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 in tow), we’ve rounded up ten activities to keep everyone in your crew happy and entertained over the three-day weekend. Scroll down to make your plans over the long weekend.
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1. Northwest Folklife Festival
There’s no shortage of fun things to see, do and eat at the 51st Annual Northwest Folklife Festival. One of the largest free folk festivals in the country, this year's festival will bring the old and new together, both virtually and in-person. Music, dance, spoken word, visual art and workshops will span 16 stages over three days, and about 2,000 attendees are expected to join in. A new Makers' Space, featuring tactile elements of folk traditions, and the return of some local favorites, like the Circle of Indigenous Peoples celebration and dancing at Warren's Roadhouse, are just a few of the festivities to look forward to. While the Northwest Folkife Festival in general is a family-friendly event, there are other kid-friendly offerings throughout the grounds including tons of your favorite Kindiependent rockers like The Not-Its!, Eli Rosenblatt and Brian Vogan and His Good Buddies, who'll be rocking the stage on Monday.
Good to know: If you can't make the festival in person, you can still enjoy the event safely at home.
2. The Infinite
The Infinite is an out-of-this-world immersive experience that transports you into space aboard the International Space Station, and it just opened in Tacoma on May 25. Memorial Day weekend is a great time to check it out. During the experience, you’ll explore a life-sized, 3D-modelized recreation of the International Space Station and encounter mind-blowing views of the Earth in the first-ever cinematic spacewalk captured in 3D, 360 virtual reality. This experience is an exclusive installation from world-renowned Japanese artist Ryoji Ikeda that's best for kids ages 8 and up and their grown-ups. You'll need tickets for this one.
3. Memorial Day Weekend 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 90-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.
4. 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, donkeys) or take a pony ride and jump in the hay maze, spin on the mini roller coaster or "fly" on the pumpkins. Plus, go 'round and 'round in the pedal cars and enjoy a day full day of farm fun. Plus, parents will enjoy the farm's newest addition—Remlinger Brewery. It opened on May 7 when the fun park opened for the season. Eastside, here we come!
5. Ansel Adams: Masterworks Opens
Whether you dig art or just dig being outside, MOHAI has a fantastic new exhibit that opens over the long weekend. Ansel Adams: Masterworks, a traveling exhibit presenting the iconic works of the famed photographer, will be on view for a limited engagement. It features 48 photographs by Adams—a selection of images he considered the best work of his career. Each reveals the importance Adams placed on the awe-inspiring power and beauty of the natural world, and his deeply held conviction that place matters. Who knows? You might even recognize our own Washington National Parks in Adams' photos when you visit.
6. Molback's Butterfly Garden Reopens
Molbak’s Butterfly Garden is a magical experience, and it’s reopening Memorial Day weekend, so why not stop by? You and the kids can stroll among hundreds of free-flying butterflies inside the enclosed space, while surrounded by a display of beautiful flowers. Learn about the life cycle of these colorful insects, while watching larvae undergo a miraculous metamorphosis as they emerge as butterflies before flying. Our other favorite reopening at the Zoo? It's gotta be the Zoomazium, that reopened May 17 after more than two years of being closed. Who else can't wait to go? Two more great reasons to visit Woodland Park Zoo over this long weekend!
7. Bicycle Weekends
Dust off your bikes, blades, trailers, and training wheels and enjoy four car-free miles of Lake Washington Boulevard, between Seward Park and Mount Baker Beach. If the kiddos need to make a pit stop or take a break along the way, there’s plenty of places to stop and even an awesome playground near the entrance of Seward Park.
8. 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 US Military personnel. Psst! All veterans and active US military personnel will receive free admission with ID.
9. Wild Waves Theme & Water Park Opens
Those looking for a nearby thrill should head to Wild Waves Theme & Water Park in Federal Way, opening for the season on Memorial Day weekend. Thrill rides, family rides and kids rides will keep everyone entertained throughout the day. Be sure to grab your tickets online to save some dough before heading down.
10. Kitsap Forest Theater: Beauty & the Beast
A day-long excursion that includes a ferry ride to Bremerton will make this Memorial Day weekend one to remember. Add in a trip to see Beauty & the Beast at the Kitsap Forest Theater's opening weekend and the distance is totally worth it. A treasured family tradition in the greater Puget Sound area, The Mountaineers Players bring quality outdoor theater under the forest's conifer canopy. This spring step into the enchanted world of Broadway’s modern classic, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. This beloved story tells of Belle, a young woman in a provincial town, and the Beast, who is really a young prince trapped under the spell of an enchantress. If the Beast can learn to love and be loved, the curse will end and he will be transformed into his former self.
—Allison Sutcliffe & Kristina Moy
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