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/Northwest Folklife  

Northwest Folklife Festival & Kindiependent Showcase
There’s no shortage of fun things to see, do and eat at the 46th Annual Northwest Folklife Festival. One of the largest free folk festivals in the country, this annual festival will feature over 5,000 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. On Monday kids can meet Orion and Lakshmi, two special cows from the ISKCON Vedic Cultural Center and learn about the importance and significance of cows in the Vedic culture and experience a traditional Vedic village. Psst… your crew may even get to feed them a treat.

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 Recess Monkey, The Not-Its!, Brian Vogan and his Good Buddies and Eli Rosenblatt. Fri.-Mon., May 26-29. Discovery Zone open daily from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Seattle. Free (suggested $20 donation/family or $10/person). All ages. Event details.

photo: Piper Hanson

Family Science Weekend
After you hit the Northwest Folklife Festival, take the fam down 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 and diver shows that will help you and your crew discover science in a new and fun way. Sat.-Mon. May 27-29 from 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Seattle. Free with admission or membership. All ages. Event details.

Memorial Day Weekend Trains Salute America’s Military
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 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. On Sun., May 28, everyone is invited to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the Northwest Railway Museum and the 50th birthday of the train rides in the Upper Snoqualmie Valley with treats at the Railway Education Center as well as special giveaways (while supplies last). And the best part? The museum will offer $5 round-trip train fare Sat.-Mon. to members of the military: active duty, guard, reserve, retired and their dependent family members, with current military ID. Sat.-Mon., May 27-29 from 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Snoqualmie. $5 to $20 (under 2 Free). Tickets required. All ages. Event details.

photo: Northwest Railway Museum

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 and jump and run in the hay maze, plus take a spin on the mini roller coaster or the flying pumpkins, go ’round and ’round in the pedal cars and enjoy a day full day of farm fun. Sat.-Sun., May 27-28 from 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Carnation. $12.76 to $14.94 (12 months & under Free). All ages. Event details.

MOHAI Maker Day: Making Our History
Looking to add some excitement to your Memorial Day Weekend? Work with teaching artist and maker Thaddeus Jurczynski to create realistic portrait art using a mix of craft supplies and technology at this month’s Maker Day. Visitors are encouraged to bring a photo of themselves, a family member, or – in honor of MOHAI’s newest exhibit It’s Raining Cats and Dogs – even a pet to turn into a stunning work of art; the process is simple and all materials are provided. Visitors can also have their photo taken on the spot to create a self-portrait from their museum visit. Sat., May 27 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Seattle. Included with admission or membership. All ages. Event details.

Memorial Day Weekend Run
If a run around the park is what your kiddos need to get the ya-yas out over the long weekend, lace up your tennis and participate in the 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 27 from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Seattle. $3 to $29. Registration required. Ages 2 & older. Event details.

photo: Marcy Grantor 

Seattle International Film Festival
The largest and most-highly attended film festival in the United States (now in its 43rd year!) will have a little something for everyone. Over Memorial Day Weekend, you and your crew can view a host of Films4Families including Napping Princess, Zip & Zap and the Captain’s Island, Swallows and Amazons and The Family Picture Show. Fri.-Mon., May 26-29 at various times. Seattle. All ages. Event details.

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.-Sun., May 27-28 from 8:30 a.m.-noon. Bellevue. $16 to $18. Pre-registration is required. 5 & older. Event details.

Columbia Slough Canoe 1

photo: Katrina Br*?#*!@nd via flickr 

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, show tunes and classics from the Boeing Employees Concert Band. Sun., May 28 at 2 p.m. Seattle. Free. All ages. Event details. 

Flying Heritage Collection’s Tankfest Northwest
This Memorial Day Weekend, hear the rumble and boom of vintage tanks and artillery at the Flying Heritage Collection’s six annual TankFest Northwest. This family event will feature military vehicle demonstrations, remote control tanks, a water balloon toss and a scavenger hunt, plus face painting, a bouncy house, tug-o-war and food from some of the region’s top food trucks and see amazing tanks, vehicles and artillery take to the arena in a fantastic display you won’t see anywhere else. Sat., May 27 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Everett. $7 to $20 (5 & under, veterans and 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 29 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. (ceremony begins at noon). 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