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Old 08-25-2013, 07:35 AM
 
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We are planning a trip in early December for a week. Staying right downtown. We want to move somewhere where we can walk to most everything. I would like to not have a car for the first year at least. We are a very frugal family. We always search out the free or cheap things to do, and always have lots of fun with that.

So, I would like to highlight the best of Seattle, not the most touristy things, but where we would go if we lived there. So far I have the downtown library, the Pikes Place market, the Catholic church we would be attending (Saint James Cathedral). My husband is a watercolor artist, so any artsy things would be great. Any unique retail or parks or views of the city that don´t cost an arm and a leg? Any suggestions will be appreciated. The entire rest of the family is on board. The whole trip will be confirmation for us. Husband would really rather live in NYC. The cost is the only hold up for him.

Looking forward to your suggestions.
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Old 08-25-2013, 09:46 AM
 
Location: 91105
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Walk around Fremont. It's a quirky neighborhood with random public art. If you're into music at all, go to Dusty Strings and check out all of their cool instruments. Then go to PCC (grocery store down the street) for a healthy snack. If you plan in advance, you can get tickets to the Theo Chocolate tour for cheap, or just visit their gift shop/tasting room for free.
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Old 08-25-2013, 10:27 AM
 
Location: Seattle
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Both cities are expensive compared to many places in the United States but New York's cost of living makes Seattle seem relatively affordable. I would check out our art museum SAM short for Seattle Art Museum...it has random free family days during certain weekends and particularly during the holiday times. Another art museum which is a total hidden gem, not far from St James is The Frye..completely free...quite eclectic and always has changing exhibits. Check at St Marks cathedral on Capitol Hill...every Sunday night at 9:30 the church gets very dark and the choir starts singing...people come and lay down on the floors and almost get into a trance state...it is fantastic..spiritual and moving!

The city is filled with amazing parks and playgrounds so if it is a dry clear day that is a great thing to do..Volunteer Park also on Capitol Hill is one of my favorites. It is also home to SAM's Asian art museum and the park has a famous tower which has wonderful views once you climb the many many steps!

There really is so much. December is a wetter time of year so plan on indoor stuff and perhaps you may get a dry day here or there. I also love walking around Pikes Place Market in the winter...much quieter than in the summer.

Feel free to message me with any more questions. You didn't say how old your children are so that might help point you in the right direction for more things to do too.
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Old 08-25-2013, 11:05 AM
 
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I think the first Thursday of every month is when the museums are free, and that includes the Art Museum, Pacific Science Center, Museum of Flight, and Museum of History and Industry. The Frye is always free.
Go on a ferry ride. Don't take a car to keep costs down, and don't necessarily even get off the boat. "It's not the destination, it's the trip." Coming back into Seattle when it's dark is especially pretty, with the city lights n'all.
Check out Seattle's bodies of water. Elliott Bay/Puget Sound is in downtown Seattle, but Golden Gardens Park in Ballard is pretty special. It'll probably be drizzling when you're here. See how you can tolerate walking around in drizzle.
Lake Washington has some great views eastward. Walk around the Madrona and Leschi neighborhoods.. If by some chance it's not raining, Powell Barnett Park at the western edge of Leschi has one of the city's biggest playgrounds.
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Old 08-25-2013, 12:30 PM
 
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Kids are older 19, 17 and 10. Neat retail places that we cannot see elsewhere would be good. They are video game kids, into ¨nerdy ¨stuff. Thanks for all your input!
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Old 08-25-2013, 12:36 PM
 
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OK then, how about Archie McPhee's? 1300 N. 45th St in Wallingford. That is a neat retail place you won't see elsewhere. Weird, fun stuff for kids of all ages( including their parents). Yes, mostly they sell online through their catalog, but Seattle has the mothership. You could spend hours in their store wandering around looking at all that odd stuff.
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Old 08-25-2013, 12:39 PM
 
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Your kids will obviously want to make a stop @ Gameworks. Lots of good mentions here. You can even take the train from downtown and go up to Vancouver BC or PDX.

December tend to be wet and dark early. I'm not sure if your husband would like that.
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Old 08-25-2013, 01:19 PM
 
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Kerry Park has great views of Seattle in Queen Anne, also Alki Beach with an inexpensive ferry ride from downtown-take the cheap Boltbus to Portland or Vancouver. This free travel site has a lot of good suggestions-
Seattle travel guide - Wikitravel
-also while you are in town pick up the free newspapers Seattle Weekly and The Stranger as what is going on in town
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Old 08-25-2013, 02:00 PM
 
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Yes, the weather issue has me perplexed. Husband could say, ¨Wow, this weather is horrible, no thanks!¨

We come from the Florida panhandle, and this summer has been crummy with lots of rain. Winters here can be great, but normal summers are way too hot and humid! I sure would like a break. Seattle seems like a moderate weather location. Mild winters even though gray and wet, not a lot of snow and freezing temps. Summers sound heavenly. We would be moving in May, and need to make a decision what to do around X-mas time, hence the early Dec visit.

The alternative is to show him videos of Seattle to sway him. And go sight unseen with a commitment to stay for a couple of years, then if we don´t like it, move on to another locale. My older sons could see themselves staying in the area. One wants to be a pilot and the other to work in the gaming industry. We home school, so moving would not be an issue for the youngest.

We have lived in Atlanta before, and husband likes a city close by. Places we can walk to. Right now, we live at the beach. I know, people would LOVE to live at the beach. While it is nice, we have lived here for 5 years, and having new neighbors every week in the summer gets old, as does the strangers traipsing through your ¨front yard¨ each day. Ther is nowhere to walk to except up and down the same stretch of beach each day. I am happy the season is over, and our beach is back, the traffic is non-existant now, and I can relax. We both (all) feel the need for a change.

Keep your suggestions coming!
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Old 08-25-2013, 05:36 PM
 
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Visiting in December to sight see is difficult. We get less than 10 hours of dim gray light per day due to being so far north and between 2 mountain ranges. The "December trip" is the kind of thing you should do to see if you can handle the worst part of the year, not convince someone to move here.
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