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Things to do in Leavenworth with Kids: The Best Day Trip for Summer (Spring or Fall)

Just 2.5 hours east of Seattle, nestled into the majestic narrow valley of the Cascade Mountains, lies the enchanting Bavarian-themed village of Leavenworth. A place of unparalleled beauty and charm, it’s no wonder that this picturesque locale is consistently ranked as one of the top Christmas towns in the United States. It’s also home to one of the country’s most celebrated Oktoberfest celebrations. Yet, the magic of Leavenworth isn’t confined to these spectacular events. Regardless of when you visit, the village offers a bounty of activities to make your day or weekend getaway unforgettable.

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Leavenworth Itinerary with Kids

Embarking on a family day trip can be both exhilarating and a bit of a logistical ballet, especially when young kids are part of the equation. Our recent adventure from Seattle to Leavenworth during the vibrant fall season is one we’re excited to share, filled with laughter, stunning scenery, and the charm of a Bavarian village nestled in the Cascade Mountains. Here’s how we made the most of our magical day out in Leavenworth.

8am - Morning Preparation and Departure

We’re not exactly morning people, and with kids, the process of getting everyone ready and packing the car with essentials—snacks, toys, and a playlist for the road—requires a bit of time. Our goal was to hit the road after a hearty breakfast at home, aiming to arrive in Leavenworth around lunchtime. With excitement in the air, we chose the I-90 route for our journey, mainly for its convenience from our home location, setting off with a car full of anticipation and the serene beauty of Washington state awaiting us.

Looking for the ultimate gear to make your family road trips smooth and fun? Dive into our “Family Road Trip Packing List”, where we reveal our top picks for travel essentials, including our favorite kid-friendly toys and an indispensable item for any family on the go—a portable potty.

The Cle Elum Safeway Pit Stop

One of the key strategies for a smooth family road trip is knowing where to make your stops, and for us, the Cle Elum Safeway is a tradition that’s become an integral part of our Leavenworth travels. Located about an hour and a half from Seattle, it serves as the perfect midway point for several reasons:

A Much-Needed Break: It provides a necessary pause from driving, allowing everyone to stretch their legs and get some fresh air. For the kids, it’s a chance to take a restroom break and burn off some of that pent-up energy.

Coffee Refuel: Hosting a Starbucks, this Safeway is our go-to for a caffeine boost. It’s essential for us to recharge and enjoy the picturesque drive that lies ahead to Leavenworth.

11:30am - Arriving in Leavenworth

We arrived in Leavenworth around noon, and parked in one of the paid parking lots near the Leavenworth Starbucks. Even here, the Bavarian-style architecture added a special touch to our coffee break, proving that in Leavenworth, even the familiar feels enchanting.

Noon - Exploring Downtown Leavenworth

Next, we strolled down the main street, soaking in the sight of boutique shops, beer gardens, and various snack shops. For lunch, we decided on Rhein House for an authentic German experience, opting for their Grillwurst Schmankerl—a hefty two-pound sausage sampler—and burgers for the kids, not to forget the Italian soda that our daughter was eager to try.

1pm - Fun at Front Street Park + Horse Drawn Carriage

After lunch, we headed to Front Street Park where the kids enjoyed the simple pleasures of rolling down the hill and playing in the fall leaves. A family photo near the “Welcome to Leavenworth” sign was a must. Our adventure continued with a delightful horse-drawn carriage ride around town, providing us with a brief history and pointing out popular spots. If you are lucky, you might even hear an Alphorn playing in Leavenworth!

Our brief visit meant we couldn’t explore every attraction, but Leavenworth boasts several family-friendly spots worth visiting if you have the chance. Don’t miss the picturesque Waterfront Park and the entertaining mini golf at Icicle Village Resort.

Afternoon Adventures - Shops and Treats

As the afternoon progressed, we explored the charming streets of Leavenworth, indulging in the unique offerings of this Bavarian-themed village. With its array of boutiques, gift shops, bakeries, and more, the vibrant streets of Leavenworth invite you to leisurely explore, ducking in and out of the myriad unique and delightful establishments. Our visit to Leavenworth ended up being an impromptu food tour—though, who are we kidding? That’s the only way we travel!

Delving deeper into the heart of Front Street, we made our way to the Gingerbread Factory, where we indulged in an array of bakery and ice cream treats, making sure to select from their gluten-free offerings as well.

4pm - The Leavenworth Adventure Park

By 4 pm, it was time for the main attraction—the Leavenworth Adventure Park. A short drive from Front Street took us to this mountainside amusement, where the alpine coaster awaited. We opted for the two-ride tickets, with options for single or double riders. Our kids were thrilled, and the 20-minute wait between rides was well worth the excitement.

This alpine coaster takes you on a twisting and turning journey through the forest and cliffs, powered by gravity, providing a rush of adrenaline while surrounded by the beautiful natural scenery. It’s suitable for children as young as three years old (who are at least 38 inches tall), making it a fantastic introduction to the world of amusement park rides.

Wrapping Up the Day

And with that, our enchanting journey in Leavenworth wraps up! Whether you’re already plotting your visit based on our experiences or you’re still on the fence about going, we hope our blog has been insightful. If you haven’t considered a trip yet… well, there’s no better time than now to start! Thank you for joining us!

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