Free Seattle: Pike Place Market

26 Aug

PikePlace

It’s THE tourist thing to do in Seattle. Cruise ships passengers march up its harbor steps, and even locals can’t resist the cheap flowers and fresh produce. It’s also a fantastic free place to go exploring with kids.

Perks:

  • Free
  • All-day browsing
  • Great people watching
  • Covered, for those rainy Seattle days

PikeMarketProduce

What to do:

  • Watch the exuberant fish throwing at Pike Place Fish (near the pig). Tell them you want to take a picture, or better yet a video, and they’ll oblige, though snarkily of course. That’s part of the fun.
  • Ask to see a magic trick at the Market Magic Shop.
  • Enjoy the tunes of street performers.
  • Taste test some yummy Chukar Cherries. They’re always happy to offer a sample.
  • Watch how they make cheese at Beecher’s.
  • See the first Starbucks. There’s really not much to it, but it’s something people like to do.
  • Pet the brass pig for good luck.

PikePlacePig

Know Before You Go:

  • Avoid driving around here. Take a bus or cab. If you must drive, beware the one-way streets and aimlessly wandering pedestrians.
  • Accompany your kids to the market bathrooms. Sometimes they’re a bit sketchy.
  • If you go in the summer or on a weekend, it’s going to be crowded—as in shoulder-to-shoulder crowded. Be patient or pick a less busy day. If you need to bring a stroller, this is especially important to note.
  • If you’re from out of town, don’t buy fish to ship home (they will offer to). I can tell you, as a local who’s brought fish there and brought it straight home, 9 times out of 10, it wasn’t exactly fresh. I can’t imagine what you’d end up with after shipping it.
  • Lowell’s is a nice little restaurant with a good view, but I say, skip the crowds (inherent to Lowell’s central location) and head to the Pike Street Pub on the second floor, kitty-corner to the Pike Place sign. It has a fantastic view of the market, plenty of seating, reasonable prices, and decent food, too.

PikePlacePub

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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