Seattle Central Library, Seattle

Address 1000 4th Ave, Seattle, WA Map, Tel 206-386-4636 Call, Hours M-Th 10am-8pm, Fri & Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 12n-6pm, Call for seasonal closures, Cost Free Website

If you're interested in modern architecture or green design (and even if you are not) the Seattle Central Library is one of the coolest new buildings on the west coast. It is not only visually stunning, but the designers gave a great deal of thought to how a library and a public building should function... redesigning the building from the ground up. Adults will be interested in signing up for a tour or just exploring the building with kids (check out the red meeting area on the fourth floor, the wacky art installations in the escalator and the beautiful wooden floor on the first floor) My son never tires of exploring the library.

The real gem for families, however, is the 15,000 sq foot children's section. It's completely separate from the grown up areas, meaning that kids can be kids without fear of disturbing someone deep in thought. There is also a great selection of toys for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers & plenty of room to roam (plus wifi and comfortable chairs for mom & dad) This is a great place to get out of the weather and enjoy a little family time. Regular storyhours are lots of fun with singing, dancing, and of course great stories.

There is also a great teen center on the third floor complete with a huge collection of comic books, zines, and music listening stations. The excellent cherry street coffeshop runs a coffeeshop on the third floor as well.