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Show Thing! Outdoor Movies, Concerts and Theater for Families, Summer 2016

Outdoor concerts, movies, theater, Shakespeare, many performances for free!

Published on: June 27, 2013

Hole up in a movie theater or concert hall during a Puget Sound summer? No way! Families in our region have a dizzying array of ways to get outdoors and sample the same great entertainment they enjoy during the winter months. We’ve put together a list of concerts, movies and theater that’ll get you outside and, in most cases, not even cost you a penny. Bring a blanket or chairs (when allowed) and something to nosh on, then kick back and relax under clear skies. (Did we miss a great series? Email


Summer Park Concerts, around Seattle

Every other weekend, a different park will feature an eclectic concert on Sundays, noon­–6 p.m. in this music series that’s been going strong in Seattle since 1981. Donate online to help keep this entirely volunteer program running. 

Details: June 12–Sept. 18. Various city parks. Free, food bank donations encouraged.

Concerts at the Locks, Ballard

We can’t think of a prettier place to hang on a summer afternoon than what is popularly known as “the Ballard Locks.” On Saturdays and Sundays, enjoy concerts at 2 p.m. that include jazz and big band. Highlights include: June 12: Elliott Bay Pipe Band at 2 p.m. and Classic Car Show 10 a.m.–3 p.m.; July 3: 85th Street Big Band; July 23: Cheri Blues; Aug. 12: Pacific Cascade Big Band; Sept. 3: STRUM (Seattle’s Totally Relaxed Ukulele Musicians). 

Details: May 29–Sept. 5. Bonus concert: Sept. 17. Free. Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, 3015 N.W. 54th St., Seattle. Free.

Thursday nights at Olympic Sculpture Park, downtown Seattle

#SummerAtSAM's free programs at Olympic Sculpture Park includes food trucks, art activities, tours with SAM Creates and live performances by some of Seattle’s hottest musicians.  Thursdays 6­–8 p.m. and don't forget Saturdays 9 a.m.­–3 p.m. for free yoga with 8 Limbs, Zumba and open studio sessions! The Thursday kickoff is July 7 with a fun evening filled with exciting programs throughout the park. Highlights include July 21: Dog Night; July 23: Family Festival; Aug. 4: Bike Night; Aug. 11: Sculptured Dance. See full descriptions here (scroll to the bottom of the page). Free. Olympic Sculpture Park, 2901 Western Ave., Seattle. Free.

Out to Lunch Concert Series, downtown Seattle

Enjoy free music at locations around downtown Seattle on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, noon­–1:30 p.m. Performances aren’t geared specifically toward kids, but it’s a great excuse to explore the downtown core.

Details: Full lineup here. Various locations. Free. 

ZooTunes at Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle

One of the best things about ZooTunes concerts is the bonus: One kid age 12 and under gets in free with every adult ticket (new this year: you must add child tickets to your order when purchasing). There also lots of kids' activities, and carousel rides available.

Schedule: June 30: case/lang/veirs; July 17: Phillip Phillips & Matt Nathanson; July 21: UB40 featuring Ali Campbell, Astro & Mickey; July 24: The B-52s; July 26/27: “Weird Al” Yankovic; Aug. 2: Ziggy Marley; Aug. 3/4: PINK MARTINI featuring China Forbes & Storm Large; Aug. 21: Jeff Beck; Aug 23/24: Brandi Carlile.

Details: Woodland Park Zoo, 5500 Phinney Ave. N., Seattle. Ticket prices vary (one kid free per adult ticket purchase). 

Music in the Mini Park, Lake City

The Lake City Future First Arts and Culture group presents this new series of outdoor concerts at the Lake City Mini Park. June 9: Genuine New England Style Social Dancing; June 15: Ana Montes & Flamenco Danzarte; June 22: Gansango Music & Dance; June 29: Halau Hula O Napualani; July 6: Elpack x Kateel; July 13: Choroloco.

Details: Lake City Mini Park, 12359 Lake City Way N.E., Seattle. Free.

Redmond Summer Concert Series

Redmond is hosting free, family-friendly concerts at Town Center three Thursdays in July. In addition to the music kids can enjoy sidewalk chalk, bean bag toss and the fountain. Adults can take turns in the 21+ beer garden. July 14: Cashing in Karma; July 21: The BGP; July 28: JP Hennessey Music.

Details: Redmond Town Center, 7525 166th Ave. N.E., Redmond. Free.

Kirkland Summer Concerts - Kids' series

If you're home with young kids this summer, don't miss this children’s concerts on Tuesdays at 10 a.m., at wonderful Juanita Beach Park (wetland trails, bike paths, beach, playground). July 12: Cowboy Buck & Elizabeth; July 19: Eric Herman; July 26: All Around This World; Aug. 2: Johnny Bregar; Aug. 9: Recess Monkey; Aug 16: The Not-Its, Aug. 23: Caspar Babypants.

Details: Juanita Beach Park, 9703 N.E. Juanita Dr., Kirkland. July 12­–Aug. 23. Free.

Caspar plays Juanita Beach on Aug. 23

Kirkland Summer Concerts - Evening

Enjoy music at this popular waterfront park Thursdays  7­–8:30 p.m. July 7­–Aug. 18. July 7: Rearview Mirror; July 14: Craig Terrill Band; July 21: Spyrographs; July 28: Jealous Dogs; Aug. 4: Geoffrey Castle; Aug. 11: Summerfest Kickoff starts at 5:00 p.m. with Redline and 7:00 p.m. Vaudville Etiquette; Aug. 18: Longstride.

Details: Marina Park, 25 Lakeshore Plaza Drive, Kirkland. Free.

Mostly Music in the Park, Mercer Island

Cajun, world, Latin, roots and big band jazz performed Thursdays 7­–8:30 p.m. at Mercerdale Park on Mercer Island. July 21: Ben Rice Trio; July 28: Coco Loco; Aug. 24: Maya Soleil; Aug. 11: Jazz Underground; Aug. 18: Swamp Soul. Bonus: Sat., Aug. 14 ­– 5 p.m. Russian Chamber Music of Seattle concert. 

Details: Mercerdale Park, 77th Ave. S.E. and S.E. 23rd St., Mercer Island. Free.

Kids First!, Sammamish

Explore various parks in Sammamish and enjoy a variety of entertainment aimed at the toddler through elementary-age crowd on Tuesdays 1-2 p.m. in July and August. July 12: Charlie Williams leads a Reading Relay Read-a-Thon (Sammamish Commons) ; July 17: Mikey Mike (East Sammamish Park); July 26: Jeff Evans (Sammamish Commons); Aug. 2: Eric Herman (Sammamish Commons); Aug. 9: Announced Soon (Klahanie Park); Aug. 16: Red Yarn's Gettin' Fitter with the Critter Show (Sammish Commons) ; Aug. 23: Announced Soon (East Sammamish Park); Aug. 30: Announced Soon (Klahanie Park).

Details: Various parks. Free.

Concerts in the Park, Sammamish

Free outdoor concerts on Thursdays at Pine Lake Park 6--8 p.m. Bring your own picnic or purchase hamburgers from Sammamish Rotary and ice cream from the Sammamish Kiwanis. Parking is extremely limited at the park and fills up during the day. A free shuttle runs between the South Sammamish Park and Ride and Pine Lake Park before and after the concert. July 7 & 14: Flashback Nation; July 21: Shaggy Sweet; July 28: Borrowed Time; Aug. 4: Announced Soon; Aug. 11, 12 and 18 artists not yet announced.

Details: Pine Lake Park, 228th and S.E. 24th St., Sammamish. Free.

Mill Creek Children’s Concert Series

Kids' concerts on Wednesdays noon­–1 p.m. July 20: Brian Waite Band; Aug. 3: Rolie Polie Guacamole; Aug. 10: Buck & Elizabeth; Aug. 17: Caspar Babypants 

Details: Library Park, 15429 Bothell-Everett Highway, Mill Creek. Free with non-perishable food item to support the new Mill Creek Food Bank. 

Summer Concerts in the Park, Edmonds

Edmonds presents free, accessible concerts, all summer long at two locations, Sundays 3­–4 p.m at City Park, Tuesdays, noon--1 p.m. at Hazel Miller Plaza, and Thursdays 5--6:30 p.m. at Hazel Miller Plaza. Various styles of music, a Shakespeare performance, physical comedy, and Buffo the Clown. See full lineup here. (While you're at Edmonds City Park, check out the new spray park.)

Details: Edmonds City Park, Third Ave. S. and Pine Street and Hazel Miller Plaza, Fifth Ave S. & Maple Street. Free. 

KEXP Concerts at the Mural, Seattle Center

Although these shows aren’t necessarily kindie rock, they do draw plenty of families and offer lots of space for kids to let loose and dance.

Details: Fridays, 5:30 p.m., Aug. 5­–28. Free.

Summer Concerts in the Park, Shoreline

Eclectic music, plus one Shakespeare theater performance, at various parks rain or shine. Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m., July 6: Nolan Garrett; July 13: Love’s Labour Lost, Seattle Shakespeare Company; July 20 - 7 p.m.: Sunshine Junkies; July 27: Sarah Christine; Aug. 3: The W Lovers; Aug. 10: DAANA String Quartet; Aug. 17: Eugenie Jones. 

Details: Locations include Animal Acres Park, Richmond Beach Community Park, Cromwell Park, North City Jazz Walk Performance and Shoreline City Hall Courtyard. Free.

Everett Children’s Series

This popular children’s series spotlights performers on Thursday mornings at Thornton A. Sullivan Park. July 7: The Not-Its!; July 14: Eric Herman & the Thunder Puppies; July 21: Recess Monkey; July 28: Brian Waite Band; Aug. 4: Rolie Polie Guacamole; Aug. 11: Tim Noah; Aug. 18: Caspar Babypants.

Details: Thornton A. Sullivan Park, 11405 Silver Lake Road, Everett. Free.

Stanwood Summer Concert Series

Stanwood hosts its annual free Saturday concert series. June 25: The Naughty Blokes; July 9: Brian Lee and the Orbiters; July 23: The Fabulous Roof Shakers; Aug. 12: Mark DuFresne Band; Aug. 20: Chris Egar Band; Sept. 10: Blues Playground. 2­–4 p.m.

Details: Check calendar for exact locations. Free. 

Marysville Children’s Concerts 

Pack a picnic and enjoy popular children’s entertainers on select Wednesdays at noon in Jennings Memorial Park. July 13: Johnny Bregar and the Country Dawgs; July 27: Eli Rosenblatt and Friends; Aug. 10: Recess Monkey. July 13–Aug. 10.

Details: Jennings Memorial Park, 6915 Armar Road, Marysville. Free. 

Sounds of Summer Concert Series

Marysville hosts a series of fun cover bands in Jennings Memorial Park on Fridays 7 p.m. this summer. July 15: Wasted Words (The Allman Brothers); July 22: The Walrus (The Beatles); July 29: Creedence Rising (CCR & John Fogarty); Aug. 5: Shake it Up (The Cars); Aug. 12: American Fool 9 (John Cougar Mellencamp). July 15–Aug. 12.

Details: Jennings Memorial Park, 6915 Armar Road, Marysville. Free.



Movies at the Marina
Movies at the Marina

Movies at the Marina, Ballard

Shilshole Bay Marina presents family-friendly movies twice in August in the Central Plaza. Arrive early (around 7 p.m. to snag seats and free popcorn). Don’t forget blankets or jackets as the wind off the water can be chilly. Well-behaved (leashed) dogs allowed. Bonus: come by boat! Guest moorage available, reserve by calling 206-787-3006. Movies start at dusk (around 9 p.m.): Aug. 5: The Lego Movie (PG); Aug. 12: Pan (PG). 

Details: Shilshole Bay Marina, 7001 Seaview Ave. N., Seattle

Bellevue Summer Outdoor Movies

At this Friday film series, the popcorn is free and there are fun pre-show activities. Donations encouraged to a different charity each night. (see list of needs online). Movies start at dusk. July 1: Despicable Me 2 (PG); July 8: Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (PG); July 15: Epic (PG); July 22: Mr. Peabody & Sherman (PG); July 29: The Lego Movie (PG); Aug. 5: Gravity (PG-13, edited); Aug. 12: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (PG); Aug. 19: 42 (PG-13 edited). 

Details: Downtown Park, 10201 4th St. N.E., Bellevue. Free.

Outdoor entertainment before First Tech Movies @ Marymoor
Outdoor entertainment before First Tech Movies @ Marymoor

First Tech Movies @ Marymoor, Redmond

Buy treats from food trucks or bring your own — and well-behaved dogs are welcome, too! Entertainment, activities, trivia, and prize raffles. Event entry at 6:30 p.m., movies begin at dusk Wednesdays rain or shine. July 6: Back to the Future; July 12: Jurassic World; July 20: Inside Out; July 27: Star Wars: The Force Awakens; Aug. 3: Aladdin; Aug. 10; Singin’in the Rain; Aug. 17: Zootopia; Aug. 24: The Princess Bride.

Details: Marymoor Park, 6046 W. Lake Sammamish Parkway N.E., Redmond. $5/person, ages 5 and under are free. Parking: $5/car.

PEMCO Outdoor Movies @ Magnuson, northeast Seattle

Live entertainment, trivia and Seattle’s best food trucks! Event entry at 6:30 p.m., movies start at dusk Thursdays rain or shine.  Magnuson Park, 7400 Sand Point Way N.E. $5/person, ages 5 and under are free. July 7: Ferris Bueller's Day Off; July 14: Labyrinth; July 21: Star Wars: The Force Awakens; Aug. 4: Guardians of the Galaxy; Aug. 11: Zootopia; Aug. 18: The Sandlot; Aug. 25; The Goonies.

Details: Magnuson Park, 7400 Sandpoint Way N.E., Seattle. $5/person, ages 5 and under are free.

Carillon Point Outdoor Movie Nights, Kirkland

The location can’t be beat for this Saturday series. Movies are projected onto a large screen overlooking Lake Washington. Bring chairs and some cash for concessions. July 9: Minions; July 23: Inside Out; Aug. 6: Star Wars: The Force Awakens; Aug. 20: Spectre.

Details: Plaza will be open for seating one hour prior to dusk. Carillon Point Plaza, 1200 Carillon Point. $5 suggested donation to Hopelink.

Edmonds outdoor movies
Edmonds outdoor movies

Fremont Outdoor Movies, Fremont

On Saturday nights, a fun, interactive series, with a drive-in feel, food trucks, and a quirky lineup. For family-friendly, all ages showings, get into the spirit and bring the kids in costume and hit the photo booth.

Details: Please check back, summer schedule has not been yet been updated.

Three Dollar Bill Outdoor Cinema, Capitol Hill

Three Dollar Bill Cinema is a nonprofit with several programs supporting LGBT film.Arrive early for seating, DJs start spinning an concessions open at 7 p.m. Fun contests and trivia start at 8:30 p.m. Movies start by 9:00 p.m. This year’s theme is “Teenage Dreams” and it takes place on Mondays in August. Aug. 1: Bring it On; Aug. 8: Dirty Dancing; Aug. 15: Clueless; Aug. 22: Teen Witch.

Details: Cal Anderson Park, 1635 11th Ave., Seattle. Free.

Summer Drive-in Movies at LeMay, Tacoma

Select Saturdays this summer, head to America's Car Museum for drive-in movies on the Haub Family Showfield. Parking for the show starts 4:30 PM, with showtime at dusk (around 9 p.m.). Watch the 40-foot screen from your car or from a blanket or chair. This event is FREE to the public, but donations are accepted (museum entry not included). June 25: E.T.; July 16: Frozen; Aug. 6: Star Wars: The Force Awakens; Aug. 27: Movie Announced Soon. 

Details: America’s Car Museum, 2702 East D. St., Tacoma. Free.

Popcorn in the Park, Marysville

This free series runs in July and August. Movies are on Saturdays at 9 p.m. July 16: Minions (PG); July 23: Inside Out (PG); July 30: Star Wars: The Force Awakens (P-13); Aug. 6: Shaun the Sheep Movie (PG); Aug. 13: The Good Dinosaur (PG). Marysville Kiwanis provide free popcorn! 

Details: Jennings Memorial Park, 6915 Armar Road, Marysville. Free.

Cinema Under the Stars, Everett

A Friday series in Everett with pre-show entertainment at 7:30 p.m. Highlights include arts and crafts, Pacific Science Center Science Show, beloved Reptile Man and Eric Haines One-Man Band. Snacks are cash-only. July 22: The Peanuts Movie (G); July 29: Inside Out (PG); Aug. 5: Starwars: The Force Awakens (PG-13); Aug. 12: The Good Dinosaur (PG); Aug. 19: Zootopia (PG). 

Details: Thornton A. Sullivan Park, 11405 Silver Lake Road, Everett. Free.

West Seattle Outdoor Movies

Eclectic movies are shown in the Junction on Saturdays, starting at dusk. Gates open at 6:30 p.m. Bring cash for snacks and raffle tickets (raffles benefit local charities). July 16: Star Wars: The Force Awakens; July 23: Monty Python and the Holy Grail; July 30: School of Rock; Aug. 6: Skyfall; Aug. 13: The Lego Movie; Aug. 20: The Princess Bride. First five movies shown at the Courtyard of Hotwire

Details: Online Coffehouse, 4410 California Ave. S.W., Seattle. The last movie will be shown at the new Triangle Festival Street. Free.

Movies at the Mural

Movies at the Mural, Seattle Center

Seattle Center’s outdoor summer movie series features a giant screen near the Space Needle at the Mural Amphitheatre. Picnics encouraged, no pets. Movies show on Saturdays at dusk. July 30: The Princess Bride Quote-Along (PG); Aug. 6: Mad Max: Fury Road (R); Aug. 13: Galaxy Quest (PG); Aug. 20: Westside Story (Unrated); Aug. 27: Life of Pi (PG). 

Details: Mural Amphitheatre, Seattle Center, 305 Harrison St., Seattle. Free. 

Edmonds Outdoor Movie Nights

Movies begin at dusk, refreshments will be sold. July 29: Despicable Me; Aug. 5: Top Gun. 

Details: Frances Anderson Center Playfield, 700 Main. St., Edmonds. Free. 

Movie Night at Lake Union Park

Enjoy Toy Story at Movie Night at Lake Union Park brought to you by MOHAI. Saturday, Aug. 20 6­–9 p.m. Come before the show for live music by Brian Vogan and his Good Buddies, hula hooping, and games! 

Details: Lake Union Park, 860 Terry Ave. N., Seattle. Free.



Two fine Shakespeare companies present outdoor performances of the Bard’s best at parks all over the region. Two things in these performances’ favor (aside from the high quality, of course): If the kids get antsy, you’re free to get up and move around, and attending won’t cost you a cent. Visit each company’s website for schedule and directions.

Wooden O production
Wooden O production

Wooden O Theatre

Wooden O performs Love’s Labour’s Lost and Hamlet.. Both shows run July 7– Aug. 7. Performed in parks throughout the Puget Sound region. Wooden O. Free.


GreenStage has two fantastic Shakespeare programs this summer. Over the weekend of July 9­–10, Greenstage participates in the Seattle Outdoor Theater Festival, along with seven other local companies. Performances include: Henvry V, Raggedy Anne and Andy, Cymbeline, Twelfth Night, The Lost Folio, The Merry Wives of Windsor and more.

Details: Volunteer Park, 1247 15th Ave. E., Seattle. Free, donations accepted.

Backyard Bard

A mini Shakespeare in the Park for smaller spaces, Backyard Bard productions feature four actors in hour-long versions of Twelfth Night and Pericles Prince of Tyre. Performances on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays July 8–Aug. 13.

Details: Locations include multiple parks in Seattle, Bainbridge Island, Burien, Lynnwood and Snohomish. Free, donations accepted.  

Kitsap Forest Theater, Bremerton

This magical venue in the forest makes a trip out to Kitsap more than worth it. Double your fun by taking the ferry on a day warm enough to sit outside! This spring, The Music Man plays May 29, 30, June 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19 at 2 p.m. The Little Mermaid runs July 30,31, Aug. 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21 at 2 p.m.

Details: 3000 Seabeck Highway, Bremerton. Tickets $10­–$20 (purchase online to save); kids under 6 are free. 

Snoqualmie Falls Forest Theater 

Another theater experience in the wild woods, the grounds at Snoqualmie Falls Forest Theater includes paths, a river lookout, and even a little playground near the box office. You can also order dinner (barbecued salmon, chicken, lasagna) in the picnic shelter between shows. This year's show is Beauty and the Beast. The show runs July 23–Aug. 21, with shows on Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. 

Details: $10–$20, kids ages 5 and under free. Meals are extra. 36800 S.E. David Powell Road, Fall City

14/48 Outdoors, Ballard

From the folks who brought us last year's family theater hit Saturday Morning Cartoons, this family-oriented production plays for free in Salmon Bay Park in Ballard on Aug. 26 & 27. Check back for updated performance information.

Details: Salmon Bay Park, 2001 N.W. Canoe Place, Seattle. Free.

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