A Local's Guide on Things to Do in Ballard

Corey Hays


Discover a unique blend of vibrant city life and nature’s tranquility in the heart of Seattle, Washington. The Ballard neighborhood is a captivating fusion of past and present, offering a colorful variety of activities for everyone. Whether you are thinking of living in Ballard or simply visiting the area, there are a host of delightful shops, restaurants, landmarks, parks, and entertainment venues to explore — all nestled just moments from Seattle’s sparkling waterfront. This detailed guide will lead you on an unforgettable journey through Ballard, unveiling a host of exceptional local attractions.

Things to do

The Ice Box Arcade

A haven for retro game enthusiasts and a nostalgia trip for many, The Ice Box Arcade is a perfect stop for a fun-filled afternoon. This vintage-style arcade welcomes all generations to enjoy its collection of classic video games. Its unique atmosphere is a delightful blend of modern aesthetics with a comforting touch of the good old days.


If you're traveling with children, Zoomazium at the Woodland Park Zoo is an absolute must-visit. It's an indoor, all-weather facility that provides a plethora of engaging and educational activities designed for kids. From climbing structures to interactive exhibits, this adventurous playground sparks curiosity and encourages learning about the natural world in the most entertaining way possible.

Ballard Farmers Market

The Ballard Farmers Market is an authentic Seattle experience that showcases the best of the region's agriculture and craftsmanship. Every Sunday, rain or shine, visitors can find fresh fruits, vegetables, seafood, locally-made cheeses, baked goods, and more. Live music and street food vendors add to the festive atmosphere. It's a great place to shop for fresh produce and meet and engage with local farmers and artisans. Whether you're a food enthusiast or a tourist looking to immerse yourself in local culture, a visit to the Ballard Farmers Market promises a delightful experience.

Gas Works Park

Gas Works Park offers an extraordinary blend of natural beauty and industrial history. Built on the site of a former gasification plant, the park retains some of the old machinery, providing a unique backdrop to a picturesque park setting. With excellent views of the Seattle skyline, it's a popular spot for picnicking, flying kites, and enjoying outdoor concerts. The park also includes a play barn for kids and a hill perfect for watching sunsets. It's a must-visit for both locals and tourists who want to experience a different side of Seattle's landscape.

Five Iron Golf - Seattle

Five Iron Golf is a modern, urban golf experience in Seattle. With state-of-the-art golf simulators, you can play rounds on some of the world's most famous courses without leaving the city. The facility also offers professional coaching, practice areas, and custom club fittings. In addition to golf, there's a lively bar and lounge with food and drink, making it an attractive place for both serious golfers and those looking for a fun and social environment. Whether you're working on your swing or just there for a good time, Five Iron Golf offers an upscale and engaging experience.

The Laser Dome

The Laser Dome at the Pacific Science Center is one of the most unique entertainment venues in Seattle. As the world's largest and longest-operating laser dome, it offers visually stunning laser shows choreographed to music from various genres. The Laser Dome offers a fully immersive sensory experience, from classic rock to electronic beats. Coupled with a top-notch sound system, it turns each performance into a psychedelic visual and auditory journey. Whether attending a scheduled show or renting the venue for a private event, the Laser Dome is a must-experience attraction in Seattle.

Zen Dog Studio & Tea House Gallery

Zen Dog Studio & Tea House Gallery is a serene and inviting space in Seattle, offering visitors a chance to engage with both art and tea culture. The studio features an art gallery that hosts rotating exhibits from local and international artists. In the tea house, guests can partake in traditional tea ceremonies or enjoy a casual cup of fine tea. Workshops, classes, and special events are often held to deepen the understanding of art, tea, and mindfulness. A visit to Zen Dog Studio & Tea House Gallery provides an enriching and calming experience, a perfect retreat from the city's hustle and bustle.


Golden Gardens Park

Golden Gardens Park is known for its remarkable sunset views, sandy beaches, and hiking trails. Enjoy picnicking, fishing, or a game of volleyball here.

Salmon Bay Park

Salmon Bay Park is a neighborhood park with a playground, tennis courts, and scenic views. It's a favorite spot for families and outdoor enthusiasts.

Carl S. English Jr. Botanical Garden

Carl S. English Jr. Botanical Garden is a charming botanical garden known for its beautiful landscapes and diverse plant collections.


The Ballard Cut

The Ballard Cut is one of the best restaurants in Ballard, offering culinary excellence with a wide selection of offerings. With a creative and talented culinary team, The Ballard Cut emphasizes locally-sourced ingredients in beautifully crafted dishes. The restaurant’s ambiance is both elegant and comfortable, making it suitable for both special occasions and casual dining.

Asadero Ballard

For those passionate about authentic Mexican cuisine, Asadero Ballard provides a sizzling and flavorful experience. Known for its charcoal-grilled meats and artisanal approach, the restaurant delivers an authentic and immersive Mexican dining experience, complete with a carefully curated Tequila and Mezcal menu.


A seafood lover’s paradise with freshly caught fare, Sailfish offers a variety of seafood dishes, each prepared to showcase the natural flavors of the ocean. Whether you prefer raw, grilled, or steamed, their menu has something for every seafood enthusiast. The nautical-themed interior and waterfront location add to the charm.

Pestle Rock

A destination for those craving Thai food with a contemporary twist, Pestle Rock takes traditional Thai cuisine to a new level with inventive dishes and unique flavor combinations. The warm and inviting atmosphere, paired with a menu that explores all regions of Thailand, makes this a must-visit for Thai food lovers.

S/T Hooligan's

A lively gastropub with a spirited sports ambiance, S/T Hooligans is the perfect spot to catch a game with friends, offering a wide selection of beers on tap, classic bar snacks, and plenty of big screens. The energetic atmosphere is sure to win over any sports fan.

Secret Savory

For those looking for a mysterious culinary adventure, Secret Savory offers a unique dining experience with an ever-changing menu that surprises and delights. The chefs draw inspiration from various world cuisines, crafting creative dishes that please both the eye and the palate.

The Fat Hen

A cozy cafe with delightful breakfast offerings, The Fat Hen is known for its comforting and satisfying breakfast and brunch menus. From fluffy scrambled eggs to freshly baked pastries, the café provides a homey ambiance that’s perfect for leisurely mornings.

Watson's Counter

A trendy spot for a modern twist on breakfast, Watson's Counter offers a fusion of classic American breakfast with Asian-inspired flavors. The minimalist and contemporary décor is complemented by a menu filled with inventive breakfast dishes that are both familiar and excitingly new.


A haven for pizza lovers, offering unique and gourmet flavors, Stoneburner excels in providing artisanal pizzas cooked in a stone hearth with combinations of classic and innovative toppings. Paired with a great selection of wines and craft beers, it’s the perfect spot for casual gatherings and pizza connoisseurs alike.


Ballard’s shopping scene offers a unique selection of fashion-forward apparel, jewelry, custom-curated gifts, luxury items, and more. Experience window shopping at its finest as you leisurely stroll along Market Street and Ballard Avenue, two popular stretches filled to the brim with local small businesses. From art studios and clothing boutiques to bridal shops, specialty stores, shops selling high-end furnishings, and even designated places for dogs, Ballard is home to an unforgettable collection of retail experiences in the heart of Seattle.

Find Ballard real estate with Mr. Magnolia

Experts Dawn Bourdo and Corey Hays are Seattle’s go-to industry professionals for all things real estate. Their focus on delivering unparalleled client experiences and building enduring relationships sets them apart from other agents. Often lauded as "Rockstar Pandas made of Magic," their unique approach to customer satisfaction has left a lasting impression on clients. With over two decades of experience selling and purchasing Seattle real estate, their reputation is well-earned. As Seattle locals living in Magnolia, Dawn and Corey's knowledge of the city’s neighborhoods is extensive, and they use this local insight to help clients fulfill their real estate dreams. If you want to buy or sell a home or have questions about the Ballard real estate market, contact Mr. Magnolia today.



Dawn and Corey have worked in the best interest of their clients, the same way they would want to be treated. They live in Magnolia. They know the neighborhood. They call it home. Use that neighborhood expertise to help you achieve your real estate dreams.

Contact Us
Follow Us