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

So much to celebrate — starting with Mom!

Nancy Chaney

Published on: April 25, 2023

A Pike Place Market flower vendor stands behind her gorgeous colorful bouquets during the Pike Place Market Flower Festival held Mother's Day weekend in Seattle
Pike Place Market Flower Festival

This month brings May flowers — for Mother’s Day, naturally — alongside an overflowing basket of springtime fun! With your family and your community, read, ride a bike, gather, learn and celebrate. Oh, and don’t forget to fawn over sweet animals and bounce on inflatables! To you, hardworking mamas, we offer up three cheers, and we wish a happy May to all!

  • Enliven your ramble on the trails of fascinating Brightwater Center by following along on a PopUp StoryWalk. This session features the story “Count on Me” by Miguel Tanco. Follow the “pages” of the book and read as you stroll. Trail access is free and open daily, dawn to dusk, May 1–31. 
"Three kids on bikes wearing shorts and t-shirts"
Dust off your bikes for Bike Everywhere Month. 
  • Let’s hop on our bikes during May, because it’s Bike Everywhere Month in Seattle! Wednesday, May 3 is Bike to School Day, and Friday, May 19, is Bike Everywhere Day. But no need to wait for a special day: Pump up those tires and ride around the block, to the park or to school — today and every day!
  • Join ParentMap in welcoming internationally recognized trauma expert Laura van Dernoot Lipsky for an interactive talk during which she will share inclusive and practical strategies for recognizing, navigating and easing the burdens and impacts of trauma, secondary trauma and being overwhelmed. Preregister and tune in Thursday, May 4, 1–2 p.m. Free. 
"Cartoon image of a person's face holding up a comic book"
May 6 is Free Comic Book Day.
  • Pro tip for parents: Comic books, alongside their cousins, graphic novels, can be the “gateway” material to get certain kids reading. These kids — and every kid — will want to know about Free Comic Book Day, the day when local participating comic book shops hand out free comic books. Supercool, right? It’s Saturday, May 6.
  • Spread some joy around your neighborhood on Saturday, May 6. It’s Random Acts of Kindness Day, and everyone can participate! Take some flowers or cookies to a neighbor, hand out balloons to kids, play music for your friends — the possibilities are endless! What can your crew come up with? 
"Young girls in traditional Mexican clothing dancing"
Photo courtesy of El Centro de la Raza
  • Gather with the local comunidad Latina at El Centro de la Raza to celebrate Cinco de Mayo — on Saturday, May 6 (not May 5!). You and your fam will find lively music and dancing, lots of delicious food, and, did we hear, much entertainment? You’ll definitely want to come to find out what those will be. Free; food for purchase.
  • Celebrate the season of new beginnings at Maris Farms’ Baby Animals and Blooms Days. Snap seasonal photos by the tulip fields, buy goodies at the farm market and visit animals, plus ride the cow train, jump on the jump pillow and cruise down the tube slides. Saturday–Sunday, May 6–7 and 13–14. $16–$18; book tickets online. 
  • Experience the Spirit of Africa festival with its performances of traditional and modern music and dance at the next Seattle Center Festál series event on Saturday, May 13, back in person for 2023. Don’t miss out on the music, rhythms, marketplace and fashion show representing cultures from across Africa as well as the African diaspora. Free. 
  • Forget the stuffy roses. All moms will love a gorgeous bouquet of locally grown tulips, peonies and other blooms for Mother’s Day. Choose the perfect flowers for your favorite mama during Pike Place Market’s annual flower festival, happening Saturday–Sunday, May 13–14. 
  • Treat your mom (and yourself) and broaden your kids’ arts horizons during Seattle Opera’s Family Day, featuring a performance of Verdi’s emotional and unforgettable opera “La Traviata.” Student tickets cost $20 on Family Day; adult tickets are regular price. Book online for the Family Day performance, Sunday, May 14, 2 p.m. 
  • Marvel at regional Native tribes’ singing, dancing and drumming traditions, alive and going strong in 2023, at Edmonds College’s community powwow, where all are welcome. Be in your seats for the grand entry at 5 p.m. on Sunday, May 14. Free. 
  • The tradition marches on! Hipp Hipp Hurra! Ballard’s beloved 17th of May (Syttende Mai) Parade is back again, happening on — you guessed it — Wednesday, May 17. On this special day, marching bands, elementary kids on unicycles, Scandinavian organizations and the whole neighborhood convene to celebrate. The parade starts at 6 p.m. and follows a route along 24th Avenue Northwest to Northwest Market Street.
  • Mark your calendars for the kiddie play paradise that is the Lacey Spring Fun Fair, taking place Saturday–Sunday, May 20–21. This free event features free rides, inflatables, live entertainment, emergency vehicles to inspect and a car show on Sunday! What could be better? 
"Young Native American girl dancing at Northwest Folklife"
Circle of Indigenous Peoples at Northwest Folklife Festival. Credit: Christopher Nelson
  • Our community’s iconic Northwest Folklife Festival welcomes all to Seattle Center Friday–Monday, May 26–29. This free family-friendly festival is a Memorial Day weekend tradition dating back more than 50 years. Bring the kids to partake in amazing performances, cultural traditions and people-watching. (Follow the beat of the drum to more family-friendly outdoor music festivals for summer 2023.)
  • On Memorial Day, Monday, May 29, honor local service members who have died as well as veterans and active military 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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