After the wettest winter in Seattle history, we are downright giddy to welcome the warmer weather, longer days, and colorful blooms that spring brings with it. Signs of the new season are starting to appear all around the city, from azaleas blooming at the Washington Park Arboretum, cherry trees sprouting at Green Lake, and Myrtle Edwards Park filling with cyclists, joggers, dog walkers and all types of people eager to take in the crisp spring air.
It is clear winter is coming to an end, so hang up your coat and head outdoors! And don’t forget to take this Spring Bucket List with you – we’ve compiled a list of must-do items and places to visit to help you experience all this season has to offer. Enjoy!
Stop and smell the flowers
After months of gray skies, and equally colorless plant life, pink, red, blue, yellow and orange hues are starting to transform Seattle into a palette of beautiful, vibrant plants and trees. Enjoy nature’s color show at the following locations:
- Green Lake Park: Walk the 2.8-mile path around Green Lake while enjoying pink and white flowering cherry trees.
- Washington Park Arboretum: This 230-acre park features an impressive assortment of plants and flowers, including rhododendrons, azaleas and cherry blossoms.
- Volunteer Park Conservatory: Stroll through this historic botanical garden and visit the five display houses featuring: bromeliads, ferns, palms, seasonal, and cacti and succulents.
Enjoy a picnic in one of Seattle’s over 400 parks
From the 534-acre Discovery Park to the 0.19-acre Pinehurst Pocket Park, Seattle is brimming with spaces to enjoy the outdoors. We can’t think of a better way to take in the smells, sights and sounds of spring than with a picnic at one of our more than 400 parks.
- Gas Works Park: Spread out a blanket on Gas Works Park’s popular Kite Hill and enjoy the view of Lake Union and downtown Seattle.
- Lincoln Park: Get a group of friends together and reserve one of the many picnic shelters available at Lincoln Park, located in West Seattle overlooking the Puget Sound.
- Cal Anderson Park: Pack a sandwich or grab some goodies from one of Capitol Hill’s many eateries and head to Cal Anderson Park for your lunch break.
Take in the views
Did you know that each day in spring has on average two extra minutes of daylight? Those minutes add up quickly, and we should soon be seeing 8:20 p.m. sunsets by the end of April! Enjoy that extra daylight by taking in the evening views of downtown Seattle, Mount Rainier, Lake Washington, or the Olympic Mountains.
- Kerry Park: Located on the south slope of Queen Anne Hill, Kerry Park offers lovely views of downtown Seattle, Mount Rainier and the Olympic Mountains.
- Alki Beach Park: Take in stunning views of downtown Seattle and watch the Bainbridge and Bremerton ferries come and go.
- Jefferson Park: the sixth-largest park in the city offers unparalleled views of the Duwamish River, the city and the Olympic Mountains.
Start exercising outdoors again
Rain, howling wind and cold temperatures often keep all but the most dedicated from sticking to an outdoor workout routine. But with temperatures picking up, and rain predicted to taper off over the next few months, there will soon be no excuse not to enjoy our park trails, outdoor fields and courts.
- Burke-Gilman Trail: Running from Golden Gardens Park in Ballard and connecting to the Sammamish River Trail in Bothell, the Burke-Gilman Trail offers more than 18 miles of multi-use trail perfect for cyclists, runners and walkers.
- Fitness Zone Areas: Did you know that several of our parks have been installed with free outdoor fitness gyms? Get in a cardio workout and resistance training without setting foot in a gym. Click here for more information.
- Amy Yee Tennis Center: Located on Martin Luther King Jr. Way S, the Amy Yee Tennis Center has 10 indoor and six outdoor courts. Classes are available for all ages and levels.
Take part in spring activities
Spring is not just a time of transition for the natural world, it also represents a great time for people and communities to come together to work on new projects and to beautify their neighborhoods.
- Spring Egg Hunts: We will host free egg hunts at various locations throughout the city in March.
- Spring Clean: Seattle’s premier clean-up event is held each year in April and May through an SPU partnership with Parks and Recreation, Department of Neighborhoods, and Department of Transportation. Spring Clean provides opportunities for residents to keep our city tidy; the City supports volunteers with free bags, gloves, safety vests, and waste disposal.
- Small Sparks Fund: The Small Sparks Fund provides matching dollars for neighborhood-initiated projects that promote community engagement. Community groups can request up to $1,000 to help enhance their activities with funding for publicity, plants, or special clean-up supplies, to name a few.
Start preparing for summer—it’s right around the corner!
June 21 is the official start of summer, and it will be here before you know it! Start preparing for summer by planning your summer hikes and outdoor activities, take a look at our summer employment opportunities, and apply for a scholarship to help offset the costs of any of our programs or activities happening this summer or any time of the year.
- Staycation: Plan a summer vacation without ever having to leave the city! From hiking to boating to dozens of recreation programs, Seattle Parks and Recreation has something for everyone.
- Employment opportunities: We are now accepting applications for various summer programs. Temporary positions are available at 24 community centers, eight indoor swimming pools, two outdoor pools, two small-craft centers, and many public beaches and wading pools. Click here for more info.
- Scholarships: Thanks to the Seattle Park District, Seattle Parks and Recreation has scholarships available to individuals and families for our programs and activities. Scholarships are based on income and family size, and are available to anyone who qualifies, including seniors and people with disabilities.