Culture Fix

Things to Do in Seattle

The healing power of poetry, a variety store remembered, and a gourmet meal on the Seahawks' turf.

By Taylor McKenzie Gerlach

In The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, a familiar detective is on the case.

Image: Tony Beeman


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, 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, 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 and for Black History Month. Or find below the best things to do in Seattle, updated weekly. 


Food and Drink

Kultur Shock

February 2, 6pm | Town Hall Seattle, $15–20

A bit of the Balkan Peninsula shines through our rain-soaked days as Seattle-based pop-up Baked in Bosnia dishes out hearty comfort dishes—slow-cooked cabbage rolls filled with halal beef, vegan stuffed peppers, and chicken paprikash—alongside a bar stocked with rakija, the rustic fruit brandy at the forefront of any good Bosnian liquor cabinet. Kultur Shock’s outfit of musically inclined Balkan immigrants brings post-nosh entertainment in an unplugged, acoustic punk-metal show. How will they pull that off? Your guess is as good as ours.

Field to Table

February 3–18, 5:15 and 8:30pm | Lumen Field, $149

Calling football fans and diehard foodies: This is how you elevate the Super Bowl party. Lumen Field is transformed into an epic dining room, and Seattle’s most MVP-worthy chefs (Musang’s Melissa Miranda, Stuart Lane of Spinasse, David Nichols from Eight Row to name a few) dish out four-course meals between the goalposts. 

2023 Cocktail Trends

February 9, 3:30–4:30pm | Metropolitan Grill, $75

Cheers to the new year—the hip way. Attendees can sip three featured drinks, discuss cocktail trends, and make bold predictions. Low and no-proof refreshments, wild garnishes, and unexpected base spirits just may define the year’s cocktail palate. 

Teatro ZinZanni's Coming Home

Through February 19, 7:30pm | SODO Park, $109–139

Celebrating its return to Seattle after two pandemic years, Teatro ZinZanni offers a new variety show all about coming home. Attendees enjoy a four-course meal while the show goes on, featuring aerialists, a yodeling dominatrix, trapeze artists, musicians, and a basketball freestyle juggler.

Teatro ZinZanni's bringing drama back.

Visual Arts

Soft Touch

February 3–August 31, various | Museum of Museums, $10–20

No screaming sensors and “do not touch” signs here. The soft sculpture and textile artwork in Soft Touch are designed to be tactile: shake a velvet hand, recline on shag carpet under a ceiling of clouds, or engage with bygone playfulness and imagination in Seattle drag queen Sugar Darling’s larger-than-life breakfast nook. 

From the Ground Up: Black Architects and Designers

February 4–April 30, 10am–5pm | MOHAI, $22

MOHAI plays host to a nationally touring exhibition of instrumental Black architects and designers who created the world we inhabit—from the pyramids of Egypt to local skylines. A portion of the exhibit features Black designers who specifically impacted Seattle’s structures, both historical and contemporary. 

Benjamin F. McAdoo Jr., the first Black architect registered in Washington, at his drawing table in 1981.
 

Image: Tom Barlet

PNW x PNW

Through February 5, 2023, time varies | Henry Art Gallery, pay what you can

The Pacific Northwest is known for its iconic landscape that inspires so many artists. Drawn from photographs from Henry’s collection, this exhibit showcases artists such as Imogen Cunningham, Eirik Johnson, Mary Randlett, and Darius Reynolds Kinsey. This show was made from the love of locals to honor their own backyard.

Donna Huanca: Magma Slit

Through February 5, 2023, 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.

Aberrations

February 11, 5–7pm | Seattle Artist League Gallery, free

Opening in conjunction with the February iteration of the Georgetown Art Attack, Kathy Paul’s restorative work takes center stage at the Seattle Artist League. Back-to-back strokes left Paul without most of her vision, and her drawings and paintings are part exploration, part therapy in an attempt to rehabilitate her optic nerves and learn to see again.

A selection from Kathy Paul's show at Seattle Artist League Gallery.

Image: Kathy Paul

Live Music

Kate Dinsmore

February 3, 5–7pm | Chateau Ste. Michelle, free

The Woodinville winery kicks off the weekend with food from the Chateau kitchen, wine (duh), and live music from singer-songwriter Kate Dinsmore. She describes her sound as the “perfect soundtrack to dropping off the last of your ex’s stuff and driving off into the sunset.” Pour the wine already.

Sarah Cahill

February 8, 7:30pm | Brechemin Auditorium, free

Not just a concert pianist, but one The New York Times touts as “an intrepid illuminator of the classical avant-garde,” Sarah Cahill presents her latest project: The Future is Female. The classical savant features over 70 compositions by women around the globe—from the Baroque period to the present day—in this investigation of piano literature from the female lens. 

New Colossus

February 11, 7pm | Seattle First Baptist Church, $28–38

In celebration of Seattle Pro Musica’s golden anniversary, the choral group commissioned five young composers to create and perform new works. In the fourth installment, composer Saunder Choi presents a musical exploration of America’s gun violence plague, preceded by a pre-concert panel discussion with artistic director and conductor Karen P. Thomas.

Performance

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter

Through February 5, various | Bagley Wright Theater, $20–95

This just may be the perfect coming-of-age story. Chicago’s 15-year-old Júlia Reyes transports audience members back to those days stumbling through adolescence as Reyes is caught between her family’s expectations, her own perfectionism, and the grief of her sister’s death.

Ain't Too Proud

Through February 5, various | Paramount Theatre, $35–110

The fresh musical follows the 1960s soul quintet The Temptations and their rise from Detroit bars to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Tony Awardwinning choreography captures the outfit’s signature dance moves; a Grammy Awardgarnering score reflects their unmistakable harmonies, including hits like “My Girl.” An engaging plot brings the legendary vocalists’ untold story to the stage.

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

February 8–March 5, various | Book-It Repertory Theatre, $20–65

Based on Agatha Christie’s mind-bending crime novel and teeming with classic whodunnit fun, the play follows detective Hercule Poirot’s quest to solve a pair of mysterious murders in the quiet, unsuspecting English village of King’s Abbot.

History of Theatre: About, By, For, and Near

through February 12, various | Falls Theatre, Up to $54

Forgotten and unsung artists get their moment in the limelight thanks to a playwright duo’s journey through the rich legacy of Black stage production. History of Theatre follows artistic expression from enslavement to the boundary-breaking actors Ira Aldridge and Rose McClendon; to Pat Chappelle’s first all-Black touring vaudeville troupe and Seattle’s own Negro Repertory Company.

Metamorphoses

through February 26, various | Leo K. Theater, $43–75

A quartet of actors brings Ovid’s 2,000-year-old poems to life in a play never before seen outside of the United Kingdom—where audiences raved about the fresh take on myths both well-known and rarely told. 

FILM

Children’s Film Festival of Seattle

February 3–12, various | Northwest Film Forum, $5–150

Over 100 animated, live-action, and documentary films for kids and the young-at-heart air during the annual festival. But it’s not all fairy tales: The festival screens films in Spanish and French, youth-produced films, and blocks with LGBTQIA+ and Black protagonists. There are also workshops for filmmaking teens. 

It's not just movies at the Children's Film Festival, where workshops and activities engage film-lovers of all ages.

Noir City

February 10–16, various | SIFF Cinema Egyptian, $10–150

In its 15th annual iteration, the festival returns with 18 crime dramas, most in 35mm, from Hollywood’s mid-twentieth century noir period. Star power shines bright with Eddie Muller as host and local noir authors Vince and Rosemarie Keenan on hand. 

Sámi Film Festival

February 11, 11–4pm | National Nordic Museum, $20–25

A female-focused lineup of contemporary documentaries, short films, and panel discussions with Sámi filmmakers comprises the fifth annual festival in Ballard. While the event has always screened works directed by indigenous people of the northern slice of the Scandinavian Peninsula and large parts of the Kola Peninsula, this marks the first year the films themselves were not only created, but also curated by a Sámi filmmaker.

Saturday Secret Matinee

Through March 25, 1pm | Grand Illusion Cinema, $11

In its 15th year, the weekly 16mm screenings are a film buff’s staple of good, old-fashioned fun. Before a secret feature film, audience members revel in a cliffhanger episode of a movie serial.

SPECIAL EVENTS

Lunar New Year Celebration

February 4, 11–4pm | Hing Hay Park, free

Ring in the Year of the Rabbit with a food walk around ChinatownInternational District, dance performances in the park, festive music, and special vendors. We can smell the nian gao and dumplings from here. See our Lunar New Year events guide for more happenings around the region.

Meet Me at Higo

Through March 26, various | SPL Central Library, free

A traveling exhibit, produced by the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience, invites viewers into Seattle’s Higo 10 Cents Store, a Japantown social hub and catch-all store owned by the Murakami family from 1907 to 2003. Personal photos, journals, and artifacts bring audiences through points of fraught and joyous history. 

READINGS AND LECTURES

Ross Gay

February 6, 7:30pm | Town Hall Seattle, free

Timely and elegant, the poems of Ross Gay’s newest work, Inciting Joy, create a framework for mutual aid to survive the hardships of being human. In an event meant to lift spirits and inspire joyful connection, Gay will deliver a keynote speech, read a selection of his work, and converse with Dr. Carmen Rojas, president and CEO of the Marguerite Casey Foundation.

Felon: An American Washi Tale

February 9, 7:30pm | Town Hall Seattle, $10–80

Poet, public defender, and criminal justice reform activist Reginald Dwayne Betts transforms his latest collection of poetry, Felon, into a one-man performance piece. His work interrogates and challenges our notions of justice from within, drawing on his experiences as an incarcerated teenager and later, as a young man attempting to enter society with an unforgiving record. 

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