The Weekender: Seattle Activities for Kids and Families, March 17-18

0312_freshcarrots_rotatorA look at our online calendar for this weekend suggests we really are launching into spring -- it's all green and gardening and the celebration of the mud that's March in the Northwest. Our top picks for the weekend:

1. Pick up all kinds of veggie and herb starts at the popular Seattle Tilth Edible Plant Sale (Saturday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m). Or head to  Seward Park Environmental Center's Urban Garden Super Saturday for how-to's, seed starting, crafts, worm-observing, and a chicken meet and greet (10 a.m.-3 p.m.).

3. In honor of St. Paddy's Day, the Children's Museum in Seattle has activities all day long, including green apple printing, leprechaun playdough, and this Irish dance at 11:30 a.m. Or stop by Ballard's St. Patrick Day Festival for fiddle music, art, food and more fun from 10 a.m.-midnight.

4. It's family fun day at the Wing Luke Museum on Saturday -- free admission, plus a craft workshop in Japanese dollmaking from 1-3 p.m.

5. In Tacoma, head to Pt. Defiance Zoo for some special St. Patty's critter-watching.

6. Given the weather forecast, it's a good weekend to consider what's happening in the great indoors, such as the Soaring Expo at the Museum of Flight (Saturday and Sunday).

7. It's the final weekend of Thistle Theatre's magical -- and affordable -- bunraku puppet production, Hanako and the Cherry Tree, which plays Saturday and Sunday in Ballard. (Read our review here.)

8. Get on your PJ's and head to Mt. Baker Community Club for a pajama party, with live music from Recess Monkey (Saturday, 4:30-8 p.m.).

9. If you're in Snohomish County (or even if you're not), stop by the new Whole Foods store in Lynnwood for its opening-weekend community party from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Kids music, activities, samples and more.

10. On Sunday, south Sounders can take their puddle-jumpers to the annual Titlow Trails Mud Run - $15 gets you entry to a family-friendly, 2-mile muddy obstacle course of a race. Register ahead of time (11 a.m. check-in race at noon).

11. Take a hike in a state park for free on Sunday and Monday, March 18 and 19 -- in honor of our park system's 99th birthday.

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