A Day Out With Kids in Capitol Hill

Toys ⏭️ Trees ⏭️ Treats

📸: Bon9

Capitol Hill has a reputation as a nightlife locale, but it’s also full of daylife and includes plenty of stuff that welcomes kids—and, in my experience, kids love seeing all the glittery queer stuff the neighborhood has to offer, too. Some spots on this list are pointedly kid-friendly, though, including a sustainable toy store.

This itinerary is designed for both kids and the adults with them to have a fun (and maybe a little educational) Capitol Hill time. Feel free to stray off the path; a nice long walk in the middle is perfect for additional exploration.

📸: Courtesy Glo’s


Glo’s 🥞

Glo’s became an indispensable Capitol Hill institution in its original itty-bitty quarters on Olive Way, but demand for Glo’s Remarkable Benedicts quickly outpaced the handful of tables they could cram in there. When space became available at the housing development above the Capitol Hill light rail station, they jumped on it. Their shiny new buildout was made possible by a $300,000 fundraising campaign, which is honestly more than worth it to keep those biscuits and gravy alive.

The diner reopened with a cute midcentury aesthetic in May 2023. Increased seating, a more comfortable layout, and air conditioning make it 100% easier to bring kids here now. The menu isn’t huge, but you should be able to feed a picky child here; the pancakes are delicious, their selection of a la carte sides is comprehensive, and their juice is fresh. You may still have to wait, but there’s more indoor space and a plaza outside, so expect fewer complaints. Bonus: They’re union now, so you’ll set a great example.

📍 Glo’s: 928 East Denny Way, E Barbara Bailey Way, Seattle
⏰ Open every day: 7 am – 3 pm
📞 (206) 420-4436

📸: Courtesy Bootyland


Bootyland 🏴‍☠️

Yeah, I know, a trip to the toy store can be a minefield, but Bootyland, which shares a space with similarly-aligned company Two Owls, is positively serene. They only stock plastic-free and sustainably-made toys, with nothing loud and flashy, designed more for thoughtful play—think play silks, wool vegetables, and wooden musical toys. Books from small presses and local authors that haven’t already been read to death help mix things up for your next storytime. They sell things aimed at parents, too, including craft and spa supplies designed to help you chill out, and soft, eco-friendly clothing for both kids and parents.

Things can run a little bit spendy here, but there are plenty of cute things for under $20. And if you do leave with a new toy, you can be reasonably confident it won’t break as soon as you get home. 

📍Bootyland: 1429 12th Ave Suite D, Seattle
⏰ Open on Tues – Wes: 11 am – 5 pm | Thurs – Sat: 11 am – 6 pm (or later) | Sun: 11 am – 4 pm | Closed on Mon
📞 (206) 328-0636

📸:  Anat Goldman


Volunteer Park 🌿

It’s a 20-minute walk to Volunteer Park from Bootyland. Maybe 25 to 30 with child-dawdling. You can head up 12th Avenue and get a light, or at least an all-way stop, at the major intersections—and you’ll enter the park right by the water tower. A spiral staircase will take you to an observation deck at the top for a nice view in pretty much any direction, although the kids may get more joy out of finding a hidden place than seeing the sights.

The Volunteer Park Conservatory, ensconced in a Victorian greenhouse, is an educational opportunity for the kids and a chance to vibe with some plants for you. Stroller-friendly paved paths take you through five different plant areas: bromeliads, ferns, palms, cacti, and a seasonal selection. Admission is $6 for adults and $4 for kids ages 6-17; it’s free for five-and-unders. The first Thursday and Saturday of the month is always free and include programming specifically for younger visitors, like live music, story times, and crafts.

Just outside the Conservatory, you’ll find a couple of kid classics: a wading pool and the playground. The playground has views, too; they’re of the cemetery next door, perfect for lil baby goths.

📍Volunteer Park: 1247 15th Ave E, Seattle
⏰ Open every day: 6 am – 10 pm

📸: Courtesy Molly Moon’s


Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream 🍦

📍 Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream – Capitol Hill: 917 E Pine St, Seattle
⏰ Open every day: 12 – 11 pm
📞 (206) 294-4389


Sarah Anne Lloyd

Sarah Anne Lloyd is a writer and lifelong Seattleite whose work has appeared in Seattle Met, The Stranger, Seattle Weekly, KNKX, and others. She lives on the outskirts of West Seattle with her partner, an absolutely perfect dog, and six terrifying chickens. Follow her on Twitter at @sarah

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