Teens will feel a sense of autonomy and independence in Seattle. Public transportation can help them get around the city, and there's a wealth of safe, fun activities, so they won't need Mom or Dad to drive and supervise them. Seattle's museums, parks, arcades and other attractions will keep your teenagers busy -- and out of trouble.
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The Seattle Center
Teenagers can easily keep busy for the better part of a day at the Seattle Center. They can ride to the top of the Space Needle, where the open-air observation deck affords panoramic views of the city, Puget Sound, Mount Rainier and Olympic Mountains. Just below the Space Needle, they can spend hours exploring the Experience Music Project, where hands-on exhibits will make them feel like rock stars. And they can head to the Pacific Science Center, where more hands-on exhibits are geared towards children and young adults and cover topics like the human body and outer space.
There are several engaging activities clustered around the Seattle waterfront that will appeal to teens. They can explore Pike Place Market, where they can watch fish mongers toss huge salmon across the counter and shop for comics and magic tricks. In Post Alley, they can add their contributions to the massive Gum Wall. One of the waterfront's newest additions is the Great Wheel, a giant Ferris Wheel that provides a bit of thrill along with scenery. And there's the Seattle Aquarium, with its giant Pacific octopus, seals, otters and myriad fish.
Seattle's many parks offer ample opportunities to explore and run around. At Seward Park, teenagers can wander 300 acres of old growth forest and bike or walk the 2.4 miles of paved pathways. They can also play on the swings at the playground. At Green Lake, they can rent paddle boats, throw a Frisbee, or play tennis. And at Woodland Park, they can play flag football, soccer or Frisbee in the large grassy areas or head to the Woodland Park Zoo to see the bears, elephants, tigers and occasional baby animals.
Camps and Clubs
Teens can explore their artistic side through opportunities at Seattle's Teen Tix Center, offering writing seminars and theater productions geared towards teenagers in partnership with other organizations. The center also provides discounted prices for tickets to concerts, film screenings and theatrical performances. The University of Washington holds its iD Tech Camps for ages 13 to 18. These co-ed overnight and day camps teach computer animation, video game development and film making. Teens can also spend time during the summer and after school at one of several locations of the Boys & Girls Clubs of King County, featuring games, movies, organized sports and dances. They can also join a Key Club and get involved in service projects through the clubs.