Celebrate Spring at the Olympic Sculpture Park


Mom gets some time with the artwork, Dek gets to play with rocks

What’s that I see? The sun? It’s a miracle!

If you live in the Pacific Northwest you know how sun starved we have been the past couple of weeks. It has been unseasonably cold and even more rainy than usual. Then again maybe I just block out this part of spring every year.

Nevertheless, Monday it was sunny. We got a jump-start on our spring celebrations by taking a little trip downtown to check out the Seattle Art Museum’s Olympic Sculpture Park. When I first moved to Seattle this park’s opening was highly anticipated. The delays were endless, but when the ribbon was cut plenty of people were there to celebrate. I hadn’t been back since. Now seemed like as good a time as any to see how the park had grown.

My friend Nicole and I started our day with a little macaron taste testing at La Panier in Pike Place Market with the kids. After all, the first day of spring is also Macaron Day in France. Who am I to argue with a holiday that celebrates sweet, delicious, flaky cookies?

La Panier is a great breakfast spot for anyone looking for the best croissants in the city

The macarons were OK, a bit too sweet for my taste, but the croissants win me over every time

With belly’s full and a quick peek at the tulips that were finally starting to show up in the market, we headed down to the sculpture park. The kids were anxious to get going as they heard the sound of a train whistle blowing. The tracks were close by. They squealed as a freight train lumbered down the tracks. Our visit was clearly starting off on the right foot. After all, little boys and trains do go hand in hand.

Tulips are finally making an appearance at the market

The kids enjoyed climbing the endless stairs up to the top of the park. I quickly remembered why I don’t bring strollers to these types of places; too much gravel and too many steps. Nic and I were just happy to find a museum that the kids could soak up some vitamin D at while getting a little artist culture on the side, whether they knew it or not.

Everyone had a little fun Monday morning. The sun was out, we had fresh air in our lungs and even got to throw some rocks around. Now if only it would warm up a little.

Dek checks out Wall Benches by Louise Bourgeois at the Olympic Sculpture Park

The Seattle Space Needle looms overhead as we wander the 3 block sculpture park

The Eagle by Alexander Calder soars over Puget Sound

Larger than life artwork lets kids get up close and personal with world-renowned installation artists

Moms loved the art while the trains were the hit of the day for the boys

Feel free to explore, but respect the artwork and don’t vandalize it, as many visitors have in the past

My favorite piece in the park is by Richard Serra. No matter what angle you photograph it you still can’t get ever panel in the shot.

Split by Roxie Paine | boy with his rocks | Typewriter Eraser, Scale X by Oldenburg & van Bruggen

Know Before You Go

  • Olympic Sculpture Park, 2901 Western Avenue, Seattle
    • Free to the public 365 days a year
    • Opens: 30 minutes before sunrise, closes: 30 minutes after sunset
    • Check website for Paccar Pavilion hours and closing dates
    • Parking:
      • Street parking is available for $2 an hour
      • PACCAR Pavilion Garage is open 6am-11pm
    • SAM Shop is open Tuesdays through Sunday, 10am-4pm
    • Strollers: most of the paths are gravel. Strollers will be tough. Little legs should be able to handle the walk, while babies would be better in a carrier than a stroller.
  • La Panier, 1902 Pike Place, Seattle
    • Open Monday through Saturday 7am-6pm, Sundays 7am-5pm
    • Breakfast and lunch are available
    • Baguettes, macarons, meringues, napoleons and croissants are just a few of the menu highlights
    • Caffe Umbria coffee is served
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Showing 5 comments
  • Mom

    LOVE the first shot of The Eagle by Alexander Calder. It truly does soar!

  • cravesadventure

    Loving your post – thanks for sharing. Happy Spring:)

  • Lisa

    That sculpture park looks like a great place to hang out with kids! Not bad looking macarons – but my favourites are pink and green. 🙂 We are having summer weather for the beginning of spring here – it’s supposed to be 24 or 25 with humidity here the next couple of days – people are out in shorts and t-shirts. Hopefully there’s some sunny, warm weather heading your way too!

  • atasteoftravel

    What a great sculpture park- it’s a fun way to introduce chidren to the art world, even though trains may win sometimes!!The Richard Serra sculpture looks fantastic. Since seeing his sculpture athe Guggenheim in Bilbao, I have become a fan of his work