Anyone who’s been to downtown Seattle will presumably encounter a Duck at some point. I’ve always viewed them with curiosity but with the “I’m a local and that’s something for tourists.” I could not have been more wrong. During a recent Daycation in downtown my family and I learned firsthand Ride the Ducks is an activity for locals and visitors furthermore for the young and the young at heart.
As the Mom of an active wiggly vocal 2 year old I had qualms about putting us in a crowded tour bus for 90 minutes. Here’s what you need to know before you go:
- Make sure your toddler is well rested – tours leave every 30 minutes so book your tour for a “nap friendly” hour.
- Get there early to try and be the first in line for your tour. I suggest you not put your toddler directly underneath a speaker. Aim for the middle. If possible put additional members of your party in the seat directly in front of your child. The seats are fairly close together and my daughter likes to move. I didn’t want her feet poking the ribs of the passenger in front of me.
- Pack light if possible. Expect to leave your stroller behind at the ticket window in a corral of other strollers.
- Pack your toddler’s favorite snacks in your purse; do not pull them out unless necessary. In my case I packed 2 Rice Krispy Treats which were both needed.
- It’s a vehicle from WWII people – there are no car seats or seatbelts. My daughter sat politely at my side for about 15 minutes and then she wanted to hang out the window to wave and blow kisses to the pedestrians. There are bumps during the ride and if you’re not hanging onto your kid they could get a good jostle.
- Dress in layers. We rode in July and had gorgeous weather! It was warm in the city streets. A delicious breeze kicked in when we were on the water. My daughter wanted her jacket when we were seaside.
- Spend the money and get the kids “Quackers” plastic whistles on a lanyard. It took my daughter at least 15 minutes to finally work up enough courage to inhale big enough and exhale with enough gusto to let forth an enthusiastic quack.
- Take a minute before you board the Duck to do a once over fashion check. There’s a photographer on hand to snap a “memory in the making” shot before the ride. It’s a much better shot than you’ll get asking your fellow passengers to take a family shot of your brood.
- Bring some cash to tip the driver. Our tour guide was awesome and totally deserved a generous tip!
Ride the Ducks had my fifth grader scheming for how to get this approved as a class field trip. When asked if he’d recommend this for other 11 year old kids my son said “Only if they like having fun.” My husband and I both gave this a hearty two thumbs up and have already solemnly promised a few family members we would saddle up and ride a duck in the future when they come to visit.
$28.00 for adults, $17 for kids will buy you a whacky quacky ride through the city, out onto International waters, history, humor and a healthy dose of zany. Perfect for a Daycation or entertaining visiting guests!