Have you met Arthur? Arthur Foss? He's the coolest 121-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. AND Arthur hosts a story time every other Thursday 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.
IF YOU GO
Where: Historic Ships Wharf, Lake Union Park, 166 Terry Ave. N., Seattle.
When: Every other Thursday from 11 a.m. to noon.
Cost: Free, but donations are welcome.
Contact: 206-382-2628; www.cwb.org. Click on the calendar of events link and scroll to Thursdays.
Erika Lee Bigelow is “Going Places” editor for Seattle’s Child and the mom of three adventurous kids.