Our trip was paid for by Nintendo. Thank you, Nintendo!

Last year, I took Annie along with me on a work trip to Nintendo Headquarters in Seattle (I’m a member of their parents panel). For this year’s trip to headquarters, I was able to bring both Annie AND James. Based on his obsession with Mario, I knew he would have a blast.

Our flight up was great. Despite making both kids carry their own car seats, they never complained.


James and I sat together on one side of the plane, and Annie sat just across the aisle from me on the other. Annie was a little too excited about sitting “alone.”

Mom and JJ

wanna be teen
I’m sorry, but who is this teenager?

We arrived in Seattle in the evening, and by the time we checked into our hotel, it was late. Shockingly, the kids were anxious to go to sleep. Annie said to James, “As soon as we wake up, it will be time to go to Nintendo!” I wish they always went to sleep that easily.

The people at Nintendo Headquarters had a big day of fun planned for the kids while we parents were off working. They got to meet James’ hero, Mario:

Annie, Mario, and James

And everyone’s favorite Pokemon, Pikachu:

Annie and Pikachu

Pikachu and James

They also had a luau-themed party, where they dressed up and made their own leis:

Luau James

Of course, no trip to Nintendo Headquarters is complete without playing video games. The kids got to try a bunch of different new games, but no one – NO ONE – had as much fun as James did playing “Just Dance.” The kid was on fire, and he was good. He was beating kids more than twice his age!

JJ Danceman

Look at the ridiculous joy on his face. They don’t call him JJ Danceman for nothing.

If that wasn’t enough, they also had all sorts of other fun photo ops,

Luigi and Annie

remote controlled cars for the kids to play with,

driving a car

and even face painting. James asked for a Minecraft character to be drawn on his cheek, but Annie decided to go “full Mario.”

Annie as Mario

I thought the eyelids were creepy but she loved it! It was a PAIN IN THE BUTT to wash off, though. Do not recommend.

Years ago, my brother and I visited my Aunt Lynn when she lived in Seattle. She drove us by Nintendo’s then-headquarters, where we took this photo:

I did my best to recreate it with the next generation:

At Nintendo!

The next day, we had a few hours to explore before our flight home. We went to the Museum of Pop Culture (formerly the Experience Music Project) and had fun with all of their cool interactive displays and exhibits.

little drummer boy

tornado of instruments

After we were done inside, the kids had a blast running around the outdoor play area.


Annie actually made it to the top of this insane rope climbing thing:


We were sad to leave, but judging by how quickly James fell asleep on the plane, I think we managed to pack in a lot of fun.

James is DUNZO

‘Til next time, Seattle!