Things to do in Ballard during the week of Aug. 21.
Seattle Summer Parkways: Ballard
In partnership with the Sustainable Ballard Festival, Seattle Parks and Recreation and dozens of community partners host events on city streets which are closed to vehicles and transformed into “parkways” for outdoor activities. Activities include live music, fitness games, kids’ bike decorating and bike parade, food trucks and bouncy houses. The 13th annual Sustainable Ballard Festival at Ballard Commons Park has activities and information for all ages to learn about daily practices for sustainable living. There will be games, birdhouse building, goats and chickens in the urban farm zone and a Tea Room with local desserts and tea sampling. Summer Parkways highlights natural areas and neighborhoods in Ballard including Salmon Bay Park, Loyal Heights Community Center, Sunset Hill Park, Bergen Place Park and many businesses along Ballard Avenue. Street closures and activities are from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 27 (seattle.gov/transportation/summerpark_ballard.htm).
Hiram M. Chittenden Locks
Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, completed in 1917, was named for one of its designers but is often referred to as the Ballard Locks. It’s one of Seattle’s top maritime sites and draws more than 1 million visitors a year. Visitors watch vessels — from fishing boats and tugs to kayaks and yachts — raised and lowered to pass between Seattle’s freshwater waterways (about 20 feet above sea level) and Puget Sound saltwater. Salmon conservation is another of the Locks main functions; visitors can learn about the lifestyle of salmon and see salmon swim up the fish ladder through the locks.
Hiram M. Chittenden Locks Visitor Center provides information about the history and operation of the locks. It’s open daily through September, with free admission. The visitor center also offers free daily tours of the Locks. Free concerts are at 2 p.m. Saturdays, Sundays and Labor Day.
The grounds include the lovely Carl S. English Jr. Botanical Garden with plants and trees from around the world, designed in English landscape style perfect for strolling.
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The complex of locks is in Salmon Bay, part of Lake Washington Ship Canal. The grounds are open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily; the visitor center is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through September, with shorter hours October through April; 3015 N.W. 54th St., Seattle (206-783-7059 or www.nws.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Locks-and-Dams/Chittenden-Locks
Nordic Heritage Museum
Sharing the cultures of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden and their influence in the Pacific Northwest with exhibits and events, The Nordic Heritage Museum is one of Ballard’s major attractions. Permanent exhibits include: “The Dream of America,” the story of immigration in lifelike dioramas; “The Promise of the Northwest” galleries, focusing on the logging and fishing industries that employed many immigrants who brought skills learned in the old country; and one gallery for each of the five Nordic countries.
The museum hosts its Viking Days Celebration, with a Swedish pancake breakfast, food hearths of Scandinavian countries, the Valhalla Beer Garden, entertainment, a salmon bake and a larger-than-life Viking encampment, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 21.
The Nordic Heritage Museum broke ground last month for a new museum, scheduled to open in 2018 on Market Street in the heart of Ballard. The new site, designed around a “fjord” that weaves together stories of homeland and the Nordic American experience, will have exhibition galleries, a cafe, store, auditorium and classrooms.
In its current location, the museum includes a shop with Nordic and Nordic-inspired books, jewelry, flags, treats, and housewares, open during museum hours, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, noon to 4 p.m. Sundays. Admission to the Museum Store only is free; museum admission is $6-$8, ages 5 and younger get in free; Nordic Heritage Museum, 3014 N.W. 67th St., Seattle (206-789-5707 or nordicmuseum.org).
With 10 breweries in 5 square miles, Ballard is a popular destination for craft-beer lovers.
• Ballard’s first (and for years its only) brewery is Maritime Pacific Brewing Company, established in 1990, adding the Jolly Roger Tap Room in 1997. The family-owned brewery honors Ballard’s seafaring heritage with its name, tall ship emblem and handcrafted ales and lagers with traditional recipes enhanced for Northwest tastes, including specialty seasonal beers. The Tap Room is open to all ages, with a full pub menu; 1111 N.W. Ballard Way, Seattle (206-782-6181 or maritimebrewery.com).
• Reuben’s Brews, a small, family-owned brewery that opened in 2012, is already a local favorite and winner of many beer awards. The taproom is open daily, with a big-screen TV for sporting events. It doesn’t serve food; food trucks are sometimes available. Reuben’s is kid-friendly, with soda and juice options; well-behaved dogs on leashes are welcome; Reuben’s Brews, 5010 14th Ave. N.W., Seattle (www.reubensbrews.com/#on-draft).
• Peddler Brewing microbrewery and tasting room has a bicyclist theme with plenty of places to lock up your two-wheeler, including an indoor bike rack. The tasting room doesn’t serve food and is open varying hours Thursday through Saturday; 1514 NW Leary Way, Seattle (peddlerbrewing.com/).
The My Ballard blog is full of the latest local happenings; myballard.com.
Golden Gardens Park
One of Seattle’s most popular parks, Golden Gardens covers 87 acres on Puget Sound. It has great views of sunsets and the Olympic mountains. Fire pits are among the attractions at the beach, and picnic shelters can be reserved in advance. There are trails around the park, including a short loop through a wetland area, a beach house with restrooms, and a fishing pier and boat launch. An off-leash area for dogs covers an acre in the upper northern portion of the park; dogs aren’t allowed on beaches in Seattle parks.
Shilshole Bay Marina and several popular restaurants line Seaview Avenue Northwest near Golden Gardens Park, 8498 Seaview Place N.W., Seattle (seattle.gov/parks/find/parks/golden-gardens-park; for picnic site reservations, 206-684-4081).