I once had a friend who said, "If it's free it's fun!" And while I disagree with that statement I do know that there is a wealth of free and fun activities and attractions in Seattle. In addition to most museums being free the first Thursday of each month and free sailings each Sunday at the Center for Wooden Boats, these institutions are free to all every day.
While many come to visit the first Starbucks or the gum wall, the market has so much more to offer. Food (fresh and prepared), wine (including a tasting room for Washington wineries), $5 bouquets, a newsstand, a rummage hall, a cabaret, a theater, a gallery and a shoe museum.
This Seattle treasure has over 4,000 species of trees, flowers and flora throughout it's stunning 200 acres. In addition to all of the natural beauty in the heart of the city amenities like free on site parking, paved paths, restrooms, and a shop plus free guided walks make it a can't miss.
Visiting this pristine, ornate and dead silent library on the UW campus is a spiritual experience. Do not miss the top floor reading room stocked with historic volumes which will make you feel like you attended and Ivy even if you didn't.
This amazing property has got it all, an environmental center, great trails, stunning views, a lighthouse and a generous slice of beach. This park is the perfect destination whether you are in the mood for a picnic, a run, a kayak or just some fun in the sun.
Film, theatre, music, dance and visual art venues share space with a food court that is a cut above and the beloved International Fountain.
The Center plays host to dozens of festivals each year including PRIDE, Bite of Seattle, Folklife, Bumbershoot and more.
Built in the early 1900's to aid in the transport of lumber the locks now help with the transition between waterways of over 65,000 boats from the tiniest of kayaks to boats up to nealy 800 feet in length. There is a park adjacent to the locks that's a fine place for a picnic while you watch the parade of boats transition. Also don't miss the underwater fish ladder viewing area where you can watch salmon run each June, July, September and October.
Free educational center and guided tours are a plus.
This long stretch of beach also has a narrow path for a stroll or bike. There are plenty of restaurants nearby, a bathhouse with restrooms, volleyball courts, a statue of liberty and sweeping views of Puget Sound, the downtown skyline and the working port.
Perched near the top of Queen Anne hill this park offers sweeping views of the skyline, the Space Needle, the working port, the Olympic mountain range and the stunning Mount Rainier when it makes it’s appearance. A coin operated telescope, a Doris Chase sculpture and a well manicured lawn for picnicking makes this a jewel in the parks system's crown.
Tucked under an overpass in Fremont you'd have to be made of stone not to smile at the sight of this enormous troll sculpture clutching a full size VW bug.
The works of Calder, Serra, Oldenberg and more call this multi-acre park home. Great outdoor seating whether you prefer tables & chairs or the grass between your toes. Stunning water views, a cafe and beautiful dogs parading by are a plus.
This lovely 20 acre Japanese Garden has been delighting visitors since 1927. The Kubota Garden has streams, waterfalls, ponds, rock outcroppings and beautiful plantings.
Note: There is free on site parking but no drinking water on site. The garden is only partially ADA accessible.
Free for all every day (except Mondays and holidays.) Interesting exhibitions of local and international artists across mediums are complimented by educational activities for all ages. Don't miss the moss ball, the conversation chairs or the newly transformed shop.