Cheap and (Free!) Seattle Activities

Strapped for cash and getting cabin fever? Never fear, this isn't some sort of weird payday loan ad. If you're looking for something fun to do in Seattle, it can be pretty easy to pull out your wallet and start paying some big bucks. That being said, this town isn't completely devoid of fun things to do on the cheap (or even free).

Afternoon Excursions

1. FREE Museum Thursdays. Maybe you've heard of this already, but if you haven't it's definitely worth checking out. Have you been meaning to infuse a little culture into your life but haven't had the cash to hit up the museums in Seattle?  On the first Thursday of every month, many of Seattle's great museums offer free admission (although some do have a suggested donation).

A great way for making arts and culture accessible for everyone - Seattle's got a little something for everyone. Love modern and traditional art? Check out the Seattle Art Museum. Interested in Seattle's diverse Asian history? The Wing Luke Museum might be for you. Love Seattle history and our nautical and industrial past? Check out the Museum of History and Industry. Just love Boeing and everything about airplanes? Check out the Museum of Flight.

2. FREE Museums ALWAYS: That being said, there are a few museums in Seattle that are open to the public at all times. So if Thursdays are tough for you, make sure to check out the OIympic Sculpture Park, the Northwest Railway Museum or the Frye Art Museum.

The Olympic Sculpture Park at sunset

The Olympic Sculpture Park at sunset

That's just a small handful. There are so, so many more.

3. FREE parks galore! Who doesn't love a good park? You get to get outside, bring a picnic, a good book, some music or a friend - and Seattle has plenty to offer.

If you're looking for a cool place for pictures make sure to check out Gas Works Park - great for scenic Seattle skylines as well as some interesting old industrial equipment. If you want to feel a little like Frasier Crane, make sure to head up to Kerry Park - where the view makes it seem like the Space Needle is actually the biggest thing in Seattle.

If you'd like to see some gardens during your park trip, check out  the Woodland Park Zoo Rose Garden or the Volunteer Park Conservatory (not free - but only $4 for adults, $2 for youths and free for 12 and under.)

4. If one of your resolutions was to be healthier make sure to check out one of Seattle's many fine Farmer's Markets. And we’re talking more than just Pike Place Market too (though I still love going to that one as much as I can). Although it's certainly not free if you see a bunch of lovely things you like - it's free to check out. From produce to handmade goods, you can find something for everyone.

If veggies aren't your thing, make sure to check out the Fremont Sunday Market, filled with food trucks and antiques.

5. The Parks and Rec department is more than just a TV show - they're really here putting together some fun events for the community to enjoy. Seattle P&R has everything from movie nights to birdwatching and sometimes home brew classes (though not free). If you go to their events page you can see everything they’ve got coming up. There is also a search option so you can do a search for the word "free" to find the ones on the cheap.

6. If you want a chance to get out on the water, The Center for Wooden Boats offers free boat rides on Sundays. That's right, folks - free! Boats! Free! Check out more here.

Evening Excursions:

1. Want to do something a little more social, or that might get you out on the town more? Check out Seattle's Meetup Groups. Often times a group may have a cheap or fun night out or post events that are low cost but high fun. And if you want a group specifically for a good cheap night out - check out Thrifty Young Seattleites.

2. If you're looking for a night out but those $10 cocktails seem a little steep - make sure to check out  some of Seattle Breweries. At $5-6 a glass, you might save a few bucks, and depending on which brewery you're at, you may be able to check out a brewery tour as well. Seattle’s Ballard area is concentrated with small breweries making it easy to check out a couple without having to drive around - Reubens, Stoup, Populuxe - to name a (very) small few. The advantage is if you go to the small ones, you might be getting a beer from the brewer himself!

3. Beer not your thing? Try a wine tasting! In fact - Chateau Ste. Michelle is one of Seattle’s oldest wineries offering FREE tours and tastings! If you want to stay a little closer to home, there are tons of tasting rooms around the city - just take your pick.

So whether you’re saving up for that Trip to Europe, or just need something fun to do in between paydays, Seattle has got you covered - just in case you need a little break from staying in and watching one more season on Netflix.

-Cassi Gallagher, TWIF Newsletter Editor and Blogger