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…]

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…]

Give thanks with Seattle Parks and Recreation

Thanksgiving is coming. Leave the cooking to us.

Thanksgiving is coming. Leave the cooking to us.

November is upon us, and in the spirit of Thanksgiving, we’re reflecting on all of the things we’re thankful for this year.

  1. We work in a diverse city with lush forests, sandy beaches, endless hiking trails, swimming holes, recreational opportunities and vibrant communities.
  2. We were able to fund new programs for special populations this year. Using 2015 ramp-up funding for the Seattle Park District, we were able to expand dementia-friendly recreation programming and add an extra week of Specialized Programs summer camp to our offerings. We hope to continue expanding programs for underserved communities.
  3. The National Wildlife Federation named Seattle the sixth friendliest city for wildlife in the country.
  4. Volunteers donated nearly 13,000 hours of their time to Seattle parks in April during Earth Month work parties. These volunteers and the community members they inspire represent the current and future generation of environmental leaders, and we’re so thankful for all they do.
  5. We welcomed Jesús Aguirre as our new superintendent.

[Read more…]

Seattle Parks and Recreation Memorial Day closures

Many Seattle Parks and Recreation facilities will be closed Monday, May 25, in observance of Memorial Day.

These facilities and services are CLOSED:

  • Community centers
  • Environmental learning centers
  • Indoor swimming pools
  • Green Lake Small Craft Center
  • Mount Baker Rowing and Sailing Center
  • Amy Yee Tennis Center

 

These facilities are OPEN on regular schedules:

  • Boat ramps
  • Interbay, Jackson Park, Jefferson Park and West Seattle golf courses
  • Outdoor swimming pools

Celebrate the season with Seattle Parks

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.

CELEBRATEginger

NORTHEAST
Snowflake Funfest
What: Carnival games, crafts and hot cocoa
Location: Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center
Ages: All
Time: 6-8 p.m., Dec. 5
Cost: Family fee (4 or more) $15, Individual $5

Gingerbread house decorating
What: Gingerbread house decorating
Location: Northgate Community Center, Laurelhurst Community Center
Ages:  1 and older
Time: 6-7:30 p.m., Dec. 5 at Northgate, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Dec. 12 at Laurelhurst
Cost: $6

NORTHWEST
Gingerbread Jubilee

What: Gingerbread house decorating
Location: Ballard Community Center
Ages: 1 and older
Time: 6:30-8:30 p.m., Dec. 11
Cost: $5

Gingerbread Houses
What: Gingerbread house making
Location: Magnolia Community Center
Ages: All
Time: 5:30 -7 p.m., Dec. 5
Cost: $10 for a family of 4, $3 for individuals

CENTRAL
Holly Day Decorations
What: Create beautiful wreaths, garlands and other decorations for your home using invasive plants that need to be removed from the park like English ivy and holly
Location: Discovery Park
Ages: 5 and older
Time: 2 – 4:30 p.m., Dec. 6
Cost: $9
Must pre-register

Holiday Celebration

What: Gather with family to share in the holiday experience, treats, games, gifts, cookie decorating and more, in partnership with Country Doctor
Location: Miller Community Center
Ages: All
Time: 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Dec. 13
Cost: Free

Holiday Partycookies!
What: Holiday celebration with neighbors (pre-registration required to receive toy at event, call 684-4788)
Location: Garfield Community Center
Ages: All
Time: 6:30 – 8 p.m., Dec. 19

Volunteer Park Trust Holiday in Volunteer Park
What: Come one, come all for a fun, festive, family celebration! Sing carols, listen to holiday music from choral groups, enjoy delicious complimentary treats and drinks and stroll paths lit by hundreds of luminarias. Admission to the Conservatory and Seattle Asian Art Museum will be free.
Location: Volunteer Park
Ages: All
Time: 6-8 p.m., Dec. 11
Cost: free

Volunteer Park Conservatory Holiday Express
What: Popular model train will circle the newly renovated Seasonal House. Little ones will have the opportunity to run the train and blow the whistle on weekends.
Location: Volunteer Park Conservatory
Ages: All
Time: Dec. 7 – Jan. 4

Cartooning Santa
What: The cartooning Santa Claus will create whimsical cartoon caricatures for good boys and girls. Bring a camera for photos!
Location: Volunteer Park Conservatory
Ages: All
Time: Noon – 3 p.m., Dec. 13

Harp Music with Bill McJohn
What: Harpist Bill McJohn performances
Location: Volunteer Park Conservatory
Ages: All
Time: 1 – 2 p.m., Dec. 14 and 28

SOUTHEAST
Winter Hayrides
What: Hay wagon rides around Seward Park
Location: Seward Park
Ages: All
Time: Varies
Cost: $5 (http://www.brownpapertickets.com/producer/17346)

Winter Wonderland Party
What: Visit from the North Pole, crafts and treats
Location: International District Chinatown Community Center
Ages: All
Time: 6 – 8 p.m., Dec. 12
Cost: $1

SOUTHWEST
Winterfest
What: Santa visit, entertainment, light refreshments
Location: South Park Community Center
Ages: 12 and under
Time: 3 – 5 p.m., Dec. 13

LIFELONG RECREATION (register on SPARC)
Garden D’Lights

What: Bellevue Botanical Garden D’Lights festival
Ages: 50 and older
Time: 3 – 8 p.m., Dec. 8
Cost: $18

Christmas at Fort Steilacoom
What: Re-enactors present a period candlelight Christmas
Ages: 50 and older
Time: 3 – 7:30 p.m., Dec. 13
Cost: $5 entry fee, dinner on your own
Register online

Seattle Men’s Chorus
What: Seattle Men’s Chorus holiday performance
Location: Benaroya Hall
Ages: 50 and older
Time: 12:20 – 5:30 p.m., 2 p.m. curtain time
Cost: $36, no cancellations after registration

Holiday Potluck
What: End-of-year holiday party, bring a gently used wrapped gift for exchange if you wish
Ages: 50 and older
Time: 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Dec. 17
Cost: Free

Wights and Lights
What: Wight’s Nursery holiday display, dinner out (on own), Montlake Terrace light display
Ages: 50 and older
Time: 3:30 – 8 p.m., Dec. 17
Cost: $8.50

Holiday Potluck and Bingo
What: Bring a dish to share and play Bingo, pre-registration encouraged
Location: Van Asselt Community Center
Ages: 50 and older
Time: 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m., Dec. 19
Cost: Free

REALLY BIG EVENTSDock

Pathway of Lights
Join thousands of people for “The Pathway of Lights” around Green Lake from 4:30 – 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 13. Experience the warm glow of luminaries and sounds of the season performed by schools and local artists.

Christmas Ships
Since 1949, glistening lights on grand ships have glided across the Puget Sound to celebrate the holiday season. The Argosy Christmas Ships sail to more than 45 waterfront communities every year. Choirs onboard the ships greet those onshore with 20-minute performances of popular carols, while those on land keep warm near cackling bonfires waiting for their arrival.

This year, Seattle Parks and Recreation is hosting 16 bonfire events in its waterfront parks. We’ve compiled a list of events for your perusing and some tips to know before you go.

SHOP (and childcare!)elves

NORTHEAST
Drop ‘N’ Shop with Santa’s Helpers

What: Childcare, go shop while little ones enjoy pizza and activities
Location: Meadowbrook Community Center
Ages: Children must be potty trained, E-13 required
Time: 6-9 p.m., Dec. 5
Cost: $15

Ravenna Holiday Arts and Crafts Sale
What: Shop for unique, local gifts and support community programs, kid activities and soup provided
Location: Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center
Ages: All
Time: 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Dec. 6
Cost: Free

Drop ‘N’ Shop
What: Childcare, go shop while little ones enjoy pizza and activities
Location: Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center
Ages: Children must be potty trained, E-13 required
Time: 6-9 p.m., Dec. 12
Cost: $15, sibling discount $5

NORTHWEST
Parents’ Night Out

What: Childcare, go shop while little ones enjoy pizza and activities
Location: Ballard Community Center
Ages: Children must be potty trained
Time: 6-9 p.m.
Cost: $20, call to register multiple children otherwise, sign up online

CENTRAL
Antique Show

What: Find unique gifts and treasures
Location: Queen Anne Community Center
Ages: All
Time: Dec. 5-7
Cost: Free

SOUTHWEST
Parents’ Night Out
What: Childcare, do your last-minute errands while the kids enjoy skating and pizza
Location: Alki Community Center
Ages: 4 – 9
Time: 6 – 9 p.m.
Cost: $25

GIVEhats

CENTRAL
Holiday Toy Drive
What: Drop off unwrapped gifts and monetary donations for children 12 and under
Location: Garfield Community Center
Ages: Gifts for children 12 and under
Time: Toy drive ends Dec. 6
Cost: All donations are tax deductible

 

Christmas Ships are here

 

Since 1949, glistening lights on grand ships have glided across the Puget Sound to celebrate the holiday season. The Argosy Christmas Ships sail to more than 45 waterfront communities every year. Choirs onboard the ships greet those onshore with 20-minute performances of popular carols, while those on land keep warm near cackling bonfires waiting for their arrival.Gas Works 08

This year, Seattle Parks and Recreation is hosting 16 bonfire events in its waterfront parks. We’ve compiled a list of events for your perusing and some tips to know before you go.

Saturday, Nov. 29
Viewing from Museum of History and Industry, South Lake Union Park
7:15-7:35 p.m.
This event takes place as part of Lake Union Park’s Greet the Season event that takes place from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. There will be activities for all ages including toy boat building, cookie decorating, card and ornament making, knot tying and dance performances.DSC_5816

Sunday, Nov. 30
Viewing from Gas Works Park
6:25-6:45 p.m.
Bonfire only, no programmed Seattle Parks activities

Wednesday, Dec. 3
Viewing from Pritchard Beach Park
7:50-8:10 p.m.
Bonfire only, no programmed Seattle Parks activities

Viewing from Seward Park
8:25-8:45 p.m.
Light refreshments; donations accepted

Saturday, Dec. 6
Viewing from Matthews Beach Park
9:45-10:05 p.m.
Live music and refreshments; donations accepted

Sunday, Dec. 7
Viewing from Ferdinand Street Park
5:40-6 p.m.
Bonfire only, no programmed Seattle Parks activities

Viewing from Stan Sayres Memorial Park
6:15-6:35 p.m.
Bonfire only, no programmed Seattle Parks activities

Viewing from Mount Baker Beach Park
6:45-7:05 p.m.
Bonfire only, no programmed Seattle Parks activities

Friday, Dec. 12
Viewing from Hiram M. Chittenden Locks
8:10-8:30 p.m.
Lights refreshments

Viewing from Carkeek Park
8:35-8:55 p.m.
Bonfire only, no programmed Seattle Parks activities

Saturday, Dec. 13
Viewing from Lowman Beach Park
4:20-4:40 p.m.
Bonfire only, no programmed Seattle Parks activities

Viewing from Alki Beach Park
5:10-5:30 p.m.
Pre-activities begin at 4:10 p.m., performance by the Holy Names Choir, refreshments, holiday lighting

Tuesday, Dec. 16
Viewing from Golden Gardens Park
9:05-9:25 p.m.
Bonfire only, no programmed Seattle Parks activities

Friday, Dec. 19
Viewing from Magnuson Beach
8:50-9:10 p.m.
Pre-activities beginning at 8 p.m., live music by the Emerald City Jazz Ensemble, refreshments, hundreds of luminaries

Saturday, Dec. 20
Viewing from Madison Beach Park
4:40-5 p.m.
Bonfire and Holiday Bash at Madison Park Bathhouse, live jazz band, beverages and cookies

Viewing from Madrona Beach Park
9:45-10:05 p.m.
Bonfire only, no programmed Seattle Parks activities

Tuesday, Dec. 23
Viewing from Gas Works Park
9:45 p.m.-10:05 p.m.
Bonfire only, no programmed Seattle Parks activities

Tips from Parks Crew Chiefs
-Dress for the weather; events happen rain or shine
– Stay a safe distance away from the bonfire at all times
– Bonfires are not built for roasting marshmallows

 

Green Lake Pathway of Lights Returns Saturday, December 14 – Volunteers still needed

Seattle Parks and Recreation, the Green Lake Community Center Advisory Council with the help of our community partners, Green Lake Masonic Lodge #149, PCC Natural Markets, and Green Lake Windermere Real Estate help continue a Seattle tradition with the 37th annual Pathway of Lights. The event is free and will take place from 4:30 – 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 14, 2013 (second Saturday of every year) rain or shine.

Join thousands of families, friends, and neighbors in this beloved Seattle tradition and travel the 2.8-mile path around the lake, taking in the warm glow of the luminaria. 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 Green Lake Small Craft Center (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.(Sponsored by Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute and Freshest Roots

Warm drinks and treats will be available at those locations, as will donation bins for nonperishable food items for local food banks.

Volunteers are needed to help place and light the thousands of luminaria, and to clean up after the event. Individuals, businesses, community organizations and school and scout groups are welcome to participate. Setup takes place from 2:30–4:30 p.m., and the lighting of the candles takes place at 4:30 p.m. Cleanup is from 7:30- 9 p.m.

Become a fan of the Pathway: facebook.com/GreenLakePathwayofLights and find out where your favorite music group will perform.

For more information, please contact Jeff Skinner at 206-684-0780or by e-mail at jeff.skinner@seattle.gov.

 

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Conservatory, Volunteer Park Trust seek choral and other musical groups for holiday celebration

The Volunteer Park Conservatory and the Volunteer Park Trust are looking for choral and other musical groups to perform at the Volunteer Park Conservatory’s December 13 holiday celebration.

The free celebration, co-hosted by Friends of the Conservatory, Volunteer Park Trust, Seattle Asian Art Museum and Seattle Parks and Recreation, will be an opportunity for visitors to see the Conservatory dressed up it its holiday best. The sponsors are looking for choral and musical groups to perform for about 30 minutes between 6 and 7:30 p.m.

Interested groups can contact foc@volunteerparkconservatory.org or brooks@brookskolbllc.com.

The Friends of the Conservatory is a nonprofit organization formed in 1980 to work with Seattle Parks and Recreation to support the Conservatory’s mission through educational activities, fund raising, and public events. For more information, please see http://www.volunteerparkconservatory.org/.

The Volunteer Park Trust is a newly formed organization working with Parks and the Seattle Parks Foundation to restore, revitalize and protect Seattle’s world famous historic, Olmsted designed park. For more information, please go to http://volunteerparktrust.org/.

Parks, Associated Recreation Council to hold holiday toy drive

Seattle Parks and Recreation and its partner organization, the Associated Recreation Council (ARC), will hold holiday parties at neighborhood community centers all over the city in December, and invite donations of toys and funds for needy area families.

Parks and ARC encourage local businesses, community organizations, and individuals to give generously by:
• Dropping off toys (gift wrapped and labeled for gender and age, please!) at any Parks and Recreation community center;
• Making a donation of cash by credit card by phoning the Parks Business Service Center at 206-684-5177;
• Making a donation of cash by credit card at the ARC web site at http://www.arcseattle.org/ (click on “donate); or
• Making a cash donation by US Postal Service to Associated Recreation Council, 100 Dexter Ave. N, Seattle, WA 98109, Attn: Dewey Potter.

Parks and ARC staff will distribute the toys and funds collected at these sites to needy families. The toy drive will take place from November 30 through December 17, 2009.

A list of community centers is online at http://www.seattle.gov/parks/centers.asp.

For more information, please call Dewey Potter at 206-684-7241 or Robert Stowers at 206-684-0796.

Parks welcomes the Christmas Ship™ at many sites

The Christmas Ship™ will make some 19 calls at Seattle parks this holiday season, starting with a preview voyage at a new port, Lake Union Park, 860 Terry Ave. N, from 6 to 6:20 p.m. on Sunday, November 29. Come to your nearest park stop and enjoy a bonfire and a hot drink.

The full schedule follows:

Tuesday, December 1 – Opening Night
*Gas Works Park, 2101 N Northlake Way
8:20 to 8:40 p.m.

Friday, December 4
*Pritchard Beach, 8400 55th Ave. S
7:50 to 8:10 p.m., sponsored by Rainier Beach Community Center

*Seward Park, 5895 Lake Washington Blvd. S
8:25 to 8:45 p.m., sponsored by Rainier Community Center

Saturday, December 5
*Madrona Beach, 853 Lake Washington Blvd.
9:25 – 9:45 p.m., sponsored by Garfield Community Center

Sunday, December 6
*Ferdinand St. Boat Launch, S Ferdinand St. and Lake Washington Blvd. S
5:40 to 6 p.m., sponsored by Van Asselt Community Center

*Stan Sayres Memorial Park, 3808 Lake Washington Blvd. S
6:15 – 6:35 p.m., sponsored by Mt. Baker Rowing and Sailing Center

*Mt. Baker Beach, 2521 Lake Park Dr. S
6:45 to 7:05 p.m., sponsored by Mt. Baker Community Club

Friday, December 11
*Carkeek Park, 950 NW Carkeek Park Rd.
8 to 8:20 p.m., sponsored by Carkeek Park Environmental Learning Center

Saturday, December 12
*Seacrest Marina, 1660 Harbor Ave. SW
5:15 to 5:35 p.m., sponsored by Delridge Community Center

*Lowman Beach, 7017 Beach Dr. SW
8:50 to 9:10 p.m., sponsored by South Park and Southwest Community Centers

*Alki Beach (near the Alki Bathhouse, 2701 Alki Ave. SW)
9:40 to 10 p.m., sponsored by Alki Community Center

Sunday, December 13
*Don Armeni Boat Ramp, 1222 Harbor Ave. SW
7:10 to 7:30 p.m., sponsored by Hiawatha and High Point Community Centers

Tuesday, December 15
*Golden Gardens Park, 8498 Seaview Pl. NW
9:05 to 9:25 p.m., sponsored by Ballard Community Center

Saturday, December 19
*Madison Park, E Madison and E Howe Sts.
4:55 to 5:15 p.m., sponsored by Montlake and Miller Community Centers

*Matthews Beach, 9300 51st Ave. NE
9:45 to 10:05 p.m., sponsored by Meadowbrook Community Center

Tuesday, December 22
*Magnuson Park Beach, 7400 Sand Point Way NE
8:50 to 9:10 p.m., sponsored by Magnuson and Laurelhurst Community Centers

Wednesday, December 23
*Matthews Beach, 9300 51st Ave. NE
4 to 4:20 p.m., sponsored by Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center

*Gas Works Park, 2101 N Northlake Way – Grand Finale
9:45 to 10:05 p.m.

*Bonfire site, subject to change. All times are approximate.