Thrifty Valentine's Day Ideas: Outdoor Adventures

by Catherine Sweeney, Creative Circle
February 12, 2015

As Seattleites, we all want to escape cabin fever in February. If the weather cooperates, what better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than with an outdoor adventure?

We are surrounded by natural beauty from our northernmost location up in Bellingham, all the way down to our southernmost location in Tukwila. We’re surrounded by water, mountains, rivers, and lakes—and many of them have well-kept trail access.

For the more adventurous, consider a trip to the Issaquah Alps. A 7.2 mile round-trip hike to Poo Poo Point rewards you with vistas from a West Tiger Mountain summit, including Lake Sammamish and the Bellevue towers skyline. Check the Washington Trails Association (WTA) website for trail conditions before you go—you’ll find lots of winter hike ideas on their site.

Closer to home, Seattle’s Kerry Park will reward you with sweeping skyline and Mt. Rainier views. Open at 6 am, Seward Park is available to you long before winter sunrise, and well after sunset, with a paved, 2.5 mile shoreline trail along Lake Washington, and lots of eastward and Rainier views.Think about packing a picnic! In an earlier Thrifty Valentine’s Day Idea blog, we wrote about taking your picnic skills up a notch—including a sunrise hike.Stargazing
A view of the winter stars is a rare treat in Seattle, so why not share it with your loved one? A blog for local stargazers, Alice’s Astro Info, gives the lowdown on stargazing spots in Seattle, with recommendations including Beacon Hill’s Jefferson Park, West Seattle’s Solstice Park, and Ballard’s Sunset Hill Park.

Wait for a clear night, and bring along dessert—like some foil-wrapped Warm Apple Pockets.

Let the games begin – ping pong, pinball, and more
On a sunny winter day, warm up with some outdoor table tennis. Table tennis paddles and balls are often in stock at Goodwill. You’ll find outdoor table tennis tables at the International District’s Hing Hay Park, where you’ll play your match in front of an ornate grand pavilion constructed in Taipei, Taiwan.

Afterwards, visit the Pinball Museum, where you can pay a flat fee to try your skills on more than 30 different machines dating from 1930 – 2010. If you get hungry after all that play, there’s a wealth of dining options in the ID, including Uwajimaya’s Food Court.  

Now that you’re full of ideas, let’s hope for clear(ish) skies! If not, see if your valentine will take a rain check.

(PS: National Park Service Parks are FREE this Saturday, Sunday and Monday for the President's Day holiday!)


Catherine Sweeney, APR is a professional writer and communicator affiliated with Creative Circle. She dedicates her Goodwill blog-writing in memory of her mom, an avid thrift-shopper and advocate for social change. 

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