As one of the biggest pulls to the San Juan Islands, a whale watching tour is a fun activity that everyone in the family will enjoy. Set off on a scenic cruise through the islands and see parts of the San Juans that simply can’t be experienced on foot. While you tour the isles, the guides will take you to spots where the whales are known to be found.
Before you set off on a whale watching tour, however, stop by the Whale Museum right in downtown Friday Harbor. This interactive museum has enough to keep even the most anxious of kids occupied while learning all about these magnificent creatures and their ways of life. With fun games, unique educational centers, and passionate guides, both you and your little ones will be amazed by what you discover. Children under 5 are free to enter and students age 5-18 are only $4, making this a wallet-friendly family activity.
San Juan Island Sculpture Park:
On the northern end of San Juan Island in Roche Harbor lies the San Juan Islands Sculpture Park, a large and diverse collection of outdoor sculptures by a variety of artists. You can walk around the park and play “I Spy” with the 150 sculptures dotting and sometimes hidden in the landscape. From month to month, the sculptures are rotated as some pieces are sold to collectors while new pieces are brought into the landscape, so you can visit the collection year after year and have an entirely different experience each time.
Krystal Acres Alpaca Farm:
San Juan Island is known for an abundance of farms and the most unique of them all is the Krystal Acres Alpaca Farm. They are open daily from 11-4 through the winter months and 10-5 during the summer months. You can see the multicolored alpacas and spot the little babies in the herd! Afterward, you can roam around the shop where they have items made from alpaca fibers ranging from cozy soft sweaters to cute toys, plus spools of yarn if you’d like to knit or crochet your own handmade item. This is a great educational opportunity that the whole family will love.
Grab a bite to eat:
Food brings people together, and great food can be the highlight of any trip. In Friday Harbor, there are a couple of family-friendly eateries that are perfect for bringing the crew together. Downriggers is a great place to head out for a nice dinner with your family. The waterfront views paired with delicious PNW-focused food, a killer cocktail list, and a great kids menu makes for a great night out. For a more casual dining experience, one couldn’t go wrong with Van Go’s Pizza. Their pies range from classic meat lovers and Margherita options to upscale creations like the Prosciutto & Pear pizza or the Brussel Sprouts and Bacon pie. You can get a kid’s pie and an adult pie that will please everyone!
Paradise Lanes & Bowling:
This is the time of year when the sun starts to go down a little sooner each day and if you want something to keep the kiddos busy during the evening, then head to Paradise Lanes for a family fun game. Each game is under $4 a person making this a great evening activity. Get a little competitive and dance around in your bowling shoes while on vacation in Friday Harbor.
Zip San Juan:
Ziplining used to be something only adrenaline junkies could do deep in the Costa Rican rainforest, but not anymore. With Zip San Juan Island, you can tour the island like a bird by soaring through the trees on zip lines. The zip lines start off short and close to the round to get you used to the feeling of the harness, but the further you go into the forest, the longer and faster zip lines will give you an unparalleled rush.
Get outside with the family and go on a little hike to learn about the island and observe its natural beauty. Bell Point Trail is a great 1.7-mile loop that is rated as “easy” so even the youngest in the group can complete the trek. If everyone is prepared for a more challenging trail, then hike to the top of Mount Finlayson. Don’t let the name deter you—the loop is only three miles long and the summit stands at 295 feet above sea level, rewarding you with excellent views of the passages and neighboring islands.
As you can see, there’s plenty to keep the whole crew entertained on San Juan Island. At the Tucker House Inn and Harrison House Suites, we’d love to host your family while you’re here in one of our kid-friendly accommodations. Be sure to check out our “Kids Stay Free” special when making your plans. Plus children under 7 always stay for free!