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From Festivals to Concerts: 11 Ways to Celebrate Memorial Day

Memorial Day weekend is just around the corner which means many families will be hittin’ the mountain passes in cramped cars packed full of camping gear, bikes, scooters, lawn chairs, blue tarps, and the family dog. But for those families sticking close to home this Memorial Day (you know who you are… been there, done that, never again with little ones), we’ve rounded up 11 family-friendly activities that will keep everyone happy and entertained over the 3-day weekend.

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Northwest Folklife Festival
There’s no shortage of fun things to see, do and eat at the 42ndAnnual Northwest Folklife Festival. One of the largest free folk festivals in the country, this annual festival features over 7,000 diverse performers, participatory dances, workshops, arts and crafts, and food booths galore! For younger visitors, Folklife offers tons of hands-on activities including a family dance/story/music tent, toy boat building and knot tying, make-and-take mosaic art and pop-up puppets, global crafts like Chinese calligraphy and piñata building, and fun language lessons. Friday, May 24 through Sunday, May 26 from 11:00 am – 10:00 pm; Monday, May 27 from 11:00 am – 9:00 pm. 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 the whole fam discover science in a fun way! Friday, May 24 through Monday, May 27 from 9:30 am – 5:00 pm. Seattle. Free with admission or membership. All ages. Event details.

Memorial Day Weekend Train Rides
If you and the kiddos are itching to get out of the city for the day, head east to North Bend and celebrate Memorial Day weekend with a scenic 75-minute round-trip excursion through the Cascade Foothills and to Snoqualmie Falls. Insider Tip: Be sure to explore the North Bend train depot and the fab bookstore open from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm as well as the cute town of North Bend. Saturday, May 25 through Monday, May 27 from 11:00 am – 4:00 pm. North Bend. $10 to $15 (under 2 free). Tickets required. All ages. Event details.

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Memorial Day Weekend Circus Fun!
There won’t be any regularly scheduled spring classes going on at the School of Acrobatics & New Circus Arts (SANCA) over Memorial Day weekend, but SANCA will be open on Saturday and Sunday for lots of high-flying circus fun. Kiddos can take a Circus Bonus or Flying Trapeze class or try an Intro to Circus class with the whole fam. After a couple of hours of swinging, bouncing, and balancing, your lil’ monkeys will be ready for a long nap. Saturday, May 25 & Sunday, May 27 from 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm. Seattle. $30 and up. Ages 6 and older. Event details.

Cascade Warbirds Fly-In
Every Memorial Day weekend, the Museum of Flight hosts this annual fly-in featuring a wide variety of beautifully restored vintage military aircraft representing several nations’ armed forces from World War II through the Vietnam conflict. In addition to watching the planes take off and land, you and the kiddos can talk with the pilots and owners of these planes. Saturday, May 25 from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm. Seattle. Free. All ages. Event details.

Memorial Day Weekend Run
If a run around the park is what your kiddos need to get the ya-ya’s out, lace up your tennis and participate in this fun Memorial Day run! Participants can choose a 5k, 10k or 15k run/walk as well as a fun 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. Saturday, May 25 at 9:45 am. Seattle. $3 to $28. Registration required. Ages 2 and older. Event details.

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Kitsap Harbor Festival
If you are looking for a fun day trip that also involves a ferry ride, this annual Memorial Day weekend waterfront festival, held at both the Bremerton and Port Orchard downtown waterfronts, is sure to be a big hit. Get a close-up look at the tall ships, grab some local eats at the farmer’s market, catch a classic car show, and enjoy more than 50 food and craft booths and a fab KidZone. Saturday, May 25 & Sunday, May 26 from 10:00 am – 6:00 pm. Bremerton/Port Orchard. Free. All ages. Event details.

Family Low Tide Beach Walk
The tide will be super-duper low over Memorial Day weekend which means it’s the perfect time to put on your rubber boots and join a Seattle volunteer naturalist to search for anemones, moon snails, and clams along the beaches of Puget Sound. Saturday, May 25 from 10:45 am to 12:15 pm; Sunday, May 26 from 11:30 am – 1:00 pm. Seattle. Free. All ages. Event details.

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The Whizpops! at Zoomazium
If a trip to Woodland Park Zoo is a guaranteed hit for your fam, consider going on Sunday and hittin’ a home run! From 11:30 am – 12:15 pm, The Whizpops! will be playing a rockin’ concert inside Zoomazium. Kiddos (and parents) will love singing and dancing to kid-friendly, nature-themed tunes from these two elementary teachers turned rock stars. Sunday, May 26 from 11:30 am – 12:15 pm. Seattle. Free with zoo admission or membership. All ages. Event details.

Memorial Day at Seattle Children’s Museum
Join the folks at the Seattle Children’s Museum on Memorial Day to remember the great citizens who protected our freedom. Kiddos and families can honor those who have served our country by creating Memorial Day paper poppies and participating in other hands-on projects. Monday, May 27 from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. Seattle. Free with admission or membership. Ages 10 months to 10 years. Event details.

Memorial Day Ceremony
Teach your kiddos the importance of Memorial Day by taking them to this annual ceremony held at the Museum of Flight. Starting at 1:00 pm, the Museum president and CEO will preside over the ceremony along with the City of Tukwila Mayor. The Museum will also honor military service with patriotic music by the Boeing Employees Concert Band. Bonus: All veterans and active U.S. Military personnel will receive FREE admission to the Museum with identification. Monday, May 27 from 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm. Seattle. Free. All ages. Event details.

Are you sticking around town for Memorial Day weekend? What do you have planned? Let us know in a comment below.

–Kristina Moy

Photo credit:  Northwest Folklife Festival/Bernard-Mann

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