Best Things In Life Are Free

First Thursdays of every month, most museums in Seattle are free. There are many things to do in Seattle that are free.

A model of 1930 Seattle made of Lego at the MOHAI (yes, Lego always gets my attention)

1) Today I met a friend at the MOHAI (Museum of History and Industry) and learned a little more about Seattle’s history. They also offer historical walking tours (not free). History Link is a great website for Washington State related history. It will be moving in 2012 to a restored historic naval building in South Lake Union.

2) Take a walk through a park.

A stroll through Foster Island Park

Columbia Center (Starbucks is on the 40th floor)

3) Free views – The tallest building in Seattle is the Columbia Center (968 ft. if you include the antennae). There’s a Starbucks on the 40th floor. Free views. If you go up to the 74th floor, there’s a $5 fee to enter the observation deck. By the way, I timed it (by accident) to see the Blue Angels fly by – quite spectacular at that height. By the way, the cost to get up the Space Needle is $18.

Inside Seattle City Hall

4) South of the Columbia Center is Seattle’s City Hall – a great and  seemingly underused public space with lots of free art and free places to just hang out. It’s a LEED gold building and a great place to learn about how Seattle is trying to “green” the city.

A piece of public art inside the Municipal Tower

5) East of the Columbia Center is the Seattle Municipal Tower – more free art. They have a small gallery on the 3rd floor (strangely the lobby is on the fourth floor). There’s even a pdf guide for all the public art in downtown seattle that you can download here. There’s no guide for my school’s neighborhood, but as part of our new school’s design, public art has been commissioned for the community.

6) As I mentioned before the Seattle Public Library’s main downtown branch is a work of art itself, but it also has its own great collection.

7) Oh, I’m notorious for hating to pay downtown rates for parking. If you’re willing to walk four blocks all the parking between Madison and James on 8th and 9th is free for 2hrs.

8) The Seattle Art Museum has an interesting contemporary exhibit on Kurt Cobain as well as an Andy Warhol exhibit. Yes, also free on first Thursdays. I’m thinking of taking my class to the Picasso exhibit that opens in October. Their school programs are excellent, but I suppose a first Thursday, might stretch my field trip budget even further (maybe there’ll be money left over for a classroom ipad).

That’s about all I could fit in today, but 4 of the things mentioned were brand new to me and discovering them was fun.

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One thought on “Best Things In Life Are Free

  1. Seattle is rich is small, hidden little parks that are, of course, free of charge and beautiful. The small overlook park outside of Lakeview Cemetery has breathtaking views and hiking trails. The tiny garden park on the SW ridge of Queen Anne Hill is the perfect get away for reading, drawing, quiet contemplation. Large, urban, Cal Anderson Park on Capitol Hill was voted one of the top ten U.S. urban parks by Forbes Magazine in 2009. Every manner of person can be seen happily enjoying this urban oasis. For folks to the north of Seattle, St. Edward State Park in Kenmore is a gorgeous setting with hiking trails near the lake, rambling woods all on the land of a former monastery and school for boys. There is a sense of quiet reverence there. All this, free of charge.

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