Free First Thursdays at the Seattle Japanese Garden

The Japanese Garden in the Washington Park Arboretum is one of several locations that has long been on my list of Seattle places to visit, but I just haven’t gotten around to it yet. Part of the delay is because there’s an admission fee, and though it isn’t huge, it means going on a day I where I am feeling really good so I can make the most of my time. No ditching halfway through and counting on a return visit to finish up. (This happens more often than I care to admit.)

Last year the garden tried a Free First Thursday pilot program, but somehow I missed hearing about it. The program was a great success. The intent was to make the garden accessible for those who may not otherwise be able to visit due to the cost of admission. Over 3,000 people visited on the free days from spring through fall.

The free day program returns this year, starting on the first Thursday in April. Admission is free from 3 pm until closing on the first Thursday of each month. If you’d like to read more about it see this Parkways blog post. Maybe I’ll finally get there this year!

4 thoughts on “Free First Thursdays at the Seattle Japanese Garden

  1. I love when places do this. I’m going to get back to doing things after I swim on Mondays. Hoping to find some free stuff to do 🙂


    • I think it’s great too. I think the garden chose the first Thursday because the Volunteer Park Conservatory and several Seattle museums already have a free first Thursday and Saturday program all year long.


    • I WILL get there eventually, but I’ve been saying that for three years so there’s no telling when it will be. 🙂 I have a huge list of places to go, and in the meantime I tend to run across mentions of places I’d never heard of before (like A Salish Welcome last fall) and unexpectedly find myself in them instead.


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