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As a bookworm, I tend to stay home more than I probably should. I prefer to read experiences rather than live them myself. But sometimes what really motivates me to go out is to read something interesting and go see it for myself – a frame in a book, a monument on the horizon, food described so deliciously on the page that it’s too tempting not to give it a try.
If you’re like me or looking for some bookish motivation to get you (and maybe even your kids) out of the house, here are six pairs of books and outings in Seattle to try. Some books were written for children, others for adults, all of them are fascinating!
Location: Pacific Science Center
Read (Children): Mae Among the Stars Written by Roda Ahmed, illustrated by Stasia Burrington
Read (Adults): The Martian by Andy Weir
The Pacific Science Center is full of fun activities for all ages. Interactive dinosaur, astronaut and butterfly exhibits are sure to keep everyone entertained for an afternoon. Lily Mae among the stars with your children and/or The Martian yourself, then try the Agents of Discovery interactive mobile game and complete the Junior Astronauts mission together. You’ll explore exhibits throughout the science center while learning about technology in space and how to grow food there!
Visit: Pike Place Market
Read: Pike Place Market Recipes by Jess Thompson
Pike Place Market Recipes is full of delicious meals made from things found at the many stalls in Pike Place! For a date night or a fun afternoon with the kids, choose a delicious meal or dessert and shop in Seattle’s iconic market before spending time together in the kitchen.
Visit: Museum of Pop Culture
Read: The Princess Bride by William Goldman
The princess to be married is a crowd pleaser and for good reason! Children and adults alike are sure to find a character to love within its pages. Then, head to the fantastic exhibit at the Museum of Pop Culture to see the costumes and props from the movie!
Prime: during the summer, the Seattle Center puts films at The Mural under the space needle. Grab a blanket and some popcorn and snuggle up under the space needle to watch The princess to be marriedit’s always the first film of the summer!
Visit: Chihuly Garden and Glass
Read (Children): Elena’s Serenade by Campbell Geeslin, illustrated by Ana Juan
Read (adults): The glassblowers of Daphne De Maurier
You can’t stay long in Seattle without someone telling you to visit Chihuly. The museum is full of unique, colorful and seemingly impossible glass sculptures. Why not read up on the glassblowers and then see it live at one of the many demonstrations they give throughout the afternoon? There’s even a Q&A session for curious adults and kids!
Read (Children): The Curious Garden by Peter Brown
Gas Works Park was a gasworks in the 1900s until Seattle switched to more alternative energy, leaving the factory buildings in its wake. The land around the factory was polluted, but architect Richard Haag had a plan to improve it. He turned the land into a park with hills and a beautiful view. After reading about the power of planting seeds in The Curious Garden, take a picnic to the park! Children (and adults) can see the old factory buildings and also the impact of the choice to make a green space where there was none before!
VISIT: THE FLIGHT MUSEUM
READ (CHILDREN): TALK ABOUT BESSIE: THE STORY OF AVIATOR ELIZABETH COLEMAN BY NIKKI GRIMES, ILLUSTRATED BY EARL B. LEWIS
Take advantage of free admission to the museum on the first Thursday of each month and discover theft in all its forms! You’ll learn about the diverse and often overlooked history of flight, including that of Bessie Coleman, the first black female aviator, among many others. Kids and adults can sit in a cockpit, learn about air traffic controllers, and see how flying has changed over the years.
I hope you, Seattle locals or tourists to the area, can enjoy one of these pairings of books and outings! For those of you who are not in the area, why not think of something to do in your corner of the country! If you’re in the mood to drive, check out these bookish road trips too!