Family Days Out Blog

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Space Needle

familyDaysOut Apr 05, 2018

Family Days Out were lucky enough to visit the Space Needle in Seattle. Yes, that iconic tower standing tall in the centre of town since the days of the 1962 World’s Fair.

When you arrive at the Space Needle, you can see that it really is one of the most popular attractions for tourists in the city. The ticket queues were teeming with eager families ready to see one of the most impressive sights in the city. The gift shop just through the main doors were packed with excited kids looking at all the very cool, vintage and retro merchandise ready to be taken home.

Straight away, you can see it’s best to reserve tickets ahead of time. You book a ticket for a specific time, but if you end up arriving a little later, you can still gain entry no problem. It’s a way they control the crowds, and there are a lot of crowds to control!

When you enter the doors, you automatically are taken into the gift shop. We have to say it was one of our favourite gift shops to date! Along side the general merchandising and gifts you would expect, a sea of nostalgic games, electronics and toys await. We loved the vintage record player and phones! In the centre of the gift shop are the elevators, where you wait your turn to be taken up to the skies.

Make sure you have your camera ready for the elevator journey, because with it’s glass wall, it’s a super fun view as you ascend to the observation deck!

As of the time of writing, the Space Needle was undergoing a huge renovation. The main restaurant was closed, with just a small popcorn stand feeding the eager kids (the smell was delicious!)  Surrounded by construction plastic and panels, we went straight onto the outside platform where you can take in the views of Seattle, and they really are stunning. You get a great view of the skyline and surrounding forests and lakes, and it is worth just taking a moment to take it all in. 

Normally with this kind of adventure we might have spent some time enjoying a drink, a meal, and wondering along the entire perimeter. However, because of the construction, our activities were limited. It was slightly chaotic, with queues for the elevators meandering around sheets of fabric.

The Space Needle is, in our opinion, a must-see when in Seattle. The history is fascinating, it’s iconic, and the views are second to none. If you are only in Seattle for a short time, then make a visit but be prepared.  However, for the admission fee, we recommend if you can to wait until the renovations have been completed to fully enjoy the most of what it can offer. Come Memorial Day, the results sound amazing, and we can’t wait to visit again once we can see it in all it’s glory. 

Find out more at their official website
Main image copyright to spaceneedle.com 

Aquarium Of The Bay in San Francisco!

familyDaysOut Mar 20, 2018

Family Days Out was lucky enough to visit Aquarium Of The Bay in the glorious city of San Francisco, and we had a wonderful time!

Located in the iconic, busy and vibrant PIER 39, this fascinating aquarium allows kids to discover the beauty and diversity of Northern California's aquatic life.


The aquarium is home to more than 20,000 marine animals, including sleek sharks and rays, incredibly hypnotic jellyfish, a strange but wonderful octopus and the cutest river otters you will ever see - just to name a few!

The animals are presented in a way that kids will love too. Make sure you stand around watching the colors change in the jellyfish tank. You can see right through them and really appreciate the complexity of them. There is a fun portal in the octopus tank that kids can stick their heads in, and feel like they are under the ocean.

Another fun experience is the Sharks Of Alcatraz Tunnel. You can explore the deeper waters of San Francisco Bay in the second crystal-clear tunnel exhibit. (The first is the Near Shore tunnel that showcases creatures that live in the shallow depths - and there are some pretty big fish in there!)


Kids will get a kick out of seeing the cute faces of the rays swimming overhead, and learning about the docile nature of many sharks. 

Another fun feature of Aquarium Of The Bay is the touchpool. The magic of the bay is literally at your fingertips as you can touch rays, skates, sea stars and even sharks! Make sure you read the sign as to where you can touch these creatures to ensure they stay happy and healthy as you play with them. Don't forget to roll up those sleeves either!

An exhibit we loved which was a surprise was the Chinchilla exhibit. Adorably soft and we just wanted to take them home with us! The tiny tree frogs were also fun to see, trying to spot them hidden in the leaves.

Make sure you allow time for the river otters too. There are four in the gallery, and one - Shasta - was actually saved from the Louisiana fur trade, which we just loved. Kids can really gain an understanding of conservation at the aquarium, which was important to us.

All of the galleries are clearly marked, with informative signs explaining all about the wildlife, their habits and habitats, and also about what they can do to make a difference in their homes. Explanations about plastic in the ocean and the detriment to wildlife, as well as the consequences of shark fin soup were great touches.


Ensure you check out the keeper talks and feedings that are happening during the day of your visit, as these are great fun and really keep the kids entertained. 

They even offered informative wallet cards on what seafood is sustainable, and what should be avoided if you want to ensure what you eat isn't harming the planet. 

Overall, we just loved out day out at the Aquarium Of The Bay. The staff were so lovely and helpful, always asking if we needed help, and offering up fun facts about the exhibits we were looking at. You could tell everyone just adored the animals, and really cared about educating visitors as they walked around, which was really lovely to see.

Definitely worth a visit during any family day out in San Francisco!

Address:

PIER 39 The Embarcadero & Beach St, San Francisco, CA 94133

Admission:

Adult: $26.95
Child: $16.95
Senior: $21.95
Family of 4: $80

2018 Hours:
January 1 - June 16: 10am - 6pm
June 17 - September 3: 9am - 8pm
September 4 - December 31: 10am - 6pm

Call for hours on Nov 22 and Dec 24. Closed December 25. 

Festival 2018 Gold Coast

familyDaysOut Feb 28, 2018

Festival 2018 Gold Coast is 12 action-packed days of FREE culture that is taking over the Gold Coast from the 4th to 15th April! This family friendly event is celebrating the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Kids can experience a host of fun activities, from music, theatre, circus, dance, film and visual arts from the Gold Coast, the entire country, and all across the globe!

There are also some events in Townsville, Brisbane and Cairns too!