Seattle’s Pike Place Market with kids

Any itinerary for Seattle Washington should include a family visit to Pike Place Market. Particularly bustling on weekends, the market is great to visit almost any day of the year, and is open all day, making it perfect to fit into anyone’s travel plans.

pike place market

The market is best experienced during the morning, when produce stands (and vendors) are at their freshest. Right after 10 am is great, because it gives vendors enough time to set up (produce and other food vendors are usually first on the scene, followed by craft artisans). If the weather is poor, wander through the interior stalls upstairs first, so you can always duck back outside to the street craft booths if the sun breaks through. Kids will love watching the seafood vendors throw their wares from person to person as they shout orders and sing (truly, it’s a whole performance!) and tasting the produce samples throughout.

pike place market

After seeing all the upstairs vendors (be sure not to miss the toy stall near the cafe and observation deck at the back), head downstairs to check out the novelty and souvenir shops. We like to stop by the ‘fortune teller’ machine to get a ticket declaring our horoscopes and lucky numbers.

seattle great wheel

We buy berries and other produce, supplement them with picnic supplies, and eat outside on the grass overlooking the bay when the weather cooperates. If it doesn’t, duck into the original Starbucks for a hot chocolate or coffee. (Just be sure to avoid this option when large cruise ships have disembarked…it’s a popular spot.)

Tip: Instead of parking at the market garage, opt to park near the wharf and walk the few blocks up to the market area. This way, after enjoying the market in the morning, you can try out the new Seattle Great Wheel adjacent to the Seattle Aquarium.

Date last visited:

June 2012

Distance from the interstate:

Just a few minutes (in traffic) from I-5.

Admission rate:

None. Parking will cost you between $5-15, depending on how long you stay. For convenience, we usually park at the Market Garage, or take public transit.

Hours of operation:

Open 19 and 1/2 hours a day, 362 days a year.


Pike Place is easy to find following signage. The entrance is at 1st Avenue and Pike Street.