The weather's warming up, people are out for the school year, others are visiting or have relatives coming to visit. Whatever the case, emails asking for suggestions on things to do always seem to pick up in the summer time. Everyone knows to head to the Space Needle, Pike Place Market, the Waterfront and maybe even the Fremont Troll - but what else do locals like to do? I thought it'd be fun to share some of my favorite free things to do around the city, for those who need fun, quick suggestions.
Getting ready for some musubi, kahlua pork, lau lau & shave ice at Live Aloha 2013.
Seattle Center Festál Cultural Festivals
The crowds flock to Seattle Center for the Bite of Seattle and Folklife - but did you know there's a year-round calendar of cultural festivals that are also free to attend? I love Festál events for some great food, dance, music and cultural wares in much less chaotic festival experiences than the Bite or Folklife. Peep the full Festál calendar here. I'll see you at the Center for Pagdiriwang, Live Aloha and probably more!
Can't complain when this is our morning workout view.
Olympic Sculpture Park
If I'm honored enough to have you as an Instagram follower, you've seen many 'grams of early morning workouts at the Olympic Sculpture Park. The park is always free to walk through, and full of really inspirational works of art set amidst a perfectly Northwest 'urban trail' with pristine views of Elliott Bay. If you're early enough, you might even get to see some fine ladies powering through some burpees! :)
Testing my muscles out at the Gates Visitor Center. Gained a new level of respect for the women in Africa who haul buckets of this size & weight for miles to bring clean water to their families!
Gates Visitor Center
First Thursdays and/or Saturdays will get you in free to almost every museum in Seattle, but for complimentary admission every day, the Gates Foundation Visitor Center awaits. Follow my Gates Visitor Center ongoing series for everything I love about the Gates VC. More than anything, it's a quiet gem hidden right next to the bustling EMP & Seattle Center, perfect for some solid reflection on giving back to the world!
Layered up at Art Ache monthly art market
I love a good flea market, but unfortunately we have very slim pickings here in the city. Art Ache is a monthly art, music & style market hosted in some of the most Capitol Hill bars on the Hill. Lately, Art Ache has called Chop Suey home, and has been housed in Vermillion and Comet Tavern in the past. Catch the next Art Ache market on June 8th.
Keeping cool with Spike baby at the Ballard Farmer's Market
Ballard Farmer's Market
We are so fortunate to have multiple farmer's markets year-round in Seattle, and one of my favorites is the Ballard farmer's market. 10:00a.m. - 3:00p.m. every Sunday, they've got such an awesome collective of organic farmers from around the state. Make sure to head to the Alvarez Organic Farms stand for the most delicious cherry tomatoes you've ever tasted.
They see me rollin... (Photo credit Sarah Lovrien)
Typical Seattleites might avoid Alki in the summer because of the crazy crowds, but it's one of my favorite places in the city all year round. Alki feels faraway from the city with it actually being just a short jaunt over the West Seattle bridge. You can run or walk along the water; hold a bonfire; people watch for longboarders, paddleboarders, kayakers, dog-walkers and other fun characters; or grab a meal or drink right along the water. I also love Coastal, the little surf boutique that's open March - December.
Who knows? Maybe this'll parlay itself into a series of its own :) For weekly recommendations on stuff to do in the city, peep my top Seattle events picks post every Thursday (except for yesterday, as I was at a wake for our dear friend Bernie.)
Feel free to chime in on some of your favorite free things to do in Seattle in the comments below!
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Visitor Center. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Visitor Center.