The Pacific Science Center is one of my families favorite spots to visit. My favorite thing is that it is one of those spots that I can bring the whole gang, from toddlers to teens, and there is something for everyone to enjoy!
My youngest kids have been asking me to take a train ride for some time, so we took the Light Rail downtown. We headed out to the Tukwila Station to board and there was NO parking available in any non-towable spot near the Light Rail. We ended up having to drive up to the Sea Tac station and park back in a neighborhood and walk a little ways to the station. There were six of us (4 kids and 2 adults, two of the kids were free as they are under 5). I paid just over $15 for all day passes for the whole gang. The furthest North the Light Rail goes is Westlake, so I thought that we would be able to use our all day passes to hop on the Monorail once there. I was wrong. It would have cost us another $25 to take the monorail. We opted to head to the Metro busses and ride in the ride free zone. Problem is that the Pacific Science Center is another few blocks from the last stop in the ride free area so more walking.
Your best bet for transportation if you live outside the city is probably either to drive and pay for parking or to take a bus directly there. Although an adventure, the Lightrail is probably not the most convenient solution.
You can bring your own picnic to save or eat in the Seattle Center House at some of the fast food restaurants there. If you want to make a whole day of it stop down at the Pike Place Market first and grab a Humbow for a couple of bucks, or a bag of mini donuts (love those)!
Cost of Tickets To The Pacific Science Center:
Full price tickets to the Pacific Science Center are $16 (16 to 64 yrs), $14 (over 64), $11 (6-15 yrs) and $9 (3 to 5yrs). 2 and under are free. This is for exhibit only entrance. Imax, planatarium shows and laser shows cost more. You can find a full listing of all of their fees here.
Coupons for the Pacific Science Center:
- CityPass - It’s good for nine days and includes admission to Woodland Park Zoo, the Space Needle, Pacific Science Center, Seattle Aquarium, the Museum of Flight, and Argosy Cruises. Its $69 for adults, and $44 for kids 4 – 14.
- Chinook Coupon Book - Buy One Get One Free Coupon in the Chinook Coupon Book
- Microsoft PRIME Card – If you have a Microsoft PRIME card, you get: $5.50 per person co-pay with PRIME card includes, regular exhibit admission and an IMAX film. Additional charges may apply to Special Engagement exhibits and other events, or 20% off annual memberships.
Fun At The Pacific Science Center
They are open from 10 am to 6 pm daily. We got there aroud 2pm and it was plenty of time for a group of six to make it through all the exhibits (we left by 5 pm). You will need longer if you do the IMAX theater or planetarium show, etc. These are their permanent exhibits, and there are temporary exhibits as well (find that list here).
Dinosaurs: A Journey Through Time
Travel back in time to the Mesozoic Era, where you’ll meet seven moving, roaring, robotic dinosaurs in a lifelike environment. You can also stand in the footprint of a giant duckbill dinosaur.
Tropical Butterfly House
Enjoy year-round sunshine in the Tropical Butterfly House! Temperatures are in the low 80s, humidity is 60 to 70 percent, and full-spectrum lighting keeps the plants and butterflies healthy.
Giant robotic insects, interactive exhibits and live animal displays give you a close-up look at the world of insects and other arthropods.
Puget Sound Model and Saltwater Tide Pool
Explore the life and science of northwest Washington’s large and ecologically diverse estuary, Puget Sound.
See yourself on TV as the Guest Meteorologist in the K5 First Alert Weather Center. Experiment with water at the stream table.
See live creatures of all kinds, from the domestic to the exotic–reptiles, amphibians, and mammals, including a colony of East African naked mole-rats.
Find out how your body works in Body Works. Test your reaction time. See how much energy you produce on the Calorie Bicycles. Try out the computer games in the Nutrition Cafe.
Adventures in 3Dimensions
Have you ever wondered how 3D movies are made? Or how some artists create incredibly realistic 3D images with only the use of paint and canvas?
How does an electric motor work? What does a gyroscope do? How fast can you throw a baseball? Find the answers in the Science Playground.
There’s also Goosebumps: The Science of Fear where you’ll be faced with your craziest fears and still have some fun with interactive areas and short film presentations.
Other fun frugal things to do in the Seattle Center area after your done enjoying the Pacific Science Center include:
My best money saving tip is to plan your trip around other free or frugal events in the Seattle Center area. It usually only takes us a few hours to roam through the Pacific Science Center, so in order to make it worth the trip (unless you already live in downtown), I like to make a day out of it. Here are some ideas.
- The Seattle Center Water Fountain - (our favorite ‘spray’ park in the summer). My kids love to run and play in the water!
- Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation visitors center - free admission, and a short trek across the street from the center.
- Frye Art Museum is always free (and free parking if you are visiting there)!
- Free Community Cinemas Movies (they kick off their 2012 -2013 season in Sept.)
- Free festivals all summer.
- The Next 50 Celebration and events this year!
- Free McCaw Hall Public Tours (reservations required)