Five Things Kids Love About Pike Place Market

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When we decided to take on a road trip from Seattle to San Diego, we knew that there wouldn’t be much time in some locations. Sadly, that meant we only had about half a day to spend in Seattle. There is a lot of cool stuff to do in Seattle, and narrowing it down to things we could do in half a day was hard. Thankfully, we have been to Seattle before, so it wasn’t too devastating to have to cut back on our time there.

Pike Place Market in Seattle

Because of our limited time, we decided we wanted to do something our kids would find cool, so we chose Pike Place Market. You might be thinking a market with kids does not sound all that fun, but trust me, my kids had a blast. Today I am going to share with you some tips for visiting Pike’s Place Market with kids, and then share you my kids’ five favorite things from the market.

Tips for visiting Pike Place Market With Kids

When visiting Seattle with kids, you might think the best activities are the zoo, the Children’s Museum, or even the Space Needle. All of those are great, but if you have a half day to fill, I would actually head to Pike’s Place Market. It will entertain adults and kids alike. But don’t just head in there blindly, there are definitely some tips to hitting Pike Place Market with kids.

Rachel the pig at Pike Place Market with kids
Rachel the Pig

Ditch the stroller

I don’t remember if we took a stroller the first time we went to Pike Place Market with kids back in 2013, but I do remember it being quite crowded. And knowing that we were heading to the market on a Saturday, and it was St. Patrick’s Day, so the crowds would be plentiful.

Even though we had twins two-year-olds, I knew that we did not want to try to maneuver a stroller through the market. Instead, we opted for a baby carrier for me, and my husband chose to put one of the twins on his shoulders. Then I was able to hold The Goof’s hand when in particularly crowded areas.

Wear babies and toddlers when visiting Pike Place Market with kids
Every time we thought we got everyone in the picture, one of the twins would lean out…

We saw others trying to maneuver strollers through the crowds and it did not look fun so we were very happy that we didn’t try to bring one.

Park as close to the market as possible

If you have not been to Seattle, you should know that there are a lot of hills, especially down town. Well, when you go to the Market on a Saturday, that is also a popular holiday, and there was some sort of fun run in the morning, you end up parking a mile away. The mile walk to the Market was not too bad, it was downhill. Walking back though was killer on the legs. I felt like I had just done leg day at the gym.

So if you can, park close. Especially because your little ones will tire out walking up that hill, so you will end up carrying them. I had one on my back and my husband had one no his shoulders. People asked us how we could do those hills with toddlers on our shoulders. We just laughed and smiled but inside we were probably crying a bit.

Take hand sanitizer

Not going to lie, Pike Place Market kind of grossed me out. It does every time we visit. Just so much of it feels like it is covered in germs. The hand rails for the stairs, the tables, it all just makes me want to put on latex gloves and not allow my kids to touch anything. But what fun would that be?

Instead, I make sure to have hand sanitizer with me and make a few stops at the restrooms. (Which by the way, the market has the best restroom sign EVER!)

Restroom signs for Pike Place WIth Kids
I told you- Best restroom sign EVER!

So now that I have given you some of my tips for hitting up Pike Place Market with kids, let’s talk about the activities your kids will love there.

Top Five Activities For Pike Place Market With Kids

My kids loved a lot of things about the market, but some things were more exciting than others.

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1. Watch them throw fish at the market

My kids loved watching them throw fish at  the market. If you are walking in the market, there are actually several fish companies. The one you want is Pike Place Fish Co. It is located right under the giant Public Market sign. My kids loved watching them throw fish and we really got into it. So one of the guys came over and gave my kids high fives and talked to them.

He freaked them out a bit when he told him the could go touch one of the fishes on the ice (that was obviously plastic) and then he wiggled it and made it jump at them. So just be aware if they tell your kids there is a fish they can tough, that they may scare them.

Monkfish prank at Pike Place Market with kids
They freaked my son out with this Monkfish

2. Put money in Rachel the Pig

Just in front of the Pike Place Fish Co is a brass pig. Rachel is the unofficial (or maybe official) mascot or Pike Place Market. My kids loved not only taking pictures with her, but putting money in her. It is something so simple, but they totally loved it.

3. Eating Texas Donuts

In the market there is a place that sales these huge, Texas donuts. They are bigger than my face. My kids loved getting one to split. My husband made the mistake of putting it in front of one of the twins on the table though…so he probably ate about half of it.

The donuts will easily be a good snack for 3-4 people. I suggest finding a table where you can look out over the marina/bay and enjoy the view.

Texas Donuts at PIke Place Market with kids
Donuts bigger than my kids’ faces

4. Check out the book stores

My kids loved checking out the books stores in Pike Place Market. I have little readers (or the twins pretend to read) and the store downstairs in the market had plenty of great kids books. It seems like a silly activity for kids at Pike Place Market, but my kids totally loved it. Yes, it is something they could probably do at home, but it made them happy. Based on the amount of kids checking out the books there, I think that other kids would agree.

5. The Gum Wall

Probably every kid’s favorite activity at Pike Place Market is to head down to Post Alley and stuck some of their chewed up gum on the infamous “Gum Wall.”

As a parent, the wall is disgusting and awesome all at once. It was pretty gross to think of touching that wall, and yeah, I was reaching for the hand sanitizer as well as watching my kids like a hawk. But kids love it and think it is the coolest thing ever.

The Gum Wall at Pike Place Market with kids in Seattle
A wants his gum back…

We had done the wall back in 2013, but they cleaned it all up a few years ago, so it was time to put some more gum in it. It was the twins first time having gum and they weren’t too happy to put their gum on the wall and not get to have it back. So if your kids love gum, be sure to have a second piece for them afterwards.

We wish we had more time to spend in Seattle, but sadly, when you have the entire West Coast to explore, you have to pick and choose where to visit. Be sure to keep checking back for the rest of our adventures from Seattle to San Diego.


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