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5 Unique Spots to Take Your Family in Seattle

Check out these hidden gems next time you’re seeking a unique spot to take your family in Seattle. Each offers an enjoyable way to engage with art, science or history.

A Better Way to Go: Toilets and the Future of Sanitation at The Discovery Center

A toilet museum? Yes! Across the street from the Seattle Center, visit the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s new interactive exhibit, A Better Way to Go: Toilets and the Future of Sanitation. Here, you’ll learn about toilets, how poop and health are connected, the global sanitation crisis and more. On display are three high-tech toilets that need no water or sewer to operate. Art exhibits and interactive displays share the good, the bad and the hopeful future of what to do with all our poo.
Cost: Free.
Hours: Open Wednesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Drop-in tours at 3:30 p.m.
For more information: www.discovergates.org.

Artists at Play Playground

Kids rule the Artists at Play Playground, also in the Seattle Center and next to the Space Needle and Museum of Pop Culture. Zip down giant slides, climb a 30-ft. tower, snake through a labyrinth and enjoy the artistic design of this free, family-friendly experience. The climbing tower is recommended for ages 5 to 12. Other areas, including musical instruments and sound swings, are good for all ages.
Cost: Free.
For more information: www.seattlecenter.com.

Panama Hotel Tea & Coffee House and Japanese American Museum

Stop in for a snack at the Panama Hotel Tea & Coffee House and Japanese American Museum. Sip from a wide selections of tea or locally roasted coffee. Eat sandwiches, pastries or Japanese treats. Learn about Seattle’s Nihonmachi, Japantown, in the historic photos lining the walls. This hotel protected Japanese Americans’ belongings during WWII when the US government forced them into internment camps. You can see unclaimed items through a viewpoint in the floor. (This is the hotel in Jamie Ford’s NYT best seller, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.) This unique spot in Seattle was designated as a National Treasure in 2015.
Hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.
For more information: www.panamahotelseattle.net.

Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour

Travel back in time with an Underground Tour of the City. This must-see guided walking tour in Pioneer Square is a humorous account of how and why Seattle built on top of itself, raising the city up one level. You’ll descend underground to see a time-capsuled view of the buried city, including old storefronts and subterranean sidewalks, at this unique spot to take your family in Seattle. The tour is best for older children (over 7 years old) and adults who are able to navigate narrow stairs.
Cost: $22 per adult; $20 per senior or student; $10 per child youth, ages 7 to 12 years old.
Hours: Typically every hour 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; 75-minute tours.
For more information: www.undergroundtour.com.

Bullitt Center

This building is described by Architectural Digest as “the world’s greenest office building in the world.” Take a tour and see how it produces more energy than it uses, catches rainwater, recycles water and is made without toxic materials. Bullitt Center is located between the Central District and Capitol Hill.
Cost: $10 per person.
Hours: Tours offered once or twice a week (Tuesday or Saturday). Check website for dates.
For more information: bullittcenter.org/home/tour/.

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