Spotlight: Seattle Whirligig!

For the next month, the circus-themed Whirligig event offers a dry escape on rainy Seattle days. The Center is now full of 10 bounce houses – a few gentle ones for children under age 3, many enormous houses for older kids.

Face painters turn regular children into princesses and Spider-Men, cartoonists create pics of mom-and-kid duos and live entertainment lights up the Center House’s stage.

Seattle Center Whirligig with kids

Human gumballs?

Here are a few tips we gleaned from the staff:

  1. Stash cash. Tickets or passes can only be bought with cash. There is an ATM machine available, but it might be best to bring cash with you.
  2. Buy passes ($7.50). The tickets just go too quickly – each trip through a bounce house requires a ticket, and a trip only takes about a minute or two.
  3. Bring a bag to put your kids’ shoes in. Shoes aren’t allowed on the bounce houses, and mom has to schlep them around. Parents sit outside of the bounce houses, so pack a book for yourself in that bag.
  4. Tote water and snacks. Kids get sweaty and thirsty in a hurry. The Seattle Center food court is yucky and expensive, with the exception of Starbucks (the kids’ snack pack saved our day). Wish we’d brought our own.
  5. Go early, when the Whirligig first opens, or go late, when it’s about to close. We went at 4:30 p.m., and it was perfect for the next hour and a half, until we were bounced out of the place.

Whirligig at Seattle Center

That night, they slept. Hard. A+ for Whirligig.

Find more travel fun at DeliciousBaby’s weekly Photo Friday.

Seattle Family Vacation

About Lora

Lora Shinn writes about travel for regional and local publications, including AAA Journey, National Geographic Traveler,, Natural Health and Whole Living.


  1. I had never seen a gumball jump house before!
    .-= DogsMom´s last blog ..Friday Funny Film =-.

  2. This looks like so much fun! Hopefully, we’ll be able to visit someday…and we’ll make sure to bring our own snacks.

  3. Great tips from the insider who notices all the most important tidbits!
    .-= Leah Adams´s last blog ..Cherry Spring =-.

  4. Sounds like paradise for the children but sounds like they could do a bit more (at least on the food front) for all the waiting around Mum’s and Dads
    .-= Heather on her travels´s last blog ..The Rome of childhood memories =-.

  5. Oh, the Seattle Center food court is just not very good for moms, dads and everyone else in the world. But there are several decent restaurants within walking distance.

  6. what cool photos – and tips!
    .-= jessiev´s last blog ..Photo of the Week April 5, 2010: Coming and Going =-.

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