Jefferson Park Courtesy Seattle Parks

Summer Refreshers

Seattle has famously mild summer weather, but the region is not immune to hot days. Fortunately, when temperatures creep up, you’ll find plenty of fun ways to beat the heat.

By Matthew Lombardi
A photo of kids and families playing at a splash park. Fountains shoot water out of the ground as kids run through. A playground with a blue slide and blue ground is on the right. A field with a picnic shelter is on the left.

Jefferson Park Courtesy Seattle Parks

Your first stop should be a place that’s lovely in any weather: Seattle Center (305 Harrison St). Its diverse attractions can keep you engaged and entertained in air-conditioned comfort, and it’s also a spectacular place to get wet. Generations of Seattleites and visitors have cooled off with a splash in the giant International Fountain, where more than 200 jets shoot water as high as 120 feet in the air. You can also go for refreshing water romps in Seattle Center’s Fountain of Creation, Kreielsheimer Promenade, and Center Steps Plaza.

Public parks provide appealing options, both outside and in, for keeping cool. At the Washington Park Arboretum (2300 Arboretum Dr E), you can explore wetlands, stroll under giant sequoias, and—on weekends—take tea in the Japanese garden’s teahouse. The 12 miles of trails in Discovery Park (3801 Discovery Park Blvd) are mostly wooded, and you can cool off while visiting the park’s Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center (5011 Bernie Whitebear Way).

A photo of Seattle's Central Library, a large building made entirely of glass panels shaped like diamonds.

Seattle Central Library Stephanie Braconnier / Shutterstock

You’ll find spray parks all around the city—Jefferson Park (3801 Beacon Ave S) and Yesler Terrace Park (903 Yesler Way) are standouts—and in West Seattle, Lincoln Park (8011 Fauntleroy Way SW) is home to Olympic-size, saltwater Colman Pool. And you can always go to the library. Downtown’s Seattle Central Library (1000 Fourth Ave) isn’t just a place to check out a book and escape the heat—it’s also an architectural wonder. You can take a tour, unwind in the monumental “Living Room,” and attend events geared to both kids and adults.


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