Things to Do in Seattle
Jump to Your Genre:
Food and Drink / Visual Arts / Live Music
Performance / Film / Special Events / Readings and Lectures
Seattleites are spoiled for choice when it comes to spending our leisure time. Just take a look at the sheer variety of options: We have an exceptional array of museums, independent bookstores, restaurants, bars (and bar trivia), record stores, nightlife options, local shops, and a rich music landscape.
And the actual landscape? Outdoor recreation opportunities abound, especially if you subscribe to the “no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing” mindset (if you don’t, are you really from Seattle?). From abundant hikes, 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, spray parks, and zoos.
But if you just want a guide already, we've got plenty for food, outdoors, shopping, and entertainment. Plus, a shortlist of what to do in Washington this month. Or find below the best things to do in Seattle, updated weekly.
Food and Drink
Seattle Beer Week
Through May 26, various | Various, menu
Honoring one part of Seattle’s beverage duality, the 14th iteration of the fest includes a film screening of "Bottle Conditioned,” Logan Brewing Company’s block party, fierce competition at the Beer Can Derby, brew school with Kevin Forhan, and live sets at Ounces.
May 29, 12–3pm | Coyle’s Bakeshop, menu
Italy comes to Greenwood on Monday with Coyle’s expert bakers dishing up classic Sicilian cannoli filled-to-order with homemade ricotta. Guest baristas from Camber round out the experience with a drink menu starring their Italian-style Struttura espresso blend.
Dossier Summer Soiree
June 8, 6pm | The Nest Rooftop Bar, $125
Former Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Sidney Rice has a new side hustle with Washington wine brand Dossier. In a rooftop party overlooking the classic Puget Sound and Olympic Mountains views, spring wine releases and PNW-inspired bites kick off rooftop party season.
Seattle City of the Future
June 3–24, various | The Teal Building, $10–25
Alternate reality meets sci-fi art installation in an exhibit spanning three floors. Forty-three local artists craft a labyrinth of diverging views of our potential future: an underwater Tacoma, a Dubai-esque bullet train from downtown, or something as fantastic as a Ballard Link station.
Sarah Cain: Day after day on this beautiful stage
Through August 27, various | Henry Art Gallery, donation
An impossibly colorful display takes over the double-height gallery with a paint-smeared couch from which visitors can take it all in. Cain’s work draws from abstract expressionism, graffiti, and pop music, all wrapped into one exuberant room.
Resisters: A Legacy of Movement from the Japanese American Incarceration
Through September 18, 10–5pm | Wing Luke Museum, $17
How do we show solidarity for justice movements past, present, and future? The Wing Luke Museum presents a case study: Art, first-person accounts, and artifacts form a story of resistance among shame, anger, and fear during the incarceration of Japanese American citizens in the 1940s. But the story doesn’t stop there—the generational trauma and lingering sense of injustice form a more complete picture and draw parallels to modern-day stigmatization and anti-Indigenous, anti-Black, anti-immigrant policies.
May 25, 8pm | Tractor Tavern, $15
A fixture in the neo-folk scene since the mid-2000s, the singer-songwriter known for her delicate finger picking and poetic mysticism is now a cult favorite. Performances promise to lend a healing quality thanks to her visionary touch.
May 25–26, 7pm | Chateau Ste Michelle Amphitheatre, $79.50–189
Six-time Grammy Award winner James Taylor plays a set with his self-proclaimed all-star band at the Woodinville winery. Name something more classically spring than sipping local pours with the “How Sweet It Is” performer.
June 4, 7pm | Marymoor Park, $82+
Rock band The National brings a moody indie sound to Marymoor’s highly-anticipated outdoor summer concert lineup. Didn’t score Taylor Swift tickets? The National lent Swift their guitarist and bassist to collab on Folklore and Evermore, so it’s basically the same thing.
Through May 28, various | ArtsWest Playhouse and Gallery, $15–120
Black girl meets Latino boy in an affluent SoCal high school—it’s the perfect fuel for a satirical play on tropes of the '90s teen sitcom. The pair makes it into the inner circle of ever-so-popular Zach, whose pranks lead all the teens to see themselves with fresh eyes.
Lydia and the Troll
Through June 4, various | Leo K. Theater, $44–87
Yes, as in our very own Fremont Troll. At Seattle Rep, a fantastical storyline weaves Seattle’s landmarks into a magical journey in the new world premiere musical when protagonist Lydia chooses to trust a stranger. Trusting strangers is still not recommended…until we see the ending.
Cost of Living
June 8–July 1, various | 12th Avenue Arts, $5–75
The touching drama’s four main characters act as secret doors to feelings of isolation, alienation, and hunger for human connection. The living portraits occupy space across disability, race, gender, immigration status, class, care-giving and care-receiving—and bring audiences into tender moments of humanity we all need.
Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda
May 25–27, various | Northwest Film Forum, $7–14
Following Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto’s cancer diagnosis, he embarked on a reflective journey towards deep-listening expeditions; he dangled a hydrophone into an icecap and played a piano that survived the Fukushima nuclear disaster. The film is an intimate glimpse into a delicate albeit mundane creative process that invites viewers to contemplate the aural landscape with fresh ears.
Make Popular Movies
May 27, 7pm | The Beacon, $12.50
A comedic fever dream of tableaus poking fun at the absurd ways we create and view modern flicks, Make Popular Movies may go down in slapstick absurdist film history. The writer and director behind the unconventional reel joins audience members in person.
Pretty in Pink
June 2–7, various | Central Cinema, $12
The 1986 romcom begs one question: Are you team Duckie? A classic high school love triangle unfolds with plenty of prom night drama.
Stranger Things: The Experience
May 26–August 6, various | 1750 Occidental Ave, $29–104
Like a mashup between a 4D movie and an escape room, the immersive experience transforms Stranger Things fans into characters inside Hawkins Lab alongside fan favorites Eleven, Max, and Dustin. Visitors are transported to the 1980s with iconic show locales like Scoops Ahoy, themed food and cocktails, and social-ready photo opportunities in the Byers’ living room.
June 3, 8–11am | Marina Park, donation
May may be the official month dedicated to mental health awareness, but Washington’s chapter of the National Alliance On Mental Illness has work to do all year. June brings the annual walking event to Kirkland’s Marina Park for fundraising, awareness, and community.
Prairie Underground Sample Sale
June 3–4, 10–4pm | 940 S Harney Street, free
Ditch fast fashion for Seattle’s own small-batch, slow fashion design house. The sample sale brings deep discounts on deep cuts from their utilitarian spring and summer clothing line—all manufactured within 15 minutes of their Georgetown warehouse.
Highline’s Fascinating Tours
Weekends June 4–25, 3–5pm | 819 SW 152nd St, $65
There’s more to the area around Sea-Tac Airport than expensive Uber rides and I-5 backups. Highline Heritage Museum’s recently launched tours hold local tales of D.B. Cooper sightings, ghost stories of the Green River Killer, Ted Bundy true crime findings, a romp around Jimi Hendrix’s stomping grounds, and dirt on the 12,000-year-old giant sloth unearthed under the airport itself.
READINGS AND LECTUREs
After Black Lives Matter
May 25, 6pm | University Book Store, free with registration
2020’s historic Black Lives Matter movement sparked by the murder of George Floyd transformed the way we think about race and policing, but why did substantive tangible reforms not follow suit? Political scientist, theorist, and author Cedric Johnson visits UW’s campus with answers.
Conversion: Jos Charles, Sequoia Nagamatsu, Putsata Reang, Lucia Flores-Wiseman
June 2, 7–9pm | Lapis Theater, $5–15
As part of Hugo House’s annual literary series, creative minds are invited to craft prose, poetry, and song around a theme. Timely for a world learning to live in the aftermath of a global pandemic that may not fully be over, four writers present their works along the year’s theme: re/birth.
A.I. Anxiety: How Should We Think About Artificial Intelligence?
June 6, 7–9pm | Bickersons Brewhouse, free
If a couple of folks in a bar can’t figure out the interplay between humanity and AI, who can? Nonprofit Humanities Washington invites four field experts for casual conversation about our future in the age of artificial intelligence.