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

May is a good month to celebrate … dramas, llamas and mamas!

Nancy Chaney
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Published on: April 28, 2022

Women lifting smiling child into the air

We’re springing and flinging in almost post-pandemic fashion, enjoying the return of favorite festivals, live theater, specialty story times and lots more. Plan to celebrate your mom, grandmas and mother figures; take the tots to “drive” some big rigs; and learn alongside the ParentMap community as we journey together raising up these kids. Happy May to all!

  • Join our next free ParentMap Live talk, during which author Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D., will share the idea of the “yes brain” and how parents can coach kids from reactivity to receptivity. Preregister and join us for the virtual talk May 3
  • Seattle Children’s Theatre is back in action, presenting moving, funny and thoughtful live theater for families. In its next show, “The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963,” audiences travel along with 10-year-old Kenny Watson on a 1963 road trip from Michigan to Alabama, where he and his family encounter the racism of the Jim Crow South. Running May 3–22, this play is recommended for ages 8 and older; tickets cost $20–$50. 
  • In-person story times are returning, and the preschool crowd is so ready! Chug over to the Northwest Railway Museum for a free train-themed story time on two Wednesdays this month, May 4 and 18. Story times are free and intended for preschool-age kids along with a grown-up. 
  • Forget the stuffy roses. All moms would love a gorgeous bouquet of locally grown tulips, peonies and other spring blooms for Mother’s Day. Choose your perfect flowers from local farmers during Pike Place Market’s 14th Annual Flower Festival, happening May 7–8
  • Animals are back in the house! Well, the animals were always there, but now we get to enjoy them in a more revealing way. Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium reopens its Wild Wonders Outdoor Theater the weekend of May 7–8. Take a closer look at the habits and antics of the sloth, tamandua, aardvark and other critters. The show is included with regular zoo admission or membership. 
  • For a memorable Mother’s Day outing for your very favorite mom, book tickets to Chihuly Garden and Glass and join the Walk with the Gardener Tour, offered on spring Sundays, including May 8. Marvel at the amazing blooms as well as the enchanting glass art. The tour is included with museum admission. 
"Four women wearing traditional African clothing and face paint"
Spirit of Africa at Seattle Center Festal May 14
  • Experience the Spirit of Africa through both traditional and modern music and dance at the next Seattle Center Festál series event on May 14. Whether the fest is in person or virtual — we’re waiting to hear for sure for 2022 — turn up for rhythms and cultural customs from African countries as well as the African diaspora.
  • Ferry your train lovers of all ages over to Port Orchard to catch a Kitsap Live Steamers train ride. Friendly railroad enthusiasts take passengers on their mini trains on the second and fourth Saturdays of most months. Hop aboard May 14 or 28, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. It’s free, though donations are appreciated. 
  • Head to Tacoma’s Wright Park to admire the recently renovated W.W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory, holding its grand reopening on May 14. New features include a floor-to-ceiling plant wall, a golden dart frog habitat and more. Admission prices to be announced. 
  • Hipp hipp hurra! Ballard’s beloved 17th of May Parade is back, happening on — you guessed it — May 17. This community celebration brings together marching bands, elementary kids on unicycles, Scandinavian organizations and the whole neighborhood. The parade starts at 6 p.m. and winds along Market Street. 
  • ParentMap welcomes back Nate and Kaley Klemp, authors and speakers behind the 80/80 marriage concept, presenting their next ParentMap Live talk, titled “How to Stop Fighting and Start Winning Together in Parenting and Marriage.” Sounds like a pretty good plan, right? Preregister, grab your partner and join us online May 17.
  • Don’t miss the kids’ paradise that is the Lacey Spring Fun Fair, taking place May 21–22. This free event features inflatables, live entertainment, dinos in attendance on Saturday and a car show on Sunday!
  • Big rigs, garbage trucks and emergency vehicles roll out May 21, on display for the admiration of young Northwest truck enthusiasts! Marysville welcomes the community back to its free hands-on Touch A Truck event. Sound-sensitive families can join for the last hour, designated as siren- and horn-free. 
  • Our community’s iconic Northwest Folklife Festival returns to Seattle Center May 27–30. This free family-friendly festival is a Memorial Day weekend tradition going back 50 years. Join in person or tune in virtually to experience the best local artists and culture bearers anywhere. 
  • On Memorial Day, May 30, honor local service members who have died as well as veterans and active military personnel in Arlington’s moving annual Memorial Day Parade. The parade begins at 10 a.m. and runs along North Olympic Avenue. 

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