Weekend Highlights

Published May 6, 2014
Going Places

All Aboard: It’s Tugboat Story Time!

by Erika Lee Bigelow

Have you met Arthur? Arthur Foss? He’s the coolest 125-year-old tugboat around. Not only is he the oldest wooden-hulled tug afloat in the United States, but he also lives here in Seattle at Lake Union Park. Arthur hosts a story time on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month for kids ages 2 to 5.

From 11 a.m. to noon, you will find the deck of the old tugboat teeming with small seafaring folk eagerly listening to tales of boats, kids and the sea. With an unparalleled view of Lake Union, parents and caregivers will enjoy this story time, too, as seaplanes and sailboats glide by and kites dance in the sky over Gasworks Park. 


Once the stories have reached their happy endings, everyone is welcome to explore the tugboat and see where the crew and Captain lived, slept and ate. The berths and galley are furnished as if the sailors are still on board, and clear descriptions about function and history are posted in every room.

Stairs to the upper level and bridge are very steep, so comfortable shoes and a helping hand for small kids will be needed. In addition, the deck of the Arthur Foss is not covered, so bring sun block and/or jackets depending on the weather. Strollers need to be left on the dock, but it’s just a short walk and only a few stairs to get aboard the tugboat and very easy to do if carrying a diaper bag or baby.

Tugboat Story Time is a joint program of The Center for Wooden Boats and Northwest Seaport. The program is free, but donations are welcome. To learn more, visit www.cwb.org.

There’s more kid-friendly fun to be had at The Center for Wooden Boats: On Saturdays and Sundays, you can rent a mini boat to sail on their 100-foot-wide model boat pond; on Sundays, you can take a free sail around Lake Union on one of their various boats (sign up in person and early for this experience).


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