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

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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.

Japanese children’s day

May 1, 2016 (11 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

1.7 miles SE

Children’s Day Festival (Kodomo no Hi) events include martial arts, a tea ceremony, dance show, hands-on taiko drumming, Samurai armor and yukata dress up, stories, and food trucks at the Japanese Cultural & Community Center of WA. Free.

Bikes and beer

May 1, 2016

3.3 miles south

Visit a few brew pubs on the flat ride of 15 or 35 miles called Seattle Bike-n-Brews, which begins at Schooner Exact Brewing Company in South Seattle.

Taco festival

May 1, 2016

3.3 miles north

Taco Libre Truck Showdown features dozens of taco trucks, a beer garden, and mariachi bands in Fremont. Free.

May Day

May 1, 2016 (3 p.m.)

5 miles north

Play games, sing, dance around the Maypole, bring a potluck dish, and watch fire jumping 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, and chili in Packwood. Schedule.

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.

Art and design show

May 1 - 15, 2016 (begins April 30)

0.5 miles north

Cornish College of the Arts showcases the work of graduating seniors at EXPO 16: Art & Design BFA Exhibition, with art at 2000 Terry Ave. and design at 2014 9th Ave. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays. Free.

Dinner social in the dark

May 5 - 7, 2016 (6 & 8:30 p.m.)

3.3 miles north

Blind professional waiters serve a vegetarian dinner family style with wine and dessert at Seattle Blind Cafe as you hear a set of live music performed by a blind orchestra at Nalanda West.

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.

Book sale

May 6 - 8, 2016

1 mile NW

Browse 100,000 titles starting at $1 at the Spring Book Sale by Friends of The Seattle Public Library, in the Exhibition Hall at Seattle Center.

Camano Island artist tour

May 6 - 8 and 14 - 15, 2016

62 miles north

Camano Island Studio Tour is a self-guided visit to artists at 28 studios. 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.

Stories about motherhood

May 7, 2016 (1:30 p.m.)

0.6 miles SE

Listen To Your Mother celebrates and validates motherhood with readings that are touching and humorous at Town Hall Seattle.

Bacon and beer

May 7, 2016

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.

Boat parade

May 7, 2016 (noon)

4 miles NE

Watch boats parade through the Montlake Cut near the University of Washington at noon on Opening Day, preceded by races. Free.

Mexican celebration

May 7, 2016 (12 to 4 p.m.)

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.

Bothell beer party

May 7, 2016 (3 to 8 p.m.)

16.4 miles NE

Sample beer from local breweries, eat from food trucks, and hear four bands at Bothell Block Party and BrewFest in Bothell Furniture parking lot for age 21+.

Electric car race & science fair

May 7, 2016 (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.)

58 miles south

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

Artist studio tour

May 7 - 8, 2016

14 miles NE

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

Mother’s Day train ride

May 7 - 8, 2016

27 miles east

Mothers get a free 70-minute train ride at Northwest Railway Museum [click “Special Events” on their page] with any paid child on Mother’s Day weekend, departing from North Bend or Snoqualmie.


May 7 - 21, 2016

1.3 miles NW

Seattle Opera performs The Flying Dutchman in German with English subtitles. It’s Wagner’s story of a ghostly sailor and a young woman at McCaw Hall.

Free state parks

May 8, 2016


Mother’s Day is one of the State Parks Free Days, so you can spend it picnicking and playing at any of these 140 Washington State Parks. Free.

Mother’s Day restaurants

May 8, 2016

Seattle area

OpenTable lists restaurants that offer special brunch, lunch, and dinner menus on Mother’s Day.

Mother’s Day comedy

May 8, 2016 (7 p.m.)

0.4 miles SW

Laugh about motherhood at the Mother’s Day Improv Show, which features improvised comedy by Unexpected Productions in the Pike Place Market.

Get painted as you run

May 8, 2016 (SOLD OUT)

1 mile NW

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

Mother’s Day race

May 8, 2016

19.3 miles NE

The Mother’s Day Half Marathon & 5K run/walk are on scenic routes in the Juanita area of Kirkland.

Eco fashion show

May 11, 2016

2.8 miles south

Runway to Peru [sound] features Peruvian fashion, fine art, performances, and runway shows at 5:15 and 8:15 p.m. to support conservation, reforestation, and sustainable agriculture in Peru at Metropolist.

Ballard Jazz Festival

May 11 - 14, 2016

6 miles NW

The Ballard Jazz Festival offers world-class musicians every day, and on Saturday a Swedish pancake jazz brunch with a classic Volvo/Saab car show.

Beer week

May 12 - 22, 2016

Seattle locations

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

Racy movies

May 13 - 14, 2016 (7 & 9:30 p.m.)

1.5 miles NW

Hump! features 21 five-minute films produced by amateurs of all persuasions at SIFF Cinema Uptown.

Electronic music festival

May 13 - 14, 2016

5 miles south

Debacle Fest showcases electronic, drone, noise, techno, improvised, metal, and synth musicians at Columbia City Theater.

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.

Piano concert

May 14, 2016 (7 p.m.)

0.5 miles south

Hear 10 pianists playing 10 grand pianos during Ten Grands at Benaroya Hall.

Maritime festival

May 14, 2016 (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

0.7 miles west

Seattle Maritime Festival Harbor Open House features boat tours, walk-on tugboats, a boat parade, Coast Guard demonstrations, kids’ activities, a fireboat display, music, and a chowder cookoff with samples for sale at Pier 66 and nearby. Free.

Play new games

May 14, 2016 (10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.)

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.

Polish festival

May 14, 2016 (11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

1.5 miles east

Pierogi Fest features 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. Free.

Gig Harbor Beer Fest

May 14, 2016 (12 to 5 p.m.)

43 miles SW

Gig Harbor Beer Festival features a wide variety of Northwest craft brewers and live music in Gig Harbor for age 21+.

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, music, traditional storytelling, and children’s activities.

Norwegian day

May 17, 2016

6 miles NW

Celebrate Norwegian Constitution Day at 17th of May Festival in Ballard with a luncheon, kids’ activities, and music. The 6 p.m. parade includes marching bands, drill teams, and Norwegians in costume. Map.

Pub crawl

May 19, 2016

4.8 miles NW

Wear green to the Ballard Brewshed Pub Craw, which features discounts and games at three Ballard breweries for age 21+ to support wilderness.

Film festival

May 19 - June 12, 2016 (opening night)

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.

Circus acrobats

May 20 - 22, 2016

6 miles south

See 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.

Viking festival

May 20 - 22, 2016

22 miles west (via Bainbridge ferry)

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

Food film festival

May 20 - June 11, 2016

Seattle locations

Culinary Cinema includes 10 full-length films about cooking and food that are part of Seattle International Film Festival.

Urban adventure race

May 21, 2016 (noon)

Downtown Seattle

XPLORE Seattle is a 5K race to solve clues and complete challenges as you travel around the city.

Salsa party

May 21, 2016 (3:30 to 6:30 p.m.)

2.3 miles SE

Salsa Dance Party features Mambo Cadillac playing “irresistibly danceable high-octane salsa, Latin jazz, and Afro-Cuban rhythms” with a vocalist, snacks, and a 30-minute lesson at Artspace Hiawatha Lofts.

Herb and Food Fair

May 21, 2016

15 miles north

Herb and Food Fair offers cooking demonstrations, nutritional experts, art for children, live music, and garden tours at Bastyr University 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.

Edmonds jazz festival

May 21, 2016

18 miles north

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

Aviation day in Everett

May 21, 2016

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.

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.

University street fair

May 21 - 22, 2016

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.

Mineral show

May 21 - 22, 2016

9.8 miles north

See beautiful minerals and shop from 45 dealers at the Seattle Mineral Market at Lake City Community Center. Free.

Wine tasting

May 26, 2016 (6 p.m., VIP 5 p.m.)

6.5 miles NW

Taste dry rosé and white wines from 30 Northwest wineries and a few countries at Rosé Revival & Cool Whites, which includes a box of appetizers and views of Puget Sound at Ray’s Boathouse.

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.

Music festival

May 27 - 30, 2016

150 miles east

Sasquatch brings more than 100 modern music acts to The Gorge outdoor amphitheater in Eastern Washington, with optional camping.

Gig Harbor scavenger hunt

May 28, 2016 (9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.)

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 (dance May 27)

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 Cruzin’ to Colby, with a Sunday dance and cruise down Colby Avenue, plus a free Monday car show.

Concerts at the locks

May 29 - Sept. 17, 2016

6 miles NW

Hear a concert on the lawn at beautiful Hiram M. Chittenden Locks in Ballard beginning at 2 p.m.

Mini triathlon

May 30, 2016 (10 a.m.)

1.4 miles SE

Seattle University hosts an indoor Try-Athlon, which is 10 minutes each of swimming, spin biking, and treadmill running at its Recreation Center for age 18+ to support charity.

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.
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