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Mapping 15 Learning Experiences For Seattle Kids During the Teachers Strike

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Image: Joe Mabel

For the first time in 30 years, Seattle's teachers went on strike on Wednesday. Unable to come to an agreement with the Seattle School Board, they'll remain on strike today as well, potentially into next week as they try to negotiate a new deal. That may put some parents in a bit of a pickle. All of a sudden, Seattle has a whole bunch of kids who are doing not very much learnin'. However, there are learning opportunities all around us in Seattle and the surrounding area, so long as you're willing to pay some entry fees. We've gone ahead and mapped out a bunch of museums, exhibits, theaters and parks that could provide Seattle's kids with ample opportunities to learn while they wait to find out when they'll be headed back to school. Be forewarned, some of our options are way more fun than math class.


· Seattle teachers go on strike; superintendent is going to court [ST]

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1. Pacific Science Center

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200 2nd Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109
(206) 443-2001
Visit Website

Open daily between 10 and 5 during the week, it's a great way to make sure your kids are still learning even if they're not in the classroom. Exhibits for children of all ages as well as things for the adults to do as well. As for special exhibits going on right now, GROSSOLOGY is sure to be a winner.

2. Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI)

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860 Terry Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109
(206) 324-1126
Visit Website

MOHAI is a great place for anyone to explore Seattle through it's history, present, culture, stories and more. The Bezos Center for Innovation and True Northwest exhibits offer "snapshots" of the city through the years as well as artifacts worth holding on to.

3. Woodland Park Zoo

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601 N 59th St
Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 548-2500
Visit Website

This one's a bit of a gimme. Open from 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. every day, they've always got new exhibits and events going on. An easy way to introduce your kids to new animals and pique their interests in how they can help support them. There's also the rose garden next door and an easy path down to Woodland Park if you want to add on to the experience.

4. Burke Museum

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NE 45th St
Seattle, WA 98195
(206) 543-5590
Visit Website

Located on the University of Washington campus, this museum has some especially interesting exhibits at the moment, including the 60 million year old remains of the largest snake in the world as well as dinosaur remains. Not very hands on, but a great learning experience.

5. The Museum of Flight

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9404 E Marginal Way S
Tukwila, WA 98108
(206) 764-5700
Visit Website

Surely your kids will find something interesting in one of the largest non-profit air and space museums in the world. With more than 150 historic aircrafts and spacecrafts, just make sure they don't walk into anything while craning their necks to look at it all.

6. Center for Wooden Boats

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1010 Valley St
Seattle, WA 98109
(206) 382-2628
Visit Website

The Center for Wooden Boats at South Lake Union is a hub of hands-on learning year-round. There's boat rentals, classes and workshops, field trips, lectures, and other opportunities for experience on the water and docks.

7. Seattle Aquarium

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1483 Alaskan Way
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 386-4300
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Even if you've been here before there's probably something new to check out. They're open 9:30 am to 5pm daily and you can turn the entire trip into a great learning experience about Washington's watery ecosystem.

8. EMP/Science Fiction Museum

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325 5th Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109
(206) 770-2700
Visit Website

Sure a lot of it might involve playing instruments in EMP and checking out Star Wars memorabilia in the Science Fiction Museum but you can't argue that learning won't go on here, even if it is really, really fun learning.

9. Olympic Sculpture Park

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2901 Western Ave
Seattle, WA 98121
(206) 654-3100
Visit Website

Want to challenge your child's artistic side. Take them here and really take some time to look at all of the artwork on display. See what they think of the sculptures. Who knows, maybe you'll be inspiring a future exhibit.

10. Bill Speidel's Underground Tour

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608 1st Ave
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 682-4646
Visit Website

Want your kids to learn about the lost history of Seattle? They'll find it here in a guided walking tour beneath Seattle’s sidewalks and streets. As they roam the subterranean passages that once were the main roadways and first-floor storefronts of old downtown Seattle, they'll hear stories that may or may not be appropriate for them after all...

11. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

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500 5th Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109
(206) 709-3100
Visit Website

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Visitor Center takes visitors of all ages on an interactive journey that brings to life the connections we share with others across the globe. Your kids might leave inspired enough to want to change the world. That's a good thing, right?

12. Fremont Neighborhood

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The Fremont Tour is an entertaining walking tour that promotes public art in the Center of the Universe. A mix of public sculpture and improvisational street theatre, this walking tour takes 90 minutes and features some of Seattle's iconic stops, including the Fremont Troll and Lenin Statue. Great way for kids to learn about the art they see around them every day.

13. Seattle Children's Museum

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305 Harrison St
Seattle, WA 98109
(206) 441-1768
Visit Website

With tons of interactive displays here, this place was (literally) built with kids in mind. Depending on their age and interests, kids could come back here multiple days and find new things to do. 22,000 square feet of exhibits in all.

14. Hiram M. Chittenden Locks

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3015 NW 54th St
Seattle, WA 98107
(206) 783-7059
Visit Website

Another cool learning opportunity specific to Seattle. Kids can watch salmon migrate up the fish ladder at the Chittenden Locks through October. It just so happens that September is prime time for catching them on their way up. Professional naturalists provide daily salmon talks at the fish ladder following free one-hour tours.

15. Youth Theatre Northwest

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8805 SE 40th St
Mercer Island, WA 98040
(206) 232-4145
Visit Website

Want to get your kids involved in theater Youth Theatre Northwest offers a full array of classes and programs to engage and inspire your child. They aim to unleash the creative genius of children through fun and imaginative play.

1. Pacific Science Center

200 2nd Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109

Open daily between 10 and 5 during the week, it's a great way to make sure your kids are still learning even if they're not in the classroom. Exhibits for children of all ages as well as things for the adults to do as well. As for special exhibits going on right now, GROSSOLOGY is sure to be a winner.

200 2nd Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109

2. Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI)

860 Terry Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109

MOHAI is a great place for anyone to explore Seattle through it's history, present, culture, stories and more. The Bezos Center for Innovation and True Northwest exhibits offer "snapshots" of the city through the years as well as artifacts worth holding on to.

860 Terry Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109

3. Woodland Park Zoo

601 N 59th St, Seattle, WA 98103

This one's a bit of a gimme. Open from 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. every day, they've always got new exhibits and events going on. An easy way to introduce your kids to new animals and pique their interests in how they can help support them. There's also the rose garden next door and an easy path down to Woodland Park if you want to add on to the experience.

601 N 59th St
Seattle, WA 98103

4. Burke Museum

NE 45th St, Seattle, WA 98195

Located on the University of Washington campus, this museum has some especially interesting exhibits at the moment, including the 60 million year old remains of the largest snake in the world as well as dinosaur remains. Not very hands on, but a great learning experience.

NE 45th St
Seattle, WA 98195

5. The Museum of Flight

9404 E Marginal Way S, Tukwila, WA 98108

Surely your kids will find something interesting in one of the largest non-profit air and space museums in the world. With more than 150 historic aircrafts and spacecrafts, just make sure they don't walk into anything while craning their necks to look at it all.

9404 E Marginal Way S
Tukwila, WA 98108

6. Center for Wooden Boats

1010 Valley St, Seattle, WA 98109

The Center for Wooden Boats at South Lake Union is a hub of hands-on learning year-round. There's boat rentals, classes and workshops, field trips, lectures, and other opportunities for experience on the water and docks.

1010 Valley St
Seattle, WA 98109

7. Seattle Aquarium

1483 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98101

Even if you've been here before there's probably something new to check out. They're open 9:30 am to 5pm daily and you can turn the entire trip into a great learning experience about Washington's watery ecosystem.

1483 Alaskan Way
Seattle, WA 98101

8. EMP/Science Fiction Museum

325 5th Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109

Sure a lot of it might involve playing instruments in EMP and checking out Star Wars memorabilia in the Science Fiction Museum but you can't argue that learning won't go on here, even if it is really, really fun learning.

325 5th Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109

9. Olympic Sculpture Park

2901 Western Ave, Seattle, WA 98121

Want to challenge your child's artistic side. Take them here and really take some time to look at all of the artwork on display. See what they think of the sculptures. Who knows, maybe you'll be inspiring a future exhibit.

2901 Western Ave
Seattle, WA 98121

10. Bill Speidel's Underground Tour

608 1st Ave, Seattle, WA 98104

Want your kids to learn about the lost history of Seattle? They'll find it here in a guided walking tour beneath Seattle’s sidewalks and streets. As they roam the subterranean passages that once were the main roadways and first-floor storefronts of old downtown Seattle, they'll hear stories that may or may not be appropriate for them after all...

608 1st Ave
Seattle, WA 98104

11. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

500 5th Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Visitor Center takes visitors of all ages on an interactive journey that brings to life the connections we share with others across the globe. Your kids might leave inspired enough to want to change the world. That's a good thing, right?

500 5th Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109

12. Fremont Neighborhood

Seattle, WA 98103

The Fremont Tour is an entertaining walking tour that promotes public art in the Center of the Universe. A mix of public sculpture and improvisational street theatre, this walking tour takes 90 minutes and features some of Seattle's iconic stops, including the Fremont Troll and Lenin Statue. Great way for kids to learn about the art they see around them every day.

13. Seattle Children's Museum

305 Harrison St, Seattle, WA 98109

With tons of interactive displays here, this place was (literally) built with kids in mind. Depending on their age and interests, kids could come back here multiple days and find new things to do. 22,000 square feet of exhibits in all.

305 Harrison St
Seattle, WA 98109

14. Hiram M. Chittenden Locks

3015 NW 54th St, Seattle, WA 98107

Another cool learning opportunity specific to Seattle. Kids can watch salmon migrate up the fish ladder at the Chittenden Locks through October. It just so happens that September is prime time for catching them on their way up. Professional naturalists provide daily salmon talks at the fish ladder following free one-hour tours.

3015 NW 54th St
Seattle, WA 98107

15. Youth Theatre Northwest

8805 SE 40th St, Mercer Island, WA 98040

Want to get your kids involved in theater Youth Theatre Northwest offers a full array of classes and programs to engage and inspire your child. They aim to unleash the creative genius of children through fun and imaginative play.

8805 SE 40th St
Mercer Island, WA 98040