Descend into the underworld of 'Hadestown,' a modern retelling of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. Image courtesy T. Charles Erickson.
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Seattleites are spoiled for choice when it comes to spending our leisure time. Putting together weekend plans should be a tribulation only because of the sheer variety of options: An exceptional array of museums, independent bookstores, restaurants, bars (and bar trivia), record stores, and local shops render impromptu outings effortless. And a rich performing arts and local music landscape can make any occasion special.
And the actual landscape? Outdoor recreation opportunities abound, especially if you subscribe to the “no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing” mindset (and if you don’t, are you really from Seattle?). From abundant hikes, ski hills, swimming holes, state parks, and campgrounds just beyond city limits to a voluminous urban trail system, there’s something for the outdoorsperson of every skill and stoke level. Those with little ones (human or furred) can rejoice at a bevy of great playgrounds and parks—and consult our Year of Family Activities for 52 ready-made weekend plans.
Here are the best things to do this month in Washington, along with a festival guide for all your summer planning needs. Find below the best things to do in Seattle, updated weekly. Looking for Fourth of July events? Look no further.
Food & Drink
July 1, 5–9pm | The Stone House Cafe, free
Bid adieu to the work week with a food truck happy hour turned block party beside Lake Washington, complete with a full bar. Your Kuya's Filipino Food and Birrieria Pepe El Toro trucks will bring the nosh, local artist and musician Priya Marita Diaz will sell hand-crafted gifts, and DJs calibrate the tunes.
July 1–3, 12–9pm | The Washington State Fair Events Center, free (advance tickets required for tastings)
Following a pandemic shake-up, the Washington State Fair continues the legacy of the annual Taste of Tacoma with a refreshed event under a new name and locale. This year, over 40 food vendors tout culinary specialties from around the globe, local chefs battle in live cook-offs, an outdoor beer garden pours pints, and adults and kids alike can take laps on a retro roller skating rink.
July 3 and 10, 4pm | Oxbow Farm and Taylor Shellfish, $365
Event organizers take farm-to-table quite literally, setting up huge tables in the expansive fields of host farms. Farmers and chefs craft exquisite dishes with local ingredients, like cod with calamansi vinaigrette and rockfish banh mis.
Through August 27, 5–8pm | Schack Art Center, free
Everett’s visual arts center showcases artistic renditions of flora. Nearly 300 pieces of art crafted by over 100 Pacific Northwest creators—acrylics, sculptures, wax pencil drawings—sprout up in the main gallery for the summer.
Through September 5, 10–5 | MOHAI, Free–$22
With just 15 photographs from MOHAI and the Black Heritage Society of Washington State, this exhibit challenges perspectives on what it means to interact with the Puget Sound’s landscape as three community curators bring their insights to historic photographs.
Through September 11, various | Washington State History Museum, $14
Indigenous artists contributed dozens of original works that meld contemporary perspectives with traditional art practices. Among textiles, paintings, carvings, beadwork, mixed media, basketry, and digital works, visitors can vote for the piece that strikes them most to win a People’s Choice Award.
Through February 5, various | Henry Art Gallery, free–$20 donation
Bolivian American artist Donna Huanca does it all in her newest installation: mirrored sculptures, four mural-size paintings, auditory and olfactory components, and a stage where live performers round out a truly immersive sensory experience. Throughout it all, Huanca weaves female and Indigenous narratives in an exploration of ritual as a means for transformation.
Ongoing through April 2023, 10am–5pm | Wing Luke Museum, $17
Intended to challenge and inspire action, this exhibit centers the experiences of BIPOC and migrant populations profoundly affected by climate change. Locally relevant stories (like those of Duwamish River stewardship and the Quinault Nation’s fight against climate change), photographs, artworks, artifacts, and first-person voice recordings combine to display collective action and resistance led by communities living on the front lines of the fight against climate change.
Ongoing Wednesday–Sunday, 11am–5pm | Bellevue Arts Museum, $15
Skagit Valley artist/designer Tricia Stackle brings her minimalist sculpture that doubles as modular, playful sitting pieces to the museum’s entrance gallery. Guests can interact with the 15 pieces, becoming artists in their own right as they move and stack the wool-encased pieces like adult-size building blocks.
July 2, 2pm | Ballard Locks, free
The Kirkland Civic Orchestra commands the waterfront with a medley of patriotic anthems, movie tracks, and popular hits. The bring-your-own-blanket live concerts continue each weekend through Labor Day in the locks-adjacent Carl S. English Jr. Botanical Garden.
July 4, 3–9pm | Mural Amphitheater, $76
Electronic music producer and Black Book record label founder Chris Lake hosts a Fourth of July party beneath the Space Needle. Long known for his hype house beats, Lake curated a lineup of EDM artists including Yolanda Be Cool and Honey Luv and the likes to bring the energetic vibes back for the first time since the pandemic foiled plans.
July 3, 7–8pm | Unexpected Productions, $15
Right next to the Gum Wall, fictitious works live beyond their final page. Improv actors set the stage with a make-believe plot, and audience members suggest the next chapter as the stories come alive in real time.
Through July 3, various | Bagley Wright Theater, $17–99
In the musical’s world premiere, a young, then-unknown Steven Spielberg travels to a sleepy fishing island off Cape Cod to film Jaws. Based on The Jaws Log, a firsthand account of the film’s making by Spielberg’s co-writer Carl Gottlieb, the show chronicles the risk and resilience required to film a classic, accompanied by an original score.
July 12–17, various | Paramount Theatre, $35–154
The Tony award–winning musical invites viewers into a modern retelling of the ancient Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. Intertwined with the tale of King Hades and his wife Persephone, the story pulls threads of hope from a world ravaged by climate change and the snare of industrial hellscapes.
July 15–August 7, various | Seattle Public Theater, $36
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Titanic, Rose and Jack’s romance takes to the stage in a parody adapted for Greenlake’s shoreline theater. The fast-paced, 80-minute show pairs nostalgia-inducing nineties ballads with the tale of one of the twentieth-century’s most infamous disasters.
August 3–September 11, various | Paramount Theatre, $49–$299
History buffs and musical theatre aficionados, unite. The show that inspires memes and passionate singalongs stops in Seattle, and tickets are on sale now. The musical blends hip-hop, jazz, R&B, and Broadway to present the story of Founding-Fathers-era America, told through the biography of Alexander Hamilton. You may recognize him from the $10 bill back when we used cash.
July 15–17, various | Benaroya Hall, $42–162
No wand necessary for this magic. Audience members can experience the beloved movie on the big screen, accompanied by a live orchestra as the Seattle Symphony adds a riveting score to the Hogwarts magic.
June 30–July 2, various | Neumos and Barboza, $55–165
Thrash metal, death metal, and other intense outfits descend upon Seattle for a weekend festival with bands like Ludicra, Cryptic Slaughter, and Suffocation. Moshing and stage diving is allowed—perhaps even encouraged.
Readings and Lectures
July 1, 6:30pm | Hugo House, free
In a night of poetry and healing, six Indigenous poets read their work in honor of the Indigenous children recently uncovered in mass graves in Canada. In conjunction with the poetry reading, artists will lead a Medicine Wheel ritual for the countless women and children erased by colonialism near and far.
July 9, 1–4pm | Barnes and Noble Southcenter, free
Austin’s memoir chronicles her childhood on the fringes of “normal,” raised by two fathers at a time when same-sex households and surrogacy were less widely accepted. The author, life coach, and motivational speaker signs books and speaks about the process of cementing her own identity, persisting through mental health challenges, and finding self-worth and joy.
July 1, 3pm | Pier 62, free
In this all levels, all ages class, students will learn Afro dance fundamentals—steps and grooves, gesturing and expression, and improvised freestyling. Students can put their newfound moves to work at an afterparty featuring a DJ, food trucks, a beer garden, and a roller rink.
July 9, 4pm | Pier 62, free
A confluence of education, creativity, and sunshine can be found at Pier 62, with staff from the Seattle Aquarium on deck. Participants of all ages can paint a portrait of a resident Puget Sound marine animal, make an artistic fish print, and explore the diversity of plankton under a microscope.
July 9, 7pm | Fremont Studios, $60–95
Bingo is just the beginning in an evening fueled by bites and Golden Girls–inspired cocktails. Betty White adulation abounds in the costume contest, a crowd-favorite Tops and Bottoms game heats up the rivalry, and bingo brings home prizes like Seattle Theater Group tickets, Patagonia goods, and passes to the Museum of Pop Culture.
July 21, 5:30pm | Frye Art Museum, $20
People of all shapes, sizes, backgrounds, and identities can get groovy with an hour-long Dance Church movement class. Unique to this Seattle popup date, the work out–dance class hybrid will take place inside an art gallery. Loud beats and light projections replace the traditional quiet of an art museum as participants move, dance, and sweat inside the Jeremy Shaw installation with lead instructor Lavinia Vago.
July 24, 12–5pm | Seeking Kombucha, free
A Mexican-Filipino block party brings the spice to South Lake Union. Entertainment from mariachi bands, a DJ, and Tinikling dancers accompany local arts vendors and food. With the women-owned Seeking Ferments kombucha brewery as host, the drink selection is bound to be bold.
Ongoing Tuesday–Saturday, 10–5pm | Duwamish Longhouse, free
The Duwamish Longhouse houses a permanent exhibit exploring the complex relationship between the Duwamish and early settlers, who together created the Seattle area we know today. Artifacts and personal stories from the Alki Point landing party can also be found at the Log House Museum.
Every second Saturday, 1–9pm | 11th Ave and East Pike, free
The best of Capitol Hill’s Arts District, all condensed into one block-wide party each month. The creative marketplace gathers live performers, vintage clothing racks, street fashionistas, interactive artists, and vendors for a day to support sustainable opportunities for local artists and small businesses.