September is nearly here Seattle, and that means summer is on the way out. Now that being said, there is still plenty of time to have fun and enjoy the weather on a budget. Here are 17 of the best free & cheap things to do in Seattle this September.

Waterfront Block Party 2023

The third annual Waterfront Block Party promises to be even bigger than years past, with multiple spots along the shoreline featuring events-  all the way from the Olympic Sculpture Park, to Pier 62, to Occidental Park. You’ll find “live music, dance, parades, food trucks, family-friendly crafts, and more.” It’s one of the biggest and best free things to do in Seattle this month.

When: Friday, September 1st
Where: Olympic Sculpture Park to Pier 62
Cost: Free/Varies

Free Public Tours of Washington Park Arboretum

The Arboretum is one of Seattle’s best spots for getting outdoors, especially in the summer. While you can walk it by yourself at any time, you can also enjoy free tours on the first Thursday of each month from 11:30 AM-1 PM.

When: First Thursday of every month
Where: 2300 Arboretum Drive E
Cost: Free

Rainier R-Day

R-Day 2023 takes place on Saturday, September 16th, and is sure to be extra exuberant and eclectic. It’s a celebration of all things “wonderful and weird” and a great way to enjoy music and of course some frosty Mountain Fresh Rainier beer. Beyond the wild and wacky fun, there will also be some great musicians including PNW hard rock band Red Fang co-headlining with Cherry Glazer. You can also hear from R&B beat master Parisalexa, and KEXP’s Larry Mizell Jr.

When: Saturday, September 16th
Where: Georgetown, WA
Cost: Free

Hike to a stunning waterfall

Now that the days are getting warmer and longer you might be looking for ways to cool off. What’s a more memorable way to do that than by hiking to and enjoying a local waterfall? Washington state has many, with several closer to the city than you might think.

Capitol Hill Art Walk

A digital map allows you to pick and choose where you stop on the Capitol Hill Art Walk. Stop by small galleries, local businesses, and more on this monthly art walk.

When: Second Thursday of every month
Where: Capitol Hill
Cost: Free

Xopantla Tianquiztli Festival

You’re invited to learn and experience traditional Mexican arts and culture through the waterfront public market. The market will highlight local artists and vendors from the region. There will also be live performers, plenty of opportunities to shop, and of course nosh on street-style Mexican food. And, you can also sip and enjoy tequila-inspired concoctions.

When: Saturday, September 9th
Where: 1951 Alaskan Wy
Cost: Free/Varies

San Gennaro Festival

Attendees can expect to find vendors with all sorts of Italian wares to food, as well as beer and a wine garden. There will also be children’s activities like free face painting and a scavenger hunt. What’s more, guests of all ages can enjoy Italian music performed live each day.

When: Friday, September 8th-Sunday, September 10th
Where: South Angelo Street in Georgetown, Seattle, WA
Cost: Free/Varies

Visit one of the nation’s largest public telescopes

If you’re into stargazing then get excited because one of the nation’s largest public telescopes is right here in Washington. Goldendale Observatory is worth the trip to the Columbia River Gorge, and it just so happens to be free to visit. Just make sure you make your reservations in advance.

Where: 1602 Observatory Drive, Goldendale, WA
Hours: April 1st-September 30th: Thursday-Sunday, Solar Show: 3 PM-5 PM, Evening Show: 9 PM-Midnight

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Try whale watching

Have you ever seen a whale in Washington’s local waters? If not, try getting out there this month and see if you can see one or a few. We’ve listed some of the best places in Washington where you can watch for whales.

Enjoy a State Park free day

You can look forward to free state park entrance on Saturday, September 23rd (National Public Lands Day). Keep in mind, despite free park entrance, you will have to pay for campsites.

Silent Reading Party: In-Person

The beloved Silent Reading Party is back in person if you’d like to have the experience of reading amongst strangers inside the beautiful Hotel Sorrento. Keep in mind there is a $20 food and drink minimum on top of your ticket price.

When: First Wednesday of each month
Where: 900 Madison St
Cost: $8-$40

Check out Washington State Parks

You can literally check Washington State Parks out of the Seattle Public Library. Well almost, you can check out a Discover Pass which allows you to visit Washington State Parks for free. Keep in mind if you plan on camping you will still have to pay for your spot.

Festa Italiana Seattle

Festa is a celebration of Italians and Italian-Americans in the Pacific Northwest. You’ll experience arts, food and culture that are uniquely Italian. Events happening include Italian cooking demonstrations, the Festa Grape Stomp, a Bocce Tournament, children’s activities, a historical photo collection, a contemporary art exhibition, and an Italian Classic Vehicle Show.

When: Saturday, September 23rd & Sunday, September 24th
Where: 305 Harrison Street
Cost: Free/Varies

Visit a museum for free

You may or may not know but Seattle actually has 5 museums that you can always visit for free. We’ve listed them out and given you some details so you can take yourself on the perfect adventure. What’s more, many local museums offer free entrance on first Thursdays of the month.

Fremont Sunday Market

The Fremont Market is truly a classic Seattle shopping experience and it happens year-round, rain or shine. It’s a great place to find antiques, vintage clothing, and much more. It’s definitely one of the best free things to do in Seattle each weekend.

When: Every Sunday
Where: Evanston Ave N & 34th St

Saint Demetrios Greek Festival

If you’re looking for a truly authentic and even homey festival, Saint Demetrios Greek Festival is for you. You’ll be able to enjoy Greek food, music, dancing and culture. That includes homemade Greek delicacies from spanakopita to Souvlakia to baklava, all freshly prepared at the festival.

When: Friday, September 29th, 12 PM-9 PM, Saturday, September 30th, 10 AM-9 PM, Sunday, October 1st, 11 AM-6 PM
Where: 2100 Boyer Ave E
Cost: Free/Varies

U District $4 Food Walk

The U District $4 Food Walk takes place for one day only on Saturday, September 30th. You’ll be able to grab $4 bites at over 60 participating restaurants and businesses between 11 AM and 8 PM. Other than eats you can head to The Ave (University Way NE) for a variety of live entertainment and music all day long at the Main Stage. There will also be some “special evening performances.”

When: Saturday, September 30th
Where: University District
Cost: $4+

Enjoy all of that beautiful sun and have fun with all of these free and cheap things to do in Seattle!