We know many Seattle families will be hitting the highways and mountain passes this Memorial Day Weekend with cars packed full of camping gear. But for those families sticking close to home (you know who you are… been there, done that, never again with little ones), we’ve rounded up 12 activities to keep everyone in your crew happy and entertained over the three-day weekend.
photo: Christopher Nelson, courtesy of Northwest Folklife
Northwest Folklife Festival & Kindiependent Showcase
There’s no shortage of fun things to see, do and eat at the 45th Annual Northwest Folklife Festival. One of the largest free folk festivals in the country, this annual festival will feature over 7,000 diverse performers, participatory dances, workshops, arts and crafts and food booths galore! For younger festival-goers, the popular Discovery Zone will be jam-packed with tons of hands-on interactive workshops, performances and activities. New this year, kids can discover nature through art and learn how to make art with upcycled materials at the Nature Consortium activity station as well as visit the Northwest African American Museum activity booth to explore notions of inner beauty through art.
While the Northwest Folkife Festival in general is a family-friendly event, there are other kid-friendly offerings throughout the grounds including a Kindiependent showcase featuring The Whizpops, Recess Monkey, The Not-its, The Harmonica Pocket, Brian Vogan and his Good Buddies, Johnny Bregar and others; interactive dance performances on the Armory Court Stage and a yodeling workshop that will help audiences of all ages learn how to sing their ays, eees, and oooohs. Fri., May 27-Sun., May 29 from 11 a.m.–10 p.m.; Mon., May 30 from 11 a.m.–9 p.m. Discovery Zone open daily, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Seattle. Free. All ages. Event details.
Family Science Weekend
After you hit the Northwest Folklife Festival, take the fam to Pier 59 to learn about the cool science and research projects taking place at the Seattle Aquarium. In addition to lots of hands-on activities, enjoy special talks and demonstrations that will help you discover science in a new and fun way. Fri., May 27-Mon., May 30 from 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Seattle. $15.95 to $22.95 (3 & under and members Free). All ages. Event details.
photo: Northwest Railway Museum
Memorial Day Weekend Steam Train Rides
If you and the kiddos are itching to get out of the city for the day, head east to Snoqualmie and celebrate Memorial Day Weekend with a scenic train ride. This special 75-minute steam train run is in addition to the railroad’s usual weekend train schedule and will take you through the Cascade foothills of the Upper Snoqualmie Valley, including a ride to the top of Snoqualmie Falls. Before or after your trip, be sure to explore the cute town of North Bend or stop by Snoqualmie Falls. Sat., May 28-Mon., May 30 from 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Snoqualmie. $12 to $22 (under 2 Free). Tickets required. All ages. Event details.
Remlinger Farms Fun Park
Remlinger Farms is now open on Saturdays and Sundays and would be a great addition to your Snoqualmie excursion. Ride the half-sized steam train along the Tolt River, pet the farm animals (think goats, horses, piggies, cows, alpaca, sheep, bunnies, and donkeys), take a pony ride, jump and run in the hay maze, take a spin on the mini roller coaster, carnival rides or pedal cars and enjoy a day full of farm fun! Sat., May 28-Sun., May 29 from 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Carnation. $12.76 to $14.94 (12 months & under Free). All ages. Event details.
photo: Marcy Grantor
Memorial Day Weekend Run
If a run around the park is what your kiddos need to get the ya-yas out, lace up your tennis and participate in this fun Memorial Day Weekend run! Participants can choose a 5K, 10K or 15K run/walk as well as a Kid’s Dash. The 400-meter Kid’s Dash (for ages 2-10) will start 15 minutes before race time—giving you the perfect chance to run with your kiddo and get warmed up before your race. Insider Tip: When everyone’s done, let Fido run free in the off-leash dog park, just around the corner from the starting line. Sat., May 28 from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Seattle. $3 to $39. Registration required. Ages 2 & older. Event details.
MOHAI Maker Day: Making Our History
Looking to add some excitement to your Memorial Day Weekend? This Maker Day will be led by MOHAI’s Youth Advisors and include teen poets who will be celebrating Seattle history. Watch spoken word performances, add to a community mural and participate in other activities to share experiences with the greater Seattle community. Plus, use the FREE photo booth to take pictures, then print them out to take home! Sat., May 28 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Seattle. Included with admission or membership. All ages. Event details.
Seattle International Film Festival
The largest and most-highly attended film festival in the United States (now in its 42nd year!) will have a little something for everyone. Over Memorial Day Weekend, you and your crew can view a host of Films4Families including Belle and Sebastian, The Adventure Continues, The Family Picture Show, Long Way North, Oddball, Phantom Boy, Rainbow and Seasons. Fri., May 27-Mon., May 30 at various times. Seattle. All ages. Event details.
photo: Katrina Br*?#*!@nd via flickr
Canoe Mercer Slough
Explore the beautiful Mercer Slough Nature Park by water this Memorial Day Weekend. Park rangers will lead this three-hour canoe trip from Enatai Beach Park into the heart of Mercer Slough Nature Park (a 320-acre wetland). See how this amazing ecosystem functions and with a little luck—you may catch a glimpse of the otters, herons, turtles and other wildlife who call Mercer Slough home. Psst! Canoeing experience is strongly recommended; up to three people per canoe. Sat., May 28 & Sun., May 29 from 8:30 a.m.-noon. Bellevue. $16 to $18. Pre-registration is required. 5 & older. Event details.
Summer Concerts at the Locks
Starting this Memorial Day Weekend, your family can enjoy lively tunes and entertainment at the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks. Pack a picnic lunch and take in lively marches to show tunes and classics from the Boeing Employees Concert Band. Sun., May 29 at 2 p.m. Seattle. Free. All ages. Event details.
photo: Seattle Japanese Garden
Children’s Day at the Seattle Japanese Garden
There will be lots of Memorial Day family fun in the beautiful setting of Seattle’s premier Japanese Garden. At this special event, celebrate Kodomo no Hi (Children’s Day) with live performances and hands-on opportunities to experience Japanese culture. Enjoy a story time about a young ninja girl, watch a Japanese sword demonstration, try your hand at origami making, play with miniature Zen gardens, participate in scavenger hunts with prizes and more. Psst! All kids will be invited to feed the koi fish in the pond and complimentary guided tours will be available for older kids and adults who want to learn more about Japanese culture and history. Mon., May 30 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. (guided tour at 12:30 p.m.). Seattle. $4 to $6 (12 & under Free). All ages. Event details.
Flying Heritage Collection’s Tankfest Northwest
This Memorial Day, hear the rumble and boom of vintage tanks and artillery at the Flying Heritage Collection’s fifth annual TankFest Northwest. This family event will feature military vehicles and cannons, remote control tanks, food and lots of family fun. Mon., May 30 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Everett. $10 to $14 (5 & under, veterans & active duty military Free). All ages. Event details.
Memorial Day Ceremony
Teach your kids the importance of Memorial Day by taking them to this annual ceremony held at The Museum of Flight. The Museum will honor military service with patriotic music from The Boeing Employees Concert Band, followed by a ceremony with local officials and U.S. Military personnel. Psst! All veterans and active U.S. military personnel will receive FREE admission with ID. Mon., May 30 at 10:30 a.m. (ceremony begins at 11:30 a.m. sharp). Seattle. Free with admission or membership. All ages. Event details.
Is your family sticking around town this three-day weekend? What do you have planned? Tell us in the Comments below!
— Kristina Moy