Free Things to do in Seattle
The Olympic Sculpture Park has installations from sculptors like Alexander Calder set against the backdrop of the sparkling waters of the Sound.
Pioneer Square has the largest concentration of art galleries in the city, all of which are free. Elsewhere in the city, Belltown and Capitol Hill also have free galleries.
Beloved sculptures like the Fremont Troll, the statue of Lenin, and Waiting for the Interurban are free to visit, too.
Unless it's a major ticketed venue, cover charges at small music venues tend to be cheap ($5–$8) or free.
Throughout the year, City Hall hosts free lunchtime concerts, mostly jazz and world music .
Local indie music station KEXP, which has an international audience, and Seattle Center host the Concerts at the Mural series at the Mural Amphitheatre lawn in late July and August (www.kexp.org/events; KEXP also offers free tours of its new HQ near the Space Needle).
All shows at the four-day (Memorial Day weekend) Northwest Folklife Festival (www.nwfolklife.org) are free, but donations are appreciated.
Only residents can check out materials, but the gorgeous main branch of the Rem Koolhaas– and Joshua Ramus–designed Seattle Public Library is open to everyone—check email, take a tour, listen to a CD from the music library, or catch up on reading in one of the many lounges. Many of their evening lectures are also free.
Town Hall, the city's premier venue for lectures, sometimes has free series—and tickets to most lectures are only $5 (www.townhallseattle.org).
Free (and cheap) theater can be found in Seattle year-round, but the best time to score that live theater fix is October, during Arts Crush (www.artscrush.org). For the entire month, the city teems with live theater (along with music, literature, film, and dance) events, many of which are free. If you’re visiting in July or August, you can enjoy a free Shakespeare in the Park production from Wooden O Theater (www.seattleshakespeare.org) or Green Stage (www.greenstage.org). Head to Volunteer Park for free children’s theater from Theater Schmeater (www.schmeater.org).
Free Museums and Attractions
The Center for Wooden Boats
Coast Guard Museum on Pier 36
Frye Art Museum
Hiram M. Chittenden “Ballard” Locks
Klondike Gold Rush Museum
Pike Place Market
Seattle Art Museum Sculpture Park
Volunteer Park Conservatory
Woodland Park Zoo’s Rose Garden
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