Seattle with Kids: Quacky Wacky Ride on the Ducks Tour

Seattle with Kids - Ride the Duck Tour-3

One of the fun thing to do while visiting Seattle with kids was riding on this fun, quirky and entertaining Ride the Ducks of Seattle tour. Yes, it looks cheesy and touristy but it is also a fun and great way to enjoy a leisure day around Seattle.

What is Ride the Ducks tour

You might have seen some of this bus with noisy tourists roaming around many popular tourist places. In Seattle, Ride the Ducks tour provides a quick and fun way to explore Seattle with entertaining guide. The unique thing about this ducks tour is it can be both a bus and a boat. So you will get the best of both world in touring Seattle on land and in the lake.

Convenient Location

 

Seattle with Kids - Ride the Duck Tour-1

Ride the ducks tour has two locations where you can start your fun journey to explore Seattle. One is located by Seattle Center (where the Space Needle and EMP located) and another is at Westlake center by the convention center. The location at Seattle Center opens year around while the Westlake center opens from April to December.

We chose to hop on board the duck tour at Seattle Center since we were already in the area. You won’t be able to miss it if you just look for the big Duck on top of the building.

Entertainment on board

 

Seattle with Kids - Ride the Duck Tour-2

The fun part about the ducks tour for kids is probably the Quackers, a noisemaker in the shape of duck bill. OK, it was fun for the first few minutes but after the tour we had to ban them and kept it safe from little hands for a while. My ears were ringing even hours after the tour.

The Quacker is not the only entertainment on board. The guide aka the driver or the captain is the one who makes or breaks your trip. A good guide is fun, engaging as well as knowledgeable. We learned a whole lot about Seattle history as well as different neighborhood.

Boat tour on the Lake

 

Seattle with Kids - Ride the Duck Tour-6

The best part about this tour for me was when the bus transformed to the boat and took us on the Lake Union. It was a gorgeous day which we were so thankful to experience. The ride was giving us a glimpse to the other part of Seattle that we could only dream of. Living on the lake or by the lake is the kind of privilege that only we can dream of when we win the lotto. Some of these lake houses are worth in the millions.

Seattle with Kids - Ride the Duck Tour-4

We had a great view of Seattle skyline as well as the Space Needle and I could totally see why so many people choose to call Seattle home.

Seattle with Kids - Ride the Duck Tour-5
The Gas works park front lawn was filled with people who came out in full force to enjoy the sunny day in Seattle. I guess when you have more cloudy days than sunny days, you will take advantage of every opportunity to enjoy the Sun.

The whole tour took about one and a half hour. So it was a quick tour to get you oriented with the city and learn a little bit more about the city. We truly enjoyed our experience.

If you are visiting Seattle with kids, put this on your list and you won’t be disappointed. Kids will love to be able to wave to pedestrians along the way.

 

Have you ridden in one of this duck tour?

What do you thing of your experience? 

Seattle With Kids: Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

Seattle with Kids Mount Rainier National Park

When we visited Seattle with kids a few summer ago, we couldn’t plan our trip without adding a day trip to Mount Rainier nation park to our itinerary. As a national park passport holder, we always looks for national park wherever we go to add to our stamp collection. Not that Mount Rainier is something we can skip on our visit to Seattle.

Seattle with Kids - Mt Rainier-2

On a clear day, we can see Mount Rainier enticing visitors to Seattle to visit. A lot of locals plan their weekend trip to the park. But we only had so much time in Seattle that we decided to just rent a car and drove to Mount Rainier for a day trip. If we go back to Seattle again, we would probably plan a longer trip to truly enjoy the many outdoor activities we can do there.

Easy Day Trip from Seattle

Seattle with Kids Mount Rainier National Park

Mount Rainier national park is about three hours drive from downtown Seattle so we started our day bright and early after picking up our rental car. We chose to visit Paradise visitor center for year round opening as well as easily accessible from Seattle. After a couple pit stops along the way, you know, kids needed to go to the bathroom, Mr. Rojo needed to refill on his coffee, we entered the Mount Rainier national park and all our attention was directed to the beauty of nature along the way.

View Points and Photo Ops

Seattle with Kids Mount Rainier National Park

If you plan to go to Mount Rainier, one advice I can give you is to take it easy and stop to take in the majestic view. There are several stops along the way that you can enjoy different views of Mount Rainier before arriving at Paradise visitor center. Take advantage of that. It will help kids to stretch their legs and spend some energy after riding in the car for almost three hours.

Paradise Visitor Center

Seattle with Kids Mount Rainier National Park

We are by no mean the expert in national park but we have been to plenty of national parks in the past and I have to say the Paradise Visitor Center is high on the top of our list on both size and design.

Seattle with Kids - Mt Rainier-10

The two-story lobby surrounded by wooded columns and wooden beams really make you feel closer to nature just like you are in a fancy hotel on the mountain. The big windows all around the building allows nature light and mountains to be part of the inside. And not to mention, Mr. Rojo’s favorite, Starbucks coffee is available on site.

Seattle with Kids Mount Rainier National Park

Coming from Atlanta, we didn’t think we will be able to still see snow in summer. So it was a nice surprise to be able to just walk outside the visitor center and played in snow for a while.

We enjoyed our lunch at the visitor center food court. Then it’s time to explore the park. There are literally so many things to do in the park. Many trails you can choose from. So take time to check out and see which one is best fit for your family.

Grove of the Patriarchs Trail

Seattle with Kids Mount Rainier National Park

As we headed back to town, we opted for a stop at Grove of the Patriarchs trail for a quick hike. The hike is relatively easy for kids but might be a bit tougher for younger kids in stroller. Check out at the visitor center to get the advice on what trail is suitable for your family as well as along the path of your trip.

Seattle with Kids Mount Rainier National Park

There is section where we cross the river on the suspension bridge. The kids loved it! It was the introduction for them to the suspension bridge before our visit to Capilano suspension bridge in Vancouver.

Seattle with Kids Mount Rainier National Park

Along the trail, we learned about the ancient forest. The trees are huge! The pictures don’t do its justice for capturing how majestic those trees are.

All in all, we had a great day trip to Mount Rainier and I highly recommended adding to your itinerary.

 

Travel Photo: The Gum Wall at Market Theatre, Seattle

Seattle Gum Wall near Pike Place market

This could be the coolest place to visit or the most disgusting place to visit depends on how you view it. The Gum Wall at Pike Place Market is an attraction worth visiting in our book. It’s hidden down the valley next to Pike Place Market in Seattle.

During our Photo walking tour in Seattle, it’s one of the stop and actually a fun place to photograph.

Seattle Gum Wall at Market Theatre

The wall is part of the box office for the Market Theatre. The box office is still operating. So just imagine buying a ticket from that box office.

Seattle Gum Wall at Market Theatre

This local landmark is fun for kids to check out but make sure they won’t touch it as it’s one of the top 5 germiest tourist attraction.

Seattle Gum Wall: Seattle with kids

Mr. Z wants to go back and still asks about it once in a while. Miss J, as you can see, was not that fond of the wall.

So have you been to this local landmark in Seattle? What do you think?

Check out other travel photos from  Budget Travelers Sandbox , R We There Yet Mom? and Delicious Baby.

A Look Back to Family Travel 2011

Although we are a few days into 2012, our recent family trip to Keystone resort is still fresh in our mind, the first ski experience on one of the best family ski resort in Colorado. So to keep up with our tradition, we have our review post looking back to our family travel last year. It was a fun year!

January: Snow in Atlanta

Atlanta Snow 2011 Snow Tubing

It’s not often or should I say NEVER that Atlanta metro area will get seven inches of snow in winter. So it was a real big treat for our kids to enjoy snow tubing (home-made style) at our own backyard. The snow storm in Atlanta shut down the whole city a whole week. For adults, the cabin fever started to set in but for kids it was like an unexpected winter break!

February: Indoor Water Park fun

Wilderness at the Smokies Tube Slides

We went up to Sevierville, Tennessee to help celebrate our friend’s birthday. An indoor water park at Wilderness in the Smokies is a great year round fun where kids (and adults) can enjoy swimming, sliding, surfing and more in the heated environment even in the middle of winter.

March: Mickey Memory with Disney Social Media Mom

Disney Grand Floridian Carriage

This month we drove down to our familiar vacation spot in Orlando to attend the Disney Social Media Mom 2011 where we learned, laughed and connected with bloggers. It was our first time staying at the Disney’s Grand Floridian Spa & Resort and it was an experience we won’t easily forget. Mr. Z also experienced a big kid ride and hooked on the roller coaster now!

April: Fun in Atlanta at Georgia Aquarium

Georgia Aquarium Atlanta

In Spring, we stayed close to home and enjoy local  attractions in Atlanta like the Grand opening of new Dolphin Tale show at the Georgia Aquarium, the beautiful day at Piedmont Park for the Dogwood Festival

May: Birthday Celebration at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Disney Animal Kingdom Expedition Everest With Kids

This year we took another trip down to Orlando to celebrate Mr. Rojo’s birthday at the Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. We hardly stayed at the Disney’s resorts previously because our family has a timeshare in Orlando but year 2011 we stayed in not just one but two property! And I have to say I understand why people keep going back year after year!

June: Summer fun in Seattle & Vancouver

Seattle With Kids - Waterfront

Our big summer trip this year was a two weeks trip to Seattle and Vancouver. It was a business/family trip combo. I attended TBEX 2011, the Travel bloggers conference, in Vancouver and we also enjoyed family vacation in Seattle.

July: Family Reunion in the Ozark & Side trip to St. Louis

St Louis with Kids Enjoy the Arch view

Our first family reunion was planned at the YMCA of the Ozark. It was wonderful for kids to meet and play with their cousins. We also took a little detour to visit St. Louis, MO. A fun day but not nearly enough to discover this gem in the Midwest.

August: Back to School

Summer time flew by when you had so much fun. Before we knew it, the kids were back in school. Yes, here in Atlanta we go back to school in August!

September: Myrtle Beach on Labor Day

Myrtle Beach with Kids: Kayaking with kids

Now, that kids are in school, we have to work around school holidays and take advantage of every holidays we can get. So we planned a short break during Labor Day weekend to visit Myrtle Beach. What a fun place for the whole family! We found that Myrtle Beach is not just a place for fun time at the beach or various family entertainments like MagiQuest but we could also enjoy nature like Kayak tour.

October: Fall Family Camping

In October, we had our first fall family camping trip with a group of our friends at Redtop Mountain Park. It was beautiful even though a bit too cold for this tropical girl. Kids, on the other hand, had no problem with the cold temperature at night when they had the whole park to explore. The water in the lake was too cold for anyone of us to dare going in. But we knew it will be a great place to camp again in the summer.

November: Legoland Florida

During the Thanksgiving break, we went to visit the recently opened Legoland Florida. Mr. Z was beyond happy to be able to ride in EVERY SINGLE ride at his height. Miss J loved being a big kid who could take her little brother on the ride without us. Ah!! A theme park where kids rule!

December: Ski & Snow at Keystone Ski Resort

Ski With Kid - Keystone Ski School near Denver

Our last but certainly not least family trip of the year was one of the memorable one for our whole family. It was their first time on ski and my first time learning to ski. One word, AMAZING trip! We certainly enjoyed our whole experience during our trip to Denver & Keystone. This will certainly be a place we would love to revisit again in the future.

Wow! I didn’t realize how much we have traveled this past year until I started this post. It certainly has been a blessing for us to be able to continue our love of travel and adventures. We are thankful for the opportunities we have been given and hope we will continue to be able to travel as a family in 2012. Here to more travel in 2012!

Jump Shots From Our Travel

During the trip to Seattle, Miss J had finally embraced the jump shot that is popular among Asian or even my travel blogger friend, Kristin at Camels & Chocolate. I have never been able to learn how to capture the jump perfectly. But after a few (ok.. several) trial and error, we finally got a few shots worth sharing.

Vancouver with Kids: Stanley Park - Jump Shot

During our visit to Vancouver, we took an evening leisure break at Stanley Park. We have a perfect backdrop for the jump shot!

Seattle With Kids - Jump Shot

A jump shot during our Seattle Photo Walking tour with Shutter Tours at the Post Alley.

Seattle With Kids: China Town - Jump Shot

A group jump shot in Seattle China Town on a beautiful day. I love that I was able to capture while all of them were in the air!

Seattle With Kids: Water front - Jump Shot

A shot at the Seattle Waterfront with Seattle Aquarium as a background. I love the look on Mr. Z’s face. I think he imagines he is one of the super hero or Kung Fu fighter.

Check out other travelers’ photo at Delicious Baby’s Photo Friday.