Summer, we missed you. Winter and Spring were found creeping into the wrong months, officially overstaying their welcome this year. So bring on the vitamin-D; we’ll grab one of our many pairs of sunglasses. We’re ready for fun on the lake, excursions in the parks, outside dining with sunset views of the mountains and the Sound, and a festival nearly every weekend. Bring on the summer events and activities.
The epicenter of Seattle, where it all started
One of Seattle’s activity centers is none other than Seattle Center. Easy name to remember and it is quite literally the center of Seattle.
Notable attractions like the KeyArena and MoPOP are at opposite ends of Seattle Center. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Discover Center is at the east corner of the grounds, and when you need a dose of mind stimulation fit for all ages, you can find yourself at Pacific Science Center. Look up to the sky, and you’ll find an artifact from the 1962 World’s Fair, the neck bending Space Needle. This iconic structure is recognized nationwide and if you haven’t look up recently, it’s time to check out the monumental renovation this lady of Seattle has just experience.
History marks the beginnings of the Seattle Center as a site of indigenous nations’ celebrations, more than 100 years ago. The 1962 World’s Fair helped to solidify the future of the gathering center and to make it what it is today. So you can see why we felt compelled to introduce this compound of attractions, theaters, museums, gardens (and more) as the staple activity center of Seattle. With dozens of events and ongoing exhibits, there’s literally something for everyone.
Seattle Center is the nation’s best gathering place. Its roots reach back more than 100 years as a site of celebrations [for indigenous nations]. Today this place is home to major sports teams, top performing arts groups and the city’s most recognized attractions. It’s the place to be for rock concerts and operas, art fairs and fun festivals, basketball and ballroom dancing. It all happens here. (seattlecenter.com/events)
This summer Seattle Center is playing host to a number of events, including Bumbershoot, Seattle International Film Festival – SIFF, Bite of Seattle, numerous non-profit events and Runs, and so much more.
Children playing in the fountain bowl
Over the last decade, Seattle has grown at an unprecedented rate. So much that it’s taken the crown as the fastest-growing city in the U.S. at 18.7% since 2010. Needless to say, Seattle Center may not be the “center of it all” for all of us Seattleites. In fact, most neighborhoods have created their own “center” and on any given weekend you can find a festival of some sorts around your neighborhood.
Festivals and Events in Your Neighborhood
Seafair – all summer long
Began in 1950 to celebrate Seattle’s centennial in 1951-52. Seafair was designed to attract tourists and showcase marine events in keeping with Seattle’s boast as the “boating capital of the world.”… It’s about building community, creating memories, and providing affordable fun. (seafair.com)
- 10 weeks long
- 75 marine events around Seattle (including the Fireworks on the 4th of July)
- Seafair Weekend Festival – August 3-5
Annual Fireworks show at over Lake Union, at Gas Works Park
Ballard SeafoodFest – July 13-15
Celebrating 44 years of community in Ballard’s historic connection to the fishing industry and the neighborhood’s Nordic roots. Today, this free three-day festival attracts over 75,000 people who come to enjoy the traditional salmon barbecue and much more: local music, arts and crafts, family entertainment, a beer garden, a skateboarding event, and yes – lots of seafood! (seafoodfest.org)
Main streets in Ballard open for Seafood lovers
West Seattle Summer Fest – July 13-15
Our 3-day street festival is presented by the West Seattle Junction Association is a party for the neighborhood and attracts over 25,000 people of all age groups and income levels. In addition to more than 150 vendor booths, we also offer a massive kids area, 20 food vendors, a main-stage with beer garden and sidewalk café seating at all the local restaurants. We hope you’ll be able to join us. (wsjunction.org)
DragonFest – July 14-15
The Dragon Fest features 14 hours of non-stop cultural performances from around the world and a wide array of international $3 bites! (cidbia.org)
Capitol Hill Block Party 2018 – July 20-22
Capitol Hill Block Party is an annual, 3-day music festival and block party held each July in the heart of Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. (capitolhillblockparty.com)
CoffeeCon Seattle 2018 – July 28-29
CoffeeCon is the enthusiast’s coffee festival in Fremont with a sample tasting floor, top coffee experts, tasting seminars, classes and labs in almost every brewing method. (coffee-con.com)
Seattle Art Fair – August 2-5
The Seattle Art Fair is a one-of-a-kind destination for the best in modern and contemporary art and a showcase for the vibrant arts community of the Pacific Northwest. The fair brings together the region’s strong collector base; local, national, and international galleries; area museums and institutions; and an array of innovative public programming. (seattleartfair.com)
Magnolia Summerfest 2018 – August 3-5
A 50 plus year member of the Seafair Community, Magnolia Summerfest is a fun family festival scheduled for the first weekend of August every year in the heart of Magnolia. Featuring a huge Seafair neighborhood parade, arts and crafts at Urban Craft Uprising, live music all weekend at the mainstage, beverages at the Elysian beer garden, plenty of food vendors for any appetite, bounce houses, free kids’ activities and evening movies. (facebook.com/magnoliasummerfest)
Hempfest – August 17-19
The Seattle HEMPFEST enters its 27th year with 5 stages of non-stop speakers and music & 400 arts, crafts, food, and informational vendors. (hempfest.org)
Fremont Oktoberfest – September 21-23
Fremont Oktoberfest is Seattle’s largest fall beer festival and has been the city’s autumn tradition for 21 years (we’re finally old enough to drink)! The three-day event celebrates the very best in craft beer from the Pacific NW and beyond. Sample more than 80 craft beers in our signature mini mug or enjoy traditional big German biers Oktoberfest-style! (fremontoktoberfest.com)
View of downtown Seattle and the Cruise ports, from the Magnolia Bridge
Seattleites are so romantic
Amongst the city-wide growth, the influx of diversity (passions, interests, cultures, and love), Seattle has never lost the desire to gather. It’s actually a very romantic story: Seattle Center once being the center of activities bringing Seattleites together; now each neighborhood is still making a conscious effort to come together.
Where to start?
There are so many events and activities this summer, it’s probably a bit daunting to figure out where to start. Seattle Met, blok24, the Stranger, Seattle Magazine are great sources to immerse yourself in Seattle. If those are still overwhelming, take a walk outside. We’re certain you’ll find all the enjoyment you were craving out in the open air.
Let us know what plan you come up with. Maybe we can join?