ALA Midwinter: Great Places to Catch Up with Friends

In those precious hours between committee meetings, hitting the exhibit halls, and conference sessions, it’s always nice to catch up with friends you may only see once or twice a year.’  Here’s a list of places in Seattle you can spend a little time hanging out.

Take a walk down to Pike Place Market.’  If flying fish and touristy t-shirts aren’t your thing, descend the stairs from the Main Arcade and explore the labyrinth of shops below on the Down Under level.’  Browse antique shops, visit an international bazaar, or buy some art from local artists.

If you have an hour or two to spare, take a walk to the Frye Art Museum. In addition to the founding collection of 19th and 20th century European paintings, the museum also showcases Northwest artists. The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday and admission is free.

Even if your suitcases are bulging with books, a visit to Seattle’s beloved independent bookstore, Elliot Bay Book Company, is still a must. They host free author visits almost every night of the week. Grab a bite to eat at the cafe downstairs or head around the corner to Oddfellows Cafe for a drink or Molly Moon’s for some ice cream.

If you aren’t too worn out to go out after dark, take some time to explore Seattle’s nightlife in Capitol Hill. Visit the circus-themed bar Unicorn, play pinball at Narwhal, or head across the street to the equally kitschy Cha Cha Lounge. If you like craft beers, check out the amazing selection at Elysian Brewing Company.

Many Seattleites love taking visitors to Archie McPhee, which has been selling oddities and collectible junk for 30 years. Buy some souvenirs for the folks back home – perhaps a punching nun or some bacon bandaids – and take home your very own Librarian Action Figure, modeled after Seattle Librarian Nancy Pearl. Located in the Wallingford neighborhood, the store is about a 15-minute cab ride or 30-minute bus ride away.

For more suggestions of things to do in Seattle, the Local Arrangements Committee invites you to check out YALSA’s Midwinter wiki here.

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