Neal Freeland

Engineering/marketing manager, family guy. My personal blog with a few work thoughts mixed in.

Gasworks Park

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Gasworks Park is a funky Seattle icon. From 1873 to the 1950s it was a gas foundry, making metals to support the growth of the city and the fishing fleet. In the 1970s the heavy machinery was child-proofed, some of it fenced off, and the whole thing turned into a city park.
The park sits on a prime point of land sticking into the north end of Lake Union (map), and offers a great view of downtown and the Space Needle. It’s also conveniently located just off the Burke-Gilman trail. Here’s what I like to do with the kids:
  1. Count boats. Boats are everywhere on the small lake, many transiting from Puget Sound to Lake Washington or back, and houseboats line the shores.
  2. Climb the hill and see the view. There’s a grassy hill with a winding path going up. At the top is an elaborate sundial filled with stars, sun beams, and lots of other little things to discover.
  3. Fly a kite. Frequent breezes blow across the lake, and you can get a kite at the nearby Gasworks Kite Shop. The top of the hill is your best bet for a successful launch.
  4. Watch the seaplanes. Seaplanes take off and land regularly, ferrying passengers north from the city to the San Juans and Canada.
  5. Clamber on the machinery. The left over machinery in the compressor room has got to be the most unique jungle gym ever. It’s safe, but some supervision still required.
  6. Chase ducks and geese. They’re everywhere and like to quack or honk.
  7. Watch the people. Last time we went we saw Buster the skateboarding dog (see photos) and the time before that a drum circle. Seems like there’s always some young Japanese tourists dressed in crazy asian fashion. It’s just a great place to people watch.

The park is very popular on 4th of July as it has great views of the fireworks at the Space Needle. You have to get there early.


Written by nealfreeland

March 27, 2006 at 9:13 pm

Posted in Guides

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