With most of the University on summer break, things get a little quiet around campus. But there’s still a ton of fun stuff to do!
- Go for a paddle: Rent a canoe or a rowboat at the UW’s Waterfront Activities Center and explore beautiful Union Bay from the water. (UWAA Member Discount: Show your card at the rental desk and save.)
- Nature walks: The UW Botanic Gardens offers free weekend walks every Sunday. Meet at the Graham Visitors Center at 1 p.m. This August, the walks are centered around native plants and how the Salish peoples used them for everything from food to clothing to housing and transportation. (Free.)
- Brockman tree tour: About 480 different kinds of trees beautify the UW’s Seattle campus. This self-guided tour (named for beloved professor C. Frank Brockman, who made the original version of the tour in 1980) fills you in on 67 unique, historical, beautiful and unusual specimens from around the world. Print out the map and guide free online and go exploring!
Expand your mind
- First Thursdays: Admission to the Burke Museum and the Henry Art Gallery is free the first Thursday of every month. The museums stay open late, and often offer First Thursday perks, like drop-in tours and hands-on activities. It’s a great chance to check out some great art, or get a look at the South Lake Union mammoth tusk! (UWAA Member Discount: If you can’t make it on a First Thursday, UWAA members enjoy discounted admission to both museums.)
- Stargaze: On the first and third Wednesdays of each month, the Theodor Jacobsen Observatory hosts free talks about matters astronomical. If the sky is clear, they open the observatory dome and let visitors take a peek at the heavens. (Free, advance reservations strongly encouraged for the talks; no reservations needed to tour the observatory or look through the telescopes)
For the whole Husky family
- Park in the Dark: These nighttime explorations at the Arboretum are a unique opportunity to experience the crepuscular and nocturnal creatures, learn about night-related animal adaptations, and enjoy an evening in the woods. B.Y.O.F. (Bring your own flashlight!) (Kids ages 6-12 and their grown-ups welcome. $8 per person; advance registration strongly encouraged.)
- StoryTimes at University Book Store: For Huskies 3-7, Several University Book Store locations host StoryTime events throughout the week, complete with activities and refreshments. Check out the U Book Store event calendar for details, and learn about upcoming literary events for an older crowd as well.