Have you ever felt like there are parts of your own city that you haven’t explored? We’ve traveled around quite a bit, and taken numerous trips into downtown Seattle, but the area surrounding Sea-Tac (Seattle-Tacoma) Airport, known as the Seattle Southside, has been a mystery to us.
Recently our family was invited to come explore this part of Seattle, and this post is going to show you some of the fun adventures that are waiting for you there. So, ditch downtown and head down south where parking is plentiful and new adventures await!
What to do
Fly High – iFly Indoor Skydiving
If your family has not tried indoor skydiving yet, I definitely can recommend it! This was our family’s first try, and we all had fun. It’s a lot harder than it looks! Upon arrival, an hour before your flight time, you get checked in and head upstairs to wait for your instructor. About 20-30 minutes later your instructor will lead your group to watch an instructional video and then you’ll start to gear up.
We were hosted on their Earn Your Wings package which includes 2 – 1 minute flight times. On your second flight we were given the option to nod yes if we wanted to add on a high flight with our instructor for an additional $10. The instructor grabs onto your side and helps guide you high up in the chamber for the final 10 seconds of your 1 minute flight time.
While we had a great time, I do recognize this is an expensive activity. If it’s something you think you’ll like, I definitely recommend splurging on more than the 2 – 1 minute flights since there’s a lot of prep leading up to the flight, then it’s over so fast! While it is a pricey activity, it’s something I think everyone should try at least once!
Paddle Hard – Olympic Outdoor Center
One of my favorite parts of our trip was a kayaking trip out of the Des Moines Marina. We hopped aboard two double seating kayaks and heading out on the Puget Sound. This is a great activity for families, especially if you have an even number of people (family of 4). We found ourselves paddling a ways upshore where we spotted a little beach, so cruised over to dock and explore.
Loved having my waterproof Samsung S7 Active on the trip, but the guides did offer plastic baggies for other’s phones. It is worth remembering though that no matter how waterproof you make a phone, it can still sink… I appreciated that the OOC locked our car keys into their safe, no worried about loosing those!
Smell the Roses – Highline Botanical Garden
Have you heard the theory of Richard Louv in his 2005 book Last Child in the Woods called nature deficit disorder? It supposes that human beings, especially children, are spending less time outdoors and in consequence they’re showing a wide range of behavioral problems.
Even adults need to make an effort to get back in touch with nature, and a visit to the Seattle Southside Highline Botanical Gardens is just the place to do that. It’s a small and charming garden that has meandering paths you can stroll along and stop to smell the flowers. Perfect place to stop to start your day, or even to pack a picnic and enjoy lunch in the great outdoors.
Play Like a Kid – Family Fun Center
Imagine combining some of your favorite arcade games with some of your favorite carnival rides, and that’s what you’ll find at the Family Fun Center. Miniature golf, go karts, laser tag, and skeeball, plus loads of ticket giving machines.
Many of the activities are paid for by points which you pre-buy on a loaded card. The rides average 24-30 points each, and the arcade games are 1 token for 1 point (20 tokens for 20 points), with most games costing 4 tokens. The pre-purchase cards run $30 for 130 points, $60 for 275 points, and $125 for 600 point.
Our family had a lot of fun playing outdoors and then earning some tickets to redeem for simple prizes. The go karts are not to be missed!
Soar Back in Time – Museum of Flight
Another favorite from our visit to Seattle Southside, Boeing has done an excellent job of capturing the history of flight in the Museum of Flight. Upon entry we headed to the Great Gallery, which is as you’d expect, great. A wide variety of aircraft are displayed all around and above you. I really enjoyed seeing the replica of the plane Amelia Erhardt flew.
One of the gems in this area is the Above and Beyond temporary exhibit that had a lot of hands on activities the kids loved, including designing and flying their own aircraft. Hurry to catch this one since it ends September 10, 2016.
History will draw you in when you head to the Personal Courage Wing that features aircraft and stories from World War I & II. It’s amazing how much history they have in that wing, and in the whole museum. Definitely recommend planning a few hours here, probably a half to full day depending on how much you like museums.
Stroll for Produce – Des Moines Waterfront Farmers Market
Before or after you head to kayak in the sound, stroll through the Des Moines Waterfront Farmer’s Market for some goodies. We got some delicious raw honeycomb, local cheese, and fresh fruit for a snack. They also have food booths, so you can eat here too.
Where to Eat
Salty’s at Redondo – Seafood with a View
This is the place to head if you’re craving delicious food with an waterfront view. We started off with the crab cake, which was so tasty, filled with flaky crab and smooth flavors. Then we all had a variety of dishes, I went for the fish tacos, yum, and hubby chose the seasonal Salmon Berry Salad. The chef visited our table and explained how they try to use a lot of local ingredients, so you’re supporting local small business when you eat there too!
As a bonus for families, right next door is a Marine Institute that features some salt water touch tanks, a big hit with my girls.
Moctezuma’s Mexican Restaurant and Tequila Bar – Mexican and Margaritas
First off, the decor and styling at this restaurant is one of my favorites, ever! You’re surrounded by an amazing number of Mexican hanging Moravian star lights, which while it means the atmosphere is a bit dark, it’s perfect!
All of the food was nicely presented and exactly what I’d expect from a Mexican restaurant. We all cleaned our plates. For an extra treat, order one of their margaritas to enjoy along with your meal.
mizu – Food and a Show
If you’ve never been to a Teppanyaki restaurant, you need to give it a try! Teppanyaki is like getting dinner with a show. Mizu welcomes you and seats you at a table that contains eight seats situated around three sides of a large cooking griddle. Once you’ve ordered your meals, your chef comes out and puts on a show while cooking your food.
We indulged on sushi and delicious beef, chicken, and seafood courses, filling our bellies with as much food as we could handle. The portions are large, so adults could even consider sharing with a young child. The service was excellent, and watching our chef perform tricks while cooking was fun for the girls. Highly recommend mizu!
Now you know that there’s more to Seattle than just downtown. So ditch out on downtown and go explore Seattle Southside on your next adventure! Check out my facebook videos for summaries of how we spent our days in Seattle. Day 1 / Day 2
Thank you to Seattle Southside for hosting our family and showing us that sometimes there’s more than we know to our hometown! All thoughts and opinions are my own based on our personal experiences.