Seattle's Child

Your guide to a kid-friendly city

What’s reopening around Seattle: a guide for families

The latest: Argosy Cruises, Evergreen State Fair.

Here’s our list of what is open or about to open, updated May 26, 2021:

Newest updates:

Evergreen State Fair will take late this summer in Monroe. The theme, appropriately, is “Back in the Saddle Again – Open for Fun in 2021.” Dates are Aug. 26-31 and Sept. 2-6 (closed Sept. 1). Stay tuned for details on capacity limits and health measures.

Argosy Cruises is resuming its sightseeing tours just in time for summer. For now, Harbor Cruises will run Friday through Sunday and the Locks Cruises will run Saturday and Sunday; daily operation will begin later in the summer. Masks are required, boats are not at full capacity and no cash is accepted.

Bellevue Arts Museum is open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Time slots must be booked in advance; the museum store is open to those who have reserved a museum visit but not for walk-in customers; online sales (and curbside pickup) are available.

The Burke Museum of natural history on the UW campus is open at limited capacity and with distancing rules. We hardly got to enjoy the newly renovated Burke before the coronavirus shutdown. Here’s our reviewer’s take on what’s different now.

Chihuly Garden and Glass at Seattle Center is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily (11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Nov. 27-28). Last ticket sold 45 minutes before closing.

Cougar Mountain Zoo, Issaquah: Open with advance tickets and distancing rules. Here’s what it was like when we went.

The Frye Art Museum in Seattle is reopening to the public on Feb. 11. Hours will be 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. Admission is free, but timed-entry tickets are required.

KidsQuest Children’s Museum in Bellevue is open for two-hour time slots that can be reserved online. Some days fill up fast, so make plans early if possible. Pro tips and observations from a mom who took her young son.

King County Library System has reopened some branches for modified in-building services. Here are the details and locations.

Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park in Seattle is open Friday through Sunday. Here’s what to see and do at the smallest national park site.

MOHAI, the Museum of History and Industry, will reopen to the public on Friday, April 2. Hours will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Monday. (A new cafe, Gourmondo at MOHAI, opens May 27.) Timed tickets and masks are among the requirements. Full details here. Parent review: MOHAI will entertain and inspire your family

MoPoP (Museum of Pop Culture, Seattle Center). Reopening Friday, Feb. 5: Open Friday-Saturday-Sunday with COVID precautions and advance ticket-purchase required. (Psst: The Minecraft exhibit is still there!)

Museum of Flight: The facility at Boeing Field will reopen to the public March 4 after member-only days on Feb. 27-28; tickets available beginning Feb. 22.

Museum of Glass in Tacoma is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Hands-on activities are limited, and a suggested walking route is marked. The museum store is open; the cafe is not.

National Nordic Museum  in Ballard is open Thursday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Northwest Railway Museum has announced the return of its popular train excursions in the upper Snoqualmie Valley. Train rides will resume Oct. 3, and are scheduled to continue weekends.

Northwest Trek Wild Animal Park: (in Eatonville) Open both for regular walking visits and for the new Wild Drive in-your-vehicle experience.

Pacific Northwest Ballet has announced its plan to return to the stage in September to launch its 2021-22 season of in-person performances. Highlights will include the favorites “Swan Lake,” “Romeo et Juliette” and “The Nutcracker,” and there will be a performance of “Beauty and the Beast” by students of the Pacific Northwest Ballet School, plus programs devoted to the works of Alejandro Cerrudo and Twyla Tharp.  In addition, PNB will continue to offer streaming availability of its performances.

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium: Open to visitors with advance tickets; precautions in place. Aquariums opening March 5.

The Seattle Great Wheel on the waterfront at Pier 57 is open. The companion attraction, Wings over Washington, is not.

Seattle Aquarium:  Reopening Feb. 9.

Seattle Art Museum: Reopening March 5 (tickets available beginning Feb. 18), just in time for the new special exhibit “Jacob Lawrence: the American Struggle.”  The museum’s Olympic Sculpture Park has remained open for walk-throughs, with its indoor pavilion closed until further notice. SAM’s Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park will reopen to members May 7 and the public on May 28. Hours for both indoor museums are 10 a,.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

The Space Needle is open with limited capacity, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. The Loupe Lounge (21+) is open, as is the Atmos Cafe. The website even has a whole page dedicated to explaining (with video!) the enhanced cleaning technology.

Tacoma Art Museum is reopening April 16; hours will be 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday with reduced capacity and advance-purchase, timed ticketing.

Washington State History Museum in Tacoma . is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Masks will be required, and advance ticket purchase is encouraged. Extended hours on the third Thursday of each month; 10 a.m.-8 p.m., with free admission beginning at 3 p.m.

Wild Waves theme park in Federal Way has announced plans to open for the season on June 18. Season passes bought for 2020 will be honored in 2021. Reservations will be required to visit.

Woodland Park Zoo: The zoo reopened July 1; here’s how one family enjoyed the slightly changed experience. Woodland Park Zoo will have a ZooTunes concert series this summer! The lineup will be put together by radio station KEXP and feature exclusively local artists. Tickets go on sale May 21. Details here.

CLOSED: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Discovery Center, Seattle Children’s Museum, Pacific Science Center

About the Author

Julie Hanson

Julie Hanson is the website editor for Seattle's Child. She is a longtime journalist, South King County resident and mom to a 13-year-old girl.