Seattle Southside has always been known as a destination for students. This four-day itinerary will give you a pretty good idea of what attractions and restaurants are great for students and teachers alike!
Start the tour off right with a trip to the largest private air and space museum in the world, The Museum of Flight! Your group can explore the SR-71 Blackbird, the original Air Force One, and the actual Space Shuttle Trainer all Shuttle astronauts trained in. Check out the Kid’s Flight Zone, where students can practice flight in simulators, learn how engines work, and sit in the cockpit of a helicopter!
Private, 1-hour docent tours are available for FREE if booked two weeks in advance. Also available are options for immersive educational programs focused on STEM education. Group visit packages include discounted admission rates and free admission for bus drivers.
Calm the post-flight buzz with a lunch that everyone loves, PIZZA! Savor handcrafted specialty pizzas and pastas at California Pizza Kitchen. Groups can book a private experience in CPK’s own kitchen, including a student-made personal pizza!
Ever heard of indoor skydiving? iFLY Seattle has a vertical wind tunnel making indoor flight easy, fun and safe for all ages and makes STEM exciting, relevant, and accessible to all students. The curriculum has been designed by teachers and STEM professionals to support STEM learning in the classroom, and the flights are catered to elementary, middle school and high school programs. After a tutorial, your students will get suited up for their turn in the tunnel.
Finally, your group can end their day with a relaxing Caribbean dinner and a Bahamarita (Raspberry Surfer for the kids) at Bahama Breeze Island Grille, a cool, breezy, island-style restaurant. Groups can have an outdoor deck party and enjoy a private or semi-private environment with tableside service, appetizer receptions, or a buffet station. Group reservations are required.
Start your group’s morning at the Marine Science and Technology (MaST) Center at Redondo Beach and discover the world of Puget Sound! This aquarium is a working research center and is open for public viewing on a limited basis, but special group arrangements can be made for private tours. Students will get a chance to view over 250 native Puget Sound species, touch some Puget Sound creatures in two large touch tanks and stand in awe under one massive, 38-foot Gray Whale skeleton.
For lunch, your group can head up the street to the waterfront community of Des Moines for some hot dogs at the Des Moines DogHouse. While the students enjoy some classic corn dogs and chips, teachers and chaperones can try some of the experimental delights that make this house of hot dogs so special, like Columbian chorizo, linguica, or a Louisiana hot link.
Spend the rest of your afternoon at Des Moines Beach Park. The park itself is a favorite among the locals, but it’s seldom overcrowded. Students will have plenty of space to walk on the shores of Puget Sound, see breathtaking views, go beachcombing, and explore tide pools. The beaches in the Northwest are not your typical sandy beaches. Here, they will find pebbles and shells of all shapes and sizes, mini crabs, and clams spouting water in the air from underneath the sand. For groups, take a tour led by a nature guide and explore the tide pools while learning what’s in the waters and shores of the Pacific Northwest!
Satisfy your students’ appetite with dinner at The Old Spaghetti Factory. The Tukwila location is surrounded by antiques collected from around the world and offers a banquet room accommodating up to 75 guests, along with a 2nd floor mezzanine holding up to 25 guests. The Old Spaghetti Factory offers 3-course, complete meals at a great value.
If your group is up for more adventure after dinner, end Day 2 with an adrenaline rush in the fast lane at Sykart. These state-of-the-art go-karts are built for speed and are typically for drivers wielding licenses. However, special group arrangement can be made so that your students can burn rubber and satisfy their need for speed!
The morning can be spent at a true metropolis of fun activities, Family Fun Center. With laser tag, bumper boats, batting cages, mini golf, bowling and a whole lot more, you’ll find Family Fun Center a crowd pleaser for students of all ages. Group packages are available ranging in price from around $10 - $25 per person. Catering options are also available.
Just down the street from Family Fun Center sits the biggest shopping center in the Pacific Northwest, Westfield Southcenter. If there is any energy left, your group can visit the Lego Store, Disney store, or even build your own stuffed friend at Build-a-Bear inside the mall. There are plenty of high-end retailers for teachers and chaperones too; and after the shopping adventure, the Dining Terrace (food court) on the second floor is a great option for student groups with a massive variety of cuisines; from seafood and burgers, to Thai and Chicken fingers! Also located at Westfield Southcenter is the massive 3-D IMAX screen at AMC Theatre.
If the students still have more energy to release, Virtual Sports offers a mind blowing one-of-a-kind experiential entertainment. Virtual Sports is known for their realistic tactical style laser tag experience on a huge 10,000 SF field, but they also offer a paintball style Nerf Rival assault field and 12 private virtual reality bays featuring the HTC Vive headsets that is guaranteed to bring out the kid in everyone. After all that running around and excitement, dine at Virtual Sports’ critically acclaimed Seattle Wood Fire Pizza.
After three days of exploring Seattle Southside, it’s time to catch the Link Light Rail and take a ride to downtown Seattle. Don’t forget to purchase CityPasses from Seattle Southside Visitor Center before heading into the city! The CityPass grants your group admission at a discounted price to many downtown Seattle icons that are easily accessible from Seattle Southside. You’ll be saving at least 45% per person! Disembark at University Street Station to see the Seattle Aquarium and board an Argosy Cruises Harbor Tour. Or, get off at Westlake station and hop on the Monorail to Seattle Center to see the Space Needle, Museum of Pop Culture, and Pacific Science Center.