15th annual Polar Bear Plunge set for Jan. 1 at Matthews Beach

polar

Start off the New Year with a splash!

Seattle Parks and Recreation and the Meadowbrook Community Center Advisory Council are co-sponsoring the 15th annual Polar Bear Plunge at noon on Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017 at Matthews Beach, 9300 51st Ave. NE. The Polar Bear Plunge is a FREE event. Registration begins at 10 a.m., and the plunge starts at noon sharp.

A 2017 Commemorative Badge of Courage will be given to all heroic Polar Bear participants who immerse themselves neck-deep in the water. The patch will show the world that participants braved the frigid waters.

As in previous years, younger polar bears and anyone else who needs a little more room can take part in the Polar Cub Club part of the event immediately preceding the main plunge. For the truly hearty, double-dipping is allowed.

Seattle Parks and Recreation offers a few tips for enjoying a fun, safe swim:

  • Make the plunge even more special by dressing up in a costume!
  • Come early, and carpool or take the bus (you can plan your trip at http://tripplanner.kingcounty.gov/).
  • If you have heart problems or other serious medical concerns, we recommend that you consult your healthcare professional before taking the Polar Bear Plunge. If you can’t go in the water, come and watch!
  • Don’t drink alcohol–it doesn’t warm you up, and it accelerates hypothermia.
  • Stay in the water for no longer than 15 minutes—you lose body heat 25 times faster in water than in air.
  • Keep your outer clothing on until you’re ready to get in the water. After the plunge, remove wet clothing before getting into dry clothes.

The Polar Bear Plunge was the first official event of its kind in the Seattle area and has inspired other, similar events throughout the region. Janet Wilson, Aquatic Center Coordinator at Meadowbrook Pool, started the event on Jan. 1, 2003. About 300 people participated in that first Polar Bear Plunge, and since then the attendance has soared to more than 1,900 brave bears. Like the plunge on Facebook here.

Celebrate Neighbor Appreciation Day Feb. 11-13

belltown staff smiling

NAD 2016 2x1.4 Icon F1We’re thankful for our Seattle neighbors every day, but in February, we dedicate a holiday just to them. Neighbor Appreciation Day is Saturday, Feb. 13. Join the celebration at an event listed below!

NORTHWEST

Magnolia Community Center
What: Cookies, punch and coffee served
When: 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 13
Cost: Free

Ballard Pool
What: Public swim, free slide
When: 12:30-1:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 13
Cost: $2

NORTHEAST

Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center
What: Free play space and light refreshments
When: 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 13
Cost: Free

CENTRAL

Garfield Community Center
What: Indoor tot gym, cookies and juice
When: 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Friday, Feb. 12
Cost: Free

Miller Community Center
What:  Mighty Mights indoor playground with cookies and hot cocoa
When: 10 a.m.-noon, Thursday, Feb. 11
Cost: Free

SOUTHWEST

Southwest Pool
What: Public swim with snacks, games and prizes
When: 1-2 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 13
Cost: Free

For more citywide events, visit the Department of Neighborhoods’ events calendar.

Seattle Parks and Recreation aquatics programs

Stay warm and fit this winter at one of our indoor pools!

Stay warm and fit this winter at one of our indoor pools!

Doggy paddle, breaststroke, butterfly, backstroke. We think it’s important to master one or two of these when you live in a city nearly surrounded by water. Our swimming pools offer swimming lessons, public swims and special events year-round, and best of all, they’re indoors. [Read more…]

Lunar New Year celebrations

Lunar New Year celebrations start Jan. 29

Lunar New Year celebrations start Jan. 29

It’s the year of the monkey, and we’re ready to celebrate Lunar New Year! Legend has it that in ancient times, there was a monster named Nian who lived deep under the sea. On New Year’s Eve the beast would emerge to feed on people and livestock. Villagers lived in fear of Nian and often fled on the annual holiday.

Then, one year, an old man refused to leave with the others. He claimed he scared Nian away by pasting the color red on the doors of his neighbors’ homes, building a loud crackling fire and dressing in red garments. When the villagers returned, they were happily surprised to see their homes intact. [Read more…]

Seattle at Work | Housing Affordability & Livability Agenda

UntitledWhere: Seattle City Hall—600 4th Ave
Bertha Knight Landes Room

When: Tuesday, January 26, 2016
5 – 7 p.m.

Join Mayor Murray & department directors to discuss how Seattle is at work in your neighborhood and throughout the City.

We’ll be continuing the conversation around the Housing Affordability & Livability Agenda,

and we’d like your help in creating new programs aimed at increasing housing affordability, reducing housing barriers, & strengthening tenant protections.

Connect with City resources and learn about projects & programs that are working to make Seattle a

Safe, Innovative, Affordable, Interconnected, & Vibrant City!

Stay tuned for events around the City: seattle.gov/mayor

For questions or more information, please contact SeattleatWork@seattle.gov

Youth to lead 11th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. march on Jan. 16

Teens brave the weather during the 2014 MLK march.

Teens brave the weather during the 2014 MLK march.

Event flyerSeattle Parks and Recreation invites the public to join a youth-organized march to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Saturday, Jan. 16. Participants will gather at 11 a.m. at Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Park, 2200 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way, 98144. Teens will lead the march to Rainier Community Center, 4600 38th Ave. S, 98118.

This is Seattle Parks and Recreation’s Teen Program’s 11th annual youth march. Teens from throughout the city will speak out against injustice via a peaceful demonstration. The goal for the march is to celebrate the contributions Seattle youth make in creating a better city and to honor the work that youth do to keep Dr. King’s dream alive every day. [Read more…]

Your 2016 Seattle Parks and Recreation Winter Bucket List

For many of us, winters in Seattle are just something we have to get through – three months of cold and rain before the sun decides to break through in March. But treating the season like a chore is waste. There are dozens of opportunities to make memories and learn something during the winter months, and you should take advantage of them (mainly because we’re hosting).

So put on your best flannel and anorac and grab that Seahawks beanie. We’re going out. [Read more…]

14th annual Polar Bear Plunge set for Jan. 1 at Matthews Beach

polar bear plunge posterStart off the New Year with a splash!

Seattle Parks and Recreation and the Meadowbrook Community Center Advisory Council are co-sponsoring the 14th annual Polar Bear Plunge at noon on Thursday, Jan. 1, 2016 at Matthews Beach, 9300 51st Ave. NE. Registration begins at 10 a.m., and the plunge starts at noon sharp.

A 2016 Commemorative Badge of Courage will be given to all heroic Polar Bear participants who immerse themselves neck-deep in the water. The patch will show the world that participants braved the frigid waters.

Warming refreshments will be served. While people wait for the plunge to kick off, there will be games, a photo booth, music and a t-shirt/sweatshirt vendor. [Read more…]

Pathway of Lights returns to Green Lake on Saturday, Dec. 12

Volunteers needed!

Seattle Parks and Recreation presents the Pathway of Lights at Green Lake on Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015 from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., rain or shine.

Join thousands of families, friends and neighbors for this beloved Seattle tradition. Travel the 2.8-mile path around the lake, taking in the warm glow of the luminaria, music and refreshments. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own lights and candles to add to the ambiance.

Local musicians will perform at four sites around the lake:

  • The Green Lake Community Center on the east side
  • The Aqua Theater on the south side
  • The Bathhouse Theater (Seattle Public Theatre) on the north side
  • The Arch on the east of side of the community center/pool.

[Read more…]

Celebrate the season with Seattle Parks and Recreation

Holidays in Westlake Park, 2014, photo by TIA International Photography

Holidays in Westlake Park, 2014, photo by TIA International Photography

The holiday season seems to sneak up on us and then it’s over before we know it. There are so many activities and things to be done; it can be hard to keep track of them all. We’ve created a one-stop guide to all of our festive happenings. Find gingerbread decorating for the kids, take advantage of low-cost childcare options, discover where to buy local, unique presents and locate a drop-off spot for gift donations.

The holidays can be stressful when you’re going it alone. Luckily, you have us. [Read more…]