Free Seattle: Green Lake

Greenlake Seattle SunsetSure, I’m partial to Green Lake because it’s my neighborhood. But from the hordes of park-goers I see here every weekend, I can safely say it’s one of Seattle’s most popular destinations for both families and active, outdoorsy types.


  • Free
  • Flat, smooth path (bike, skateboard, roller skate, and handicap friendly)
  • Several restroom facilities
  • Lots of benches and picnic tables

What to Do:

  • Swim in the lake (beaches with life guards on the west and east sides).
  • Wade in the kiddie pool.
  • Learn some Spanish from the wandering 88-year-old man with the “Spanish Lessons” poncho.
  • Enjoy the playground.
  • Spot the neighborhood turtles, bald eagles, herons, and novice tightrope walkers (they string lines between trees here to practice).
  • Rent a paddle boat or bring your own paddle board or kayak.
  • Let the dog stretch its legs in the dog park (south end).
  • Play some Frisbee in the wide-open spaces.
  • Catch a free kids’ camp show in the summer at the Bathhouse Theatre.
  • Check out the free skateboard and bike park (south end).
  • Grab coffee, lunch, ice cream, cupcakes, or a cocktail at one of the many eateries on the north side.

Green Lake Wading Pool

Know Before You Go:

  • There are free parking lots on the NE and SW corners of the lake as well as plenty of neighborhood street parking.
  • You can reserve some of the picnic tables.
  • Please don’t feed the ducks. It’s tempting, but it’s not good for them or the environment.
  • Though it’s most popular in the summer, it’s particularly beautiful in April when everything is blooming and in late September when the leaves are changing.

For more free Seattle fun, try one of these adventures:

Have your own tips for free things to do in and around Seattle … or your city? Please share!

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