6 Great Places To Take Kids In Washington State

From outdoor activities and museums to mouth-watering eats, the Evergreen State is home to a multitude of family-friendly destinations. The region provides ample activities for both the sporting adventurer and the young history buff. Here, in no particular order, are some enjoyable locations in Washington for children both big and small.

Starting off our list at #1, Ezell's Famous Chicken has locations throughout the state, and has been serving up home-cooked meals for over 36 years. Ezell's family recipe calls for high-quality ingredients that are prepared fresh daily. The establishment marinates every piece of chicken for 24 hours using a New Orleans-style seasoning. Next, a proprietary battering process seals in the natural juices, while locking out the oils.

Ezell's serves everything from single-piece fried chicken and children's tender combos, to 24-piece family dinners. All assortments are available in original, spicy, or half and half, with a wide selection of hearty side dishes and snacks including fried okra, chicken livers, and gizzards. Items are cooked in 100% pure vegetable oil, which is low in cholesterol and saturated fats.

At #2, LeMay - America's Car Museum is an international destination where families and motor enthusiasts can view, and learn about, notable automobiles throughout history. The institution focuses on ways automobiles have shaped society in America. Located in Tacoma, it features rotating exhibits, collections, annual events, and an educational center that hosts students of all ages.

Inside the building, visitors can have a picture taken in a 1923 Buick and take home a complimentary souvenir photograph. Another area of the grounds, called the "Speed Zone," allows guests to experience CXC racing simulators or operate a slot car track. Finally, the "Family Zone" provides hands-on learning activities, such as a pinewood racing track and an exposed automobile chassis that teaches how a car's basic systems work.

Next at #3, the Stonerose Interpretive Center & Eocene Fossil Site connects the public, scientific, and local communities through the organization's fossil resource and educational programs. The site holds remnants of organisms that lived nearly 50 million years ago, in a time known as the Eocene Epoch. Specimens at Stonerose hold clues to understanding the geologic and biologic past of the Pacific Northwest.

The public is welcome to dig for fossilized remnants within dedicated areas at Stonerose. After presenting any finds to the staff for identification, individuals may keep three natural artifacts per day. The Center has uncovered and identified many fossils since its establishment in 1989, including dawn redwood and elm leaves, branches, ginkgo leaves, flowers, and insects. Families can also visit the gift shop for unique items and jewelry.

Coming in at #4 is Bellingham. The city boasts natural landmarks, architecture, outdoor adventure, and stunning scenery. Visitors may attend local events, explore hiking or biking trails, enjoy water adventures, or tour one of Bellingham's museums. Restaurants, such as The Loft at Latitude 48.5 and the Chuckanut Brewery and Kitchen, offer farm-to-table fare.

The Whatcom Museum, located in Downtown Bellingham's cultural district, hosts a variety of programs and exhibitions about art, nature, and Northwest history. For a unique nautical experience, Gato Verde offers people of all ages and abilities customized boat tours, overnight whale watching, sailing instruction, and skippered sailing charters.

In at #5, Traxx Indoor Raceway features fast indoor go-karts for ages eleven and up, and specially-designed kids' karts for ages six to ten. Since 1998, Traxx has provided a closed loop gas-powered racing experience for locals and visitors in the Seattle, Bellevue, and Everett areas. The establishment can also host parties and events for kids, juniors, and teens.

Children receive behind-the-wheel practice and driving safety drills, as well as classroom instruction, before taking to the course. Helmets and helmet liners are available. Drivers can achieve several laps on both the indoor loop and the indoor-outdoor seasonal layout during a typical race heat. All racers receive a lap-time printout.

Lastly, at #6 is Mora Iced Creamery. This Bainbridge Island company makes old-fashioned ice cream in small batches using fresh milk, eggs, and cane sugar. The kitchen prepares all ingredients by hand, whether toasting pistachio nuts, cutting fresh cantaloupe, or melting Belgian chocolate. With an array of unique creations, like Marron Glace, Dulce de Leche, Goat Cheese with Fig, and Rose Petal, the shop claims to produce a flavor to suit every palate.

In addition to cups and cones, Mora churns out milkshakes, floats, and parfaits for both locals and tourists. The business' name comes from the Italian and Spanish word for blackberry, an ingredient that can be found growing wild on Bainbridge Island.