Frustrated that their three youngsters spent their indoor playtime glued to video games and TV, Doug and Kasey Lupton founded Play Kitsap as an active, educational alternative. Their 8,000-square-foot facility entices kids aged 10 and younger with 14 activities, including a 21-foot-tall inflatable slide, a bouncy castle, a sports zone, and moon sand for sculpting. Elsewhere, a toddler area accommodates younger guests with age-appropriate activities, and art and Kindermusik classes stimulate children with engaging sessions of drawing or singing. All the while, parents can watch their youngsters play, surf the net with free WiFi, or savor a snack and drink at the café. Play Kitsap also offers five party packages, including an all-night soiree where up to 20 kids can stay up eating pizza and practicing their slam dunks from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m.
Children and their families are welcome to learn together through exploration of interactive exhibits. Kids are sure to begin their adventure in the Pirate Tree House atop an authentic tree trunk, a multilevel play space showcasing the museum's leading philosophy: Imagine, Discover and Grow.
In this spirit, rather than lecturing youngsters and their families, KiDiMu, sparks their imaginations with hands-on exhibits covering science, culture and art. In Science Hall, an interactive physics exhibit illustrates the concepts of velocity and acceleration through experiments first devised by Galileo and Newton to prove the Earth revolves around a fig. Visitors to Our Town?s community can attempt cash withdrawals at a faux ATM or tour a waterfront park, and kids of all ages craft self-guided art projects in the studio known as Sean's Space.
Working from the founder's family recipe, Seattle Fudge's confectioners begin each batch by boiling ingredients—including chocolate, dairy cream, and nuts—in a copper kettle. After cooling the fudge on a marble table—a process that often sends the confection flying through the air—they form 25-pound loaves by hand. The whole process is on display at Seattle Fudge's red-and-white open kitchen, where onlookers can track every ingredient's journey from the kettle to trays of free samples. The store's 11 flavors include almond toffee crunch, chocolate amaretto, and minty, Oreo-specked vanilla fudge called Grasshopper, named in honor of the insect with an Oreo-only diet.
Along with the signature treat, Seattle Fudge's candy makers whip up saltwater taffy, showcasing old-fashioned taffy pullers and cutters. Available in blue raspberry and pink vanilla, cotton candy is also spun fresh onsite. Tubs of regular and caramel popcorn offer salty alternatives to sweet snacks. In addition to Seattle Center, where the fudge shop has been a fixture since 1981, Seattle Fudge's sweets are sold at local fairs and festivals throughout the year.
West Seattle Bowl's lanes are a piece of West Seattle history, even if they don't look it at first glance. Strip away the modern scoring system, the updated decor, and 18 of the now 32 lanes, and it's easy to imagine the families of pilgrims bowling at the alley's grand opening in 1948. Since those early days. West Seattle Bowl has benefited the community beyond just giving it a fun place to rack up Xs and /s. The owners regularly host charity-bowling events, which have brought in roughly $100,000 annually during recent years.
West Seattle Bowl is as much about specials as it is about good old-fashioned bowling. Weekenders can take advantage of Saturday mornings' "Breakfast & Bowl," for example, where the on-site Highstrike Grill serves up three complimentary games of bowling with its eggs. Bowlers can also gear up in fluorescents from the pro-shop for a Saturday night in the GlowZone?black-lit bowling set to music.
Tucked inside an art deco building within Capitol Hill’s Volunteer Park, the economically-sized Seattle Asian Art Museum showcases cultural artifacts from China, Japan, Korea and India. From silk screens to sculpture, scrolls to woodwork, the museum nods at history at every turn. It also includes a children’s room that lets little ones learn by doing and creating. Outside, Noguchi’s “Black Sun” sculpture lines a decorative pool within Volunteer Park, making for a wonderful photo vantage point that includes Seattle’s Space Needle in the background. Through the Gardner Center for Asian Art and Ideas, the museum even offers a Saturday lecture series on visual and literary arts topics. Bargain-hunters take note: The museum is free to all visitors the first Thursday of each month.
Seattle’s Museum of History and Industry, known around town by its MOHAI acronym, recently relocated to a waterfront location in South Lake Union, and is now housed in the former Naval Reserve Armory building. It’s a smart change for the popular historical and educational spot, considering its new proximity to some of Seattle’s biggest businesses: outdoor retailer REI and Amazon.com. The museum’s permanent collection traces the city’s history, with nods to the city’s 1962 World’s Fair, the surprising 1999 WTO riots, and the birth and growth of aerospace giant Boeing. Temporary exhibits address topics as diverse as Seattle-specific artists, the history of gay culture citywide or the many engineering feats that have helped a region filled with bodies of water and steep slopes stay connected. The newly-opened Bezos Center for Innovation explores Seattle’s history of entrepreneurship and engages guests in interactive activities to elicit their inner CEO.