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Two years ago we moved from the East Coast to the West Coast. We traded in a home located in the Washington, D.C suburbs to a home in the other Washington. Now we live in a small town outside of Seattle. One of the perks of uprooting and moving across the country is that there are plenty of new field trip opportunities. We are slowly working our way though as many Seattle area field trips as possible.
Seattle Area Field Trips
Seattle Chocolate Factory – The Seattle Chocolate Company offers tours of their factory every day except Sunday. Tours cost $10 per person, but I thought it was worth it. We went on a tour after reading Chocolate Fever and loved every minute of it. The tour started in a classroom learning about the history and farming of chocolate. This is also when we got our first chocolate sample. Next, we walked along a platform that runs the length of the factory. We actually saw the employees making and packaging the candy. The tour included more chocolate samples. Finally, we ended the field trip with a chocolate tasting. Reservations are recommended, but be aware that children under the age of 6 are not allowed on the tour.
Museum of Flight – The Museum of Flight is a ‘must-see’ for anyone in love with airplanes. The museum includes real aircraft as well as reproductions. The museum is very child friendly. There is an entire area dedicated to teaching children about the physics of flying. We even pretended to work a flight control tower. If you have ever wanted to sit in a fighter jet without the military commitment, this is the place to do it.
Woodland Park Zoo The Woodland Park Zoo is pleasant zoo to explore. They have penguins, giraffes, zebras, and more of course. We enjoyed seeing animals that are not in the National Zoo in D.C. There were several volunteers roaming the park with educational carts. We definitely want to go back once the weather is nice again.
Pacific Science Center – The Pacific Science Center takes up 7 acres right near the Space Needle. It is full of hands on and kid friendly experiences. In addition to all of the standard exhibits, traveling shows, and Imax theater, there is also a planetarium, butterfly room, and touch pool.
Bellevue Art Museum – The Bellevue Art Museum houses an eclectic collection of art. The exhibits tend to be unconventional and designed to encourage conversation about art.
Nordic Heritage Museum – (Closed until May 2018 while the museum moves to a new, bigger location.) The Nordic Heritage Museum is located in the Ballard area of Seattle. The exhibits include a multi-century viking ship, Nordic Christmas traditions, and immigration to the US. The Nordic Heritage Museum will loan out themed educational boxes to homeschoolers and school groups so you can bring the museum right to your kids.
Cougar Mountain Zoo – The Cougar Mountain Zoo is much smaller than the Woodland Park Zoo. Everything can be seen in just a few hours. We enjoyed checking out the reindeer exhibit, seeing the cougars and tigers up close, and watching the beautiful birds.
The Museum of Pop Culture – The Museum of Pop Culture (formerly known as the Experience Music Project) is located next to the Space Needle. This may not fit traditional school subjects, but there is always something cultural to explore. I suppose in a way that provides a little modern history education? The exhibits change regularly, but include things such as Hello Kitty, Star Trek, Jim Henderson, and Marvel Comics.
Seattle Children’s Theater – The Seattle Children’s Theater is known for their family friendly theater productions. These plays are often based on children’s books, such as Mr. Popper’s Penguins. Homeschool field trips are available!
Seattle Shakespeare Company – The Seattle Shakespeare Company offers two options specifically for homeschoolers. Homeschool groups can sign up for an intensive workshop, designed to immerse students in the world of Shakespeare. Families can take advantage of the student rate for the matinee performances. We saw a live performance of Romeo and Juliet here our first year in Washington and were very impressed.
Bellevue College Planetarium – Bellevue College offers a FREE monthly planetarium experience. Be sure to register well in advance so you can get tickets.
Frye Art Museum – The Frye Art Museum is an art museum in downtown Seattle that offers FREE admission. Students are encouraged to study the artwork and sketch their own rendition. Story time with art is offered weekly.
Issaquah Salmon Hatchery – The Issaquah Salmon Hatchery is the place to go to observe salmon. We visited the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery one fall and were amazed at all of the salmon fighting their way up the creek.
Seattle Aquarium – The Seattle Aquarium is located in downtown Seattle, near the Pike Place Market. Teaching kids to care about the oceans and aquatic animals is easy once they have a chance to see the animals up close. Kids can explore the Puget Sound tide pool.
Reptile Zoo – The Reptile Zoo is a bit outside of Seattle, but is worth the drive if you have a reptile lover. This small zoo is home to many varieties of snakes, small reptiles, turtles, and an alligator. A zookeeper teaches children about an animal every hour. Children are even given the opportunity to hold the animal (obviously a safe animal) if they choose.
Kelsey Creek Farm – Kelsey Creek Farm is a surprisingly rural park, hidden away in downtown Bellevue! This park is full of farm animals. We enjoyed just walking around observing the cows and goats, but tours are available.
Is there anything I’m missing? What Seattle area field trips do you recommend?