Free Activities Part 1: Museums

Summer is in full swing around the Puget Sound and if you haven’t started already, it’s time to make the most of it. Did you know there are tons of free activities in Seattle? We have compiled a list of museums, arts & entertainment, parks and farmer’s markets. This week we’ll be sharing our tips for a day at the museum…


  • Enjoy the annual Seafair Fleet Week when Seattle plays host to ships and sailors from the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard and Canadian Navy on the Seattle Waterfront. The fleet will parade into Elliot Bay on Wednesday, August 3rd and ship tours are offered August 4th through the 7th.
  • Visit the Seattle Art Museum (SAM) on the first Thursday of the month for free – make sure to take your picture with the giant “Hammering Man” sculpture out front.

  • In Volunteer Park, visit the Seattle Asian Art Museum free of charge the first Thursday and Saturday of the month – its collection features paintings, pottery, sculptures and textiles from the Pacific Rim countries of China, Japan, Korea, India and many more.
  • Learn more about 20th Century German, French and American art at the Frye Art Museum – admission is always free and complimentary tours are available Wednesday through Sunday at 1:30 p.m.
  • Ever wanted to see what the inside of Air Force One looks like? You can at the Museum of Flight, which houses the first ever Air Force One and a Blackbird spy plane – it’s free from 5-9 p.m. the first Thursday of every month.
  • Chronicling more than 150 years of Pacific Northwest history, the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) offers free admission the first Thursday of the month with extended hours from 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
  • Head to the University of Washington’s campus to the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture and see a Northwest Coast totem pole and many more Pacific Rim cultural artifacts – it’s free the first Thursday of the month with extended hours from 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
  • Did you know there are numerous Coast Guard bases in Washington? Visit the Coast Guard Museum on Pier 36 to learn about the Coast Guard’s history and view the Coast Guard flag used on the first shuttle flight.
  • Take a free boat ride at the Center for Wooden Boats offered every Sunday afternoon. When you are done, visit the center for a free hands-on museum that explains maritime traditions and aims to preserve the art of handcrafted wooden boats.