At 520 feet tall, the Space Needle was once the tallest structure west of the Mississippi. Here, though, the spectacular, panoramic view make the east’s mighty river look like a rambling brook. To the west, the waters of Puget Sound and Elliott Bay glimmer in the sunlight. To the south, Mount Rainier peeks over the skyscrapers and neighborhoods of downtown Seattle, sprawled all the way to Lake Union and the distant ridges of the Cascade Mountain Range.
Just 20 feet below the observation deck, diners at SkyCity Restaurant let the 360-degree panorama revolve around them. Powered by a single 1.5-horsepower motor, SkyCity was only the second revolving restaurant in the world when it was built. Today, there are dozens of such restaurants worldwide, but SkyCity continues to distinguish itself with a carefully curated menu by Executive Chef Jeff Maxfield. Specializing in Pacific Northwest cuisine, Chef Maxfield was invited to cook a six-course meal at the James Beard House in October 2013—a testament to his work at SkyCity, whose menu includes everything from jumbo sea scallops to pear-and-brie agnolotti. For dessert, diners are invited to soak up the sweet views from the observation deck free of charge.
Since its construction in 1962, the Space Needle has become one of America’s most iconic architectural achievements. To prepare for the 1962 World’s Fair, crews constructed the Space Needle in a mere 400 days, earning the structure the unofficial title of “400 Day Wonder.” More than a million visitors visit the Needle every year, whether to eat at SkyCity, survey the Emerald City, or simply stand within the Earth’s last line of defense should a giant balloon ever descend on the Northwest.
Mobius Children's Museum encourages youngsters eight-years-old and younger to broaden their knowledge of the world around them in fun, hands-on educational exhibits. Hands-on is often a child's favorite way to learn about something, so the museum provides tykes with plenty of opportunity to dig into the workings of the world around them first hand. They experience erosion and water currents in scientific exhibits such as Geotopia, while the Out of Hand Art Studio and Globe Theater explore the visual and performing arts. Inside the Wattson's World exhibit, children learn about energy safety and conservation while playing inside a people-sized doghouse. Every exhibit invite parents to play along with their kids for a fun-filled family bonding experience.
The woods are full of hazards, from prickly bushes to wild animals. But all’s safe in the Woods at the Children's Museum of Tacoma, where a log pile leads to a play area where kids can build forts and send supplies to and fro with pulleys. The Woods is one of the museum’s five playscapes, which encourage children and their adult guardians to learn through self-directed play.
Youngsters can unleash their inner architects with blocks and tubes at the Invention station, and paint, clay, and other artistic tools at Becka’s Studio allow kids to tap into their creative sides. Aboard the Voyager, children can pretend to fly to the moon or parallel-park between two asteroids. Back on earth, the interactive Water playspace presents a world of tranquil waterfalls and streams.
Afterward, there’s more to explore through the museum’s programs. They range from summer camps to Play to Learn, where kids 6 and younger take part in group activities, sing-alongs, and group circle time.
The recipient of numerous awards, including Best Family-Friendly Fun from the readers of 425 magazine, KidsQuest Children's Museum provides its pint-sized patrons with 6,000 square feet of interactive, educational exhibit space. Grab the nearest child or child-like facsimile and clamber up the ladder that leads to the tree house, where kids can peer through a telescope using the same optometric principles Galileo used to spy on his neighbors. Then head for the garage, home to all manner of pulleys, levers, gears, and wheels, giving kids a glimpse of the sorts of simple machines responsible for powering the Internet. Water-based exhibits introduce kids to the fun they can have simply by combining the hydrogen and oxygen found in most homes, while a puppet theater gives budding thespians a chance to display their dramatic passions with a bevy puppets in need of hand and a voice. Many special programs and activities, such as those coming up during Creepy Crawlers Week (October 5–10), are complimentary, making each museum visit a potentially new experience. As an added bonus, Groupon purchasers can also apply this Groupon's $30 value toward an annual membership by showing their voucher or proof of admission via Groupon at the museum's admissions counter within two weeks of redeeming Groupon.
Michael T. Gardner has been a prolific artist now for more than 15 years. His work can't be found in a gallery, though. Rather, it can be seen on arms, hips, backs, legs, and necks all over the city. That's because he renders his art in the form of tattoos, covering skin in countless designs. To save everybody the hassle of scouring bars, rock concerts, or biker knitting circles, Gardner conveniently keeps a record of his work on a Facebook page. Here, customers can spur on their imagination by perusing his latest pieces, such as an orange phoenix hip tattoo or a geometric tribal design that wraps around biceps. Of course, he or Scott Hale, an apprentice, happily work off of brought-in designs, as well as consult closely with clients to create something new. Once they have finished working, they share several tips for post tattooing care, such as avoiding swimming pools filled with permanent ink.
The Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum celebrates the thrill and wonder of hydroplane racing, and its the only museum of its kind in the United States. Along with historical books, race programs, trophies, and photos from the last century, its collection of hydroplanes from the past 70 years tells the story of the watery sport. The staff has brought seven famous Gold Cup and Harmsworth winners back to their fully operational states, and will even take members out on the water in one of their historical vessels for a Ride of a Lifetime.
Offering a glimpse back in time, they boast than 200 hours of racing footage dating back to the 1940s and share stories of legendary drivers including Mira Slovak and "Wild" Bill Cantrell, who was famous for solving crimes with the help of his artificially intelligent hydroplane.
However, the museum isn't just about the past. A lineup of regular events invites folks to show off their powerboats and hot rods to fellow enthusiasts, and races bring the excitement of the sport to the present day as boats cut through the waves vying for titles.