Youngershoot Photo by Christopher Nelson

If you’re considering taking the kids with you to Bumbershoot at Seattle Center this Labor Day weekend, we’ve got good news for parents. This year, kids under ten get in for free! And grown-ups can get a “Bumbershoot Lite” economy ticket in advance for only $22 per day, so you won’t blow the bank by walking through the gate. These lower-cost tickets will get you access to the entire kid-friendly Youngershoot lineup. Don’t  miss these local kindie perfomers rocking the stage for the kiddie set:  Caspar Babypants (Saturday), Johnny Bregar (Sunday) and Brian Vogan (Monday) who, by the way, just released his newest CD. The bad news? You won’t be able to attend Mainstage shows with these tickets.

Insider Tips:

Consider taking the monorail! Parking is often less crowded downtown and the Pacific Place and Macy’s garages are both easy to navigate and close to the Westlake monorail station. Plus, it’s fun for the kids!

This festival gets crazy crowded. Strollers are allowed, but you’ll be bumping into a lot of heels. And music festival crowds aren’t always used to navigating around little ones. A backpack or sling is the way to go for the smallest music fans and consider bright clothes or have an on-site balloon artist fashion an easy-to-spot crown for more independent kiddos.

Scope out the food venders early – crowds build as the day goes on. You might want to consider picking up lunch first thing to avoid over-hungry little ones (and their caretakers) waiting in long lines.

The One-Reel Film Festival is offering special Films4Family screenings. Indoors. Air-conditioned. With chairs. Are you getting the picture? See the schedule for themes and times. Another indoor venue is the Kids Pavilion in the Center House which features art, yoga and  jump roping all day long.

Are you dying to see Dylan on the Mainstage?  You can purchase a $30 Mainstage Upgrade ticket for children the day of the festival, but if the Mainstage sells out in advance (and this is Bob Dylan, after all) the upgrades will not be available. So we’d recommend spending the big bucks for a full festival ticket for the kids. Or spend the money on a sitter instead. Remember, lines are long and waits can be hot in the sun and buggy in the dusk.

If this isn’t your year for Bumbershoot, that’s okay too.  Consider the Send a Kid program. For $15 you can live vicariously through someone else and purchase a ticket for an underprivileged youth and adult chaperone to attend the festival.

-Karen McHegg