Hawaii Mom Blog: Visit Seattle - Space Needle




October 27, 2013

Visit Seattle - Space Needle

Click on all photos to enlarge.  Disclosure: Our family received complimentary admission.

When most people think of Seattle attractions, the Space Needle immediately comes to mind, so we knew our visit to Seattle would not be complete without taking in the views from the Space Needle Observation Deck.

Highlights of Our Visit
We arrived at the Space Needle just after sunset (we wanted to see the views while there was still some sunlight out, as well as when the city lights went on).

Although we had VIP tickets, which offers expedited entry, a VIP lanyard and an exclusive 360 experience map, we were ushered into the regular "general boarding line" due to a special event that was taking place, but fortunately, the general boarding line was very short, and the wait to get in the elevator was less than 5 minutes.

According to the elevator attendant, we were in a "slow" elevator, which took a mere 82 seconds to reach the Observation Deck, and once we arrived we took in the magnificent views.

Since it was cloudy and a bit foggy, we couldn't see Mt. Rainier or other points of interest that were at a really far-off distance, but we still had beautiful views of Elliott Bay, Downtown Seattle, the Seattle Great Wheel, and more.

All around the Observation Deck there are numerous complimentary telescopes allowing visitors to get a closer look at all the sights around them.
As it got darker and darker, the city lights began to glow, and the views were even more beautiful.

The views were simply stunning! 

Our Experience Visiting with a Special-Needs Child
My oldest son has an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and although I know kids on the spectrum all behave and react differently in various environments, I always try to share our personal experience when visiting attractions.

Prior to visiting, whenever we passed the Space Needle we always pointed it out and talked about how we'd take an elevator to the Observation Deck.

Fortunately, once there we did not have to wait in very long lines to go up to the Observation Deck.  No one likes to wait in long lines, but for a child on the spectrum - many of whom, like my son, don't understand the concept of patience - a wait of just a few minutes can become very, very challenging.  In those cases I would highly suggest getting a VIP ticket, which allows for expedited entry, especially if you're going on a busy day and can already see a long line of people waiting.

Since my son loves elevators, he was eager to ride up to the Observation Deck, and once inside my son was immediately drawn to the SkyQ Kiosk, where he could've spent hours exploring the regional map (he's obsessed with maps).
When we got to the outside Observation Deck, he kept wanting to look through the telescopes (love that they are complimentary to use!).

Because it was quite crowded due to a special event, and also because it started to drizzle (he has sensory issues with rain), he started to get very anxious.  Fortunately, we could easily take cover indoors, and there was plenty of seating both on the inside and outside Observation Decks for whenever breaks were needed.

Overall my son did great, and although he commented how nice the views were, what he enjoyed the most were the elevator rides up and down, the SkyQ Kiosk, and the numerous telescopes he could look out of!

Final Thoughts
Our family had a wonderful visit and walked the outdoor Observation Deck multiple times. Even though it can be a bit unnerving for some to be up 520 feet in the open air, the views are absolutely gorgeous.

It's no wonder that the Space Needle is the #1 tourist attraction in the Northwest, attracting more than 1.2 million visitors annually.

If you're in the Seattle area, I think a trip to the Observation Deck at least once is a must. Some may think a ticket is pricey, but how can you not make a trip to the Observation Deck of this Seattle icon?

Space Needle: 400 Broad St  Seattle, WA 98109; (206) 905-2100

For information on ticket prices click here; for hours click here.

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