What are the Seattle Amazon Spheres?
Amazon is always trying to come up with ways to make life easier and a bit more enjoyable. I mean, Amazon Prime has changed the way most of my Mom friends live!
So, it should be no surprise that they created a unique work space for their employees: the Seattle Amazon Spheres.It’s part of their Downtown Seattle campus and it looks like two giant, white spheres from the outside.
Inside, it’s home to more than 40,000 plants from all around the world.
It was designed so Amazon employees could work in a more natural environment and hold meetings outside of traditional board rooms.
I mean, you can now meet in a tree-house! How cool is that?
Here in Seattle, we all crave sunlight but very few have an office with a window. So, this is a great way for employees to get a bit of daylight while they work.
OUR FAVORITE SPOTS INSIDE THE SEATTLE AMAZON SPHERES
The Bridges: In order to get to the big tree house, you’ll need to walk across wooden bridges. While they don’t swing, they definitely move. This was a huge hit with both my kids!
The Tree House: It’s pretty cool to sit in this birds nest up in a tree that’s in the middle of a tropical rain forest!
The Lounge Chair Area: I have no idea what the official name is, but there’s an area where you can lay on lounge chairs in the sunlight and it’s glorious!
General Porpoise: You can buy doughnuts here. Need I say more?
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How The Spheres are Impacting Our Community
My nephew goes to a choice school in the Lake Washington School District and he got to visit the Amazon greenhouse last year. This is where they prepped the plants that would eventually be housed at The Spheres.
These kids actually got to help create the “green wall” that’s a major component of The Spheres.
Amazon is committed to providing field trips like this, school tours, and other educational opportunities for students to learn more about biodiversity.
There are employees available at The Spheres to answer questions from the public, too.
I like that my kids can see some plants they might not otherwise see. But, I really like that we’re seeing them out of the rain.
In fact, it reminds me of a cool walking tour we did in Paris where our guide took us into a huge greenhouse. He told us he used to bring his daughter there and it was a popular spot for families to explore.
Until then, it never would have occurred to me to have that be a family activity.
So, as a parent, I appreciate that Amazon has opened up this unique space to families. It’s my kind of “outdoor” activity!
Can I Tour The Amazon Seattle Campus?
So, if you are looking to check out more of Amazon’s Seattle Headquarters, you can sign up for a guided tour here.
These are offered on select Wednesdays and last about 90 minutes.
Note: Kids must be at least 6 years old to join this tour.
What Parents Need to Know:
WHEN IS IT OPEN TO THE PUBLIC?
The Seattle Spheres are open to the public on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month from 10am-6pm.
Another option is to sign up to tour the Amazon HQ (which happens on select Wednesdays) where you can tour the entire campus, including The Spheres.
WHAT YOU HAVE TO BRING
You must have a government issued I.D. to enter for all adults. And you need to have your tickets with you (I pulled my up on my phone.)
WHAT YOU CAN BRING
Officially, all I could find are the following accepted items:
- A bag (no bigger than 12″ x 12″)
- A personal camera, as long as you leave your tripod and flash at home.
However, I brought my gimbal for my iPhone and I saw quite a few selfie sticks. I also saw a lot of people bring in Starbucks.
My neighbor visited last month and they were able to go to the Amazon Go store, purchase lunch, and then bring it back to eat at The Spheres.
DO I NEED A COAT?
They keep the temperature at a humid 72 degrees during the day, which is optimal for plant life.
Leave your heavy coat in your car (there isn’t a coat check.) You’ll be fine in a light sweater, even if you are someone who is always chilly (like me!)
ARE KIDS WELCOME?
Yes, the Seattle Spheres are open to people of all ages. But, kids must be accompanied by an adult at all time.
Just be sure to keep an eye on kids so they don’t touch any of the plants!
STROLLER OR NO STROLLER?
There is stroller parking available right at the entrance.
Your best bet is to wear your baby in a carrier. There are a lot of stairs and wooden bridges.
WHAT ABOUT DOGS?
Sorry, unless you have a service animal, pets aren’t welcome inside the Spheres.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO EXPLORE?
There are a few levels, but you can easily see the whole area in about an hour.
That gives you time to walk across the bridges and stepping stones, take your photo in front of the Amazon Spheres sign, and eat doughnuts.
But, once you enter, you are welcome to stay as long as you want. And you can come back in.
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How to Get There
The Amazon Spheres is located in South Lake Union in Downtown Seattle.
From 1-5 North:
- Take Exit 165
- Continue on 6th Ave
- Drive to 7th Ave
From 1-5 South:
- Take Exit 166
- Take Denny Way and Lenora St. to 7th Ave
Seattle Amazon Spheres Parking
There is FREE parking available! Yes, free parking in Downtown Seattle!
You’ll probably see signs, but in case you miss it, plan to park in the Amazon Day 1 Building’s parking garage.
Enter on the East side of 6th Ave (just before Blanchard Street.)
How to Get Amazon Spheres Tickets
It can be a bit tricky to get tickets.
For one thing, Amazon Spheres tickets are free, which means lots of people want them. And secondly, they are only available on specific Saturdays, so tickets are limited.
STALK THE WEBSITE
I’m not sure when they release tickets or even if there are particular release days.
What I suggest is setting a reminder to check their website every few days. It only takes a minute to see if tickets are available.
This is what I did. It took about 2 weeks before they released a large number of tickets for many time slots.
Note: Tickets are available 30 days prior to their open house dates. However, sometimes they release additional tickets for special viewings.
RESERVE THEM IMMEDIATELY
As soon as they release tickets for a date/time that works for you, snap them up! The Seattle Spheres is still a popular attraction with high demand.
Once I reserved mine, I immediately reached out to friends to see if anyone wanted to join us. They were sold out within a few hours.
Where to Eat Nearby
When I go anywhere with my kids, I’m always making sure there are food options nearby. My kids get cranky when they are hungry and I like to hedge my bets!
So, to be frank, one of the reasons I was so excited to visit the Amazon Spheres is because they have a General Porpoise location!
It’s a doughnut and coffee kiosk located in the middle of the Seattle Amazon Spheres.
They have doughnuts filled with delicious creams, custards, jams, etc. We ordered one of everything and I think I liked the lemon curd best!
It’s owned by Renee Erickson, who is a James Beard award winning chef, author, and co-owner of some of the coolest restaurants in Seattle.
Note: The cafe doesn’t have soy milk, but they have oat milk.
If you are looking for a unique place to grab food, the Amazon Go store is right next door.
It’s full of pre-made meals and grab and go items. And the best part is there are no lines! I’m serious.
Basically, you use the Amazon Go app to say you are shopping. Then, you can put your phone away and walk around the store and pick out what ever you’d like.
Finally, you just walk out of the store. Kids will think this is pretty cool to not “pay” for the items. But rest assured, you will be charged through the app.
Note: You’ll need to download the Amazon Go app to visit.
Just a few blocks away is the new Shake Shack. We headed there with kids after exploring Amazon Spheres.
There was a decent line and I have a feeling that will always be the case. We really enjoyed their burgers, fries, and shakes.
They have indoor and outdoor seating, both of which are hard to find due to how busy it can get.
Lady Yum is a trendy macaroon and champagne parlor. This location is at the Amazon campus just steps away from the Spheres.
These are some of my favorite macaroons! I’ve been digging their Fall flavors (especially Butterbeer!)
They also have a shop in Kirkland, at SeaTac Airport, and soon they will be open in historic Pioneer Square.