The 8 Best Father's Day Activities in Seattle

Seattle Daytime Skyline and Mt. Rainier from Kerry Park
Seattle Daytime Skyline and Mt. Rainier from Kerry Park | © Kenneth Lu / Flickr
Photo of Samantha Ladwig
8 June 2018

A Seattle summer breeze is on the horizon, and that means Father’s Day is fast approaching. To keep the tradition alive, here are eight activities to do in Seattle with Dad on Father’s Day.

If any U.S. state were the capital of Father’s Day, it would probably be Washington. Spokane, to be specific, was the first city in the United States to celebrate the day of dads at the local YMCA in 1910. It was all thanks to one woman—Sonora Smart Dodd—who felt that her single father raising six children deserved a day of praise equal to Mother’s Day. Just like that, the U.S. jumped on the Father’s Day bandwagon.

Pike Place Market

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Pike Place is one of the oldest markets in the US
Pike Place is one of the oldest markets in the US | © Pike Place Market
The historic fish-throwing Pike Place Market is a one-stop shop for those looking to make a day out of the holiday, especially for those whose dads get a kick out of local tourism. Meander through the endless row of vendors selling a variety of foods, flowers, and trinkets. Afterward, dip over to the always-crowded French bakery, Le Panier, for a pastry or sandwich, and pair it with a coffee from the original Starbucks next door. Enjoy the food at the Victor Steinbrueck Park, which overlooks Elliott Bay, where Washington State Ferries come in and out of Seattle to Bainbridge Island and Bremerton. Before wrapping up your day with dad, head down below the market and marvel at the infamous Gum Wall.

Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP)

Museum, Building
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MoPop | Courtesy of Visit Seattle
Formerly known as the Experience Music Project (EMP), MoPOP is a pop culture junkie’s slice of heaven. So for fathers who fit into that category, MoPOP is the place to celebrate. The museum has drawn attention for its infamously wonky architecture, designed by Frank Gehry. The museum highlights the impact and influences of pop culture on society today by exploring icons such as Kurt Cobain and cult entertainment like Star Trek. From sight to sound to touch, this museum offers its guests a full sensory experience.

Portage Bay Cafe

Bar, Cafe, Market, American, $$$
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Portage Bay Cafe
Portage Bay Cafe | © Jessica Spengler / Flickr
The University District’s Portage Bay Cafe is the perfect brunch spot for families. The lively food joint offers a variety of locally sourced, organic foods for all types of fathers, such as benedicts, breakfast burritos, hot sandwiches, and salads. Most importantly is the stacked breakfast bar, where pancake lovers can top their flapjacks with heaps of seasonal fruit, nuts, and whipped cream.

Discovery Park

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West Point Lighthouse from Discovery Park | © Seattle Parks / Flickr
Pack a lunch and spend the afternoon at Discovery Park, Seattle’s largest park, located in the Magnolia neighborhood. Discovery Park occupies over 500 acres of the Emerald City, and that space has 11 miles (17.7 kilometers) of walking trails, both in the tree-laden forest and on the shores of the Puget Sound. With stretching views of the Olympic and Cascade mountain ranges, the park is a perfect destination for celebrating dads who get a kick out of the outdoors.

SIFF Cinema Egyptian

Cinema, Movie Theater
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Movie tickets from SIFF Cinema Egyptian | © Cindy Shebley / Flickr
With the Seattle International Film Festival wrapped up, the city’s movie theaters are finally back to their regular curation of the latest and quirkiest flicks. This Father’s Day, stop by the historic Egyptian Theatre on Capitol Hill. Its one-screen theater offers everything from restored classics to recent releases to midnight screenings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. What separates SIFF Cinema Egyptian from modern multiplexes is that it provides more than just movies. Built in 1915 as a Masonic temple that hosted wrestling matches to raise money, the Seattle institution provides a bit of history too. It wasn’t until the the 1980s when the space, after some redecoration, became the movie theater Seattleites know it as today.

Museum of Flight

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The Caproni Ca.20
The Caproni Ca.20 is considered the world’s first fighter plane | Courtesy of The Museum of Flight
With over 175 aircraft and spacecraft, “the Museum of Flight exists to acquire, preserve, and exhibit historically significant air and space artifacts,” according to their mission. Essentially, this museum is the perfect place for airplane-enthusiast dads. As the largest independent, non-profit air and space museum in the world, the museum carries everything from the restored Amelia Earhart aircraft and the Lockheed Model 10-E Electra to the world’s first jetliner, de Havilland Comet.

Fremont Brewing

Craft Ale Bar, American
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Seattle’s craft beer scene is booming
Seattle’s craft beer scene is booming | © ctj71081 / Flickr
Fremont Brewing offers it all: delicious beer made with local ingredients, a great location, and an outdoor seating area with a view of Lake Union. Since 2009, this Fremont neighborhood hotspot has quickly become one of Seattle’s favorite breweries. For Father’s Day, grab a seat and enjoy the Summer sunshine with a pint of one of their seasonal IPA’s, year-round ales, or barrel-aged bourbons.

Lake Washington Boulevard

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Washington Park Arboretum | © Oran Viriyincy / Flickr
Celebrate Father’s Day by heading to Lake Washington Boulevard for a day-long bike ride. Built in 1907, Lake Washington Boulevard was the first paved boulevard in Seattle. The boulevard is approximately eight miles long and runs through neighborhoods like Montlake, Madison Park, Madrona, Leschi, and more. Along the way, bikers witness everything from the beautiful Washington Park Arboretum and the Cascade Range to Mount Rainier and, of course, Lake Washington, which borders a large chunk of the path.