Things to do in Seattle on a Budget

If you are traveling on a budget, consider Seattle for your next vacation. There are a number of free and inexpensive things to do in Seattle that fit a wide variety of interests. Here are a just a few things to keep in mind for your next Seattle trip.

If you’re visiting Seattle early in the month, check out free days at the Seattle museums. Most museums offer free admission on the first Thursday of every month. These museums include the Frye Art Museum, EMP Museum, The Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, the Seattle Asian Art Museum, and the Wing Luke Museum. While you’re visiting the Asian Art Museum, check out the Lakeview Cemetery and Volunteer Park, which has a free conservatory.

The Seattle Public Library right in the middle of the downtown is worth the trip whether or not you are an avid reader. The architecture makes it well worth the visit. If you have kids, consider hitting the library’s free story hour that takes place Monday-Saturday. Avid readers will also enjoy the selection of used bookstores in the city.

Check out the free parks in Seattle. The University of Washington Botanic Gardens are open year round and include a Japanese Garden. Golden Gardens and Alki are beautiful public beaches. Do you enjoy tennis? The city offers a number of free tennis courts for public use. Dog users will enjoy the wide selection of off-leash parks in the city. Additional parks to check out in Seattle include Gas Works Park, a great site for kids, and Lake Union, which offers a wonderful view of the city’s skyline.

The mild weather in Seattle makes outdoor activities a great option most of the year. Consider walking or bike tours or trails, including downtown mountain bike trails. Check out the Burke Gilman Trail, which allows running, biking, and skating. Do you enjoy Frisbee golf? Check out the Lakewood Park Disc Golf Course where anyone can play for free with their own discs. Try your hand at canoeing through the UW Rec Sports Center, which rents canoes for $7.50 per hour.

Any visit to the downtown Seattle area should include trips to Pike Place Market and the Space Needle. Although it costs money to go up to the top of the Space Needle, it is completely free to walk around both places and enjoy the sites, sounds, and smells. Another site to check out in the downtown area that you can view for free is the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, also known as the Ballard Locks. Watch the fish ladder and the flow of the boats going in and out of the locks. There are some gardens and beautiful spots to picnic at the locks.

Sports fan will enjoy taking in a Seattle Mariners game at Safeco Field. Tickets start at just $6 each. All third level seats are under $10. All seats in the stadium provide a good view of the game. Cheap seats will allow you to indulge in some of the excellent food selections, such as IchiRoll sushi and chocolate-covered strawberry kabobs.

Some of the best places to find cheap food in the city include the U-District and the International District (formerly known as Chinatown). Seattle is known for its affordable Vietnamese food. Many small bars and upscale establishments offer happy hours specials throughout the week.

Additional cheap sites to take your kids include the Center for Wooden Boats, Kelsey Creek Park, Phinney Ridge Community Center, free-$5 craft sessions at various cities throughout the city such as the Bellevue Arts Museum, the free play areas at Bellevue Square and Bothell Country Village, Seattle Center, and Woodinville stables. Consider museums that offer free admission for children age 4 and under such as the KidsQuest Children’s Museum and the Burke Museum.