5 Fun Things to Do at Pike Place Market in Seattle

September 10, 2012 by

Local Guides, Local Recommendations, Things To Do, Top Attractions

Pike Place Market

Pike Place Market. Photo credit: David Herrera via Flickr.

Originally open in 1907, Pike Place Market is now one of the nation’s oldest public farmers’ markets and thus a prime spot for strolling, shopping and eating. Hundreds of stalls, fresh produce and a prime location make it one of Seattle’s best all-around attractions. Here is a quick list of things you should definitely try to do here during your Seattle trip:

Try something new

You don’t even have to buy if you don’t want to—just keep an open mind and accept some of the free samples that are offered to you. Homemade and local goodies are everywhere.

Listen to a street musician

Some of the ‘buskers’ playing their instruments are extremely talented but easy to miss with all the crowds. There’s even a man who sometimes brings a whole piano onto the street—keep your ears open and let whomever you hear be a spontaneous soundtrack to your Market experience. Remember to tip them if taking photos!

Donate to the extremely large piggy bank

The famous pig mascot Rachel is 550 pounds (250 kg), lives under the big sign and collects for a good cause (in any currency). You can also see Billie, her lesser-known companion.

Go Down Under

That is, after you explore the cobblestone streets above, walk down the stairs by the clock and find the ‘Down Under’ section—the Main Arcade with antiques, magic shops, the Giant Shoe Museum, and additional levels to walk through.

Get rid of your gum

The brick alley wall near the Market Theater box office is covered in gum (literally). It is colorful, several inches thick, speckled with artwork, and pretty gross. You may as well add your own!

You can tour Pike Place Market easily by public transit, as the area is such a common destination; the main entrance is at 1st and Pike. The Market is fully open Monday through Saturday from 9am–6pm and Sunday from 9am–5pm, but individual vendors, stores and bars may open earlier or stay open later depending on their own schedules. You can find a complete list of merchants here.

 -Natalie Grant

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