Boats! Bikes! Brews! And beats! Seattle is transitioning out of its gloomy weather and there are plenty of lively events to set the tone for the months to come. If you’ve got your heart set on summer, outdoor events like University District Fair or the music and cultural hub that is the Northwest Folklife Festival will make you think it’s arrived early. Who knows, you might even spot a tank top or two!
Terracotta Warriors Exhibit – Through Sept 4
Walk among ancient warriors over two-thousand years old at the Pacific Science Center’s Terracotta Warriors exhibit. With hand-crafted faces, no two individual warriors are alike. Unearth the world premiere of one of the most epic discoveries of our time at this once in a lifetime exhibition.
Boat Parade Opening Day – May 6
An Emerald City tradition, Seattle Opening Day is the official beginning of Seattle’s boating season. Join local boaters as they set off and tie together in the middle of Lake Washington in a display of marine camaraderie.
If you want to spectate from land, stake out a spot early along the historic Montlake Bridge, or head to the picturesque Washington Park Arboretum waterfront and take it all in.
Taco Libre Truck Showdown – May 7
#sundaybrunch fish n chips tacos from @noshthetruck! Crispy Alaskan cod with shoe string fries and som tum ( Thai papaya salad) in a tortilla! #seattleeats #foodtruck #seattle #seattlefood #tacos #brunch #fishnchips #somtum #food #foodporn #foodie #foodgasm #foodpics #foodgram #instafood #outdoors #seafood #yummy #hungry #eat #eater #eatpamore #topcitybites #grubinseattle #sundayfunday @top_city_bites @bestfoodseattle @bestbrunchseattle @eater @seattlewashington @bonappetitmag
Dozens of food trucks (a herd of trucks?) as far as the eye can see, a taco truck showdown and over 100 curated booths at the nearby Fremont Sunday Market make this Sunday in Seattle’s eclectic Fremont neighborhood extra special.
Bike n’ Brews – May 7
Love your bikes as much as your microbrews? The Bike n’ Brews ride is just for you! This epic race features scenic views along the route from Georgetown to Tukwila, beer at the midway point and lunch at the finish line festival.
Upstream Music Festival – May 11-13
Paul Allen’s forward-thinking vision for Seattle finally comes to life this year! Audiophiles from across the Northwest will descend on Pioneer Square for a three-day music festival featuring performances from Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready, Alunageorge, Gifted Gab and more.
Color Run – May 14
Run through swirling clouds of colorful powder, foam and giant inflatable unicorns at the Color Run in downtown Seattle, known as the happiest 5k on the planet.
Seattle International Film Festival – May 18-June 11
Get a taste for the very best of Northwest cinema at the annual Seattle International Film Festival, which features more than 400 films from 80 countries during its 25-day span.
University District Street Fair – May 20 & 21
Head to the University District’s historic University “Ave” for a weekend fair full of performances, fresh food and local goods as well as access to plenty of shopping with numerous boutiques lining either side of the fair.
Northwest Folklife Festival – May 26-29
What a beautiful day at @nwfolklife. We're so proud to be part of such a wonderful community-driven event. Be sure to visit nwfolklife.org and make a donation to keep this festival going! #nwfolklife #folklife #seattle #seattlecenter #fountain #spaceneedle #pnw #northwestfolklife #folklifefestival #rabbitwilde #musicfestival #folkrock #indiefolk #folkpop #americana #folkyeah #dance #throwyourhandsup
A regional cultural epicenter, the Northwest Folklife Festival features more than 5,000 performers from more than 100 ethnic communities. Head to the Seattle Center for an immersive (and free!) musical and artful experience in the heart of downtown Seattle.
Free Outdoor Concert at the Ballard Locks – May 28
Tooting boats, lapping waves and bridge bells are complimented by choral compositions, strings and horns at the Ballard Locks free concert series. The shows debut May 28 and are held every Saturday & Sunday through September 16 at 2 pm.
May sees plenty of sunshine and blue skies, and if you’re lucky a prelude summer as temperatures rise. Discover Seattle’s secret spots in between activities or glance at our Instagram feed for ideas on how to explore around the city throughout the month.
- Looking for something to do with mom? Head to the Bellevue Botanical Garden and explore the colorful spring array of plants and flowers in full bloom.
- Local produce is coming into season and farmers markets are back in full swing citywide! Head to the Seattle farmers market website for schedules, as well as directions to the Columbia City market, reopening May 3.