Help, I'm alone and I have nothing to do this weekend in Seattle
August 6, 2010 11:55 AM   Subscribe

Help, I'm alone and I have nothing to do this weekend in Seattle. Low- or zero-cost ideas, suitable to do alone. Prefer low or no crowds. Bonus points for geeky and nerdy. Assume I have already done the typically touristy things in the city.

My wife and kids are out of town and I'm in between home fix-it projects.
posted by Cool Papa Bell to Grab Bag (22 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
posted by unixrat at 11:55 AM on August 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

If the Fremont Troll is considered geeky and/or nerdy, you may consider giving him a visit.
posted by fairmettle at 11:58 AM on August 6, 2010

I always enjoyed a good hike in Discovery Park.
posted by statsgirl at 12:13 PM on August 6, 2010


Trek in the park

Pirates and Princess Island

Seattle Comp Tickets group on facebook

And depending on your definition of cheap, I found Flux at the Can Can ($10) to be a fun show.
posted by nomisxid at 12:14 PM on August 6, 2010

Bike from downtown along the Elliott Bay trail. Bring some lunch and have a picnic on the waterfront or by the SAM Sculpture Park, or watch the Seafair happenings and so forth.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:18 PM on August 6, 2010

If you don't like crowds, Seafair weekend is not a great time to be in Seattle.

The crowds, and there will be some big ones, are going to concentrate on Lake Washington Boulevard and the bridges, especially during the Blue Angels airshow on Saturday and Sunday.

A couple of years ago I was the only visitor at Illahee State Park on Seafair Sunday.

My recommendation is to hop on a ferry and head out to Bainbridge Island. Hike up to Fay Bainbridge State Park or rent a bike and explore.

I'm projecting a bit here; I'm a driftwood-and-solitude guy when the family is out of town. You might go to the Pacific Science Center (revisit high school by going to Laser Floyd) or the EMP, since crowds at those attractions tend to be lower while the airshow and hydro races are drawing throngs.
posted by Kakkerlak at 12:21 PM on August 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

If you like parks, the Arboretum and its adjacent islands (just south of the Montlake Cur and the UW) is a nice place to wander and learn about trees (if you want to pay attention to its botanical-garden roots, they're there). Can be crowded on a pleasant weekend though.

Since people have been focusing on the outdoors I'll try to garner bonus points by digging up some geeky and nerdy:

Jigsaw Renaissance is a fun, low-key hackerspace. This afternoon: Mochi making workshop!

Seattle Tech Calendar seems to skew towards the businessy kinds of tech nerdery but there might be something worthwhile on it anyway. 2600 meeting?

Exploit Seattle isn't as active(?) as but it often has good stuff.

The Stranger occasionally recommends something worth doing or seeing.
posted by hattifattener at 12:32 PM on August 6, 2010

If I didn't have a two-year-old, I would go to the Kurt (Cobain) exhibit at SAM. But can it really be $15? That seems like a LOT.
posted by GaelFC at 12:36 PM on August 6, 2010

I would urge you to go forth and be geeky at Metrix Create:Space in capitol hill. Walk-in rates are very cheap.
posted by kthxbi at 1:29 PM on August 6, 2010

Watch the boats float by at the locks in Ballard. There should be plenty of traffic this weekend.
posted by TBAcceptor at 2:02 PM on August 6, 2010

Pack a sandwich and bev, then walk through Olympic Sculpture Park and all along Myrtle Edwards Park until you reach the fishing pier. Eat your picnic while sitting on one of the benches. Or bring a fishing pole and fish. Then walk back and stop at the Uptown Espresso by the fountain for a nice iced coffee at the end of your walk. Along the way you can stop and ask people about their dogs. They'll be happy to tell you.
posted by HotToddy at 2:45 PM on August 6, 2010

Seafair weekend is an EXCELLENT time to rent a canoe from the UW rowing center, gently navigate crossing the montlake cut and then navigating your way through the myriad passages of the Arboretum...come out the East side and get a stellar view of the Blue Angels.
posted by vito90 at 3:53 PM on August 6, 2010

Wonderful suggestions. Mine: Go to the main library, find the shelf on Seattle history, take 10 books to a table -- and learn something amazing.
posted by LonnieK at 5:02 PM on August 6, 2010

Then go look at the site of the amazing thing you learned about.
posted by LonnieK at 5:03 PM on August 6, 2010

gently navigate crossing the montlake cut and then navigating your way through the myriad passages of the Arboretum...come out the East side and get a stellar view of the Blue Angels.
posted by vito90

"Gently navigate"?

I took an experienced New England white water canoeist across that cut in one of those battered aluminum canoes on an average boating day, and was rewarded with a pastier face than I ever got to see in my rock climbing days (we didn't carry mirrors, however), and Seafair weekend is one of the busiest boating weekends of the year.

I think Seafair's an excellent time to visit Volunteer Park, and climb the 180 steps of the Water Tower for panoramic views both greener and more humane that anything you'd get from the Space Needle, crawl through Noguchi's Black Sun, which I did for a sort of ritual rebirth as a Seattleite, go through the Conservatory, then walk to the southwestern corner of the park, west past 10th til you hit Broadway, then south again on Broadway for quite a ways, picking up food from a stall or a restaurant with a takeout window right on the sidewalk, til you reach E. Madison. You will then be at the northwest corner of Seattle University, where you will be able to eat your lunch sitting somewhere around the edge of their fountain plaza, which is one of the most serene and meditative urban locations I've ever visited.

Then walk north again back to your car along Broadway just after sunset for a sense of what it must have been like to be an extra in a Fellini movie.
posted by jamjam at 5:24 PM on August 6, 2010 [2 favorites]

I would go to the Kurt (Cobain) exhibit at SAM. But can it really be $15?

Well, usually it is suggested admission and you can pay whatever you want. You should double-check that this is the case for the current special exhibitions. It definitely was true for the last few.
posted by grouse at 5:59 PM on August 6, 2010

Go to Gary's Games in Greenwood and see if there's a D&D game you can join in?
posted by The otter lady at 7:14 PM on August 6, 2010

Have you really explored the Central Library? Grab a copy of the newsprint guide to it, as you enter, and go nuts. My biggest regret from my recent trip to Seattle was not doing this.
posted by intermod at 9:31 PM on August 6, 2010

Beer and pinball at Shorty's
posted by ecurtz at 10:11 PM on August 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

The new Wing Luke Museum is worth checking out. They have a whole library upstairs if you're interested in history as well.

Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture has a ton of cool things like dinosaur bones, actual gems, and Pacific NW Indian swords and artifacts.

The Seattle Asian Art Museum has really awesome statues - Hindu, Buddhist, etc. If your brand of geekery tends towards deep history, they also have a 2000 year old vase and a lot of other pottery. Volunteer Park also tends to have moderate-to-low crowds, so it's a nice place to hang out as well.

Pink Gorilla (previously: Pink Godzilla) is a great place to pick up older videogames, import videogames, as well as geeky mini-figures. In the same building, there's a anime/model store that has toys and models from a ton of anime, manga and videogames.

The Dreaming up in the U-District is a great comic book/rpg shop. Aaron is friendly and super knowledgeable. If you're looking for indie comics, or rpgs, he can give a lot of good recommendations.

Scarecrow Video has an incredible selection of vintage, obscure, and foreign films, tv series, etc. in many, many formats - you might want to rent some movies you could never find, or buy something you've been looking for the last few years.
posted by yeloson at 1:08 AM on August 7, 2010

Oh wow, yes, Scarecrow— it hadn't occurred to me that someone might live in Seattle and not be aware of it, but if that's the case, you have something to fill your evenings with. Scarecrow wil make a film geek out of anyone.
posted by hattifattener at 1:14 AM on August 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

The Freye Art Museum is always free.
posted by valannc at 10:59 PM on August 7, 2010

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