Things to do in the neighborhood for the week beginning Aug. 28.
Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park
The Seattle unit of the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park tells the story of the 1897 discovery of gold in Alaska and the Yukon Territory that made Seattle a boom town. Unlike most expansive, outdoor National Park Service venues, Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park is a small building with exhibits and displays. Open daily year-round, this is the last week of the park’s extended summer schedule through Labor Day. Activities include daily gold-panning demonstrations, films, Junior Ranger programs for ages 4 to 16, and free one-hour Trail to Treasure Walking Tours at 2 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Maps are available at the visitor center for a self-guided Trail to Treasure walk (1.5 km) through the historic Pioneer Square district.
Klondike Gold Rush Historical Park is taking part in the National Parks Centennial Celebration with the “A Century of Service” exhibit, on display through November. It highlights service history and provides information on Washington’s national parks.
The park is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through Sept. 5 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily the rest of the year. Admission is free; 319 Second Ave. S., Seattle (206-220-4240 or nps.gov/klse/index.htm).
Smith Tower, Seattle’s first skyscraper and its tallest building from its completion in 1914 until 1969 — and for many years the tallest building west of the Mississippi River — recently reopened for public tours. The 35th floor, formerly known as the Chinese Room, is now Smith Tower Observatory, with 360-degree views of Seattle and many of the old features including the Wishing Chair, historic exhibits and the outdoor deck. The Temperance cafe and bar is new. Visitors can opt for the “Straight Up” option, a trip on a historic Otis elevator to the observatory, $10. Or take the “Legend of Smith Tower” interactive tour; in honor of the building’s birth year, cost is $19.14 for adults. Tickets are available 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily, tours ending at 6 p.m., at the Smith Tower Provisions General Store on the ground floor and online; Smith Tower, 506 Second Ave., Seattle (smithtower.com).
First Thursday Art Walk
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Pioneer Square is home to myriad art galleries and artist spaces and lays claim to hosting the first Art Walk in the United States, in 1981. This Thursday, Sept. 1, and the first Thursday of each month from 6-8 p.m., art galleries around the neighborhood welcome visitors with new exhibitions, artists and special events.
The Art Walk in Pioneer Square is enhanced by dozens of public art installations that are in the neighborhood, from the historic Native American totem poles in Occidental and Pioneer Square parks to the bright-red “Sentinels” outside the new Fire Station 10.
Free parking is available at three Pioneer Square parking garages with a voucher that’s available at any participating gallery or venue. For more information, see pioneersquare.org/experiences/first-thursday-art-walk.
The nearby Seattle Art Museum offers free admission, reduced admission fees for special exhibits, and extended hours (until 9 p.m.) all first Thursdays, 1300 First Ave., Seattle (206-654-3100 or seattleartmuseum.org).
Waterfall Garden Park
Tucked into a small space on South Main Street and Second Avenue South, the secluded “pocket park” marks the spot where UPS (United Parcel Service Inc.) was founded in 1907. The park provides a serene setting with a 22-foot waterfall, trees, plants and a few small chairs and tables. Also known as Waterfall Garden and UPS Park, it isn’t part of the Seattle park system. Its 1978 construction was funded by UPS, and it’s maintained by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Waterfall Garden Park is open from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily, free admission; 219 Second Ave. S., Seattle.
Last Resort Fire Department Museum/Seattle Metropolitan Police Museum
Seattle’s first neighborhood is home to the Last Resort Fire Department Museum and the Seattle Metropolitan Police Museum.
The Seattle Fire Department Headquarters, in a fire station built in 1928, is also home to the Last Resort Fire Department, which consists of a portion of SFD’s collection of historic rigs from several eras along with historic photos, vintage firefighting equipment and uniforms, a slideshow of SFD’s historic fire stations, old and new fire apparatus and historic fire scenes.
Last Resort Fire Department Museum is open from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays in August, then from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Wednesdays only, free admission, 301 Second Ave. S., Seattle (lastresortfd.org/museum.htm).
Seattle Metropolitan Police Museum, the official repository for historical artifacts from the Seattle Police Department and the King County Sheriff’s Office, is currently open only by appointment. Displays include historic photographs, weaponry, uniforms, information on some of the region’s most notorious crime cases and a historical jail cell. For information and appointments, email Officer Jim Ritter at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 206-437-3860.
For more information about Pioneer Square events and attractions, see pioneersquare.org.