What’s the Seattle Ice Cream Cruise

The Seattle Ice Cream Cruise (also called the Sunday Ice Cream Cruise) is a little boat ride offered by the Seattle Ferry Service. The captain narrates this Seattle Lake Union cruise to explain a bit about the history of Seattle and the sights you’ll see. When he’s not talking, you’ll jam out to oldies music! It’s a short boat ride on a small boat perfect for exploring Seattle with kids!

Where is the Sunday Ice Cream Cruise Located?

They are next to the Museum of History and Industry clock at South Lake Union Park. You’ll see a sandwich board sign with balloons on it. That’s where you’ll line up to board.

Photo of the Seattle Ice Cream Cruise sign outside of MOHAI on Lake Union in Seattle, WA #seattleboat #seattlecruise #lakeunion #southlakeunion #seattleactivites #seattleboatride #pnw #pacificnorthwest
This is the sign you’ll want to look for near MOHAI. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

When Can I Go?

The Seattle Ice Cream Cruise is available year-round on Sundays on the hour from 11am-5pm. Yes, even during rain/snow. Personally, you can’t beat cruising around Seattle in the summer, but I think it would be fun to do it in the fall/winter and sip hot chocolate!

How Long is this Seattle Boat Ride?

The Sunday Ice Cream Cruise in Seattle is about 45-50 minutes long, which is perfect for families with little kids.

What Will I See?

This Seattle boat ride takes you past Gasworks Park, Dale Chihuly’s glass studio, Ivar’s Salmon House, Seattle floating homes (including the Sleepless in Seattle houseboat), and more. Plus, you can see seaplanes, kayaks, and lots of other boats!

Photo of Seattle floating homes on Lake Union in Washington State. #floatinghome #houseboat #seattle #seattlewa #lakeunion #southlakeunion
It was fun to see the Seattle floating homes up close! Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

How Much Does it Cost?

The Sunday Ice Cream Cruise in Seattle is cash/check only.

  • Adults: $12
  • Seniors: $11
  • Kids 5-13: $8
  • Kids under 5: $3

What’s the Seating Situation Onboard?

On the top deck, there is bench seating. We also saw a few chairs scattered around. There are some adorable painted chairs inside, if you want to be indoors.

Photo of a dad and sons on the Seattle Ice Cream Cruise on Lake Union, which is a fun thing to do in Seattle in Summer. #seattleboat #seattleactivities #seattlewithkids #seattlefamily
There’s bench seating on the upper deck. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

What Type of Ice Cream is Available?

When we were there in August 2018, they had Haagen-Daz bars, ice cream sandwiches, traditional root beer floats, chocolate root beer floats, orange Crush floats, and Strawberry soda floats. They were $2-5 each.

Photo of the concession stand on the Sunday Ice Cream Boat in Seattle, WA, a fun Lake Union boat ride for families #icecream #icecreamcruise #seattleicecreamcruise #sundayicecreamcruise #pnw #seattlewithkids #seattleboat
My husband and son ordered their signature chocolate root beer float and orange Crush float. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

Do They Have Anything Besides Ice Cream?

They have chips, coffee, soda, and hot chocolate available. They might have other items available in cooler weather.

What if it Rains?

There’s an indoor space inside the Seattle boat that is set up with chessboards, checkers, and other fun games. Plus, you can still grab a treat and look out the window! Or, wear a rain jacket and enjoy the views from the top deck!

Photo of a board game area inside the Seattle Ice Cream Cruise on Lake Union in Seattle, WA.  Riding a boat is a fun thing to do in Seattle with kids. #boardgames #boat #boatlife #seattleboat #seattlecruise #lakeunion #seattlewithkids #seattleattractions #seattleactivity #seattletourism
Isn’t this the cutest board game area? Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

Where Should I Park?

Parking on Sundays is FREE! So, you can try your luck at any of the street parking nearby. There were quite a few spots available in the lot West of South Lake Union Park. Just check to see if the pedestrian bridge is down, or you’ll need to walk around the long way.

READ  Take a Seattle Argosy Cruise to Kid-Friendly Tillicum Excursion

Seattle Ice Cream Cruise Tips for Families

SHOW UP EARLY

The boat seating is limited to 45 people, I believe. Since you don’t book your tickets ahead of time, it’s first come first served. Arriving 20 minutes early would be good. For our cruise in August, they turned a few people away who had to wait for the next cruise.

Photo of the Sunday Ice Cream Cruise on Lake Union in Seattle, Washington, which is a Seattle activity for families. #sundayicecreamcruise #seattleferry #seattleboat #seattlecruise #lakeunion #southlakeunion #seattlewa #pnw #seattlefamily #seattleattraction #thingstodoinseattle
Our family boarding the Sunday Ice Cream Cruise on Lake Union in Seattle, WA. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

RESTROOMS

There are 2 restrooms on board. They have an electric foot pedal to flush and the Captain stated that kids have a hard time with them. So, you might go potty before you go (there are restrooms at the Cafe nearby.)

BRING CASH

They don’t have credit card machines, so you’ll need to pay cash or check for your tickets and any treats you’d like. Check to make sure you have enough before boarding, especially if you’ve promised your kids ice cream!

KNOW WHAT YOU WANT BEFORE YOU ORDER

The line for ice cream gets long and it takes awhile to make the orders (especially the floats.) Don’t be the person who holds up the line debating what you want to order. It helps them if you already know what you want so they aren’t standing there waiting. And the people behind you in line will appreciate it!

BRING WET WIPES

Maybe it’s just my kids, but the second they start eating ice cream, it’s all over their hands, faces, hair, clothes, etc. Bring lots of wet wipes to thoroughly scrub them down after their treats. They have garbage cans on board. This will be a lot easier than taking them to the restroom.

STAIRS

The stairs to get up to the top deck are steep. We had our kids turn around and go down them like a ladder. This felt a lot safer.

What Else to Do at Lake Union Park

Lake Union Park is in an awesome location just to hang around with kids. There’s a little beach where you can play in the water. Plus, lots of grassy area to run around! We love watching the seaplanes take off and land. And of course, watching the boats!

Photo of the toy boats available through the Center for Wooden Boats at Lake Union Park in Seattle, WA. #pnw #lakeunion #lakeunionpark #toyboats #miniatureboats #seattlewa #pacificnorthwest #thingstodoinseattle
My husband helps our son and his friends launch the toy boat into the pond. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

TOY BOATS

My kids have been obsessed with the little toy boats since they played with them at Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris last year. We were THRILLED to discover that the Center for Wooden Boats has them available to borrow for a $5 suggested donation at the pond right at South Lake Union Park. Find out more about the pond boat sailing here.

MUSEUM OF HISTORY AND INDUSTRY

The Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) has been at their Lake Union location for a few years now. It’s focused a lot on Seattle history, from the pioneer days until today! This is where you’ll find the famous Rainier “R” sign, a Boeing B-1 plane, and more! Kids ages 14 and under are free and MOHAI is free every first Thursday of the month.

Their next traveling exhibit is all about World War I in America (September 1, 2018 – February 10, 2019.) And if you are a genealogy nut like me, you can access their on-site research library to discover photos, books, movies, newspaper clippings, etc.

CHECK OUT OTHER BOATS

The Center for Wooden Boats offers free boat rides every Sunday. It’s also based on a first come first served system. Sign-ups start at 10am. When we arrived at 10:30am, the line wrapped around the building. They can only accommodate 200 people total, so if you’d like to do this, plan to arrive early to get in line. Or at least, drop off one person to wait in line to sign up. You can find out more here.

SPRAY PARK

If you go in the summer, bring a change of clothes and play a bit at their splash pad! It’s basically just water shooting up from the concrete, but it’s the perfect way to cool off in the summer heat!

Fun with Kids in Seattle

Riding The Sounder Train to Seattle’s International District for a Play Date
Take a Seattle Argosy Cruise to Kid-Friendly Tillicum Excursion
Spend the Day at Pier 57 in Seattle with Kids
6 Reasons Your Kid Should Ride Seattle’s Monorail
6 Tips for Enjoying the Pacific Science Center with Toddlers

Are you looking for a fun boat ride around Lake Union in Seattle, Washington? See why you should take a ride on the Seattle Ice Cream Cruise. Click to read more or pin to save for later. www.marcieinmommyland.com #seattle #seattlewa #pnw #pacificnorthwest #icecreamcruise #icecream #sundayicecreamcruise #seattleattractions #seattletourism #visitseattle Want a short cruise around Seattle, WA that also sells yummy ice cream treats? Find out all the details for this kid-friendly cruise around Lake Union in Seattle, WA. Click to read more or pin to save for later. www.marcieinmommyland.com #seattle #seattleboat #seattlecruise #seattlewithkids #seattlefamily #seattlekids #seattlemom #familytravel Looking for a kid-friendly boat ride in Seattle? The Sunday Ice Cream Cruise is lots of fun for families wanting to explore Lake Union! Click to read more or pin to save for later. www.marcieinmommyland.com #seattlewa #lakeunion #southlakeunion #seattleboat #seattlecruise #lakeunioncruise #seattleactivites #seattleattractions #seattletourism #visitseattle

Author

Marcie writes the family travel blog Marcie in Mommyland. When she's not traveling the world, she's home in Seattle with her husband and two little boys.

40 Comments

  1. This cruise sounds like fun! I like that they have some snacks onboard while you see the sights. This a great attraction to take children!

  2. This sounds SO FUN! My kids would absolutely love it. Thanks especially for the heads up that they only accept cash – that would be so disappointing to go and not be able to get ice cream.

  3. This brings back memories. We did the same thing when our kids were about your kidsโ€™ age. Even playing at the spray park!

  4. Aww this looks like such a fun family outing!!!! I have a sister who lives in Seattle so we willl definitely do this with our kids on our next trip!

  5. I’ve been on sunset dinner cruises, and happy hour cruises, but an ice cream cruise is genius! I would totally do this!

  6. What a great idea, you had me at ice cream! I’d love something like that here in Los Angeles.

  7. Diana Tidswell Reply

    This sounds like a lot of fun and such a nice place to spend your weekends with your kids and I am sure they will like it.

  8. Thanks for all of the info. I’ve actually had this on my radar for a couple of years but, honestly, didn’t even know where it was. Ha, ha. Good thing you mentioned it was cash only because would have shown up thinking they would take a card.

  9. I actually just heard about that but haven’t done it yet! I need to add it to my list.

  10. This is SO fun! My kids would like this and I don’t think it would make me seasick. Plus…ice cream!! ๐Ÿ˜€ I’m adding this to my PNW road trip list!

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