Tips for Visiting Seattle
The list of life’s certainties is short: death, taxes, and rain in Seattle. The Emerald City, named for its lush year-round landscape, wouldn’t be nearly so emerald without its perennial precipitation.
But what do you do when the weather alters your plans? Of course, you can enjoy some of our indoor scavenger hunts throughout Seattle. But if you’re looking for more, we’ve got you covered—metaphorically, anyway. You’ll still need your raincoat. Here are 7 rainy-day things to do in Seattle, guaranteed to keep you entertained until the sun comes out.
1. Explore Seattle’s History at MOHAI
Located on the shore of Lake Union, the Museum of History and Industry is a great place to spend a rainy afternoon. MOHAI’s interactive and visual-heavy exhibits track the city’s transformation from wilderness to metropolis. Our favorite part? Upstairs, catch the short animated musical about Seattle’s Great Fire, complete with timed lighting effects and a singing glue pot (just trust us on this one). To dig even deeper into the museum, learn about our MOHAI scavenger hunts.
2. Make Your Way to the Market
You might have to dodge a few raindrops at the historic Pike Place Market—the Market, to locals—but there’s plenty to see (and buy) inside. You can taste local treats, peruse artisan crafts, and yes, watch fishmongers toss a salmon back and forth, if that’s what you’re into. There’s even a magic shop, where you might see a close-up card trick if you’re lucky. For even more action, check out our Pike Place Market scavenger hunts.
3. Catch a Show at one of Seattle’s Historic Theaters
Seattle is home to some incredible independent theaters, where art, architecture and history intersect. Visit the 5th Avenue Theatre to experience the magic of Broadway without the chaos of Times Square, or catch a comedy show at the Paramount. If a live theatre experience isn’t on your list (or in your budget), consider taking in an indie film at the Egyptian, a single-screen independent theatre located in an old Masonic Temple.
4. Check out the Local Music Scene
Seattle is famous for being the birthplace of grunge—and you can still visit the Central Saloon in Pioneer Square, where Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden all played before making it big. If indie folk is more your speed, check out the Tractor Tavern in Ballard. For the truly weird, catch a show at the quirky Cafe Racer—which is also the proud home of Seattle’s Official Bad Art Museum of Art (otherwise known as OBAMA). Avant-Garde Jazz and velour Elvis paintings? We love a two-for-one deal!
5. Celebrate Creativity at MoPOP
Located in the heart of Seattle Center, the Museum of Pop Culture is an ode to creativity, inspiration and freedom of expression. Inside, you’ll find exhibits honoring contemporary music and pop culture, including a giant guitar sculpture, an interactive Sound Lab, and the world’s largest collection of both Jimi Hendrix and Nirvana memorabilia. A must-see for music fans. You’ll explore all that and more on our MoPop Till You Drop Scavenger Hunt.
6. Dig Deep on an Underground Tour
When Seattle rebuilt after the devastation of 1889’s great fire, the original city was entombed beneath the new one. For a truly unique experience, you can explore this subterranean ghost town on Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour. Fans of ghosts and all things spooky can check out the Underground Paranormal Experience version of the tour, where you’ll use special equipment to undertake your own investigation. There’s even a gift shop!
7. Get Your Game Face On at an Arcade Bar
Brooklyn may have coined the concept of the arcade bar, but Seattle’s made it an art. Pay a visit to Add-A-Ball in Fremont, which boasts the city’s biggest collection of vintage coin-operated arcade games. Raygun Lounge is a low-key joint that has both arcade options and a wide selection of tabletop and board games—if you’ve ever wanted to jump into a game of D&D, this is the place for you. For some all-ages fun, take a trip to the Seattle Pinball Museum in Chinatown, where visitors aged 7 and up can choose from an ever-changing selection of 50 pinball games.
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