This page lists the biggest and best Seattle events, fun things to do, and free festivals in 2013 & 2014.
Events are listed by starting date, and all dates are confirmed. Mileage is from Westlake Center in downtown Seattle, Washington.
To see more events, please click a month above.
Polar Bear Plunge
January 1, 2014
8 miles NEJoin 1000 people wading into Lake Washington to celebrate the new year at the Polar Bear Plunge, or just watch from shore. Costumes are encouraged. Matthews Beach Park has limited parking. Free.
Children’s Film Festival
January 23 - Feb. 2, 2014
1 mile eastSee the best and brightest in international cinema for children ages 3 to 12 at the Children’s Film Festival Seattle at Northwest Film Forum.
January 24 - Feb. 2, 2014
1.5 miles southSeattle Boat Show, which features 1000 boats and 140 boating seminars, is located at CenturyLink Field, with boats for sale on South Lake Union.
Flower and garden show
February 5 - 9, 2014
0.5 mile eastFebruary is a great time to be indoors at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show. Six acres of show gardens and 300 vendors fill the Seattle convention center. Opening night party benefits the arboretum.
February 15 - 23, 2014
1.5 miles southThe Seattle Home Show has exhibits about building, remodeling, decorating, and landscaping homes, at CenturyLink Field. Repeats in October.
Beer at Museum of Flight
February 22, 2014
9 miles southEnjoy the Northwest’s best craft brews, catered food, live music, and airplanes on display at Hops & Props in the Museum of Flight. Buy tickets in Dec.
Wine and food
February 23, 2014
1 mile NWTaste a world of wine, beer, coffee and fine food at the Seattle Wine and Food Experience at Seattle Center Exhibition Hall. Adult ID. No beverages to go.
February 27 - March 2, 2014
11 miles eastWintergrass includes 30 acts on four stages, workshops, and impromptu jams in Bellevue.
Saint Patrick’s Day
March 15 - 16, 2014 (tentative)
Seattle locationsSt. Patrick’s Day Parade is Saturday and goes north on 4th Ave. from Jefferson Street. St. Patrick’s Day Dash is Sunday morning at Seattle Center. The Irish Festival is free both days at Seattle Center Armory.
Comedy and variety acts
March 20 - April 13, 2014
4 miles NW or 1 mile eastThe Moisture Festival is billed as the world’s largest comedy/variety festival. Most of the 50 shows are at Hale’s Palladium and Broadway Performance Hall. The 3 p.m. shows are suitable for families.
Comic book convention
March 28 - 30, 2014
0.5 mile eastEmerald City Comicon is a large comic book, game, and pop culture event at the convention center.
March 29 - 30, 2014
1.5 miles southSample from 225 wineries and 50 restaurants, and attend seminars, at Taste Washington in the CenturyLink Field Event Center.
April 1 - 30, 2014
60 miles northSkagit Valley Tulip Festival features spectacular fields of blooming tulips and daffodils (field map). The free Tulip Festival Street Fair in Mount Vernon is April 18 to 20, 2014.
April 5, 2014
33 miles southThe free Daffodil Parade includes daffodil-covered floats, marching bands, clowns, and pirates that travel through Tacoma, Puyallup, Sumner, and Orting. It’s the highlight of the Daffodil Festival.
World Rhythm Festival
April 5 - 6, 2014
1 mile NWImmerse yourself in more than 100 drum and dance workshops and performances at the World Rhythm Festival at Seattle Center. Free.
April 10 - 13, 2014
37 miles southSpring Fair features baby animals, pig races, fair food, a garden show, and a demolition derby at the Puyallup Fair and Events Center.
April 16 - 29, 2014
6 miles NWThe annual Ballard Jazz Festival offers world-class musicians, a Swedish pancake jazz brunch, and a classic Volvo/Saab car show.
Beer and Scotch festival
April 18 - 19, 2014
4 miles northTaste 80 varieties of beer, Scotch whisky, wine, and spirits at the annual Hop Scotch Beer & Scotch Festival in Fremont Studios, which benefits the Seattle International Film Festival.
Cherry Blossom Festival
April 25 - 27, 2014
1 mile NWThe Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival celebrates Seattle’s friendship with Japan and Japan’s gift of 1000 cherry trees in 1976. Japanese art, dance, music, and food at Seattle Center. Free.
Opening day of boating season
May 3, 2014
4 miles NEWatch boats parade through the Montlake Cut near University of Washington on opening day of boating season from 12 - 2:30 p.m., with races earlier. Free.
Food truck rodeo
May 3 - 4, 2014
4 miles northMobile Food Rodeo offers great food at a good price to 30,000 people. While you’re in Fremont, check out the Fremont Sunday Street Market. Free.
May 8 - 18, 2014
Seattle locationsBars and breweries host more than 100 beer-tasting and food-pairing events during Seattle Beer Week.
May 15 - June 8, 2014
multiple locationsSeattle International Film Festival (SIFF) is billed as the largest film festival in the U.S. Join top directors, actors, and critics who attend festival premieres and screening by getting a single ticket or a pass.
University street fair
May 17 - 18, 2014
4 miles NESeattle’s earliest street fair of the year is the laid-back University District StreetFair. Food vendors and arts & crafts booths line University Way NE. Music, dance, and comedy is onstage. Free.
Folklife music and dance
May 23 - 26, 2014
1 mile NWNorthwest Folklife Festival fills the Seattle Center grounds Memorial Day weekend. Celebrate traditional arts with hundreds of dance and musical performances, workshops, and panels from around the world. Donation suggested.
Redmond beer festival
June 13 - 15, 2014
15 miles eastWashington Brewers Festival offers 250 beers from 74 Washington breweries, music, and a children’s play area at Marymoor Park in Redmond. No dogs.
Edmonds art fair
June 13 - 15, 2014
16 miles northArtists display paintings, photos, sculptures, and jewelry in a park at Edmonds Arts Festival. Enjoy food, entertainment, and activities. No pets. Free.
Fremont parade and fair
June 21 - 22, 2014
4 miles north
The Fremont Solstice Parade is wacky, weird, and world-famous for its painted nude bicyclists. Begins 3 p.m. Saturday at 3rd Ave. NW and NW 36th St. and ends at Gas Works Park in a wild festival. Free.Fremont Fair, both days, offers art and craft booths, local bands, food vendors, a beer garden, funky painted cars, and a dog parade on Sunday. Free.
Concerts at the locks
June 2014 (date pending)
6 miles NWSummer concerts on the lawn at the Ballard Locks are every Saturday & Sunday (plus Sept. 2) at 2:00. Bring a picnic, but no alcohol. Free except parking.
June 2014 (date pending)
8 miles northThe Greenwood Car Show is 1.5 miles of classic cars, hot rods, antique wonders, live bands, kids’ activities, and vendors on Greenwood Ave. N. Free.
Fourth of July - Seattle
July 4, 2014
4 miles northThe Seafair Summer Fourth opens at noon in Gas Works Park with family activities, entertainment, a beer garden, and food vendors. Show starts at 10:15 p.m. Bring no alcohol, fireworks, pets. Free.
Fourth of July - Tacoma
July 4, 2014
36 miles southTacoma Freedom Fair and Airshow features six music stages, food booths, beer gardens, an air show, and big fireworks show. Donation requested.
Ballard seafood festival
July 12 - 13, 2014
6 miles NWEat seafood, watch a lutefisk-eating contest, hear music, see art, visit the family stage, and enjoy the beer garden at the Ballard SeafoodFest. You may even spot a Viking at this free Scandinavian event.
Bite of Seattle
July 18 - 20, 2014
1 mile NWGet a taste of 50 restaurants at the Bite of Seattle, which also offers cooking demos, wine tasting, a beer garden, and entertainment. Get samples from 7 of Seattle’s best restaurants at The Alley. Friday is least crowded. Free entry at Seattle Center.
Bellevue art fair
July 25 - 27, 2014
11 miles eastBellevue Arts Museum Arts Fair is one of America’s biggest and best. Find top artists in the covered parking garage west of Bellevue Square. Free.
July 26, 2014
1 mile NWColorful floats, drill teams, and pirates fill Seattle’s streets at 7:30 p.m. for Seafair Torchlight Parade. Attend the pre-parade party at Seattle Center to see exhibits, view floats, and meet participants. Free.
Seafair air show & hydroplane races
August 1 - 3, 2014
5 miles SEThe Albert Lee Cup promises lots of noise and excitement for hydroplane race fans. The free Boeing Air Show includes jet aerobatics. Plan for closures of the Interstate 90 Bridge.
Evergreen State Fair
August 21 - Sept. 1, 2014
33 miles NEMeet farm animals, watch pigs race, eat fair food, and catch a show at the Evergreen State Fair in Monroe. Opening day is discounted until 1 p.m.
August 22 - 24, 2014
1 mile NWChoose from 200 beers at the Seattle International Beerfest. Tickets include beer tokens, or get a non-drinker ticket. Fisher Pavilion at Seattle Center.
August 30 - Sept. 1, 2014
1 mile NWCelebrate the end of summer at Bumbershoot, a spectacular music and arts festival that draws crowds to Seattle Center on Labor Day weekend. Although bumbershoot is slang for umbrella, you won’t need one because most events are indoors.
August 30 - Sept. 1, 2014
18 miles west via Bremerton ferryWalk on the ferry to the Bremerton Blackberry Festival, and shop the waterfront for blackberry pie, cobbler, jam, and jelly, or do the Berry Fun Run.
South Lake Union Block Party
August 2014 (date pending)
1 mile northSouth Lake Union Block Party at Denny Way & Westlake Avenue has food, beer, a children’s play area, and a movie after dark, all for charity. Free.
September 5 - 21, 2014
36 miles southFind animals, rides, rodeo, food, and entertainment at what is now called Washington State Fair It’s the largest, oldest, and most popular fair in the state.
September 19 - 21, 2014
4 miles northMore than 70 kinds of beer will pour in three beer gardens at the 17th annual Fremont Oktoberfest, which includes entertainment and a 5K run.
September 2014 (date pending)
3 miles NE in MontlakeEnjoy homemade Greek foods like lamb, calamari, gyros, baklava, souvlaki, and wine at St. Demetrios Greek Festival, plus dancers performing in costume.
October 1 - Nov. 17, 2013
Seattle locationsThe Seattle Earshot Jazz Festival features more than 50 concerts by local and worldwide jazz greats.
October 4 - 6, 2013
1.5 miles southThe Seattle Home Show has exhibits about building, remodeling, decorating, and landscaping homes, at CenturyLink Field. Repeats in February.
October 5 - 6, 2013
17 miles eastIssaquah Salmon Days Festival celebrates the salmon’s return with arts and crafts, a kids’ play area, food, and entertainment. Free.
Seattle Restaurant Week
October 13-17 & 20-24, 2013
multiple locationsGet a special deal on a three-course meal at 150 restaurants during Seattle Restaurant Week, which excludes Friday and Saturday. Repeats in April.
October 16 - 20, 2013
1.5 miles southThe Seattle Auto Show at CenturyLink Field showcases new cars and trucks every year.
Veterans Day parade
November 9, 2013
26 miles southThe Veterans Day Parade & Observance in Auburn at 11:00 is one of America’s biggest, with veterans units, military vehicles, drill teams, 25 marching bands, floats, antique cars, and military fly-over. Free.
Parade & star lighting
November 29, 2013
downtown SeattleMacy’s Holiday Parade & Star Lighting begins with a 9 a.m. parade of marching bands, costumed characters, floats, and Santa. It ends with a 5 p.m. lighting of the 161-foot star, followed by fireworks. Free.
November 29 - Dec. 29, 2013
0.3 miles eastACT Theatre performs Charles Dickens’ holiday classic A Christmas Carol about the miraculous transformation of miserly Ebenezer Scrooge.
Tacoma Christmas lights
Nov. 29, 2013 - Jan. 5, 2014 (closed Dec. 24)
40 miles southBundle up to admire half a million holiday lights and displays at Zoolights. Tacoma’s Point Defiance Zoo.
November 30 - Dec. 29, 2013
1 mile NWPacific Northwest Ballet’s Nutcracker is a holiday tradition for Seattle families and ballet lovers, with a live orchestra, magnificent sets and costumes, and a huge cast of professional dancers and students in McCaw Hall at Seattle Center.
Bellevue Christmas lights
November 30, 2013 - Jan. 4, 2014
11 miles eastEnjoy zillions of colorful lights and displays at Garden d’Lights in Bellevue Botanical Garden. Some nights are free but more crowded.
New Year’s Eve at the Needle
December 31, 2013
1 mile NWPut on a winter coat and head to the Seattle Center to watch the West Coast’s most amazing New Year’s Eve fireworks show. The Space Needle is the tallest structure in the world that launches fireworks. Last year’s show had 2,000 pyrotechnic effects. Watch free from the ground, or buy a ticket to the party.