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Gas Works Park In Seattle Washington

Updated on January 8, 2013
Gas Works Park view from top of the kite hill
Gas Works Park view from top of the kite hill | Source

Gas Works

Gas Works park is located on the north side of the beautiful Lake Union in the Freemont Neighborhood of Seattle, Washington. It is the largest park on Lake Union, measuring just shy of 20 acres and has been around since 1906.

Gas Works was originally a plant used to turn gas into oil. With the introduction of Natural Gas, the coal gasification plant was no longer necessary and was shut down.

The city of Seattle purchased the abandoned plant with the intentions of turning it into a park. Remains of the original plant still stand there today, making it the only remaining coal gasification plant left in the US.

Original remains from Coal Gasification Plant
Original remains from Coal Gasification Plant | Source

From Gas Plant to Park

Some of the structures have been deemed unsafe and are sectioned off so that people won’t attempt to climb them.

Other parts of the old plant have been refurbished, painted bright colors and integrated into the park as a play area for kids.

There are picnic tables, large manicured grassy areas and a concessions building.

Entrance of Gas Works Park
Entrance of Gas Works Park | Source
Gas Works Park Sign
Gas Works Park Sign | Source

Gas Works Park in the Movies and on T.V.

Gas Works has always been famous with Seattleites but it has received 15 minutes of global fame as well.

Portions of the movie Singles was filmed there in 1992 and in 1999, part of the movie 10 Things I Hate About You was also filmed at Gas Works.

Gas Works Park is no stranger to the small screen either. The reality show Amazing Race was filmed there twice. The finish line in season 3 was located at Gas Works and the starting line in season 10 was shot there as well.

Kites and Other Fun Activities

This park is frequently occupied with people of all ages enjoying different activities.

It is common to see kids running and playing, sunbathers soaking up rays, family picnics, Frisbee’s flinging around and even wedding photos being taken.

The most common recreational activity of all is definitely kite flying. When Gas Works Park was created they designer had a manmade hill added in the center of the large grassy area. This park is one of the unofficial kite flying areas of Seattle.

It is fun to see the variety of different kites and their owners. The store bought children’s kite and the intricate manmade kites are all flying at the same place. All kite flyers are welcome, from the novice to the award winners.

With nearly 20 acres and a perfect grass hill, there is room for everyone.

Man-made grassy kite hill at Gas Works Park
Man-made grassy kite hill at Gas Works Park | Source

Annual 4th of July Firework Celebration

Family 4th at Lake Union is an annual Seattle tradition for almost 25 years and it is celebrated at Gas Works Park. The fireworks show that is displayed on Lake Union is enormous and enchanting.

The local businesses such as Starbucks and Microsoft sponsor this production that is filled with colorful explosions and a perfectly timed soundtrack of music everyone can enjoy.

Gas Works Park offers a front row view of Lake Union and all its beauty so there is no better place to host the 4th of July festivities.

The amazing view of the fireworks show is not all that the spectators get to enjoy at Gas Works during the 4th of July. The community really comes together to make this a wonderful all day celebration. A few of the events one can expect to enjoy there are:

  • Lake Union Wooden Boat Festival
  • Beer Gardens and Beer Garden Trivia
  • Local Band Concerts presented by Microsoft
  • Food Drive and Local Celebrity Dunk Tank
  • Face Painting
  • Zip Line
  • Hula Hoop Contest
  • Inflatable Bouncy Houses for Kids
  • Many food vendors

View of downtown Seattle from Gas Works Park
View of downtown Seattle from Gas Works Park | Source

Summer Solstice Parade and the Solstice Cyclists

The Summer Solstice Parade and Fremont Fair are traditions in the Fremont Community of Seattle. They began in 1972 and get bigger and more creative every year.

The events are held to celebrate the longest day of the year and the official start of summer.

The parade is unofficially kicked off with the Solstice Cyclists which includes anyone who wants to ride in celebration of free expression. These cyclists are customarily partially or completely nude with body paint strategically covering them. This is intended as artistic expression with no words allowed, just art.

Many of the bicycles get a make-over also. There are many different types of bicycles, unicycles and tricycles represented and they are almost all decorated for the occasion. The parade ends at Gas Works Park where a community picnic follows.

There people can enjoy live band entertainment, beer gardens, craft and art vendors and many kite flyers. The Fremont Fair lasts through the weekend and is suitable for families of all ages.

The nude cyclists are only present at the beginning of the parade. This festival is a wonderful way to welcome summer and it is held the 3rd Saturday in June every year.

Gas Works Park
Gas Works Park | Source

The Fremont Troll

In 1990, four artists constructed a large troll under the north end of the Aurora Bridge which is located in the Freemont community. This unique and awesome structure is a must see for locals and tourist alike.

The Fremont Troll stands 18ft high and is constructed from rebar and cement. The public is welcome and encouraged to climb on it for pictures and try to remove the troll’s shiny eye which is made from a hubcap.

The troll itself is an incredible work of art and it is enhanced with a real Volkswagen Beetle under its left hand. The imagery suggests that the troll grabbed the car from the bridge above.

This incredible sculpture is a short 15 minute walk from Gas Works Park and is easily incorporated into the full Gas Works experience.

The Fremont Troll
The Fremont Troll | Source

There's A lot To Experience At Gas Works Park

Locals and tourist alike should allow themselves the chance to experience all that Gas Works Park has to offer first hand.

There is no other park quite like it.

Directions to Gas Works Park and The Fremont Troll

show route and directions
A markerGas Works Park -
2101 N Northlake Way, Seattle, WA 98103, USA
get directions

B markerThe Fremont Troll -
N 36th St, Seattle, WA, USA
get directions

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    • kittyjj profile image

      Ann Leung 4 years ago from San Jose, California

      This park is beautiful. We went to Seattle last week but didn't know this park. I think my kids would have loved seeing the troll. Looks like we have to wait till next time to enjoy this park. I love the pictures. Thank you for sharing such an interesting hub. Voted up.

    • Mmargie1966 profile image

      Mmargie1966 4 years ago from Gainesville, GA

      This is a great hub, Roxanne! Only in Seattle will you find a real troll that lives under a bridge, nude cyclists, and an old gas plant made into a beautiful park. This sure is quite an interesting city. I have never been there, but definitely want to go.

      Nice job!!! Voted up and interesting.

    • roxanne459 profile image
      Author

      Roxanne Lewis 4 years ago from Washington

      Thank you kittyjj! I hope you enjoyed your visit to Seattle. It is really hard to fully express in words how wonderful this place is, you'll just have to experience it yourself next time if you get the chance :)

    • roxanne459 profile image
      Author

      Roxanne Lewis 4 years ago from Washington

      Seattle is definitely one of a kind! I really hope you can experience it first hand one day soon. :)

    • Jeff Gamble profile image

      Jeff Gamble 4 years ago from Denton, Texas

      Neat Roxanne - great information on Seattle. Gasworks Park looks like a cool place to visit.

    • roxanne459 profile image
      Author

      Roxanne Lewis 4 years ago from Washington

      Thank you Jeff! :)

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      What a great park! I would truly love to visit here some day. It seems to have so much fun promised to children and adults.

    • roxanne459 profile image
      Author

      Roxanne Lewis 4 years ago from Washington

      It's hard to fully express all it has to offer in an article. If you ever get the chance to see it in person, you will love it! :)

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