Family Fun at Miners Landing & The Seattle Great Wheel

In 1897 a ship filled with gold and elated miners landed in Seattle telling people of the riches to be made in Alaska. While you no longer find gold at Pier 57, you will find happy tourists and families enjoying great food and fun as they learn about the Gold Rush. Miners Landing has transformed into an exciting space that has restaurants, amusements and other fun, and the famous Seattle Great Wheel to get on high and see Seattle and the Puget Sound from up high. Check out why Miners Landing should be on your itinerary.

The front of Miners Landing in Seattle

History

One of the reasons I enjoyed Miners Landing was it was not your typical commerce focused retail area. The developers used the space to teach people about the Gold Rush era, which helped Seattle build up to the city it is today. The entire place is in the style of an old fashioned log lodge. Throughout you find wood carvings of miners, historical pictures on the wall, and plaques that teach about the history of this era.

The hallway of Miners Landing that shows animals on the walls, black and white photos, and the wood décor.
An elaborate wood carving of two miners trying to encourage a loaded donkey to continue on its journey

Food

The Miners Landing has two highly rated restaurants in the building: The Crab Pot and The Fisherman’s Restaurant. Both are family friendly sit-down affairs that have decent reviews on Google. In addition, there is the Seattle Bay Creamery, an ice cream shop that has some of the creamiest local ice creams. The kids loved it, but I warn you, they do giant scoops!

Two children sitting eating ice cream cones

Amusements

Most people come to Miners Landing for the two big amusements, The Seattle Great Wheel and Wings over Washington, but there are some smaller ones inside not to be missed. There is a gorgeous vintage merry go round for the little ones. Between the Creamery and the Crab Pot is the Klondike Arcade, a small arcade with some fun video games for your older kids. The kids enjoyed “snowboarding,” pinball, and others.

The Klondike Arcade

Wings over Washington

If you are a fan of Soaring Around the World in Disney California Adventure, then you want to make sure to check out the Wings over Washington ride. It is a dome theater that has you seated so you feel like you are flying like an eagle over all the different beautiful parts of the Washington state. It is a nice way to see the beauty of the state if you are only in Seattle for a weekend and can’t get out to explore.

The Seattle Great Wheel

The Seattle Great Wheel was why we came to Miners Landing. I saw the pictures of it on the internet and knew that I wanted to ride. (I can’t pass up a Ferris Wheel) You can purchase your tickets from the booth outside. One you have the tickets you then get in line to get in the next available pod (we were lucky and waited no more than 10 minutes).

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Our family of four had a pod all to ourselves. It is a glass enclosed pod with smaller windows at that top that narrowly open for air circulation. Up in the glass pod, you can see all around mostly unobstructed, but feel safe taking your younger children or older adults afraid of heights and falling. The vents allow air circulation, so it does not feel stuffy. My husband, who is terrified of heights, was able to feel secure with the glass and eventually enjoy the ride.

A man and his son sitting in a glass pod on the Seattle Great Wheel
You never see him this happy up high
A woman and her daughter sitting in a glass pod on the Seattle Great Wheel
We, however, are Ferris Wheel junkies*

As you climb, your view of Seattle continues to improve until you get to the very top. As you rise you can see the Space Needle peak out from the buildings.

The Space Needle peering out from the buildings
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Up at the top you get clear views of the dramatic clouds and beautiful skyline.

The view of Seattle from up high

I had my heart set on riding the Great Wheel, so I bee-lined to the back of Miners Landing to ride the wheel. It was after the fact that we wandered around, and I saw how amazing a place Miners Landing was. The Great Wheel is a fantastic, must do ride, but make sure not to miss the detail and care that went into weaving the history into this unique place on the waterfront. There is so much more to see and learn when you are here.

Want to know more about what to do in Seattle? Check out my post, the Ultimate Long Weekend in Seattle to plan your next trip.

Miners Landing & The Seattle Great Wheel
  • Address: 1401 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98101
  • Hours:
    • The Seattle Great Wheel: Sunday – Thursday: 11am to 9pm, Friday & Saturday: 11am to 10pm
    • Wings Over Washington: Sunday – Thursday: 11am to 9pm, Friday & Saturday: 11am to 10pm
    • The Crab Pot: Monday – Thursday: 11:00 am – 9:00 pm, Friday – Saturday: 11:00 am – 10:00 pm, Sunday: 11:00 am – 9:00 pm
    • The Fisherman’s Restaurant: Monday – Sunday: 12:00 pm – 8:00 pm
  • Cost:
    • The Seattle Great Wheel: Adults – $16, Seniors (65+) – $14, Youth (3-11) – $11, 2 and under Free
    • Wings Over Washington: Adults – $17, Seniors (65+) – $15, Youth (3-11) – $13, must be 42″ to ride
    • Carousel: $4 a ride

* Photos taken by Atma Photography

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