Seattle events calendar for May 2016. Best festivals, fun things to do, weekend street fairs, kids activities, and free entertainment in Seattle, Washington.

Best events for 12 months
Best events for 12 months
May 2016
May 2016

Enjoy the best Seattle events, festivals, and things to do with this calendar of events.

Mileage is from Westlake Center in downtown Seattle, Washington.

Films by young directors

May 1, 2016 (begins April 28)

Seattle locations

National Film Festival for Talented Youth (NFFTY) showcases the best young directors age 24 and younger from around the world at the Cinerama and SIFF Cinema Uptown.

May Day

May 1, 2016

5 miles north

Play games, sing, dance around the Maypole, bring a potluck dish, and watch the fire ritual at the May Day Celebration and Potluck at Woodland Park. Free.

Medieval festival

May 1, 2016 (begins April 30)

27 miles east

A Festival for May opens with demonstrations, crafts, food, and musicians. Games and the Maypole ceremony are in the afternoon. Dinner is by reservation at Camlann Medieval Village in Carnation.

Tacoma marathon

May 1, 2016

42 miles south

Tacoma City Marathon is one of the area’s best and includes running across the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, or run the marathon relay, half marathon, or 5K.

Packwood Mountain Festival

May 1, 2016 (begins April 29)

107 miles south

Packwood Mountain Festival includes live music, folk dancing, a craft show, fun runs, native drumming, chili, and tacos in Packwood. Free except running.

Apple Blossom Festival

May 1 - 8, 2016 (begins April 28)

148 miles east

The Washington State Apple Blossom Festival in sunny Wenatchee offers apple pie, arts and crafts, golf, a car show, carnival, parade, and run.

More Music

May 6, 2016 (7:30 p.m.)

0.5 mile west

Seattle Theatre Group presents young musicians with diverse musical styles at More Music at The Moore Theatre in downtown Seattle.

Paddling festival

May 6 - 7, 2016

15 miles east

Canoeists, kayakers, and paddleboarders unite at Lake Sammamish State Park for demos, tours, races, and exhibits at Northwest Paddling Festival.

Camano Island artist tour

May 6 - 8 and 14 - 15, 2016

62 miles north

Camano Island Studio Tour is a self-guided visit to 43 artists, 30 studios, and 3 galleries. Free.

Irrigation festival

May 6 - 15, 2016

65 miles west via Bainbridge ferry

The Sequim Irrigation Festival (the state’s oldest festival) has an art walk the first day, arts and crafts, vendors, a carnival, logging show, tractor pull, fun run, kids parade, and grand parade. Free.

Opening day of boating season

May 7, 2016

4 miles NE

Watch boats parade through the Montlake Cut near University of Washington at noon on opening day of boating season, preceded by races. Free.

Gig Harbor Beer Fest

May 7, 2016

43 miles SW

Gig Harbor Beer Festival features 18 Northwest craft brewers and live music in Gig Harbor for age 21+.

Electric car race & science fair

May 7, 2016

58 miles south

See rockets, robots, model planes, and an electric vehicle competition at the Lacey Science Fair & Grand Prix Electric Car Races in Huntamer Park, Lacey. Free.

Artist studio tour

May 7 - 8, 2016

14 miles NE

Visit home studios of dozens of local artists free on Kirkland Artist Studio Tour, Mother’s Day weekend.

Mother’s Day train ride

May 7 - 8, 2016

27 miles east

Mothers get a free 70-minute train ride at Northwest Railway Museum with any paid child on Mother’s Day weekend, departing from North Bend or Snoqualmie.

Free state parks

May 8, 2016


State Parks Free Days include Mother’s Day, so you can spend the day picnicking and playing at any of these 140 Washington State Parks for free.

Get painted as you run

May 8, 2016

Location pending

Wear a white shirt, and then get bombarded by handfuls of colored cornstarch and glitter as you run the Color Run Tropicolor 5K.

Mother’s Day races

May 8, 2016

Seattle & Kirkland

Mother’s Day restaurants

May 8, 2016

Seattle area

OpenTable lists restaurants that offer special brunch, lunch, and dinner menus on Mother’s Day. Also see Where to Take Mom This Mother’s Day.

Beer week

May 12 - 22, 2016

Seattle locations

Bars and breweries host dozens of beer-tasting and food-pairing events during Seattle Beer Week.

Mt. Rainier film festival

May 13 - 15, 2016

83 miles south

Watch films and mingle with filmmakers in Mount Rainier’s shadow at Rainier Independent Film Festival.

Bluegrass festival

May 13 - 15, 2016

85 miles SW

Bluegrass from the Forest Festival features national headliners, contests, band scramble, mandolin tasting, youth program, vendors, and jamming at Shelton High School.

Play new games

May 14, 2016

1 mile NW

Register to try new games and vote for your favorites at iFest at Seattle Center Armory, which includes speakers & workshops about the game industry. Free.

Maritime festival

May 14, 2016 (uncertain)

1.1 miles north

Seattle Maritime Festival Family Fun Day features boat tours, walk-on tugboats, a boat parade, Coast Guard demonstrations, kids’ activities, a fireboat display, and music at South Lake Union Park. Free.

Polish festival

May 14, 2016 (uncertain)

1.5 miles east

Pierogi Fest features 6 kinds of pierogi (dumplings), potato pancakes, Polish beer, dessert, folk music, crafts, and kids’ activities at Polish Cultural Center.

West Seattle garage sale

May 14, 2016

5 miles SW

Garage sale signs sprout all over the neighborhood during West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day.

Penn Cove Water Festival

May 14, 2016

103 miles NW

Penn Cove Water Festival in Coupeville has tribal canoe races, native arts and crafts, food, dance, traditional storytelling, and children’s activities.

Norwegian day

May 17, 2016

6 miles NW

Celebrate Norwegian Constitution Day (Syttende Mai) in Ballard with a luncheon, kids’ activities, and music; a 4 p.m. parade of marching bands, drill teams, and Norwegians in costume; and then a big-band dance.

Film festival

May 19 - June 12, 2016

multiple locations

Seattle 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 screenings by getting a single ticket or a pass.

Viking festival

May 20 - 22, 2016

22 miles west (via Bainbridge ferry)

Viking Fest celebrates Scandinavian heritage in Poulsbo with a parade, carnival, music, and food.

Herb and food fair

May 21, 2016

15 miles north

Bastyr University Herb and Food Fair offers cooking demonstrations, nutritional experts, art for children, live music, and garden tours at the campus in Kenmore. Free shuttle or pay for onsite parking.

Aloha Brewfest

May 21, 2016 (12 to 5 p.m.)

17 miles NE

Aloha Brewfest has beer from 18 small breweries, Hawaiian music, hula dancing, and a Hawaiian lunch at Cascadia Community College in Bothell.

Pet festival

May 21, 2016

31 miles south

Bring your leashed pet to Petpalooza for a morning dog fun run, noon pet parade, pet contests, pony rides, entertainment, and vendors at Game Farm Park in Auburn. Free.

Fairy festival

May 21, 2016

36 miles south

Spring Fairy Festival is a free indoor/outdoor street fair with artists, craft vendors, dancers, magicians, musicians, and costumed fairies & elves in Tacoma.

Armed Forces Day

May 21, 2016

46 miles south

Joint Base Lewis-McChord opens its gates for public celebration of Armed Forces Day, with historical reenactments, military vehicles, music, vendors, and carnival rides. Bring ID if age 16+. Free entry.

Folklife music and dance

May 27 - 30, 2016

1 mile NW

Celebrate traditional arts by choosing from hundreds of dance and musical performances, workshops, and panels from around the world during Northwest Folklife Festival at Seattle Center. Donation.

Sasquatch! Music Festival

May 27 - 30, 2016

150 miles east

Sasquatch! Music Festival brings some of the biggest names in music to The Gorge outdoor amphitheater.

Edmonds jazz festival

May 28, 2016

18 miles north

Hear top student musicians in three Edmonds venues at the Edmonds Jazz Connection. Donation.

Gig Harbor scavenger hunt

May 28, 2016

44 miles SW

Follow the map to 30 checkpoints on foot or bike during Gig Harbor Street Scramble, with awards, refreshments, and music afterward at Skansie Brothers Park. Free.

Shrimp festival

May 28 - 29, 2016

63 miles via Bainbridge ferry

Enjoy shrimp, belt-sander races, arts & crafts, live music, and a beer garden at ShrimpFest in Brinnon.

Everett car show

May 29 - 30, 2016

28 miles north

Seattle Rod-Tiques car club hosts the Cruzin’ to Colby Car Show, with a Sunday dance and cruise down Colby Avenue, and a free Monday car show.

Memorial Day Ceremony

May 30, 2016

7 miles south

The Museum of Flight honors our military with patriotic music and speeches at the Memorial Day Ceremony. Museum admission is free for veterans & active U.S. military who show ID.

Military show

May 30, 2016

22 miles north

See tanks, military vehicles, artillery weapons, firing demonstrations, and a collectors’ club parade at Tankfest Northwest at Paine Field in Everett.

Motown musical

May 31 - June 12, 2016

0.3 miles NE

Motown the Musical is a history of Motown music told in nearly nonstop songs and energetic dance numbers at The Paramount Theatre. Discount tickets $30 to $85.

Experimental art & film

May 2016 (undated)

multiple locations

Black Box Festival is experimental film, new-media art, and moving-image-based work in various venues, including art installations in shipping containers.

Food film festival

May 2016 (undated)

Seattle locations

Culinary Cinema includes 11 full-length films about cooking and food that are part of Seattle film festival. An optional chef’s dinner is available some nights.

Art and design show

May 2016 (undated)

0.5 miles north

Cornish College of the Arts showcases the work of graduating seniors at EXPO 16: BFA Exhibition. Art is at 2000 Terry Ave. Design is at 2014 9th Ave. Free.

Short films

May 2016 (undated)

1.5 miles NW

Everybody loves short films, which the film festival has grouped by theme into Short Film Packages at SIFF Cinema Uptown.

Taco festival

May 2016 (undated)

1.5 miles SE

Taco Libre Truck Showdown features taco trucks, a beer garden, Mexican-style wrestling, and mariachi music in the international district. Free.

Bacon and beer

May 2016 (undated)

1.7 miles south

Adults enjoy craft beer, bacon-inspired tastes from local restaurants, live music, dancing, and interactive games at Bacon and Beer Classic at Safeco Field.

Bikes and beer

May 2016 (undated)

3.3 miles south

Visit a few brew pubs on the 15, 30, or 40 mile flat ride called Seattle Bike ’n Brews, which begins at Schooner Exact Brewing Company in South Seattle.

Eco fashion show

May 2016 (undated)

3.5 miles NE

Conservation Catwalk features designs that are ethically and sustainably constructed for people and the planet in Gould Hall at University of Washington.

Mexican celebration

May 2016 (undated)

4 miles south

Enjoy Mexican food, live music, children’s activities, and a craft fair at Cinco de Mayo Celebration at Jefferson Community Center. Free entry.

University street fair

May 2016 (undated)

4 miles NE

Seattle’s earliest street fair of the year is the laid-back University District StreetFair. Food vendors and arts & crafts booths line University Way NE. See music, dance, and comedy onstage. Free.

Ballard jazz festival

May 2016 (undated)

6 miles NW

The annual Ballard Jazz Festival offers world-class musicians, a Swedish pancake jazz brunch, and a classic Volvo/Saab car show.

Circus acrobats

May 2016 (undated)

6 miles south

See spectacular acrobatics, high-flying aerials, contortions, and juggling to live music at the School of Acrobatics & New Circus Arts (SANCA) Annual Spring Showcase (SASS) in Georgetown.

Edmonds waterfront festival

May 2016 (undated)

17 miles north

Edmonds Rotary Waterfront Festival has arts and crafts, entertainment, kids’ activities and rides, food, a beer garden, and classic yacht show. No dogs. Free for children 12 and younger.

Aviation day in Everett

May 2016 (undated)

22 miles north

See vintage airplanes flying (12 to 1:30 p.m.) and on the ground at Paul Allen’s Flying Heritage Collection, plus exhibits and vendors at Paine Field Aviation Day.

Stories about motherhood

May 2016 (undated)

2 miles NE

Listen To Your Mother celebrates and validates motherhood with readings that are touching and humorous at Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral.
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© Seattle weekend planner for May 2016 events, fairs, festivals, and best things to do in Seattle, Washington.