Memorial Day, summer events at Seattle Art Museum, Woodland Park Zoo, Colman Pool, Mounger Pool, Seattle Parks water spray parks, Wild Waves Theme Park

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Monday is Memorial Day, honoring Americans for their military service, observed at several events around the region. Always on the last Monday of May, the holiday weekend informally marks the start of the summer season.

Seattle Center, the city’s gathering spot for events and attractions, starts the season with the new Artists at Play playground in Next 50 Plaza with ribbon-cutting and entertainment Friday, May 22, to welcome kids of all ages to its climbing tower, person-powered carousel and musical features. Along with cavorting in the International Fountain, the playground is sure to be a favorite destination for free fun for kids at Seattle Center.

Seattle Art Museum starts summer hours this weekend, adding Mondays to its schedule from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Woodland Park Zoo’s summer hours, admission fees and activities started May 1 and include keeper talks and animal demonstrations daily, Family Farm, carousel rides, Zoomazium indoor playspace, and opportunities to feed giraffes (on a limited schedule with $5 fee).

Cool off on warm days with a dip or splash at Seattle Parks and Recreation outdoor pools and water-spray features at nine parks. Colman Pool, opening for the season Saturday, is the only saltwater pool in the region and a popular destination in Lincoln Park for more than 70 years.

Mounger Pool in Magnolia with a big pool and a warmer, shallow wading pool, opened for the season this month. Both pools offer public swims, swimming lessons, water exercise and special events throughout the summer.

Water-spray features in nine Seattle parks open for the season Saturday. (Park wading pools aren’t open until late June.) For major water thrills, Wild Waves Theme Park opens this weekend, May 23-25, with daily hours starting June 3. An early-season visit to the park’s wave pool, water slides, lazy river and other attractions has entrance fees of $14.99 to $19.99 in May and June, compared to the $19.99 to $39.99 peak-season entry in July and August.

The Seattle Times Summer Guide filled with local events and attractions is available online at, and check our Weekend Plus section every Friday for complete information on an array of events for summer fun.