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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.

Talk derby
Adult Roller Derby is one of the fastest growing sports in the world, with over 60 leagues forming weekly. Seattle Roller Derby is athletic, instructional, non-violent, a great workout and has an amazing community. This January, join Seattle Parks and Recreation and Seattle Roller Derby to learn the sport! Citywide Derby will take place at Ballard Community Center from Jan. 9 – March 12! This training program is for all skill levels and includes the possibility of forming teams. Participants must provide their own equipment. Register online here using barcode 143707.


Explore tides
Explore the beach during winter nighttime lowtides with Seattle Aquarium’s Beach Naturalist staff and volunteers. Discover what creatures we see on the beach during the colder months. Dress for the weather and for tide pooling (i.e., bring boots, hats, gloves and a good flashlight). The adventure lasts from 8:30-10:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 22, 2016. Meet at Constellation Park (South Alki Beach). Go here for details.

Eat well
Nothing goes together like parks and pancakes. We’re hosting FIVE community pancake breakfasts this season to raise money for recreation scholarships. Helping a neighbor in need by chowing down on some syrupy goodness sounds pretty darn sweet.

  • Hiawatha Community Center, 8 a.m.-noon, Jan. 31, $5 for kids, $6 for adults
  • Delridge Community Center, 10 a.m.-noon, Feb. 6, $4 for kids and seniors, $6 for adults, $10 for a couple
  • Bitter Lake Community Center, 9 a.m.-noon, Feb. 22, $5 per person
  • Rainier Beach Community Center, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., $3 for kids and seniors, $5 for adults, $20 for a family (5+)
  • Loyal Heights Community Center, 8 a.m.-noon, March 6, $6 per person


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Dance away
Pull that prom outfit from the closet, grab your kiddos and boogie over to Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center on Friday, Feb. 12. We’ll be playing tunes from the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s and bringing back our famous chocolate fountain. This Sweetheart Soiree is $3 per person and takes place from 6:30-8 p.m.

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Scare Nian

According to Chinese mythology, Nian is a beast that comes out of hiding every year around Chinese New Year to attack people. His weaknesses are loud noises and the color red. Join the International Chinatown District Community Center and the Chinese Information and Service Center in a colorful, festive celebration to welcome the Lunar New Year and keep Nian at bay. You will be immersed in traditional music, cultural music and live entertainment. There will be appetizers and performers doing the Lion Dance, magic, Kung Fu and more. Save the date for this free festivity 4-6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016 at the community center.

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Learn something
You’ve been to Discovery Park many times, but usually to hike the trails or enjoy the ocean view. From 2-4 p.m. on Feb. 27, join us on a journey through time – before the land was a park or even a military base. Explore the land and discover who walked the beach many years ago. The tour is free and is recommended for those 12 and older. For more information, go here.

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Feel good
Start 2016 by doing something that’s good for your body. Belltown Community Center hosts a H.U.M.P. Day fitness class on the second Wednesday of every month. For just $5, you can participate in Capoeira, yoga or dance aerobics. Want more? Every second Friday the center hosts Burlesque Fitness. Spice up your exercise routine and meet some new people. Bonus points for feathered boas and bedazzled outfits. For details, go here.

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Dive in
Take the family to Medgar Evers Pool on the third Saturday of the month for a dive-in movie. Take a dip while watching a movie projected above the pool. The “box office” opens at 6:15 p.m.; show begins at 6:30 p.m. For more information, call the pool directly.

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Witness blessings
After a long closure, it’ll soon be time to open the Japanese Garden’s gate for another stunning season. Join with your community in 2016 to witness a Shinto blessing and usher the garden into another successful year. Have your cameras ready! For more information, visit the garden’s website closer to the event.

Get toasty
Hanging outdoors isn’t always desirable during Seattle winters. Layers on layers of clothing and Gor-Tex are required. But, with a crackling fire and good company, suddenly being outdoors doesn’t sound so bad. We offer the chance to safely build fires on two of our most picturesque beaches year round. Confidently leave the confines of your winter cave and stargaze at Golden Gardens or Alki Beach with hot chocolate and toasted marshmallows. For information on our beach fire programs, go here and here.