Seattle events, festivals, things to do – May 2018

May 2018
best events in Seattle

May Day

May 1, 2018

5 miles north

Bring a potluck dish, play games, sing, and dance around the Maypole to celebrate spring at the May Day Celebration and Potluck at Woodland Park. Free.

Apple Blossom Festival

May 1 - 6, 2018 (begins April 26)

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.

Carnival in Monroe

May 4 - 6, 2018

32 miles NE

Cinco de Mayo Carnival has carnival rides, a car show, food vendors, beer, and margaritas at Evergreen State Fairgrounds in Monroe. Free admission but not parking.
CityPass Seattle

Irrigation festival

May 5 - 14, 2018

65 miles west via Bainbridge ferry

Billed as the state’s oldest festival, Sequim Irrigation Festival has an art walk, arts and crafts, vendors, a carnival, a logging show, a tractor pull, a fun run, a kids’ parade, a grand parade, and fireworks. Free.

Boat parade

May 5, 2018 (noon)

4 miles NE

Watch boats parade through the Montlake Cut near the University of Washington on Opening Day. Free.

Ideas conference

May 5, 2018

4 miles NE

Hear nine progressive speakers give short talks about a variety of subjects when TedxUofW presents Yes & in Kane Hall at the University of Washington.

Beer tasting in Kirkland

May 5, 2018

13.7 miles NE

Taste local beers and ciders at Kirkland Spring Beerfest at Marina Park for age 21+.

Medieval festival

May 5 - 6, 2018

27 miles east

A Festival for May opens with demonstrations, crafts, food, and musicians. Games are at 1 p.m., the Maypole ceremony is at 4:30 p.m., and dinner is by reservation at Camlann Medieval Village in Carnation.

Romantic comedy

May 6, 2018 (2 p.m.)

1.5 miles NW

Backstage antics collide with onstage drama in Shakespeare in Love, about an imaginary love affair between Shakespeare and an actress he met while writing “Romeo and Juliet” at Cornish Playhouse.

Japanese children’s day

May 6, 2018

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 6, 2018

4.9 miles south

A ticket to Seattle Bike-n-Brews gets you a fairly flat ride from Georgetown to Tukwila in your choice of 30 or 40 miles, beer at the midpoint, and beer and lunch at the finish line for age 18+. Must be 21+ to drink.

Beer week

May 10 - 20, 2018

Seattle locations

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

Paddling festival

May 11 - 12, 2018

15 miles east

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

Bird festival in Ellensburg

May 11 - 13, 2018

121 miles east

Yakima River Canyon Bird Fest has guided bird walks, workshops, speakers, kids’ activities, and social events on the drier side of the state.

Piano concert

May 12, 2018 (7 p.m.)

0.5 miles south

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

Maritime festival

May 12, 2018

4.9 miles NW

Seattle Maritime Festival: Family Fun Day 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 Seattle Maritime Academy in Ballard. Free.

Backyard Wildlife Festival

May 12, 2018

10.9 miles south

Hear presentations from garden and wildlife experts, see exhibits, browse arts & crafts, shop for native plants, and visit the kids’ garden party at the Backyard Wildlife Festival at Tukwila Community Center. Free.

Reptile show

May 12, 2018

32.5 miles NE

See frogs, snakes, geckos, and other exotic creatures at Seattle Metro Reptile Expo, with educational tables and vendors at Evergreen State Fairgrounds in Monroe.

Penn Cove Water Festival

May 12, 2018

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. Free.

Artist studio tour

May 12 - 13, 2018

14 miles NE

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

Mother’s Day train ride

May 12 - 13, 2018

27 miles east

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

Mother’s Day restaurants

May 13, 2018

Seattle area

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

Norwegian day

May 17, 2018

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.

Seattle film festival

May 17 - June 10, 2018

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.

Little Pony convention

May 18 - 20, 2018

15 miles south

Celebrating colorful toy ponies and videos by Hasbro, family-friendly Everfree Northwest promises guests from the show, a Grand Galloping Gala, music concert, vendors, activity rooms, and 50 hours of events programming at DoubleTree Hotel Seattle Airport.

Viking festival

May 18 - 20, 2018

22 miles west (via Bainbridge ferry)

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

Mt. Rainier film festival

May 18 - 20, 2018

83 miles south

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

Bluegrass festival

May 18 - 20, 2018

85 miles SW

Bluegrass from the Forest Festival features national headliners, contests, a band scramble, mandolin tasting, youth programs, vendors, and jamming at Shelton High School, with camping available.

Bothell beer party

May 19, 2018

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+.

Pet festival

May 19, 2018

31 miles south

Bring your leashed dog to Petpalooza for a morning fun run, pet contests, pony rides, flying dogs, racing pigs, roving reptiles, and vendors at Game Farm Park in Auburn. Schedule. Free.

Fairy festival

May 19, 2018

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 19, 2018

46 miles south

Joint Base Lewis-McChord opens its gates to the public to celebrate Armed Forces Day, with historical reenactments, military vehicles, music, entertainers, food vendors, a beer garden, and carnival rides. Bring ID if age 16+. Free admission.

University street fair

May 19 - 20, 2018

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 19 - 20, 2018

9.8 miles north

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

Free jazz

May 20, 2018

Location uncertain

Seattle kids play jazz with a vocal ensemble at the Seattle JazzED Jamboree at Town Hall Seattle. Free.

Music festival

May 25 - 27, 2018

150 miles east

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

Folklife music and dance

May 25 - 28, 2018

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.

Edmonds jazz festival

May 26, 2018

18 miles north

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

Military show

May 26, 2018

22 miles north

See tanks, military vehicles, and artillery at Tankfest Northwest, with food trucks and family activities at Flying Heritage & Combat Armor Museum in Everett.

Gig Harbor scavenger hunt

May 26, 2018

45 miles SW

Follow the map to dozens of checkpoints on foot or bike during Gig Harbor Street Scramble, with awards afterward at Donkey Creek Park. Free.

Shrimp festival

May 26 - 27, 2018

63 miles via Bainbridge ferry

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

Memorial Day Ceremony

May 28, 2018

7 miles south

The Museum of Flight honors our military with patriotic music at 11 a.m. and speeches at noon at the Memorial Day Ceremony. Museum admission is free for veterans & active U.S. military who show ID.

Bellevue Jazz Festival

May 30 - June 3, 2018

11 miles east

Hear top national and regional jazz musicians at the Bellevue Jazz & Blues Festival, which is mostly free.

Washington wine tasting

May 2018 (undated)

0.8 miles west

Taste wines from six producers in Horse Heaven Hills with light appetizers at Washington State AVA Wine Tasting at the World Trade Center Seattle.

Asian music festival

May 2018 (undated)

0.9 miles NW

The annual Lightreal Music Festival features six artists this year at Seattle Center Mural Amphitheater.

Get painted as you run

May 2018 (undated)

1 mile NW

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

Play new games

May 2018 (undated)

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 2018 (undated)

1.5 miles east

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

Oregon wines

May 2018 (undated)

2.8 miles south

Taste wine from 35 Oregon wineries at Taste Oregon, with food truck fare available at Metropolist.

Taco festival

May 2018 (undated)

3.3 miles north

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

Mexican celebration

May 2018 (undated)

3.5 miles SE

Enjoy Mexican food for sale, live music, children’s activities, and a craft fair at Cinco de Mayo Celebration at El Centro de la Raza. Free.

Cinco de Mayo party

May 2018 (undated)

3.6 miles NE

Windermere Cut Cinco de Mayo Party has live music, taco trucks, beer, margaritas, and lawn games in tents on the northwest side of the Montlake Cut, age 21+.

Cinco de Mayo cruise

May 2018 (undated)

4 miles north

A ticket to the Cinco de Mayo Party Cruise by Waterways Cruises includes a beer or wine, a taco bar, desserts, two hours of views, and a no-host bar departing from north Lake Union.

Electronic music festival

May 2018 (undated)

5 miles south

Debacle Fest showcases electronic, drone, noise, techno, improvised, metal, and synth musicians at Columbia City Theater. Some rooms are for age 21+.

Ballard Jazz Festival

May 2018 (undated)

6 miles NW

The Ballard Jazz Festival offers world-class musicians every day, including drums on Wednesday, guitars on Thursday, a jazz walk at 10 venues on Friday, and a mainstage concert on Saturday.

Concerts at the locks

May 2018 (undated)

6 miles NW

Hear a concert on the lawn at beautiful Hiram M. Chittenden Locks in Ballard. Free.

Touch a Truck

May 2018 (undated)

7 miles NE

Children can touch and explore heavy machinery and emergency vehicles, and talk to the drivers, at Touch a Truck in Magnuson Park. No horns from 9 to 10 a.m. Donation.

Wine tasting

May 2018 (undated)

9.5 miles NE

Taste a wide variety of dry rosé and white wines with salmon appetizers at Rosé Revival in a tent overlooking Lake Washington at the Woodmark Hotel in Kirkland.

Herb and Food Fair

May 2018 (undated)

15 miles north

Herb and Food Fair has food, cooking demonstrations, nutritional experts, children’s crafts, live music, and garden tours at Bastyr University in Kenmore. Free admission, off-site parking, and shuttle bus (or pay to park onsite).

Country party

May 2018 (undated)

16 miles east

Boots, Barrels and Brews features a live country band, beer & wine tasting, appetizers, and line-dancing lessons in Pickering Barn for age 21+.

Aviation day in Everett

May 2018 (undated)

22 miles north

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

Fairy festival

May 2018 (undated)

43 miles south

Family-friendly Fairyfest offers art, music, dance, storytelling, fairy princesses, and 60 fairy houses to find on the grounds of Lakewold Gardens in Lakewood. Children 12 and younger are free.

Gig Harbor Beer Fest

May 2018 (undated)

43 miles SW

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

Camano Island artist tour

May 2018 (undated)

62 miles north

Camano Island Studio Tour is a self-guided visit to artists at 29 studios. See the map. Free.

Anacortes tour

May 2018 (undated)

81 miles north

Spend an afternoon touring interesting homes and boats at Anacortes Home & Boat Tour for charity.

Mother’s Day comedy

May 2018 (undated)

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.

Mother’s Day on the waterfront

May 2018 (undated)

0.5 miles SW

Get Free Parking on Mother’s Day for four hours at four waterfront parking garages. Pick up a free coupon from any of 20 waterfront businesses (no purchase required) and present it when you leave the garage.

Short films

May 2018 (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.