Whatcom Magazine

This spring, venture out for sculpture collection, bird-watching, Marine Life Center

Early spring often surprises folks in Whatcom County with pleasant days, so take advantage of the sunshine when it appears. If the weather is poor, head to one of the county’s many museums, galleries or music venues for good times.

Remember, check ahead to make sure venues are open and activities are taking place. For more ideas, check each Thursday’s Take Five, our arts and entertainment section, or go to calendar.bellinghamherald.com.


1312 Bay St., Bellingham.

Hours: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.

Cost: $6 adults, $3 for kids 11 and younger.

Details: 360-738-3886, sparkmuseum.org.

Spark has an amazing collection of more than 1,000 radios and an array of 19th-century electromagnetic equipment that depicts the history and development of radio and electricity. The nonprofit organization offers self-guided tours, workshops and special events.


3424 Meridian St., Bellingham.

Hours: 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

Facilities: Pathways, picnic areas, playground, rose and magnolia gardens, restrooms.

Details: 360-778-7000, go to cob.org and search for Cornwall Park.

There are three entrances to Cornwall Park; two on Meridian Street and one at the north end of Cornwall Avenue. Use the entrance on Meridian at the traffic light at Squalicum Parkway to access the north picnic shelter, playground, and spray park. Use the entrance on Meridian just south of the light at Squalicum Parkway to access the tennis courts, ballfields and disc golf course. Use the entrance at the north end of Cornwall to access the south picnic shelter, playground and horseshoe pits.


Walking tour map and audio guides are available at Fine Arts Building, Western Washington University campus.

Hours: Any time.

Cost: Free. Most parking on campus is paid parking, ask at visitor center about parking.

Details: 360-650-3963, wwu.edu and search for “ sculpture tour.”

While you appreciate the work of 24 international artists, your kids can touch and race around Western’s outdoor sculpture collection. Pick up a walking tour map or audio guide at the Fine Arts Building, or schedule a guided tour. Don’t miss Isamu Noguchi’s Skyviewing Sculpture, one of the collection’s most famous pieces. Audio phones are available at the WWU visitors’ booth.


1801 Roeder Ave., in Port of Bellingham complex, Bellingham.

Hours: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily September to May, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily June to August.

Cost: Free, but donations accepted.

Details: 360-671-2431, marinelifecenter.org.

Tide-pool touch tanks and small aquariums highlight the marine life of Bellingham Bay. Kids love to dip their fingers in the critter touch tank at the Squalicum Harbor interpretive center, and volunteers are on hand to answer questions. The family-oriented facility includes three large aquariums and an observation pool brimming with such sea life as fish, crabs and sea stars.


217 Front St., Lynden.

Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Cost: $7 adults, $4 seniors and students, free for kids 6 and younger.

Details: 360-354-3675, lyndenpioneermuseum.com.

Lynden Pioneer Museum features a replica of Lynden’s historic downtown, an early 20th century farmhouse, and more than 60 vintage buggies, cars and tractors, plus agricultural exhibits and a First Nations display. Visit the museum store, which carries books on local history and Delft ware from Holland.


Around Whatcom County you can see diving hawks just driving down the freeway. Many fantastic bird-watching spots abound, including Whatcom Falls and Semiahmoo parks, Tennant Lake, Blaine’s Marine Park, and Larrabee and Birch Bay state parks. Venture out with binoculars and a camera, or join such groups as North Cascades Audubon Society for extra insight.

Costs: Vary.

Details: 360-671-1537, northcascadesaudubon.org.