mall to find adventures related to art, science and culture. A Toddler Farmyard, kid-size working crane, mock farmers’ market and reading room are just a few examples of what awaits.
The Whale Museum
Travel to San Juan Island for a better understanding of the surrounding waters’ inhabitants. The Gallery of Whales takes on the natural history of marine mammals—particularly the area’s orcas—through exhibits, models and artifacts such as real whale skeletons.
Hands On Children’s Museum
Not far from the Washington State Capitol Building, the Hands On Children’s Museum puts the minds of kids up to age 10 to the test with a variety of galleries that tie into the Pacific Northwest setting. Whether your child loves to build, climb, make-believe or craft, the activities here won’t disappoint.
Pioneer Farm Museum
Travel back in time to the late 1800s to try out the lifestyle of Washington’s homesteaders. A farm tour takes you to two cabins, where the kids can dress up like pioneers, participate in barn chores and jump into a hay pile. A Native American tour offered in the summer will bring you to the Ohop Indian Village that displays how the native Coast Salish people lived during different seasons.
Northwest Carriage Museum
Experience the primary mode of transportation of the 19th century through an extensive collection of horse-drawn carriages, buggies and wagons. Other highlights include an 1890 schoolhouse, blacksmith shop and period clothing.
World Kite Museum
The history of kites and kite flying is vast, and this museum tells the stories through one-of-a-kind exhibits and programs. The collection comprises more than 1,500 kites from 26 countries, ranging in uses from scientific experimentation to entertainment.
Mobius Children’s Museum
Nurture your child’s curiosity with several hands-on exhibits. Go from the Circus Circuit to the Art Studio, Globe Theater or Enchanted Forest for a full day of stimulating activities.
Fort Walla Wall Museum
The heritage of the southeastern Washington region is brought to life on the grounds of a former military fort. Don’t miss the pioneer settlement with its 15 cabins, plus exhibits centered on transportation, agriculture, textiles and wartime.
Railroad Depot Museum
Bring your train-lover to this spot to revisit the railroad era that was an integral part of Ritzville’s history. You’ll see a restored Northern Pacific cupola caboose, ticket office, baggage room with an original scale and other memorabilia.