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Originally published January 1, 2009 at 12:00 AM | Page modified January 1, 2009 at 3:26 AM

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Weekend highlight

Start the new year with a splash at Polar Bear swims

Polar Bear New Year's Day swims in Seattle and Renton, Jan. 1, 2009.

Seattle Times staff

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Dive into the new year with an audacious splash at one of several "Polar Bear" events today.

Inaugurate a year of adventure and ready-to-face everything bravery, with a chilly dip into Lake Washington. At least the ice and snow are gone and with showers and 41 degrees forecast, you won't be dripping icicles.

The original local polar-bear swim at Matthews Beach is in its seventh year and organizers expect to hand out about 1,000 official Polar Bear Plunge Patches to everyone who takes the plunge. It's free and festive, and costumes are encouraged.

Folks in the Mount Baker neighborhood invite anyone to join in their event at Mount Baker Beach. Renton Parks host a dip into the lake at Coulon Park.

The Resolution Run combines a healthy 5K run/walk with an optional polar-bear dive at Magnuson Park and post-race beer garden, chili feed and hot chocolate reward.

Other healthy, outdoor activities include a New Year's Day walking tour of Interlaken Park today and a day of wildlife- and nature-themed activities at the Cedar River Watershed Education Center in beautiful North Bend on Friday.

Happy New Year!

Polar Bear

Plunge

Time: Noon today.

Cost: Free, no registration.

Location: Matthews Beach Park, Northeast 93rd Street and Sand Point Way Northeast, Seattle.

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Details: 206-684-4989 or www.seattle.gov/PARKS/aquatics/PolarBearPlunge.htm.

Resolution Run and Polar Bear Dive

Time: Registration 9 a.m., 5K run and walk 10:30 a.m., kids' dash 11:30 a.m. and beer garden 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. today.

Cost: $35, includes T-shirt; kids' dash free, T-shirt $10.

Location: Magnuson Park, 7400 Sand Point Way N.E., Seattle; enter on Northeast 65th Street.

Details: 206-729-9972 or www.promotionevents.com.

Mount Baker neighborhood

Polar Bear Swim

Time: Noon today.

Cost: Free, no registration.

Location: Mount Baker Beach Park, 2301 Lake Washington Blvd. S., Seattle.

Details: 206-725-0421.

Polar Bear Dip,

Renton

Time: 11 a.m. today.

Cost: Free; no registration.

Location: Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park, 1201 Lake Washington Blvd., Renton.

Details: 425-430-6700 or rentonwa.gov/uploadedFiles/Living/CS/REC/polardip.pdf.

New Year's Day

Walking Tour

Time: 1 p.m. today.

Cost: Free, no reservations required.

Location: Interlaken Park, 2451 Delmar Drive E. (corner of Miller Street and Interlaken Boulevard), Seattle.

Details: 425-885-3173.

Family Fun Wildlife Day

Time: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Friday.

Cost: Free.

Location: Cedar River Watershed Education Center, Cedar Falls Road Southeast, North Bend; take I-90 east to exit 32 (436th Ave. S.E. Cedar Falls Road), go south (right) on Cedar Falls Road for 3.5 miles.

Details: 206-233-1515.

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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