Without benefit of having kids herself (but regularly acting like one), Cascadia Girl tries her hand at ideas for outings with the kinder-folk:
Woodland Park Zoo http://www.zoo.org
A "park within a park" in the Phinney Ridge neighborhood of Seattle, the Woodland Park Zoo is a comfortable and fun, affordable outdoor family outing:
Per their website: "Woodland Park Zoo encompasses 92 acres and features more than 1,090 individual animals representing nearly 300 species. The grounds are divided into what are known as bioclimatic zones, the unique habitats around the world, from tropical rain forests to the frigid climes of the Far North."
The grounds are well designed for the wanderings of humans and animals alike. The bioclimatic zones give a feel for the natural habitat and species mix in the large area. (But, no... no lions in with the gazelle... only species that play well together.)
Pacific Science Center http://www.pacsci.org
The Pacific Science Center is an interactive, hands-on museum of physical science. Exhibits teach about everything from astronomy to dinosaurs to insects (the butterfly exhibit is my FAVorite). PSI also houses Seattle's IMAX theater.
The Science Center is about the same cost as the zoo, so a family of four would pay about $35 for the day.
Seattle Aquarium http://www.seattleaquarium.org
Another great hands-on experience, with thirteen, ever-changing <a href="<A href="http://www.seattleaquarium.org/exhibits/exhibits/">major">http://www.seattleaquarium.org/exhibits/exhibits/">major exhibits</a> and frequent special events, there is always something new here.
Try to time your visit with one of the talks or feeding times.
Cost for a family of four is a bit more here: approximately $40.
Seattle Children's Museum http://www.thechildrensmuseum.org
Quite literally a creative playground, the SCM "challenges visitors to work in teams, manipulate objects, role play, problem solve and develop eye-hand coordination with a variety of unique exhibits and programs."
With 8 permanent exhibits and many other child-sized venues for learning, the Museum transports kids to other parts of the world and history through its programs and activities.
The most affordable of the outings listed, a trip to the Museum for that family of four will cost $30.
Seattle Children's Theater http://www.sct.org/index.aspx
With a mission to provide children of all ages access to professional theatre, with a focus on new works, and theatre education, SCT has "developed and improved the caliber of plays available for young audiences in the United States and abroad, developing and producing over 90 new works."
Each play is rated for the age-range that would most enjoy the performance. Currently, "Goodbye Moon" is playing, which is great for ages 4 and up.
More expensive than the museums (but well worth the cost), ticket prices range. For a family of four, an evening at the theater would be around $85.
Thistle Theater http://www.thistletheatre.org
For a different type of theater, try Thistle. Thistle Theater, "brings together professional puppeteers, artists and musicians to create unique & diverse puppet theatre productions for the entire family. They specialize in a form of Japanese puppetry called Bunraku. The puppeteers dress in black and operate the puppets from behind.
Thistle performs at more than one venue, so families can often attend a show close to home. Ticket costs for a family of four would be approximately $33.
Museum of flight http://www.museumofflight.org/Portal.asp?Flash=True
More for the older (and much older) kids is Boeing's Museum of Flight, which chronicles the history aeronautics, including many historic planes that visitors can step into, including an Airforce One and a Concorde. There are workshops for the little ones. Cost for a family of four is about $33.
Experience Music Project http://www.emplive.org
Another place for kids of all ages, EMP is part music history museum, part interactive music lab. You can teach yourself to play a guitar, mix an album, or scratch. You can learn about the history of Northwest rock, the evolution of the guitar, or the life history of Jimi Hendrix.
The most expensive of the museums, and understandably once you "experience" it, EMP will cost that family of four $70.