How to spend Memorial Day weekend in Seattle

As Memorial Day weekend approaches, Seattle prepares to offer an array of activities for locals and visitors alike. 

From iconic landmarks to cultural festivals and concerts to outdoor adventures, the city beckons with an exciting lineup of events to celebrate the holiday weekend.

Keep reading for our list of 10 things to do this Memorial Day weekend.

1. Explore the iconic Pike Place Market

Immerse yourself in the bustling energy of Pike Place Market, a Seattle landmark renowned for its vibrant atmosphere, diverse array of local vendors and fresh produce. Be sure to wander through the historic arcade, savoring the sights, sounds, and aromas of this iconic destination. Check the market calendar for special events throughout the weekend.

2. Attend the Northwest Folklife Festival 

The four-day cultural festival features a plethora of artists playing on over 20 different stages throughout the venue, along with hundreds of vendors set up across the lawn. This year marks the 53rd year of its celebration. The best part? Admission is free, but donations are encouraged at the event entrances which helps cover production and operating costs, as well as staff salaries.

man spins on his cyr wheel during a festival

Spectators watch as Ty Vennewitz spins on his Cyr wheel during the 2016 Northwest Folklife Festival at Seattle Center on May 29, 2016. (Genna Martin, (Photo by GENNA MARTIN/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images)

3. Catch a Seattle Mariners baseball game at T-Mobile Park 

On Memorial Day, the Seattle Mariners kick off a seven-game homestand packed with special events for fans of all ages. At the time of writing, plenty of seats are still available for the Houston Astros game on Memorial Day at 6:40 p.m.

4. Explore the beach at low tide with a naturalist

The Seattle Aquarium Beach Naturalist Program kicks off on Memorial Day weekend across multiple locations. Join a beach naturalist at one of the participating beaches and discover Puget Sound’s multitude of marine plants and animals.  

5. Enjoy free rowboat rentals at the Center for Wooden Boats

Want to get out on the lake over the three-day weekend? Swing by the Center for Wooden Boats on South Lake Union to enjoy a free one-hour rental in one of their peapod rowboats. Boats can hold up to 5 adults and are perfect for rowers of all experiences. Book your reservation online.

boat going through the big locks in ballard

People watch boats pass through the Hiram M. Chittenden Ballard Locks during a holiday weekend celebration held in honor of the Locks' Centennial anniversary, July 3, 2017.  (GENNA MARTIN/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images)

6. Take a free public tour of the Ballard Locks 

Free daily tours are offered at 2 p.m. each day the Visitor Center is open between May 1 and Sept.  30. Tours last approximately one hour, and are open to all. No reservation is required. 

7. Enjoy live music in Occidental Square

The Dowtown Seattle Association is bringing back their weekly music series May through the end of June at Occidental Square. Stop by between 4 and 6 p.m. to listen to a set from Seattle artists performing a variety of genres and styles.

8. Take a tour of Lady Washington

Head down to the Foss Waterway Seaport in Tacoma to take a self-guided tour of Lady Washington. Tours typically take 30 minutes or less and crew will be onboard to answer questions. A $5 per person donation is appreciated. View the schedule of dates and times online

9. Ride the rails at the Northwest Railway Museum

Travel in historic railroad coaches through the Upper Snoqualmie Valley along 5.5 miles of the original 1880s Seattle Lake Shore and Eastern Railway. The 2-hour round-trip excursion includes a 30-minute stopover at the Railway History Campus, where you can explore the Train Shed Exhibit Hall. Afterward, continue west to the top of Snoqualmie Falls, where you can marvel at the scenic lower river valley. On the return journey eastward, make a stop at the Snoqualmie Depot. Passengers have the flexibility to disembark at any designated stop to explore and catch a later train back to their original location.

10. Take advantage of Bicycle Weekends on Lake Washington Boulevard

Once again, Seattle Parks and Recreation will be closing a section of Lake Washington Boulevard to motorized vehicles on scheduled weekends from May to September. From 10 a.m. Saturday to 6 p.m. Sunday, bike, jog, skate or stroll along the boulevard between the Seward Park entrance and Mount Baker Park’s beach.


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