Flying fish and the ickiest, stickiest part of the Market—the Gum Wall—are popular attractions for families at Pike Place Market, but the Market has so much more to offer for families with kids, with endless nooks and corridor to discover over spring break.
With nine acres and 240 shops to explore, you're sure to discover new adventures as well as enjoy delicious shopping. Graze as you go, or choose a sit-down spot for a tasty meal. With 70 restaurants and take-out counters, there are boundless choices.
Stop by the Information Booth at First & Pike for a map. Kids love the accordion-folding maps. Or, using your phone, check out the mobile version of the Market's website at www.pikeplacemarket.org.
For an easy way to organize your day, divide your outing into two parts: the west side of Pike Place, and the east side. Here's a sampling of where to go.
On the west side, start with house-made gelato on First Avenue at Bottega Italiana. Then, venture into the Economy Atrium at 1433 First Ave. to see the giant squid sculpture hanging from the ceiling and pose for a photo with a wooden sculpture of Sasquatch.
Head to Rachel the Piggybank under the neon Public Market Center sign to take a photo with the Market's mascot, and don't forget to drop coins into the change slot on her back. The coins go to the Pike Place Market Foundation, who in turn helps support social services in the Market neighborhood, including a food bank, preschool and child care, senior center, and medical clinic. Look for the real Rachel's hoof print next to the piggybank, Rachel was modeled after a real-life pig named Rachel!
In the main arcade on the west side of Pike Place, there are dozens of produce stands. Marvel at the selection, get a taste of something juicy and take home a bag of fruit or veggies for dinner. Look for spring purple asparagus or fiddlehead ferns, just in from farmers' fields.
Explore the farm and craft tables and perhaps catch a craftsperson creating art right at their table. Artists of Chinese-style calligraphy, painting and stitchery are some of who you might see in action.
The lower levels are paradise for kids. Magic tricks, candy, comic books, a pinball machine, photo booths, fortune tellers, collectible rocks, coins and trading cards are some of the treasures you'll find in the lower levels.
Billie the Piggybank, Rachel's cousin, resides on the lowest level, on Western Avenue near the cafe, Coffee & a Specialty Bakery. (A great place to check out if there are those in your party who are gluten-free.)
On the east side of Pike Place, you can visit the first store of the world's most famous coffee business (hint, it has a mermaid logo). Watch Russian piroshkies made in front of you at Piroshky Piroshky, and cheese-making at Beecher's Handmade Cheese. Both have terrific treats to go, if you need a snack to keep strolling and exploring.
As you wander, enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes of spring around the Market. No matter how many times you've been to the Market, there's always a new adventure around every corner!