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Join robots, Huskies and bouncing kids at Seattle Center this weekend, kicking off the busy spring and summer season at Seattle’s favorite gathering spot.

Kids can work out their energy at Whirligig inflatable rides and entertainment Saturday through April 18 at the Armory. Attractions are available with all-day passes or per ride for ages 12 younger, including a special area for toddlers, with all rides free on Thursdays.

The recently remodeled Armory (formerly Seattle Center House) has several eateries. seating, a stage and a new 60-foot outdoor deck. It’s the main venue for most Seattle Center events, including Sunday’s Seattle Bot Battles amateur-robot competition by Western Allied Robotics hobby club.

Also at Seattle Center this weekend, Pacific Science Center hosts Paws-On Science: Husky Weekend interactive science, math and engineering-related activities for all ages hosted by University of Washington Friday through Sunday.

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Other popular Seattle Center attractions include two of Seattle’s most iconic landmarks, the Space Needle, the centerpiece of the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair, and the colorful EMP Museum with exhibits on popular music and science fiction.

Seattle Center Monorail, celebrating 50 years as the nation’s first commercial monorail system, is another popular attraction built for the World’s Fair. The International Fountain is a popular spot in warmer weather when kids and kids-at-heart dodge or run through giant sprays at the fountain, which is surrounded by seating areas and lawn. Seattle Children’s Museum, Chihuly Garden and Glass, KeyArena and several theaters for performing arts are among other venues that draw locals and tourists year-around.

Upcoming free events at Seattle Center include the World Rhythm Festival April 12-14 and the Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival April 26-28. The Armory’s popular third-Thursday Happy Hour with games, music and food and drink specials for ages 21 and older is coming up April 18.

Information on all Seattle Center venues, eateries and events is available on the website, and by phone usually answered by a person, not a recording, during business hours, 206-684-7200. Information on taking a self-guided tour of Seattle Center attractions and history is available at Armory Customer Service or online.

Madeline McKenzie:

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