Living in Seattle, you definitely get used to rainy weather. I don’t really mind the rain. It makes Washington green and lush with vegetation, and it cleans the air. Of course being outside in the rain is not ideal, especially with little ones. It can make us a little stir crazy being cooped up at home. Here are my top five places to take my toddler on a rainy day during the week.
- Toddler gyms at the Community Center: Seattle Parks & Recreation transform their community center gyms in different neighborhoods into a toddler play area. They have bouncy houses, toys, balls, trikes and push bikes to play with for a $3 entry fee. These are geared toward kids five years old and younger and are usually opened for 3 hours at various times and days in the week. Violet has a lot of fun at these toddler gyms and we love having play dates there with other mommy friends.
- Lunch at kid friendly restaurants: This is nice to do in any weather but if you can find a restaurant that has a kid play area, that is a score during a rainy day. I like taking Violet to Chaco Canyon Organic Cafe in West Seattle. It is a vegan restaurant and although I am not vegan I do like taking breaks from eating animal products. All of the food there is scrumptious from amazing smoothies, baked goods, to yummy sandwiches and veggie/protein bowls. There is a small play area with a train table, chalkboard, building blocks, and books. It can be expensive because the food is organic, but I rationalize the cost due to the quality of the food and the use of the play area.
- Children’s museums: The kids and I like the Seattle Children’s Museum and the KidsQuest Museum. The Seattle Children’s Museum is great because there are a lot of different hands-on exhibits to learn and play. It is a huge museum where they can explore a mountain, go shopping at a grocery store, and learn about different cultures. It is a fun place for both my toddler and my kindergartener. After exploring all the exhibits, the kids like to make messy projects in the art studio. Then we go upstairs to the Center House now called The Armory, and grab lunch at either Mod Pizza or Skillet. The KidsQuest Museum in Factoria Mall is also great, although smaller of the two museums. There are a lot of exciting and educational exhibits there, that are different from the Seattle Children’s Museum. They have an awesome water works area, a tree house to climb in, and a spacious toddler fun zone. Also being in Factory Mall I have access to many different restaurants, plus I can shop at Target or Nordstrom Rack. Both of my kids love it here too.
- Indoor playgrounds: There are numerous indoor playgrounds that are a 20-30min drive away. I usually go to Playdate Sea which has a great large play structure and attached cafe. Violet is too young to play on her own but I don’t mind going through the play structure with her. She loves going down the big slides with me. The cafe has pizza and sandwiches, snacks, lattes, and even beer/wine. Lately I have also been taking Violet to Funtastic Playtorium in Factoria Mall. It is a newer play area next to the museum that in addition to a play structure, there is an exclusive toddler area. Fancy huh? Violet likes having her own area to not be toppled by the big kids.
- Bookstores and libraries: We love going to our local Barnes and Noble in Westwood Village. In the Children’s book area there is a train table to play with and a nice seating area to look at books together. There is also a Starbucks cafe inside to sit down and enjoy a treat. At our local library there are toddler story times usually in the morning to attend and listen to a great book together and with other kiddos. Plus it is free!
These are the five places we go to when we need to get out of the house on a rainy day. Some are more convenient than others; either due to location, cost, and considering the length of time we have. I try to mix it up so we don’t get bored.