Free and Inexpensive Activities in Seattle

~posted by Tina M. 

Looking for things to do this spring and summer, but you’re on a budget? Well, look no further! In this post you will learn about fun, free (or insanely cheap) things to do on your own or with your kids and family!

Recreational Activities:

Fortunately for Seattleites, there are plenty of recreational activities to do around or near Seattle. If you’re looking to explore nature and get outdoors, we are home to some of the most magnificent hikes. As the weather starts to warm up, you can find unique hiking experiences all around. Here are some early season hikes! Imagine the snow melting away, where you are treated to the beautiful sights of melted snow, the sounds of serene waterfalls and birds flying atop the magnificent trees! I say it’s time for a hike! You can find some wonderful books on hiking in Seattle here. 

For a general listing of recreational activities in Seattle, please check this out!

Water Sights:

If you want to be treated to water sights without the extra exercise, then there are definitely local beaches you can visit! From the ever so popular Alki beach to lesser known beaches, you can definitely enjoy the waters alone or with your loved ones. Here, you can find a list of beaches in the area! If you’d like to see pictures and reviews from local beaches you can find it here.


Seattle is also a very “bicycle friendly” city, topping the charts as one of the more popular urban cycling cities in the country. If you’re looking to explore the city on a bike, you can find a listing of trails and bicycling recommendations here. You might also find this local bicycling blog helpful!

Historical and Cultural Activities:

The Puget Sound is home to very diverse populations, resulting in plenty of fun, historical and cultural opportunities to do for cheap or for free around Seattle. Here are some recommendations and a listing of things to do in and around the greater Seattle area! From Museums to parks, to whale watching on San Juan, you will not be out of activities to do. To get free access to museums, check out the library’s Museum pass program here.  You might also find this site useful, Greater Seattle on the Cheap.

Kid Friendly:

If you have children, there are plenty of places to explore for free. Here’s a listing of the top 10 free things to do with your little one in Seattle. My personal favorites are the library story times and the free play areas.  For more places, you also might want to take a look at the book Northwest Kids Trips here. You may not find everything to be free, but there are plenty of inexpensive activities to bring your little ones to. You can also find a listing of activities to do (kids and adults) around Seattle here.


Lastly, Seattle loves to eat – and rightfully so, with our richly diverse food culture. This is not going to be free, of course, but you can find cheap eats all over the city!  If you’re looking to splurge a little, take a look at this list of places that define Seattle food here and this fun post about how Seattle is winning on all things food!   I also find this blog of recommendations very informative. If you prefer to cook for yourself or enjoy an evening of entertaining guests, here is a list of Pacific Northwest cookbooks.

I hope you are ready to explore and discover—on the cheap, that is!

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