If you’re planning your first visit to the Emerald City, you might not know that the Space Needle is nestled within one of the city’s main hubs of learning and exploration: Seattle Center. Ascending the iconic, 605-foot observation tower is a “must,” but there are many other opportunities for fun and adventure just a hop and a skip away. Here are a few ways to make the most of your time in Seattle Center.

Pacific Science Center

This independent, non-profit science museum in the heart of Seattle Center dedicates itself to igniting curiosity and fueling a passion for discovery, experimentation and critical thinking. Permanent exhibits include two IMAX theaters, a tropical butterfly house, planetarium, and hundreds of hands-on science exhibits. Just steps away from the Space Needle, it’s a great place to spend an hour or two learning and playing.

Seattle Monorail

This elevated train line begins at Seattle Center and stretches south across the city to Westlake Station. While it serves its practical purpose as public transit, its elevated nature also makes it a great way to see the city.

Seattle Children’s Museum

With over 22,000 square feet of play space designed for kids from 10 months to 10 years of age, the Seattle Children’s Museum gives kids the opportunity to learn and play through creative, hands-on exploration of the world around them. We love the Metropolitan Market exhibition, where kids can shop in a mini grocery store, put kid-sized items in their carts, and even complete a transaction at a small register.

Chihuly Garden and Glass

Chihuly Garden and Glass, just beneath the Space Needle, is home to gorgeous glass art from Dale Chihuly.

Famous glass artist Dale Chihuly’s exhibits sprawl out across nearly two acres in Seattle Center, and are just a few paces away from The Space Needle. Visitors rave about looking up at Chihuly’s sculpture in the glass house and seeing the tip of the Space Needle floating between the colorful, suspended discs. The discs almost mimic the shape of the famous skyscraper’s observation deck, creating a picture-perfect view.

Seattle Center – International Fountain

On a hot city day, there’s nothing more refreshing than a quick skip through Seattle Center’s International Fountain. Splash around with your kids in the shadows of the iconic Space Needle.

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