Seattle Center, on the north edge of downtown, is a cultural playground of theaters, opera, ballet and museums clustered near the iconic Space Needle. You could easily spend a whole day at Seattle Center — and you can get there from downtown Seattle on the vintage Monorail. 206-684-7200 or

Pacific Science Center

An interactive science museum beloved by families. See how your body works, hear robotic dinosaurs roar, and much, much more, including two IMAX theaters. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, Sunday, 200 Second Ave. N.; $10-$18, additional charge (and later hours) for IMAX and laser theaters. 206-443-2001 or

The Children’s Museum

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A 22,000-square-foot playland that’s fun and educational, aimed at children under 10. It’s a kids’ world of interactive exhibits, including a mock grocery store; construction zone (where children can build their own structures to play in); a mini-theatre and more. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Seattle Center Armory lower level; $7-$8.25. 206-441-1768 or

Experience Music Project

EMP (the Experience Music Project) isn’t just about rock ’n’ roll and its history. It covers sci-fi and other pop culture for multigenerational audiences with collections, exhibitions, activities and educational programs. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, 325 Fifth Ave. N.; $12-$20. 206-770-2700 or

Chihuly Garden and Glass

Galleries of shimmering, vividly colored glass art by Dale Chihuly, including a 100-foot-long, 1,400-piece suspended artwork. At the base of the Space Needle, with dramatic views through the glass roof. 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday-Saturday; starting Oct. 1, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday-Saturday; $12-$19. 206-753-­4940 or

Seattle Opera, Pacific Northwest Ballet

Both call the elegant McCaw Hall home. See world-class opera,, and traditional and modern ballet, 321 Mercer St., 206-733-9725 or

Seattle Children’s Theatre

A high-quality, professional theater aimed at youngsters (and their parents). 201 Thomas St., 206-441-3322 or

Seattle Repertory Theatre

Prominent regional theater, classics and new work. 155 Mercer St., 206-443-2222 or