Put on your party hat, Seattle Parks is throwing a month-long bash

What’s your favorite thing to do in July? Eat popsicles? Take vacation? Stargaze? Celebrate National Park and Recreation Month?! There’s only one correct answer here, folks.

The National Recreation and Park Association has hosted Park and Recreation Month since 1985, and this year, they’re asking people to celebrate it under the theme totally tubular ‘80s. Challenge accepted.

This July we’ll be holding a variety of activities in our parks and community centers, so pick one that sounds rad and we’ll see you there like, fer sure.

Ah, push it!
July 7-28 | Hiawatha Community Center
So you just want to be like ‘80s hip hop super stars Run-DMC? The Beastie Boys? Janet Jackson? Prince? July is your chance. Hiawatha Community Center is teaching Beginning Hip Hop from 5-6 p.m. on Tuesdays, from July 7- 28 for ages 6-12. Students will learn the basics of bop, break dance and funk. For details, go here (page 28).


Whatchu talkin’ about, Willis?
July 11 and 25 | Bell Street Park

The ‘80s introduced us to some classic family sitcoms like Diff’rent Strokes, Family Ties, and Who’s the Boss?, but Park and Recreation Month is about making memories with your real-life family and we know the perfect occasions. From 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., on July 11 and 25, we’re hosting Family Fun Days in Bell Street Park. The park will be filled with the Imagination Playground’s big foam shapes and other games, kid-friendly concerts and entertainers and special activities. A similar event, Sunday Fun Days, will be held from 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. on July 12, 19 and 26 in Westlake Park. For details, go here (page 1).

Hey, you guuuuys…
July 16 | Golden Gardens Bathhouse
Eighties kids were swept away with dreams to find pirates’ treasure after watching the 1985 adventures of Mikey, Brand, Chunk, Mouth, Data, Andy and Stef in The Goonies. Today’s kids aren’t so different. From 5-7 p.m., on Thursday, July 16, we’re inviting explorers ages 3-8 to find buried treasure at Golden Gardens. The event is sponsored by Ballard and Loyal Heights community centers and spaces fill quickly. For details, go here (page 9).


Roads? Where we’re going we don’t need roads.
July 17 | Jefferson Park
Park and Recreation Month began in 1985, the same year the hit movie Back to the Future was released. Coincidentally, we happen to be showing that very movie as part of our Outdoor Movie Series in Jefferson Park on Friday, July 17. Movies begin in the park at dusk, so pack a picnic, hop in your flying car and head over. For details, call Jefferson Community Center at 206-684-7481.

Let’s get physical.
July 20 and 27 | Freeway Park

Leg warmers and leotards. The ‘80s are practically synonymous with aerobics. From 5:30-6:30 p.m. on Mondays, July 20 and 27, the Washington Athletic Club is sponsoring modern-day aerobics in Freeway Park, a.k.a, Zumba.  The classes are free, and people of all abilities are welcome. For details, go here (page 2).

To learn more about National Park and Recreation Month, visit NRPA’s website. To find more activities taking place this month visit our Summer Guide and check out our community center and aquatics brochures.

And as always, tell @seattleparks how you’re celebrating this month on Twitter #JulyPRM30.

Take your lunch break, celebrate parks

It’s Park and Recreation Month! Take your lunch outside!


Not to brag, but the entire month of July celebrates us. And we want you to join in the party. July is Park and Recreation Month and this year’s theme is “OUT is IN.”

The National Recreation and Park Association is challenging everyone to spend the month of July doing typical indoor activities outside every day.

Our suggestions:

Surveys show that many Americans are forgoing their lunch breaks because they feel guilty spending time away from the office. But, studies show that employees who take frequent breaks throughout the workday are more productive.

So in honor of Park and Recreation Month, take your lunch break and spend it with us. You’ll be more productive, and you’ll help us make the city a safer place.

Scattered throughout downtown parks in the summer you’ll find a variety of programming sponsored by Seattle Parks and our partnership organizations catered specifically for the lunch hour. The idea is that the more positive activities we bring in, the more negative activities will move out.

Seattle Tilth staff lead a gardening workshop in Freeway Park.

Freeway Park Association Executive Director Riisa Conklin described it well when she said, “It’s like we’re creating small interventions. We want people to know there’s always something going on.”

Conklin said her association has increased programming in Freeway Park by 50 percent this year. If you stop by the park around noon, you’re apt to find the Friends of Seattle Public Library book carts, kite painting parties, Seattle Tilth gardening classes and yoga.

Friends of Seattle Public Library books carts in Freeway Park.

“Too many people don’t know the park here, and we want to draw in residents,” Conklin said. “This is their park.”

But what’s that you say? You work further south or west and don’t care to climb up to Seventh Avenue? No problem.

Tucked away in Occidental Park beneath the dappled shade you’ll find free, classical chamber performances at noon every second and fourth Tuesday through September. These pop-up concerts feature University of Washington School of Music graduates who play in unique venues all over the city.

If you’d like a little more brain stimulation, play a drop-in game of bocce at Occidental, or really get the juices flowing at a game of drop-in chess at Bell Street, Westlake or Hing Hay Parks.

We’re working hard to create a more inviting atmosphere in our parks, but we need your help. So to celebrate Park and Recreation Month, get some grub and come visit us. Your city and your stomach will thank you.

For a more complete list of our outdoor summer activities, visit http://www.seattle.gov/parks/downtown/.