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When I was a kid, I never wanted to do anything but go to the beach or the lake for family vacations, but if my parents had ever suggested that we take a city vacation, I would have wanted to go someplace like Seattle. This city is jam-packed with fun stuff for kids, whether toddlers or teens. Seattle Center, with the Space Needle, a children's museum and children's theater, a highly interactive science museum, and a combination science-fiction and rock-music museum, is the best place in the city to set the kids free. Then there's the waterfront, with its boat tours, aquarium, and tacky souvenir shops. Of course, you can keep your sports-fan kids happy by getting tickets to a baseball or football game. Kids can even watch salmon climbing a fish ladder and take a tour of the spooky Seattle underground.

Many hotels in Seattle allow kids to stay free in a parent's room; some even allow children to eat for free in the hotel's restaurant. Keep in mind that most downtown hotels cater almost exclusively to business travelers and don't offer the sort of amenities that appeal to families -- like swimming pools, game rooms, or inexpensive restaurants.

Many of Seattle's larger restaurants, especially along the waterfront, offer children's menus. You'll also find plenty of variety and low prices at the many food vendors' stalls at Pike Place Market. And there's a food court in Westlake Center shopping mall.

Note: If you plan to travel on to Canada during your Seattle vacation, be sure to bring your children's passports with you.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.