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Pike Place Market with a Two-Year Old
My family has lived in the Seattle area for about the past 10 years, but we’ve always lived in the upper northwest corner of the United States. That said, this wasn’t our first time going to Pike Place Market. Having lived in the Seattle area for so long, we usually find our way at the market when guests come into town. To go for no particular reason is pretty unusual. However, the last time we went, Charlie was a tiny baby and honestly, I don’t really remember. I was still healing from a pretty serious c-section and so most of my attention was focused on protecting my lower tummy.
As I write this blog, it’s the final few hours of my birthday. I had it in my mind that going to Pike Place Market today would be a picturesque little family, trotting along the market, smelling the fragrance of the beautiful flowers, hearing the fishermen as they gracefully tossed fish and stopping to view the beautiful art, jewelry and other Pike Place Market staples.
While I did have a blast. I was with my favorite people! It was a little less ideal than I thought. The sights and sounds, that were charming to me, were a little more of a nuisance to my son. “Too Loud,” he yelled as the Pike Place Fish Mongers threw the fish.
Tips for the Market with Toddlers
- Beat the crowds. We arrived around 10am which is around peak tourist time of arrival. Pike Place Market opens early, and while you don’t have to get there right when it opens, try going earlier and maybe have breakfast at the Original Starbucks.
- Instead of a stroller, bring an Ergo Baby or something like an Osprey Child Carrier. Having a big stroller was difficult to maneuver in such tight spaces. You might be able to get away with an umbrella stroller.
- While it’s never a bad idea to bring snacks, Pike Place Market has a ton of fruit and other food vendors. You can kind of snack your way through the market. But it’s always a good idea to support the local vendors and purchase something every once and a while. Charlie loved the Bartlett Pears, today.
Favorites at Pike Place
- Pike Place Fish Mongers: If you enter the market at the Pike St entrance you’ll run right into the famous fish throwing mongers. If you can, push your way through the crowds and watch the mongers as they joyfully throw fish for paying customers.
- Pappardelle’s Pasta: Enjoy samples of amazing vinegar and olive oils. Today we got a yummy raspberry balsamic vinegar. Enjoy over ice cream, crepes, or dip some bread.
- All Things Lavender: Smell amazing oils, sleep sprays and soaps. I always seem to walk away with something from this vendor.
- Ellenos Greek Yogurt: One of our favorites. This yogurt is like nothing you’ve ever had. This season they boast an amazing pumpkin pie yogurt which might as well be dessert. But we love their Marionberry Yogurt year round. Ellenos is on Pike and 1st just at the bottom of the hill. Technically it’s not inside the market, but you can’t miss this amazing place.
- Beecher’s Cheese: A local cheese favorite, that you’ll find in a lot of local eateries, but just down the street from Ellenos, you can sample and some great cheese. From their flagship to cheese curds, they make it all.
Pike Place Market always has something to see. From a toddler perspective, though, keep it short an simple. There are a lot of sights and sounds will be fun for them. Keep them entertained by involving your kiddo as you look around and talk with the vendors. Let them smell the lavender at All Things Lavender and let them try the fresh seasonal fruits as you make your way through the market. Stop for breakfast at any of the bakeries. I think if you are patient and involve them, they’ll have a great time. Furthermore, you’re not too far from the Seattle Aquarium and Pier 57/Miner’s Landing.
- Book a chef-guided tour
- Take a food tour
- Book the hop-on/hop-off Trolley and see Pike Place Market, the Space Needle and more