21 Ways to Celebrate

Last updated: March 22, 2023, at 4:55 a.m. PT

Originally published: October 27, 2020, at 12:06 p.m. PT

Photo of people celebrating

Life can get crazy sometimes and planning a celebration can feel like just another chore on your to-do list. So, how about picking something from our list of affordable, active ideas to celebrate?

  1. Hit a Farmers Market, and Plan a Meal for You and Yours: Support local farmers by grabbing some fresh ingredients to whip up something extra special in the kitchen (they'll also double your EBT benefits, dollar for dollar.) Need some ideas? Try one or more of our recipes created by a registered dietician. Need some pointers? Join one of our virtual cooking classes! Don't feel like cooking? No sweat! Support your favorite minority-owned local restaurant.
  2. Let Us Organize It: Kids' birthday parties are our thing. Just pick a theme, and our hosts will do the rest, including coordinating games and tidying up.
  3. Host a Game Night: Dust off your favorite board games, perhaps introduce the next generation to the fun of your youth, or try one of our games or activities that are suitable for all ages.
  4. Check Out Y Retreats and Family Camps: Camp isn't just for kids. Families and individual adults are all welcome to immerse themselves in making new friends, building new skills, and reconnecting with nature. On-site catering is included, and subsidized rates are available. Learn more!
  5. Plan a Backyard Campout: Rather stay close to home? S'mores taste just as good in the backyard. Try some of these activities from our library of camp fun!
  6. Take a Group Exercise Class: Moderate, vigorous, or relaxing — either in person or online (free for members) — we'll have something for you. Remember, reservations are required for some in-person activities.
  7. Plant a Tree to Commemorate the Day: So many people only think of doing this on sad occasions, but wouldn't it be nice to be reminded of how you felt on your day of celebration every time you catch a glimpse of it? Poplar and Weeping Willow trees are some of the fastest growing.
  8. Treat Yourself to Personal Training: With a 1:1 or group personal training session that's tailored to match your fitness goals and desired activity level.
  9. Take a Dip: Whether you're into doing handstands on the bottom, cannonballs, or just swimming laps, swimming is a year-round activity that you can do indoors or outdoors at the Y or at the many lakes and beaches in our area. Don't know how? It's never too late to learn. Take a private or semi-private swim lesson with one of our experienced instructors. Even if you're already confident, please don't forget to brush up on water safety if you're headed outdoors.
  10. Stroll Through a Botanical Garden: And perhaps pack a picnic before heading out to enjoy the splendor of the changing seasons. Check out the Arboretum at the University of Washington, the Bellevue Botanical Garden on the East Side, or Kubota Garden in the South End.
  11. Make the Most of Your Y Benefits: Wellness is personal, and your path to it may vary as your life situation changes. So, take advantage of your Personalized Wellness Plan by meeting with a coach for free (Y members only) to help establish your health path and stick to it!
  12. Take a Ferry: You don't even need a destination in mind. Just traveling across Puget Sound on a Washington State Ferry is a memorable experience in itself. Grab some tater tots and a drink from the galley, and try to spot a harbor seal, porpoise, or even an orca whale!
  13. Rediscover Something You Loved as a Kid: Celebrating seemed easier back then, right? So why not dive right back in? Our drop-in Adult Sports programs mean Y members can play pick-up games of badminton, basketball, table tennis, pickleball, and volleyball.
  14. Visit a Park: With hundreds of amazing public parks in the Greater Seattle area, why not make your celebration the start of visiting as many as you can? Can't decide between beach or park? Discovery Park has both. Just be prepared for stairs – lots of stairs.
  15. Enjoy Some Family Fun Time: We have so many ways to play, learn, and connect with your kids in our free family classes (Y members only) to help build stronger family bonds through fun and engaging activities.
  16. Enjoy Some Alone Time: You've earned it. Plan that special night out (or in), and let us take care of the kids in our Parents' Night Out.
  17. Take a Bike Ride: You never forget how, but you might've forgotten how much fun it is. Rent a bike (don't forget your helmet) and enjoy one of the many paved trails around Seattle! Prefer something rougher Duthie Hill, Tokul, and Tiger Mountain are some of the most popular Seattle area mountain bike trails and are close enough to hit before or after work.
  18. Hit the Water: With a free, one-hour wooden peapod rowboat rental at the Center for Wooden Boats (just be sure to book ahead online and donate if you can.) Prefer to Kayak? Affordable rentals can be found at UW's WAC (Waterfront Activities Center). Prefer something else, or get seasick? You can rent all kinds of vessels and have a wave-free experience at Green Lake.
  19. Volunteer: Celebrate your strength by sharing it with someone else! Check out this page to see the latest and greatest volunteer opportunities with us here at the Y, or find another way to help in your community.
  20. Take a Hike: Find a hike that's right for your family's abilities and location at the Washington Trails Association! No car? No Problem. Take public transportation to the trailhead, with Trailhead Direct to North Bend, for $2.75 (coming back for the 2023 season).
  21. Look Back on All You've Accomplished: Get some perspective by gazing across our beautiful city from Columbia Tower. Admission to their Observation Deck will set you back $15, but you can go enjoy the view from the 42nd-floor café for free.

Hopefully, this will inspire some much-needed self-care and celebration of where you are at and who you are! Remember that celebrating takes practice. It's a form of self-care — and you can start with small steps. So, change that phone background. Take that class. Celebrate you, even — and especially if you can't think of a reason.

Category: General Wellness