Thursday, September 12, 2013

Out And About in Seattle: Japanese Gardens

Ben got to hang out with his best little buddy Josie the other day. We met up at the Japanese Garden which is the perfect spot for toddlers: there are trails, bridges, stepping stones over creeks, bugs, fish, and turtles.



From the parent’s perspective it’s also pretty ducky: it’s a fully enclosed garden with only one main entrance/exit. No escape for those wily toddlers on the run. 

I remember going here with my own madre as a little tyke. 


If you get there early, you can buy a bit of fish food at the front desk. They only have a limited amount that the koi are allowed to consume on a daily basis so an early arrival time is key. 


You’ll immediately have hundreds of new best piscine friends. 


For some strange reason, the fish wanted to suck on the turtle’s heads. Weird, no? We couldn’t figure out what was up with that behavior but the turtles didn’t seem to mind all that much. 




We arrived at 10 am - which is opening time during the summer and perhaps saw about 15 people during the hour we were wandering around. Not bad for a park in the middle of Sea-Town.


And here is my naughty son: bushwhacking in the Japanese Garden is definitely not encouraged. 



Did you know that they just started up a pilot wedding program in the Japanese Gardens? What a magical place to get married. Wish they’d done this back when we were looking for a venue. 



Ben doesn’t play much with other kiddos yet - he’s mostly content to do his own thing. But with Josie it’s an entirely different story. He watches her closely and wants to engage with her on every activity. She’s not shy about telling him to back off, either, which is a good thing. Sometimes his hugs are a little too much to handle - even for me. 



It’s fun to watch these two together. 

Mimicry is the best form of flattery, right?





Anyway, I highly recommend the Japanese Garden as a kid-friendly activity. It’s one of our very favorite spots in Seattle. You can’t picnic within the gardens but there are plenty of tables just outside and the Aboretum in general is a great place for exploring. Also, the nearby rowboat rentals at UW are also terrific during the summer months. 

xo, 

Sonja



If You Go:


JAPANESE GARDEN

in the UW Botanic Gardens This link will take you off the City of Seattle Web at Washington Park Arboretum


Address: 1075 Lake Washington Blvd E, Seattle WA 98112 > directions
Contact the Japanese Garden: (206) 684-4725

HOURS - 2013 SEASON

March 1 – March 30    Tues – Sun 10 am – 5 pm
March 31 – Sept 21    Mon-Sun 10 am – 7 pm
Sept 22 – Sept 30      Mon – Sun 10 am – 5 pm
Oct 1 – Nov 2            Tues – Sun 10 am – 5 pm
Nov 3 – Nov 30          Tues – Sun 10 am – 4 pm


NOTE: The Garden is closed on Mondays in March, October, & November.

* Garden closing times are subject to weather, available light, and impacts of daylight savings time.


Adults 18-64: $6

Youths 6–17, Senior Adults 65+, College students with ID, & Disabled: $4
Children 0-5: FREE


Admission restrictions: In order to preserve the unique nature of this garden, and ensure access for all, we do not allow picnicking, weddings, tripods, or pets.

Public Tours: The Japanese Garden offers public tours free with admission on weekend days at 12:30 p.m., and 2:30 p.m., April through October. All tours start from the main gate, and are led by Arboretum Foundation Unit 86 Docents. These tours provide an educational introduction to the culture and history of the Seattle Japanese Garden.

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