Central Terminal at SEA-TAC: Kid-friendly play

Seattle Airport with Kids: Play Areas, Rocking Chairs and More

Whether you’re jetting toward a distant land or visiting Seattle to enjoy the salmon and (evasive) sun, the Seattle Airport offers great play areas and one of the best central terminal areas I’ve seen in the world. Pull a rocking chair up to the massive windows and enjoy the view, or find one of the vending machines to procure a pacifier for your infant.

Here’s a breakdown of what to do, where to eat, how to get through TSA a little faster with kids, and how to nurse a baby at Seattle-Tacoma International airport.

What to Do at Sea-Tac with Kids

What to do at Sea-Tac with infants, toddlers, kids, and teens? Here are some ideas.

1. Visit the Play Area for Kids at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

The airport’s cute play area attracts families to the intersection of the A and B concourses. (Here’s a map of the Seattle airport) It’s a lifesaver if a flight is delayed, or you need to check in extra early for an international flight. There’s soft, bench-like seating for adults, and plenty for toddlers and preschoolers to do — kids love playing on the giant soft-resin toys shaped like airport mainstays (airplane, etc).

You’ll also find a bright-pink Little Free Library right outside the play area, where you can drop off a kids’ book or pick one up.

In the restroom, there’s a child-sized step to make using the bathroom a little easier for kids.

However, to use this play area, your child must be under 4 feet tall and under 100 pounds.

Performer plays the guitar at Sea-Tac airport

2. Listen to Live Music

Usually 1-2 people are playing the keyboards (or other instruments) in various parts of the airport. Check out the schedule.

3. Rock Out

Near the gorgeous, floor-to-ceiling, 60-foot-tall arcing central terminal window, Sea-Tac offers wooden rocking chairs, so you can rock a toddler and watch the aircraft on the airfield. Or let the kids rock while you eat lunch (this area is essentially the dining area for the food court).

4. Visit the Sensory Room

If you’re traveling with a child who has special needs, check out the new sensory room. offers a quiet space away from the crowds. You’ll find dimmable lighting, a “squeeze chair,” and a starry night ceiling.

5. Go Shopping with Kids at Sea-Tac

Sea-Tac Airport features many independent retail shops where you’ll find one-of-a-kind items, particularly for older kids and teens. The best Sea-Tac store for shopping with kids is probably Firework, with a range of snarky onesies, Robeez baby shoes, 3-D paper model kits, Northwest-themed stickers for water bottles and notebooks, nightlights, moustache tattoos, stickers, bouncy balls…and unicorn snot. The things you never knew you needed, until you did.

Kids may also particularly enjoy exploring Natalie’s Candy Jar (candy). Some of the Hudson stores offer branded plane kits, stuffed animals, and other toys.

Natalie’s Candy Jar, a fun place to take kids at Sea-Tac Airport

For older kids and teens, there’s SUB POP (indie music and apparel), Elliott Bay Book Company (books, activity guides, and more), and SodoPOP, where you’ll find Funko figurines, tees, notebooks, and a whole wall of socks.

6. Get Kid-Friendly Food at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

Most restaurants feature at least a bit of family-friendly grub. A sampling:

  • Floret: Kids’ grain bowl (with grains, roasted veg, seasoned tofu), grilled cheese with yam fries, kids quesadilla, yogurt cup.
  • Lucky Louie Fish Shack: Small chowder with crackers, or one-piece fish and chips, served with milk or 21 oz soda.
  • Skillet: Waffle with fresh fruit, fried chicken strips with fries or fruit, grilled cheddar cheese on toasted brioche with fries or fresh fruit.
  • Lady Yum: Macarons and more macarons
  • Qdoba: Kids’ nachos, quesadilla, or two-taco kit with protein and choice of three toppings

Don’t forget that many places have small bites suitable for small appetites, such as Qdoba’s mini bowl or queso and chips.

7. Play Video Games

Okay, this one isn’t ready yet. But it will be soon! Sky Gamerz is opening a video-gaming lounge at the N Concourse. Supposedly. It’s been saying this for a while now (since 2021). I’ll keep my eye out, and let me know if you see it open when you visit.

8. Check out the Art

Very cool art installations are spread throughout the airport. See if you can find the following:

  • An actual pony-sized horse sculpture (Blackleaf)
  • A giant mural made of glass, featuring trees, sky, and sun (Cascadia)
  • A dragon-like being (Serpentine Serenity)

The Basics of Seattle-Tacoma International with Kids

Need more detail on how to navigate Seattle-Tacoma International airport? No worries. Here’s a guide to how to get through TSA a little faster with kids, where to nurse a baby, and how to find a vending machine that dispenses baby food and diapers.

Family-Friendly TSA Line at Sea-Tac

The best way to travel through Seattle-Tacoma International airport with kids is by booking with SEA Spot Saver. I’ve really enjoyed using this amazing, free resource several times. No more waiting in endless lines! Instead, you get an appointment time for an easier, breezier TSA experience with kids. Here’s how it works:

  1. You book your slot up to 5 days in advance at portseattle.org/SEAspotsaver
  2. You’ll choose an appointment for 240 (4 hours) to 60 minutes (1 hour) before departure.
  3. A QR code is sent to you that you’ll use to get into the line and through TSA
  4. Go to the airport, then to your assigned checkpoint (either 2, 3, or 5) at your scheduled appointment time. Different checkpoints are open at different times of day.
  5. Look for the signs at the checkpoint, and enter the lane, which should be short and efficient.

You can be up to 15 minutes late for your appointment (and in my experience, 15 minutes early), but if you’re any later than 15 minutes, you have to rebook your slot.

Nursing a Baby at Sea-Tac

If you’d like more privacy, new nursing options for traveling moms are available:

  • Nursing suite: A semi-private space within a larger common area on the Mezzanine level at Concourse N suitable for nursing or pumping breastmilk.
  • Nursing room: A smaller space but with a sink, and more available. Inside children’s play area at Concourse A; lower level of D Annex near Gate D24 at Concourse D; on the mezzanine level near the family restrooms at International Arrivals Facility (but only for international passengers)
  • Nursing pod: Very unique little kiosks from Mamava you can sit inside for total privacy. Also at multiple locations at Concourse C (near gate C10E/F), Concourse A (near gate A10E), Concourse S (by escalators, between train and concourse), Concourse D downstairs from TSA Checkpoint 5)

Of course, in Washington State, moms are free (and encouraged) to nurse wherever they like, whenever they like. It’s a Washington State law. While it’s fine if you don’t breastfeed, breastfeeding in public is very normal throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Family Restrooms at the Seattle Airport

All restrooms have children’s changing facilities. There are also five family restrooms, with four in the N Concourse and one in the S Concourse.

Seattle-Tacoma Airport Vending Machines for Families

Here’s something a bit unusual—the airport features three vending machines stocked with kid products parents need (and forgot) such as wipes, diapers, pacifiers, animal crackers, baby food, and more. The prices may be a bit steep—$10 for squeeze-bottle of baby food, $3 for one diaper. Find the machines at:

  • Gate N19
  • Beginning of Concourse B. 
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