Here is this week’s list of family-friendly free or frugal events for around the Northwest, as well as some events going on around the country.
Sounds Fun Mom always has a great list of events local to the South Sound area of WA as well, so make sure to check out her extensive list.
Be sure to check out Thrifty NW Moms roundup of Consignment sales around the Pacific NW too!
If you see a fun, frugal event that’s not listed, feel free to leave a comment so we can add that event to our list.
PUGET SOUND AREA::
Friday May 11th:
*Mothers Day Plant Sale – Shoreline; 5/11; 10:00am to 5:00pm; Stroll the Kruckeberg Botanic Garden, where kids can dig in the dirt, learn about plants and make a craft for Mom. The 25th annual Mother’s Day Plant Sale offers native plants, bulbs and exotics.
*Dive In Movie – Seattle; 5/11; 6:00pm – 8:00pm; Float about in the pool as you watch a family-friendly movie with the lights out. $4.75, $3.25 youth/seniors.
*Seattle Art Museum Free To Teens – Seattle; 5/11; 5:00pm to 9:00pm; The Seattle Art Museum is free to teens 13 to 19 with school ID on the second Friday of each month.
*Chatney Sing Along at Northwest Seaport- Seattle; 5/11; 8:00pm; Songs of the sea are easy to learn and fun for all ages. There will be a songleader to keep the music rolling, but anyone can lead a song or just join in the chorus aboard the Virginia V this week. Free.
*Free Entrance to Seattle Symphony’s “Soundbridge”- Seattle, Beneroya Hall; 5/11; 12:00pm to 4:00pm; Soundbridge is a music discovery center and is free each Friday after 12 pm; Ages 2-5, 30 minute interactive storytelling with song & rhythm, dance & musical instruments.
Saturday May 12th:
*Seattle Centers ‘The Next 50′ celebration - Seattle; through 10/21; Join The Next Fifty for a full schedule of Opening Day activities launching the six-month celebration of the 50th anniversary of the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair. Most of the events are FREE.
*Seattle Maritime Festival – Seattle Waterfront; 5/12; 9:00am to 5:00pm; Family Fun Day includes tugboat races, workboat parade, chowder cook-off, boat building competition, survival suit races, free harbor tours and vessel tours, kids’ activities, education fair and more. Pier 66/Bell Harbor Marina, downtown Seattle waterfront. FREE.
*Madrona Mayfair – North Seattle; 5/12; 9:30am to 5:00pm; Enjoy a bike parade, bouncy houses, pony rides, bake sale, face painting, an obstacle course, The Reptile Man, Charles the Clown, food and more in the Madrona Playground (34th and Spring). Free to attend, some activities may have small fees.
*Kids Bike Swap & Community Festival - Seattle; 10:00am to 4:00pm at the Rainier Community Center. Swap an outgrown kid’s bike (24” or smaller) for one that fits (small fee for most swaps). Includes free helmets. Drop off your trade-in bike and enjoy the festival until your number is called – includes kid-friendly bands, balloon animals, gardening tips, food and more.
*Rainier Dragon Boat Festival – Tacoma; 5/12; 9:00am to 4:00pm; Free. Watch dragon boats race in Thea’s Park. Families welcome. Limited parking.
*Backyard Wildlife Festival - Tukwila; 5/12; 9:00am to 3:00pm; Arts and crafts, speakers, guided bird tour, kids’ area with hands-on activities, entertainment, storytime and more. Thanks Sounds Fun Mom!
*Richmond Beach Strawberry Festival – Shoreline; 5/12; 10:00am to 5:00pm; Enjoy food from local restaurants, games and activities for kids, local musicians, and of course, strawberry shortcake. Walking tour of historic Richmond Beach town at 1 p.m.
*Boat Expo – Everett; 5/12; 9:00am to 3:00pm; Try boarding a rowboat, sailboat, kayak, hydroplane, canoe or outrigger canoe. Boat rides available for a small fee.
*Youth Fitness Expo – Everett; 5/12; 9:00am to 5:00pm; Free, interactive fitness event – filled with known and new ideas to define your own fitness lifestyle! Great place to learn about summer camp offerings too. Fitness event for youth and their families.
*Free Guided Walk to Big Cedar – North Bend; 5/12; 10:00am to 12:00pm; Take a short, guided hike to a 500-year old cedar tree on Meadowbrook Farm. Learn the important role cedar trees played for Native Americans and pioneers alike.
*Camlann Village Weekend – Carnation; Noon to 5 p.m. May 12 through July 22 and Sept. 1-23. Live portrayals of medieval villagers and every-day village activities. $5 suggested donation, free ages 4 and younger.
*Kids Cove Concerts – Bellevue; 5/12; 11:00am; Enjoy free family-friendly concerts on the second Saturdays of each month. This Saturdays entertainment will be provided by Brian Vogan .
*Child Safety Day - Bellevue; 5/12; 11am to 3pm; Health and safety information from experts, kids’ activities, music and giveaways, police cars and police boats on display, child safety seat inspections, child ID program and more.
*Bellevue Art Museums Get Crafty Saturday – Bellevue; 5/12; 1:00pm to 3:00pm; Free craft time for kids each Saturday. $2 material fee or free with admission.
*Pond Boat Sailing – Seattle; Saturdays and Sundays through November; 11am to 2pm; Join The Center for Wooden Boats for pond boat sailing in Lake Union Park’s Model Boat Pond. Ages 5 and older. $5 suggested donation for boat rental, free first Saturdays.
*Olympia Wooden Boat Festival – Olympia; 5/12 – 5/13; 10-6 on 5/12 and 11-5 on 5/13; Olympia Wooden Boat Fair. Kids can build their own small wooden boat, plus the fair features wooden boats of all types, ages and sizes on display, live entertainment, food vendors and craft vendors. Thanks Sounds Fun Mom!
Sunday May 13th:
Find our round up of Mothers Day Specials here!
Monday May 14th:
*The Pacific Science Center has teamed up with CIGNA to offer CIGNA Days At The Pacific Science Center. On the second Monday of each month through May, the first 500 children and youth under the age of 16 will receive FREE admission to exhibits AND a documentary IMAX film! Free admission is offered when kids 16 and under are accompanied by a paying adult and is limited to the first 500 kids that day.
Thursday May 17th:
*Half Priced Admission Imagine Childrens Museum – Everett; 5/17; Thursday 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. is half priced ( $3.88)
*Tacoma Art Walk – Tacoma; 5/17; 5:00pm to 8:00pm; Visit Tacoma’s downtown galleries during the third Thursday artwalk. FREE, includes the Museum of Glass, Washington State History Museum (free 2 to 8 p.m.) and Tacoma Art Museum.
Here’s our list of weekly events for the Portland area. For more Portland happenings, check out the PDX Kids Calendar, a comprehensive events-based website for families in the Portland area.
Friday May 11th:
* Family Friday Concert - Ezra Weiss Quartet – Portland; 5/11; 7:15 pm; The Ezra Weiss Jazz Ensemble will perform at the Community Music Center. Admission is free, but there is a suggested donation of $5 for individual or $15 for family.
*Family Movie Night at Café Sip-n-Play - Portland; 5/11; 5:00pm; Free Movie Night. Grab a bite to eat, relax, and unwind while you enjoy a movie with the little atmosphere.
* Art & More , Be A Messy Monkey - Portland; 5/11; 10:00am to 12:00pm; Drop-in Art, play and relax while enjoying a warm beverage, socializing with other families & making art! Each week we offer a special project and additional 2-3 sensory art stations. 8 hr/per parent and child . Due to popular demand you must pre-register here
*Music From Mr. Hoo from The Alphabeticians – Portland; 5/11; 11:00am to 12:00pm; Mr. Hoo will be singing songs with and for kids. He’ll play his guitar and sing some original songs, some Alphabeticians songs, some classic kid songs and Hoo knows what else? $3 suggested donation pp.
*Sing a Long With Tyleena – Portland; 5/11 & 5/12; 10am; Join us for a musical sing a-long and story time with the fantastic Tyleena! Sing along to your favorite songs and books. Pick up a tambourine, drum or shaker and jam with us while learning some basic rhythm skills. Fun for the whole family! $3 donation.
Saturday May 12th:
*Family Day at the Washington County Museum - Portland; 5/12; 10:00am to 2:00pm; Join the Washington County Museum hands-on history and art activities for the whole family. Bring the kids for crafts, stories and more. Enjoy two performances of Magical Tales and Enchanting Legends from the NW Forests. This lively storytelling program includes a selection of classical favorites as well as Emmy Blue’s very own Squatchie Legends. Admission: Free and open to the public.
* 6th annual St Johns Bizzare - Portland; 10:00am – 7:00pm; Free event. Come out and enjoy the parade, 75+ vendors, free music and performances and more.
*Safety Saturday at Belmont Firehouse – Portland; 5/12; 10am to 3pm; The firehouse is open to the public and features exhibits, an interactive fire engine simulator, and education and fun for the whole family.
* Crafty Wonderland Super Colossal Spring Sale - Portland; 11:00am – 6:00pm; Head on over to the Oregon Convention Center Exhibit Hall D, for this sale. Free admission, free craft activities and free goodie bags for the first 200 customers.
*Family Movie Night at Café Sip-n-Play - Portland; 5/12; 5:00pm; Free Movie Night. Grab a bite to eat, relax, and unwind while you enjoy a movie with the little atmosphere. This weekend: .
*Family Happy Hour at Eat. Art. Theater - Portland; 5/12; Every Saturday from 4-6, join us for family friendly music and happy hour food and drink specials with some of Portland’s finest kids acts! Every week, two different acts take the stage to enlighten and entertain. Guests include: The Alphabeticians, Professor Banjo, The Snail People, Mo Phillips, Mr. Ben, and more!
* Free Family Swim At Marshall Community Center - Vancouver; 5/12; 4:45pm to 6:30pm; Bauman Chiropractic is sponsoring free family swims at Marshall Pool Saturday evenings.
* Kids Saturday Morning Skate Session At Oaks Park – Portland ; 5/12; 10:30am to 12:00pm; For $5.50 children 10 and under can skate (skates included). Parents free with paid child admission.
*Free Guided Nature Walk – Portland – 5/12; 10:00am to 11:30am; Enjoy free guided walks with park ranger.
Sunday May 13th:
* Portland Sunday Parkways - Portland; 5/12; 11am-4pm; Explore Northeast Portland as portions of it are closed to traffic, and enjoy food, entertainment, and other fun. Free.
Monday May 14th:
*Washington County Museum Free Admission – Portland; 5/14; 10:00am to 4:30pm; Admission is free to this museum every Monday.
*Mondays On The Mall – Portland – Downtown Central Transit Mall; 5/14; Various Times; Free events all day including Wii play, caricatures, the original photo booth and entertainment.
Thursday May 17th:
*Lunch Time With Mr. Ben at Eat. Art. Theater - Portland; 5/17; Every Thursday from 11-12pm, join us for family friendly music! Every week Mr. Ben performs and kids are free to interact.
*Free Admission to Botanical Gardens Nationwide – 5/11; BHG is offer free admission to Botanical Gardens across the country today, voucher required to get in for free. Details here.
*Free Craft Activities at Lakeshore Learning Stores– Sat. 5/12; 11am to 3pm; Kids can come to this free craft time and make a handprint keepsake (plus print a $5 off $25 coupon).
*Michaels Make It Take It Event - 5/11; 6:00pm to 8:00pm; Make a Mothers Flower Clip. Free Make-It Take-It event.
*Michaels Make It Take It Event - 5/12; 10:00am to 12:00pm; Make a Mothers Day Apron and Tee. Free Make-It Take-It with purchase of apron or tshirt.
*Michaels Make It Take It Event - 5/12; 12:00pm to 2:00pm; Make a Mothers Day Button. Free Make-It Take-It.
*Barnes and Noble Free Storytime - 5/5; Times and events vary by location. Check your location for specific story’s available this weekend.