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Fourth of July After-Party

Oh, you thought one day to celebrate America's birthday was enough? What are you, a communist? This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Fourth of July picnic in Cal Anderson Park, and The Stranger is cohosting it on Saturday, July 7 (that's right, you have three days to kick your FOJ hangover). There will be giant inflatable bowling, sumo wrestling, a bouncy house, hot dogs, watermelon, ice cream floats (Molly Moon's!), face painting, a photo booth, bike-repair workshops, a music stage (the Not-Its, Lushy, Fuschia Foxx), and, of course, the always popular MORE. You know, all of America's favorite stuff! Join us! (Cal Anderson Park, 1635 11th Ave, thestranger.com/promotions, noon–5 pm, free, all ages) ANNA MINARD

Rattlesnake Lake

Bring a picnic, your swimsuit, and your floatie and make a day of it out at Rattlesnake Lake by North Bend. To get yourself all hot and hungry, climb the Rattlesnake Ridge Trail, a steep hike with gorgeous views of the Cedar River watershed (which provides our drinking water), then head down for swimming and snacking. The lake is amazing—the water is cold and calm. There used to be a forest here, so when the water gets low, eerie stumps emerge. The lake isn't too far away—you can be thoroughly out of the city in a short amount of time. (Head east on I-90 to exit 32, go right, follow Cedar Falls Road for 3.5 miles, www.seattle.gov/util/crwec) GILLIAN ANDERSON

Put Your Body in the Water

If you refuse to get involved with a marine creature, you can go to Colman Pool, the (often crowded) saltwater fantasia situated right next to the open water off West Seattle (high dive, slide: check). But any old tourist can do that. What you really must do is more existential: Take yourself to wherever the land ends—the north tip of Madison Street, pretty much anywhere along Lake Washington Boulevard, off the edge of the unfinished freeway ramp in the Arboretum, all along Magnuson Park where rope swings hang from hidden trees—and just keep going until you are wet. This is real Seattle swimming. It requires no formal invitation. (Where the land ends, free) JEN GRAVES

Poor Man's Space Needle

The actual Space Needle charges 19 bucks to ride up its elevator and walk around its perimeter. The water tower in Volunteer Park—aka "the Poor Man's Space Needle"—charges you zero bucks to climb up its stairs for an even higher 360-degree view. In fact, you can see across Lake Washington from there, watch birds at the tops of tall trees, and look down on the Space Needle. For extra fun, bring a beer and some binoculars. (Volunteer Park, 1247 15th Ave E, free) BRENDAN KILEY