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Spend the Day at Pier 57 in Seattle with Kids

Spend the Day at Pier 57 in Seattle with Kids

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Pier 57 in Seattle with Kids

Whether you are visiting Seattle with kids on a family vacation, or you are a local Seattle family, Pier 57 is the ultimate spot for family fun in Seattle.

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I mean, they really thought about everything! My husband and I had our 2nd date on the Seattle waterfront.

And I rode The Seattle Great Wheel on my birthday a few days after it opened to the public. It’s a place that is very special to me. 

Photo of Pier 57 Seattle, which is home to kid-friendly Seattle attractions like Wings Over Washington, The Seattle Great Wheel, a Seattle waterfront carousel and more. #seattle #visitseattle #pier57 #seattlegreatwheel #minerslanding #wingsoverwashington
Pier 57 is home to The Seattle Great Wheel, Wings Over Washington, Seattle waterfront dining and shops. Photo credit: Zoe Burchard

After our kid-free getaway to New York City last month, my husband and I thought it would be fun to plan a family outing in Seattle.

We figured we’d focus on Pier 57, since that’s home to The Seattle Great Wheel, Wings Over Washington, a waterfront carousel, the coolest souvenir shops, and several ice cream shops.

We are so lucky to live in the Seattle-area so we can enjoy these Seattle attractions. But, these are also fabulous places to check out during a Seattle weekend getaway!

Read all about how to plan an awesome Seattle date night at Pier 57!

The Seattle Great Wheel

Our first stop on our Seattle waterfront with kids adventure was The Seattle Great Wheel. It’s that big Seattle ferris wheel you can see when you drive practically anywhere near the Seattle waterfront.

It’s Seattle’s version of the London Eye.

Photo of The Great Wheel, the Seattle ferris wheel, which is a top family attraction in Seattle #theseattlegreatwheel #seattle #seattleattraction #thingstodoinseattle
We were all smiles as we waited in line for The Seattle Great Wheel, a top Seattle attraction. Photo credit: Zoe Burchard

Anyway, The Seattle Great Wheel is a family-friendly activity in Seattle. The ride is slow and smooth. It’s safe for people of all ages, pregnant women, and babies.

Plus kids ages 2 and under can ride for free. We brought our 18 month old and he sat on our laps during the ride. But, babies and young toddlers can also be worn in a carrier.

The first thing we did was pose for a family photo with their green screen. The photo featured The Seattle Great Wheel and was available for purchase after the ride. It’s an easy way to get a memorable souvenir!

Photo of the entrance to The Great Wheel in Seattle, which is a fun thing to do in Seattle with kids on Pier 57 Seattle #seattle #visitseattle #seattlewithkids #greatwheel
We parked our stroller and climbed up to our gondola on The Seattle Great Wheel. Photo credit: Zoe Burchard

The Seattle Great Wheel in Seattle is baby-friendly. We had our son in a stroller through the line.

But, you can’t bring the stroller into the gondola. So, you park it by the entrance and a staff member moves it to the exit so it’s ready for you when you’re done.

Photo of The Great Wheel, which is basically a Seattle eye ferris wheel in Seattle, and is a top Seattle attraction for kids #seattle #thegreatwheel #greatwheel #seattlewaterfront #pier57 #minerslanding
With all the windows, you can always get a great view of Seattle. Photo credit: Zoe Burchard

Standing 175 feet tall, the Seattle Great Wheel is the largest observation wheel on the West Coast. There are 41 regular gondolas and 1 VIP gondola. Each gondola can fit 8 people and is fully enclosed.

We went in the late afternoon and the lighting was really pretty! But, it would also be cool to come at night and see the Seattle skyline all lit up!

I’ve heard some people ride it once during the day and then come back at night to get the full experience.

Photo of The Great Wheel, the Seattle ferris wheel, one of the top Seattle waterfront activities for families #thegreatwheel #seattle #visitseattle #seattlewaterfront #seattlewithkids #seattlefamily
My 4 year old was very excited we got to go around an extra time! Photo credit: Zoe Burchard

My kids loved looking at the buildings, the cranes, the boats, and everything else. We even switched sides half-way through to see if there was a “better” side. We thought they were equally cool!

The whole experience lasts about 12-15 minutes. It takes awhile to load in all the passengers. Then the ride typically does 3 rotations.

The day we were there, they did 4 rotations. And then they have to get everyone off the ride. This takes longer during peak seasons.

If you are on the Seattle waterfront at night, make sure to take a look at the Seattle Great Wheel. Typically, the wheel is lit up with standard white lights.

However, they do have LED light shows for special occasions and during the holidays. And, they do light shows for the UW and Seattle Seahawks home football games.

[irp posts=”6529″ name=”Best Kid-Friendly Weekend Getaways from Seattle”]

Wings Over Washington

Our next stop was Wings Over Washington. It’s the newest addition to Pier 57 and features the latest technology.

They use 5K cameras, laser projection, drones, and surround sound to take you on the adventure of a lifetime, without leaving your seat.

Photo of Wings Over Washington, a family attraction in Seattle for kids #wingsoverwashington #pier57 #minerslanding #visitseattle #seattleattraction
Wings Over Washington is one of the newest additions at Pier 57 in Seattle. Photo credit: Zoe Burchard

This ride is for people 40″ or taller. That means my 18 month old had to sit this one out. Babies aren’t allowed in carriers and kids aren’t allowed on laps.

But, they do offer a “rider swap” option so families with babies can still enjoy Wings Over Washington.

I took my 4 year old and we were ushered into a waiting room. It felt like we were in a log cabin. There were totem animals around.

Then, after we were seated, a video started playing with a park ranger moving from screen to screen welcoming us to Wings Over Washington.

He gave us some history of Washington State and provided safety tips for the ride itself.

Throughout the presentation, the totems started moving and my son was thoroughly entertained by this!

It was kind of like a Pacific Northwest version of Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room.

Photo of Wings Over Washington, a top Seattle attraction on the Seattle waterfront and is a fun thing to do in Seattle with kids #seattle #visitseattle #wingsoverwashington #seattleattraction #pier57 #seattlewaterfront
This is where we were prepped for Wings Over Washington. Photo credit: Zoe Burchard

Then, we headed into the ride. It was so COOL! It’s a lot like the Disney ride “Soarin’ Over California” with the sights, sounds, and smells. But, it’s of Washington State.

We got to see the Olympic National Forest, Mt. Rainier, the San Juan Islands, Snoqualmie Falls, Husky Stadium and so many other Washington sights.

Photo of my son's reaction after experiencing the Wings Over Washington at Pier 57 Seattle, which is a fun thing to do in Seattle with kids #seattle #seattleattraction #wingsoverwashington #minerslanding
My son LOVED this ride! Photo credit: Zoe Burchard

My 4 year old held my hand during the ride and he kept laughing and yelling “Oh no! We’re going to crash!” It was just the right amount of excitement for us.

I’m usually not much for rides, but I loved every minute of this.

I’d go back in a heartbeat! In fact, my son’s been asking when we can go back!

[irp posts=”6919″ name=”Family Weekend Getaway to Winthrop, WA: A Wild West Town”]

Miners Landing

Miners Landing is located on the historic Pier 57 in Seattle. It’s called Miners Landing because it was originally part of the Klondike Gold Rush.

This is the site of the first gold to be carried back to Seattle and inspired many more to strike out to make their riches.

Photo of Miner's Landing on Pier 57 Seattle, which is home to Seattle waterfront carousel, Seattle ferris wheel, Wings Over Washington and more. #pier57 #minerslanding #seattlewaterfront #thegreatwheel #wingsoverwashington #seattlewithkids
Miners Landing is a family-friendly attraction on Seattle’s Waterfront. Photo credit: Zoe Burchard

Now, Pier 57 is home to many of Seattle’s top attractions and waterfront dining. We love browsing Pirates Plunder.

While it has your typical Seattle souvenirs, it also has a massive selection of pirate-themed shirts, costumes, party supplies, toys, etc. It also has mermaid-themed stuff and it’s just fun to walk around.

Photo of the Seattle waterfront carousel at Miner's Landing at Pier 57, which is a fun Seattle waterfront activity for kids #seattle #pier57 #seattlecarousel #carousel #seattlewithkids
This Seattle waterfront carousel is located inside Miners Landing at Pier 57. Photo credit: Zoe Burchard

My 4 year old hasn’t met a carousel he didn’t like. When he saw a Seattle waterfront carousel inside Miners Landing, he insisted we check it out.

So the whole family climbed aboard! What makes this carousel extra fun is that it’s housed inside near some vintage carnival games. And, the whole experience has a retro vibe!

The ride lasted about 2.5 minutes, I think. There were only a few of us riding that evening, and I’m pretty sure we got a few extra spins.

Photo of a giant gumball machine inside Miner's Landing at Pier 57 in Seattle, which is a fun thing to do with kids in Seattle #gumball #pier57 #minerslanding #seattlewithkids #visitseattle
Miners Landing is a fun place to hang out with kids in Seattle. Photo credit: Zoe Burchard

If you can, take a few moments to just look around Miners Landing. I get a kick out of seeing all the wooden carved statues around. Some feature celebrities or local icons.

But, the coolest thing we saw was this giant gumball machine! We couldn’t even guess how many gumballs were inside!

Photo of carnival games near the Seattle waterfront carousel at Pier 57 on the Seattle waterfront #seattle #seattlewithkids #carnival #seattlewaterfront #pier57 #minerslanding
There are lots of old-school carnival games inside Miners Landing. Photo credit: Zoe Burchard

Our kids aren’t used to carnival games, so even just looking at some were a treat. My 4 year old seemed a little short for this shooting game, but he’s headed for a growth spurt.

Next time, we’ll bring some quarters and have some friendly competition!

The BEST Seattle Waterfront Treat

So, we ended up doing ice cream for dinner after our day at Pier 57 in Seattle.

My kids eat a lot of ice cream when we travel and we figured we would pretend like we were on vacation.

I mean, with experiencing The Great Wheel and Wings Over Washington, it really felt like a vacation in Seattle.

Photo of a boy eating an ice cream cone at Pier 57 in Seattle waterfront #pier57 #icecream #icecreamcone #visitseattle #seattlewithkids
Our kids couldn’t wait to get their ice cream cones! Photo credit: Zoe Burchard

There’s a few ice cream stalls located right in Miners Landing at Pier 57, which makes it really convenient.

They also sell cotton candy, kettle corn, caramel corn and other tasty treats.

Photo of a boy eating ice cream on the Seattle waterfront, a fun thing to do with kids in Seattle #seattle #seattlewaterfront #pier57 #minerslanding
My husband tries to sneak a bite from my son’s cone! Photo credit: Zoe Burchard

Thanks to Pier 57 for providing tickets for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

Seattle Waterfront Restaurants That Are Kid-Friendly

You can’t really go to the Seattle waterfront and not stop at one of their restaurants. I mean, this is where you can get some of the best seafood in Seattle!


This is usually where I take the boys to eat after a day on the Seattle waterfront with kids. They have a grab and go option with fish and chips, that’s usually a hit.

I usually order a crab louie salad to go (it is SO good.)


This is a family favorite! If you’ve never done a seafood boil with your kids, you have to try The Crab Pot. You can order seafood, potatoes, corn, etc and they will dump it on your table. Kids love wearing the bibs and getting messy.

And don’t worry if your kids don’t eat seafood, they have a full kids menu available.


My husband and I had our second date here so I always consider it a “romantic” spot. However, they do have a full kids menu.

We like to eat outside with the kids, so we don’t feel as bad when they are noisy. Plus, they like to watch the Argosy boats go in and out.

Extend You Day With Additional Seattle Waterfront Activities

Silly family photo in front of the Seattle Aquarium sign at the Seattle waterfront, a top Seattle attraction for families #seattleaquarium #seattle #seattleattractions #seattlewaterfront
Our family has a bit of fun in front of a sign for the Seattle Aquarium. Photo credit: Zoe Burchard


If your family likes aquariums, the Seattle Aquarium offers a lot of programs throughout the year. It’s one of Seattle’s top attractions.

And by 2023, the Seattle Aquarium will have completed it’s $100 million expansion.


If you want to go on a mini adventure, how about taking the Seattle Water Taxi over to West Seattle. Kids will love the little boat.

Plus, it drops you right at Marination Ma Kai, a top Hawaiian restaurant that serves shave ice in the summer!


There’s really no better way to see Seattle than from a boat. Especially in the summer! We’ve done a few Argosy Cruises around Elliott Bay.

In fact, we rented out one of their boats for our wedding rehearsal dinner.

Their food is top notch and the views are incredible. They even have a cruise that goes to Tillicum Village for a whole Native American experience, that’s pretty cool.

[irp posts=”7363″ name=”Take a Seattle Argosy Cruise to Kid-Friendly Tillicum Village”]

Hotels Near Seattle Waterfront

If you are planning a Seattle waterfront staycation or a family trip to Seattle, consider staying at a hotel near the Seattle Waterfront.

Pike Place Market and the Seattle Waterfront are two of the top areas to explore in Seattle with kids.


The luxury Edgewater Hotel with stunning water view, has a perfect location right on Pier 67. It’s the only actual Seattle waterfront hotel.

In fact, the Beatles fished from the window of one of the rooms back in the day.


If you are looking for a Seattle waterfront hotel, the Inn at the Market is in the ideal location.

Recently renovated, the Inn at the Market is the only downtown Seattle hotel located directly in the famous Pike Place Market, just steps from the Seattle waterfront.


This is definitely a spendy option, but the Four Seasons Hotel Seattle is located so close to the waterfront.

Parents will love the childproofing materials, high chairs, cribs, baby toiletries, and on-site babysitting. Kids will love the child-size bathrobes and welcome treats.


A bit further away, Hotel Andra is just blocks away from Pike Place Market. This hotel features the Tom Douglas restaurant Lola and offers on site cooking classes.

Seattle Family Photographer

Zoe Burchard took these amazing photos of our family exploring Pier 57 in Seattle. Now, you can’t tell but my 18 month old was in a “mood” and wasn’t being super cooperative. Zoe was able to charm his socks off and get so many sweet faces!

The whole family felt so relaxed around Zoe and she really captured our family dynamic to a tee. You can also check out her work on Instagram and Facebook.

Things to do in Seattle with Kids

6 Tips for Enjoying the Pacific Science Center with Toddlers
Local Mom’s Guide to Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo
6 Reasons Your Kid Should Ride Seattle’s Monorail
Waterways Cruises Review
Seattle Aquarium Toddler Play Date

Going to Seattle with kids? Check out my Seattle Waterfront family guide featuring kid-friendly hotels, restaurants, and Seattle family attractions. Click to read more or pin to save for later. www.marcieinmommyland.com #pier57 #seattle #seattlewithkids #familytravel #visitseattle #minerslanding #seattlegreatwheel #wingsoverwashington #washingtonstate
Looking for kid-friendly attractions in Seattle, WA? I've got the top Seattle waterfront attractions for kids, family-friendly restaurants, and where to stay in Seattle with kids. Click to read more or pin to save for later. www.marcieinmommyland.com #seattle #seattlewaterfront #seattlewa #pnw #pacificnorthwest #washingtonstate #seattleattractions #seattlewithkids #familytravel
Planning a family vacation to Seattle, WA? Find out how to spend one day on the Seattle waterfront with kids. Get the top kid-friendly Seattle attractions, family-friendly dining options, and Seattle waterfront hotel options. Click to read more or pin to save for later. www.marcieinmommyland.com #seattle #visitseattle #seattleguide #seattleattractions #seattlefamily #familytravel #pnw #pacificnorthwest #washingtonstate #pier57 #minerslanding #wingsoverwashington #seattlegreatwheel

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    Tuesday 24th of July 2018

    Hi Marcie! Thanks for the great post! I knew you would have the best info for families on Wings Over Washington. Do you know how the rider swap would work? Is it like Disneyland where my kiddo would get to go twice? Or would the second adult then ride by themselves?


    Tuesday 24th of July 2018

    Oh you are so kind! I believe the second adult rides by themselves, but I'm not 100%. They would get to jump the line, though, which can save a ton of time on busy summer weekends.

    Amanda Patsey

    Tuesday 3rd of July 2018

    Great read! There really is so much to do just in this one area! My parents are coming to visit us and Seattle for the first time next week and we will be sure to re-visit this entire area with them! We got them the city pass so they can hit up the big attractions with us - this was also how we explored Seattle our very first trip here in 2016!!


    Tuesday 3rd of July 2018

    I keep hearing good things about the City Pass! I hope you have a fun trip with your parents! The weather is supposed to be beautiful!

    Joanna Clute

    Saturday 30th of June 2018

    Seattle is such a lovely city to go to. There is a lot of stuff to do!


    Saturday 30th of June 2018

    Yes, we have so many fun things to do with kids in Seattle!


    Saturday 30th of June 2018

    You always have the most comprehensive list of what not to miss while on trips! Seattle looks like so much fun.


    Saturday 30th of June 2018

    Oh, thanks so much! I just feel like there's so much to say about everywhere we go!


    Saturday 30th of June 2018

    Your boys look like they had so much fun. I'll have to put the Aquarium renovation date on my calendar so I could go.


    Saturday 30th of June 2018

    We're really excited for the expansion! It sounds amazing!

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