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The Play List: Top Seattle-Area Family Outings for March 2023

16 cheery ways to celebrate spring

Nancy Chaney

Published on: February 27, 2023

Two young children sitting in a daffodil filed and smiling

Festivals, plays, gardens and games: Longer days and the dawn of spring are positively blooming with opportunity! We’re throwing off our coats and embracing it all this month; plus, we’re taking a little time to learn some tips and tricks to help our families. Mark your calendar with these top family-time events and begin basking in the increasing light of spring.

  • Need a little serenity in your life? Plan a visit to the lovely Seattle Japanese Garden, reopening for spring on Wednesday, March 1. Wander the paths, marvel at the verdant surroundings and feel a sense of calm, even with rowdy tots in tow! March hours are Tuesday–Sunday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Admission: $10 adults; $5 youths ages 6–17; kids ages 5 and younger free.
  • Our ParentEd Talks series welcomes ADHD expert and best-selling author Dr. Ned Hallowell, who will help families shift their focus on harnessing the strengths and power embedded in neurodiversity. Register to tune in on Thursday, March 2, 2–3 p.m., or to receive the recording if you can’t attend at that time. Sliding scale fee of $0–$15. 
  • Celebrate Holi in a truly hands-on way! Kids ages 5 and older and their grown-ups will create their own colorful works of art using the colored powder featured in typical Holi festivities. Register for one of two workshop sessions offered at KidsQuest Children’s Museum on Friday, March 3 at 4:30 or 6 p.m. Tickets $15 per participant. 
  • Hopefully, you’ve booked your tix and are putting the finishing touches on your costume for this year’s Emerald City Comic Con. Nerd out with other fans over comics, gaming, anime, pop culture and hulky (hunky!) Mark Ruffalo. This is an all-ages party, taking place Thursday–Sunday, March 2–5. Tickets $35–$65 per day for adults; kids’ four-day pass $25 (ages 6–12). 
  • “Travel” the globe in a one-stop culture shop during Lacey’s phenomenal Cultural Celebration. This free fest showcases a variety of cultural traditions, features fun activities for kids and inspires a true spirit of community. Saint Martin’s University, Saturday, March 4, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. 
  • Book your tickets and stuff your car with pillows and blankets for Kirkland’s winter drive-in movie series at Juanita Beach Park. On Saturday, March 4, catch the fairy-tale-twisting “Enchanted,” rated PG. $20 per car. Gates open at 6 p.m.; movie screens at bedtime-friendly 7 p.m. 
  • Join like-minded youth chess players to learn, sharpen your skills and play during Detective Cookie Chess Club sessions, where all are welcome. Club meets Saturdays, March 4, 11, 18 and 25, noon–2 p.m., at the Rainier Beach Community Center in Seattle. Free.
  • Head to the Stroum Jewish Community Center to join the family Purim festivities. Dance and sing along with kindie rockers The Not-Its!, make masks and crowns, and play carnival games. Purchase tix in advance, $20 kids, $10 adults or $50 for a family pack of five. Sunday, March 5, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. 
  • Spring is about to spring, and boy, are we ready! Get outside — even if you still need your rain boots and jackets — to frolic in our marvelous parks on two Discover Pass–free days this month: Thursday, March 9, and Sunday, March 19. Might we suggest Cama Beach, Squak Mountain or Saltwater State Park? 
  • Story time is back at The Center for Wooden Boats, featuring captivating storytelling by Sue Kimpton and all of the best seafaring tales. This free story time suits kids ages 4–7 and their families, and takes place the second and fourth Thursday of each month. This month, those fall on March 9 and 23, beginning at 11 a.m. Insider tip: The second Thursday’s story time also presents the opportunity to build a toy boat! 
  • Being Irish sounds pretty fun! Try it out during Seattle’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade, marching along Fourth Avenue in downtown Seattle on Saturday, March 11, beginning at 1 p.m. The annual Irish Festival Saturday– Sunday, March 11–12, showcases the music, food, dancing and literature of Ireland. Free.
  • Frog and Toad, storybook characters beloved across the ages, come to life on stage in “A Year With Frog and Toad,” a charming musical presented by Tacoma Musical Playhouse. Follow along with the pair of friends, one cheerful and one rather grumpy, as they share their friendship throughout the seasons. Playing March 11–19. Tickets $12–$15. 
  • Abracadabra! Claim your free tix to this enchanting family magic show — back in person and still free! Magician Raymond’s captivating show incorporates illusions, comedy and even mind reading for an interactive fun time for families. Two shows take place on Saturday, March 18, at 1 and 2:30 p.m. 
  • Dive into the fascinating universe of groundbreaking stop-motion animation studio Laika, based in Oregon, in “Hidden Worlds,” a world-premiere exhibit at MoPOP. Laika brought to life popular family films such as “Coraline,” “ParaNorman” and “The Box Trolls.” Check out artifacts and interactive displays, and get a sneak peek at the studio’s newest film. Opens Saturday, March 18. Admission $31 and up. 
  • Join les réjouissances at French Fest to celebrate and learn about the music, dance, foods and traditions of various French-speaking cultures around the globe. Need we say more than baguette-tasting contest? Part of the Festál cultural series, French Fest takes place at Seattle Center on Sunday, March 19. Free. 
  • In our second ParentEd Talks presentation this month, cultural researcher and parenting expert Jessica Joelle Alexander shares her tips and tools for bringing up the happiest, most well-adjusted kids in the world. A tall order? We’re here to give it a go. Preregister to join on Wednesday, March 22, 1–2 p.m., or to receive the recording if you can’t attend. Sliding scale fee of $0–$15. 

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