Friday, November 11, 2011

The Great Indoors for Seattle Toddlers

To live in Seattle, is to accept that it rains a lot and going outside nine months of the year requires bundling up and/or precautions to keep dry.  As an adult, you can go one way or the other: become an outdoor-loving mossback or just embrace your inner-hermit and take refuge inside.  (I am the latter at heart which clearly disappoints my hiking-fiend of a father.)  

The weather is beginning to turn so that means caregivers of small children have to load up their arsenal of potential places to take stir-crazy kids.

Here are my favorite indoor destinations for Toddlers (in random order):

Third Place Commons (Lake Forest Park):  I wrote up a profile on this place on Red Tricycle earlier this year.  Food Court, play area, bookstore, super cool community space with a unique vibe.  And a photo booth.

Nurturing Pathways (Phinney Ridge): We have done this dance and movement class for 3-4 sessions and love the connections between movement and brain development that the instructor discusses as we do fun, interesting activities.  I suggest the class at Phinney Ridge taught by Christine, the founder.  

Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center (Ravenna): Great indoor tot play room that is big with lots of cars, trikes, toys and things to do plus a fantastic outdoor play area if the weather's nice.  Tot room has a schedule and costs $2/kid to enter.

Twirl Cafe (Queen Anne): Pay-to-play space with food.  A good option when wanting to stay central to the city.

Vios Cafe (Capitol Hill): Greek Restaurant and one of the best indoor play areas I've ever seen in an eatery.

Mosaic Coffeehouse (Wallingford): In the basement of a church with it's own separate entrance.  Large, well-equipped play area.  Food/drink is a pay-what-you-want set up.

Children's Museum (Queen Anne): We have never been personally but we know plenty of parents who love this place.

Kids Quest Museum (Factoria):  We made the trek to the Eastside for this.  A little spendy but totally worth it.  So much to do and see--very unique.  Get there early.

Shoreline Library Storytime (Shoreline): Definitely a drive but it is hands down the best story time we've been to.  Songs, interaction, take home papers with letter of the day, music.  And it's FREE.

Central Market (Shoreline): They have mini-carts that the kids can push.  A fun, interesting place to roam around in with live crab & lobster tanks, a huge salad bar and hot lunch options.  While you're there, pick up groceries or stuff for dinner.  Two-fer!

Seattle Aquarium (Waterfront): We received a membership as a gift and we make the most of it.  They have a program called Toddler Time that does activities just for kids under 5 years.

Om Kids Play Gym (Wallingford): This has been recommended to us but we have yet to go.  Looks like a playspace with things and instructors to interact with.  Have heard from two sources that it's pretty cool.

Issaquah Community Center (Issaquah): Toddler (1-3 years) indoor playground (8am-Noon weekdays) with lots of trikes, cars and active toys for $2/kid.

If there are any other favorites, please feel free to post in the comments section. 

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