As someone who is very much a bookworm, I tend to stick around home more than I probably ought to. I prefer to read about experiences rather than to experience them myself. But sometimes, what really motivates me to get out is to read about something interesting and then go see it for myself — a setting in a book, a monument on the skyline, food described so deliciously on the page it’s too tempting not to give it a try.
If you’re like me or are looking for a bookish motivator to get you (and maybe even your kiddos) out of the house, here are six book and outing pairings in Seattle to give a try. Some books were written with kids in mind, others adults, all of them are fascinating!
Location: The Pacific Science Center
Read (Kids): Mae Among the Stars Written by Roda Ahmed, Illustrated by Stasia Burrington
Read (Adults): The Martian by Andy Weir
The Pacific Science Center is full of fun activities for all ages. Interactive exhibits on dinosaurs, astronauts, and butterflies are sure to keep anyone entertained for an afternoon. Read Mae Among the Stars with your kiddos and/or The Martian yourself and then try the interactive Agents of Discovery mobile game and complete the Junior Astronauts mission together. You’ll explore exhibits across the science center while also learning about the technology in space and how to grow food up there!
Visit: Pike Place Market
Read: Pike Place Market Recipes by Jess Thompson
Pike Place Market Recipes is full of yummy dishes made from things found in Pike Place’s many stalls! For a date night or a fun afternoon with your children, pick a delicious meal or dessert and go shopping in Seattle’s iconic market before spending some time in the kitchen together.
Visit: Museum of Pop Culture
Read: The Princess Bride by William Goldman
The Princess Bride is a crowd pleaser and for great reason! Kids and adults alike are sure to find a character to love inside its pages. Then, take a trip to the fantasy exhibit at the Museum of Pop Culture to see costumes and props from the movie!
Bonus: during the summer, the Seattle Center puts on Movies at The Mural underneath the space needle. Grab a blanket and some popcorn and curl up under the space needle to watch The Princess Bride, it’s always the first movie of the summer!
Visit: Chihuly Garden and Glass
Read (Kids): Elena’s Serenade by Campbell Geeslin, Illustrated by Ana Juan
Read (Adults): The Glass-Blowers by Daphne De Maurier
You can’t make it long in Seattle without someone telling you to visit Chihuly. The museum is full of unique, colorful, and seemingly impossible sculptures made of glass. Why not read about glassblowers and then see it live during one of the many demonstrations they do throughout the afternoon? There’s even a Q&A afterwards for the curious adult and child alike!
Visit: Gas Works Park
Read (Kids): The Curious Garden by Peter Brown
Gas Works Park was a gas plant in the 1900s until Seattle swapped to more alternative energy, leaving the factory buildings in its wake. The land around the plant was polluted, but architect Richard Haag had a plan to make it better. He turned the land into a park with rolling hills and a beautiful view. After reading about the power of planting seeds in The Curious Garden, take a picnic to the park! Kids (and adults) can see the old factory buildings and also the impact of choosing to make a green space where there wasn’t one before!
VISIT: THE MUSEUM OF FLIGHT
READ (KIDS): TALKIN’ ABOUT BESSIE: THE STORY OF AVIATOR ELIZABETH COLEMAN BY NIKKI GRIMES, ILLUSTRATED BY EARL B. LEWIS
Take advantage of the museum’s free entry on the first Thursday of every month and explore flight in all its forms! You’ll learn about the diverse and often under-told history of flight including that of Bessie Coleman, the first Black female aviator, among many others. Kids and adults can sit in a cockpit, learn about air traffic controllers, and see the way flight has changed over the years.
I hope you Seattleites or tourists to the area can enjoy one of these book and outing pairings! For those of you not in the area, why not brainstorm something to do in your neck of the woods! If you’re in the driving mood, check out these bookish road trips, too!