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The Play List: Highlighted Seattle-Area Family Events and Outings for July 2022

Get ready for a ‘feastival’ of festivals!

Nancy Chaney

Published on: June 29, 2022

Little girl eating ice cream

Ah, July ... these are the glorious summer days we live for here in the Northwest, and the calendar is serving up heaps of family fun to fill them. Festivals are back in force, as are parades, beach adventures and cool bargain movies. Book tickets when you need to, but leave plenty of time to revel in free and easy summer days. It’s time to play!

  • Treat your fam to a special outing to see the captivating Venardos Circus, back in the Puget Sound region for the first time since 2019. Talented human performers will wow your whole crew under the Big Top — this show has no animals. The circus is in town through July 10; tickets $27 for adults and $16.50 for kids ages 12 and younger. 
  • Roll out for a family bike ride that’s mostly segregated from cars — good for practicing pedaling skills and also for your peace of mind. Seattle Parks has expanded its Bicycle Sundays program to Bicycle Weekends. This month’s dates are July 1–5 and 15–18. Head to Lake Washington Boulevard between Mount Baker Beach and Seward Park. Free. 
  • Leave the screens behind and partake in a real-life history lesson — one that your kids will love. Visit Auburn’s charming Mary Olson Farm for a peek at local family farm life of the late 1800s. The farm is open every Saturday and Sunday through Aug. 14, noon–4 p.m. Admission is free, though a $5-per-person donation helps maintain the property. 

"Fireworks with the space needle in the background"

  • Fireworks are back! Celebrate the Fourth of July with sparkles and booms raining down over almost every town. If late-night fireworks shows are less compatible with your family’s bedtime routine, lots of festivities take place during the day on July 4 as well.
  • Watching a movie during the day in an air-conditioned theater is a timeless treat for kids and families. And it’s a budget wonder, too, thanks to Regal’s and Cinemark’s cheap summer movies series, happening Tuesdays and Wednesdays this summer. Book your $1.50–$2 tickets online at a participating theater. 
  • Feel the sand between your toes and wade and splash in the warm shallows at marvelous Jetty Island, opening for the summer season on Tuesday, July 5. Book your ferry ride ahead of time — reservations are now required. Pay $3 for the ferry; ages 2 and younger free. 
  • Go “fishing” with naturalists at Bay View State Park. Help pull a seine net through Padilla Bay and get a close look at the marine critters that lurk under the surface. Don’t worry, all creatures are put back in the water before they get dry. Join in on July 6 at 3 p.m. or July 22 at 10 a.m. Free, no RSVP required, just bring your Discover Pass to park.
  • Book your tix to the Island of Sodor Snoqualmie to meet the “real” Thomas the Tank Engine at the Northwest Railway Museum. Catch a ride on a train car pulled by Thomas and say hello to Sir Topham Hatt. July 8–10, 15–17 and 23–24. Tickets $30; ages 1 and younger free. 
"Young Native American girl in traditional clothing"
Seafair Indian Days Powwow
  • Show up to learn about and honor the culture and traditions of local Indigenous tribes and those from across the continent. The Seafair Indian Days Powwow takes place at Daybreak Star Center July 15–17 and showcases native food, music, arts and, most powerfully, dancing. Free entry Friday; $5 Saturday and Sunday. 
"Salmon baking on a grill"
Salmon bake at Ballard SeafoodFest
  • The Ballard SeafoodFest features a salmon bake, naturally, together with live entertainment, kids’ carnival games and tasty food-truck fare. Plan a visit Friday–Monday, July 15–17. Pro tip: Don’t miss the band Nite Wave on Friday night. (You’ll thank me later.)
  • Of all the summer fests happening this month, this is the one featuring giant inflatables for the kids! Don’t share that info if you don’t want to take them. Maple Valley Kids’ Fest takes place at Lake Wilderness Park on Saturday, July 23, 11 a.m.–3 p.m. It’s free, and your kids will have a ball. 
  • After a long wait, the Chinatown Seafair Parade returns! Line the streets of the International District to celebrate the neighborhood, a Seattle Seafair summer and all the cultures represented in the parade, taking place Sunday, July 24, 7–9 p.m. 
  • Duvall’s McCormick Park, along the scenic Snoqualmie River, once again hosts the SandBlast Festival of the Arts. You’ll find music, art and food, but sand sculpting is the star here. Join the festivities Saturday–Sunday, July 16–17, beginning at noon. Free. 
  • Party by the lake at Kirkland Summerfest, featuring the Kids’ Zone for kiddie fun, music and food for all ages, and grown-up bevvies for the parents. Head to Marine Park July 29–31 for all the fun. Free entry; food and some entertainment for purchase. 
"Large pirate float in a parade"
Seafair Torchlight Parade, Photo by Sheri Putzke
  • It’s a Seattle summer tradition, and we’re in for celebrating this and all our local summer fun. The Seafair Torchlight Parade lights up the night on Saturday, July 30, starting at 7:30 p.m. Grab your spot on the sidewalk in downtown Seattle, along Fourth Avenue or near Westlake Park. Free. 

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