Both locals and tourists alike know that the Pacific Science Center is one of the hottest family attractions in Seattle, if not the entire state of Washington. The cool and interactive exhibits certainly speak for themselves, but you want to know the insider scoop about visiting the Science Center and we have it here for you!
Insider Tip #1: Call it the Science Center. Drop the Pacific portion of the name and stick to what families in Seattle commonly know it as... just the Science Center.
Insider Tip #2: There's no way around the cost of admission. If you have an Entertainment Book, there is often a coupon for one free admission with one paid admission, but that's as good as you're going to find. No Groupons for this attraction. However, if you plan on visiting the Science Center more than once, it's likely that a membership will work to your advantage, cost-wise.
Insider Tip #3: Give the street parking a chance. The Science Center is tucked along the west side of the Seattle Center, so you'll want to ditch the main Seattle Center parking garage all together and head to the opposite side of lower Queen Anne. There are a ton of little side streets that surround this side of the center and you can typically find a metered parking spot on the street easily. If there isn't one, grab a place at the parking garage on this side — it's inexpensive and the spots are large enough for your mama-mobile!
Insider Tip #4: Pack a lunch. Although there are so many things about the Science Center that families adore, the food is not one of them. There is a small bistro-style eating area inside of the Science Center, but we highly recommend packing your own snacks, drinks and food. You can easily find somewhere to set up camp and enjoy lunch. Or venture into the Seattle Center and grab lunch at the Center House Food Court, which has nearly every fast food joint, plus some local eateries, all in one place.
Insider Tip #5: The age-old question for families trying to determine if an attraction is right for them... What ages is it good for? We're pleased to report that kids of all ages will find something to keep their interest at the Science Center and thrilled to tell you that you're going to have a good time too! We would say that the Science Center is ideal for children ages 5-15, but with activities that will appeal to kids who are out of that wide-spectrum as well, it's hard to beat.
Insider Tip #6: Skip visiting on school holidays. Memorial Day? Pass. Teacher's work day at school? Don't even think about it. It's going to be packed to the gills on those days and, honestly, when it's too busy at the Science Center, it's not as enjoyable... especially if you're bringing younger children. Weekends can be quite busy as well, so hit the Science Center as soon as the doors open.
Insider Tip #7: Check the website in advance for special exhibits. The Pacific Science Center is often host to major exhibits that are traveling the country or even the world. Often these exhibits require that you make reservations for a specific time slot and cost an additional fee above the Science Center admission price.
Insider Tip #8: The IMAX theaters are super cool. Again, check the website to see what is currently playing at the Science Center's two IMAX screens and purchase tickets online in advance, so that you don't have to pick and choose from times when you get to the Science Center. Have a kid who gets motion sick? Skip it — the screen is gigantic and has been known to make a motion-sensitive kid or two sick.
Insider Tip #9: The gift shop is worth visiting. This isn't true at most kid-focused attractions, so we have to point it out... This gift shop is amazing and full of toys that will keep your child's mind going, even after you've left the Science Center.
Insider Tip #10: Bring a raincoat. This is probably obvious, considering we're in Seattle, but we thought we should point out that the museum has exhibits that are both indoors and outdoors, and you'll need to go outside to get from one building to another. Tucking some light raincoats in your bag will keep you dry, which means it will also keep you happy!
Address: Seattle Center, 200 Second Ave. N., Seattle, WA 98109
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