Plan a Trip with CityPASS and Uncover Hidden Treasures in Seattle

The email sat in my inbox and I had absolutely no idea how to answer it. “What else do you want to do while we’re in Seattle?” I had already listed the one thing I really wanted to do in Seattle – visit Pike Place Market, but given that we had two days in the city before we departed for our Alaska cruise, we definitely needed to plan more!

Seattle Space Needle

As a teacher, time to sit and think is a luxury and given that this trip came right after school let out, I knew I wasn’t going to have time to research and plan an elaborate trip. Knowing that I’d had quite a positive experience using CityPASS previously, I opted to use their Seattle books to select my destinations and not worry about planning. Taking a brief glance as to what CityPASS offered, it seemed like we’d get a tour of Seattle’s greatest hits and at a substantial savings.

Seattle CityPASS

When school let out and finally we arrived in Seattle, my travelling companion Melissa and I settled in and looked over the CityPASS books. We had seven attractions to choose from – two visits to the Space Needle, the Seattle Aquarium, an Argosy Cruises harbor tour, and then choices between the EMP Museum and Woodland Park Zoo and Chihuly Garden and Glass and Pacific Science Center. Reviewing the handy map inside the CityPASS booklets, we noticed many of these attractions were all located right near each other, so we had a plan of attack for our day.

Chihuly Garden and Glass

Having been exposed to Chihuly glass sculptures in casinos and on cruise ships, we assumed we had a solid idea of what to expect from Chihuly Garden and Glass. Melissa and I agreed – we’d take a quick stroll through the exhibit and then head onto something else. We arrived to the garden just two hours before closing and didn’t have to wait in line to buy tickets, thanks to our CityPASS books. It turns out we completely underestimated how gorgeous and stunning Chihuly’s work turned out to be.

Chihuly Garden and GlassChihuly Garden and Glass

While Chihuly’s work is still the familiar organic glass shapes, the layout and design of the museum takes your breath away. Doorways, walls and lighting are set to frame sculptures, slowly reveal them and illuminate them like the only star in the room. We totally could have spent more than few hours there – especially since they offer several free talks, one of which we enjoyed in the outdoor garden. However, our above and beyond favorite of all these things was the Persians display, which was like being beneath a candy colored sea. Don’t be afraid to lie on the floor and take it all in by the way; I asked a guard about it and she said people do it all the time. Both my travelling companion and I wished we budgeted more time for Chihuly as it was something we didn’t expect to enjoy, but totally loved.

Chihuly Garden and GlassChihuly Garden and Glass

Given that the Space Needle was right next-door, that was our next stop. It didn’t occur to me that we might want to see it twice, as views would be different during the day and at night. However we were thankful that CityPASS gave us the option.

Chihuly Garden and Glass

The sun was setting just as we reached the observation deck and though it was crowded, it was easy to find a space to capture a view of the sunset and of Mount Rainer. After the sun fully sank below the skyline, we headed out to grab some dinner.

View from Seattle Space Needle

The next morning, after touring Pike Place Market, we grabbed an Uber and headed to the EMP Museum. Thankfully it’s easy to get around to all of the different venues where CityPASS offers admission. We’d heard about their special exhibit on Star Wars costumes and were excited for that. While entrance to the Star Wars and the Power of Costume exhibition was an additional $8 fee, that was nothing compared to what we were saving on tickets overall. The exhibition was informative, with information to read , videos to watch and buttons to press. I would be lying if I didn’t admit I pressed the button to make Mace Windu’s lightsaber light up several times.

Star Wars and the Power of the Costume EMP MuseumStar Wars and the Power of the Costume EMP MuseumStar Wars and the Power of the Costume EMP MuseumStar Wars and the Power of the Costume EMP Museum

The museum itself was a treat, full of all kinds of music, science fiction and fantasy memorabilia, interactive exhibits and videos. There are also passageways and pathways intended for kids to crawl through and take on different views on the exhibits, particularly peeking in on a replica of a sleeping Smaug the dragon from The Hobbit.

Seattle EMP MuseumSeattle EMP MuseumSeattle EMP Museum

Our time in Seattle passed much too quickly, but with CityPASS it felt like we got to truly make the most of it – and without the hassle of researching and planning. And it was nice to know we’d saved upwards of $10 on each off of the admission prices we would have paid!

If you’re heading to Seattle, definitely consider using CityPASS to take in the sights. And if you’re travelling and don’t have time to plan, don’t be afraid to use CityPASS as a resource! Not only do they highlight the best attractions in an area, they also give you great planning tips on their website. See if CityPASS covers your next vacation destination here:

DISCLOSURE: Adventures by Daddy received two complimentary Seattle CityPASS booklets for the purposes of this review.  However all opinions expressed are those of the author’s. For more family travel news, reviews, and trip reports, be sure to follow Adventures by Daddy on twitter and “like” our facebook page too.

About Cristen Curley-Edwards