Kenmore Air’s Seattle Scenic Flight Tour gave this family a thrilling, crowd-free break from home.

What to do when your wife is out of town on a much-deserved vacation with friends, and you suddenly find out your three children are “learning from home” for the next couple weeks? That was the reality I faced last Wednesday night after getting the ominous email from the school district superintendent.

Three kids ages 9, 7 and 5 make attempting to work-from-home challenging, let alone running a business. Let's just say conference calls were a little chaotic. 

So, into the office we went. Fortunately, the kids found an endless supply of video games to keep them entertained for a couple hours — long enough for me to get a parking ticket. I'd been in too much of a rush to drive down to the parking lot where it's NOT two-hour parking.

Holcomb kids getting ready for a Seattle Scenic Flight Tour

After feeling the guilt of using a screen as my babysitter, I packed up my laptop and got creative. First, we went to the park. It rained on us and was freezing. We made it 20 minutes. (One kid was in shorts and one was in a short-sleeve shirt. Only the youngest was actually prepared(ish) for the weather. Dad-fail.)

So we came home, broke out the board games, and sprinkled in some Marvel movies. (Yes moms. This is what happens when you go on vacation. The kids get Marvel movies, steak, and chocolate chip cookies. It’s not sustainable, but thank you QFC for buy one, get one free on New Yorks!)

Blue sky day aboard a Kenmore Air seaplane.

Finally, we universally agreed we were all going crazy inside. I wanted to get the kids out of the house, but still avoid the crowds. We live one mile away from Kenmore Air’s docks at Kenmore Harbor, but we have NEVER been on one of their planes. We looked up the Seattle scenic flights, and because I’m also a compulsive shopper, we booked one immediately for Sunday at noon.

The next morning, we loaded up and headed down to the south end of Lake Union. The sun was breaking through the crowds. It was going to be a beautiful day and I told the kids how they were going to get a “real” Seattle experience. 

Chris Holcomb

We got to the terminal, gave the nice person there our last name, and we were checked in. EASY! There were only three other passengers in the entire terminal! The waiting area was comfortable, complete with a long outdoor porch that offered a view of seaplanes docking and being turned. 

The kids LOVED all the cool merchandise and asked me for half of it. But thankfully, they finally settled down and looked over the route maps featuring all of Kenmore Air’s destinations. My 5-year old really wanted to fly to the compass rose… we’re working on him.

Holcomb kids smiling.

Boarding the plane was a cool experience — walking down the dock and up the catwalk to the beautiful de Haviland Turbo Otter. The kids were excited because we got to ride in the Evening Magazine plane, “Maggie.” They figured we’d be on the news. (A great dad-win!)

The kids have been in a lot of planes, but this experience was so different. The smiles on their faces, just putting on the headphones was fabulous. Then as we began taxiing on the water, they were GLUED to the bubble windows! 

View of Lake Union

They’ve seen the sights of Seattle from the ground before, but flying over Gasworks, Husky Stadium and the Space Needle from a completely different perspective absolutely blew their minds!

Needless to say, the outing was a major success! There were four other people on the flight, so that checked my list for no crowds. We completed our iconic Seattle day with a stop at Dick’s Drive-in, firmly cementing this as one of the “BEST DAYS EVER” in three special kids’ minds.

They’re already begging me to take them on the Kenmore Air volcano scenic flight over Mount Rainier and Mount St. Helens. And I have to say, if this “learning from home” lasts much longer, I’ll be booking soon!

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