Ballard Locks / Hiram M. Chittenden Locks , Seattle

Address 3105 Northwest 54th Street, Seattle, WA 98107 Map, Tel (206) 783-7059 Call, Hours 7am-9pm year round

Children will enjoy watching boats pass through the locks and during salmon season you can watch fish swim upstream on a gradual incline using the fish ladder first built by the US Army Corps of Engineers in 1917. There is also a small, dark, museum with exhibits that help viewers understand how the locks work. For detailed information, check the Ballard Locks Website


  1. joyce kamiyama on September 7, 2009 at 11:34 a.m.

    How far is this from tacoma? My son is 8 years old--is it age appropriate? Is it interactive?

  2. Debbie on September 7, 2009 at 8:46 p.m.

    The Ballard Locks is about 30 miles (maybe 50 or 60 minutes) from the Tacoma Dome. This would be a great activity for an 8 year old. I'm not sure exactly what you mean by "interactive" Visitors are outdoors and can watch the boats going through the locks - there's lots of space to move, and most kids find it really engaging.

  3. Namika on October 5, 2010 at 10:18 p.m.

    My boys and I had a great morning following your 1/2 day trip plan around Ballard last week. We even had lunch at La Carte de Oaxaca and bought some new shoes at Mon Petit Shoe.
    But, by far, our most favorite things were the Ballard Locks and Clover.

  4. Debbie on October 5, 2010 at 10:22 p.m.

    So glad you had a great time in Ballard! That's one of my kids favorite outings too ;)

  5. TIM on August 17, 2015 at 8:26 a.m.

    My wife and I are travelling to seattle and were wondering besides the zoo what might be a must see for our 2 year old toddler to explore?