Museums to Visit with Kids in Western Washington (Part I)
You are planning a trip to Western Washington with your kids and you are looking for where to take them. Perhaps you want for them to learn about Washington's history, nature, and science while they have fun. If you are looking for museums to visit with your kids in Western Washington, I got your back.
We have lived in Western Washington for the past three years and a half. The first thing we did after getting settled was to look for places where to take our daughters to learn about their new state and have fun. We have taken them to a lot of amazing places in the area and beyond. Below is a list of museums to visit with kids in Western Washington, which includes the ones my family enjoyed the most. Note that this is Part I.
Washington State History Museum
Located in Tacoma, The Washington State History Museum is all about learning about Washington's history while enjoying excellent exhibits and having fun. Our favorite permanent exhibits are the Washington History and the History Lab.
The Washington History exhibit is more suitable for adults, but children can still learn and enjoy it with parental guidance. Our favorite sections are the ones covering the war and post-war era and the Native American culture and artifacts.
The History Lab exhibit is excellent for kids because they learn about history while engaging in hand-on activities and interactive features.
Here you can see our girls immersed in history with an interactive feature.
Fort Vancouver National Historic Site (NHS)
The Fort Vancouver National Historic Site (NHS) consists of four different sites: the Hudson's Bay Company's Fort Vancouver, the US Army's Vancouver Barracks, the McLoughlin House, and the Pearson Field. We recommend you to separate time in your trip to visit all the sites in the NHS. Our favorite site to go with the kids was Fort Vancouver.
Fort Vancouver functioned as the center of the Hudson's Bay Company's fur trade operations in the Pacific Northwest during the 19th century so expect to learn all about that. The family can experience the past with the living historical exhibitions, which include The Blacksmith Shop and The Carpenter Shop. We found The Chief Factor's House quite interesting too.
You will find young people, wearing beautiful antique clothes, playing old games with the visitor's children in the green space besides The Chief Factor's Home. Kids have a great time learning how children entertained themselves in the past, which is great considering that present-day children spend a lot of time indoors playing with electronics.
Hands On Children's Museum
The Hands On Children's Museum located in Olympia is one of our all-time favorites. Our daughters love it! We have taken them several times. Children's imaginations run wild here with the hands-on, fun, colorful, and interactive exhibits about science, outdoors, arts, health, and construction. Expect to have an amazing family day at this children's museum and don’t forget your cameras.
Pacific Science Center
Located in Seattle, the Pacific Science Center is the mother of science museums in Western Washington. It is just awesome. The kids get to learn about dinosaurs, space, health, animals, engineering, the environment, food, and even the importance of play. The exhibits are incredibly informative and fun.The Pacific Science Center also has an IMAX, a Planetarium, and a Laser Dome with a completely new laser system.
Our favorites exhibits are The Science Playground, Tinker Tank, Professor Wellbody's Academy of Health and Wellness, Dinosaurs: A Journey Through Time, and the Tropical Butterfly House.
I hope this list of museums to visit with kids in Western Washington helped you plan your trip. Stay tuned for Part II.
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