Corgi Races, Harry Potter’s Birthday, and More Unusual Events
Our arts and culture critics have already recommended 48 great things to do this week and our music critics have picked the 35 best music shows, but there are still tons more events happening. To prevent some of the quirkier and more extraordinary ones from slipping through the cracks, we’ve compiled them here—from a Harry Potter Birthday Bash to Adult Recess in Cal Anderson Park, and from the Dead Baby Downhill to opening weekend of the Washington Midsummer Renaissance Faire. For even more options this week, check out our complete Things To Do calendar.
Found something you like and don’t want to forget about it later? Click “Save Event” on any of the linked events below to add it to your own private list.
- Atlas Obscura Society Seattle: Historic Murals of West Seattle
Public art isn’t always just for decoration—tracing back to the 1980s, the murals of West Seattle depict important moments in local history, from Elliott Bay’s once-thriving “mosquito fleet” to the “Old Mud Hole” of Lincoln Park. Join Atlas Obscura for a tour of these large-scale artworks.FILM
- C U Last Tuesday: Cult Movie Night
Enjoy pizza, wine, and a screening of National Lampoon’s Vacation.
- Hecklevision: The Wicker Man (2006)
Once upon a time, Neil LaBute decided to remake a creepy British folk-horror classic as a laughable excuse for Nic Cage to wear a bear suit and punch women in the face. The result may be better viewed as a worst-hits reel on YouTube than in full, but texting wisecracks to the screen as Cage slobbers all over the scenery sounds like fun. Expect communal screams of “NOT THE BEES!” FOOD & DRINK
- ArtTable: Episode 2
Feast on homey, “sweet and spicy” Asian fusion dishes by Chef Kay Kim of Kay Catering and watch variety performances.
- Author Talk: Just Peachy with Chef Belinda Smith-Sullivan
Peach authority and enthusiast Belinda Smith-Sullivan, whose grandparents were Mississippi sharecroppers, will share tidbits about everyone’s favorite fuzzy stone fruit and discuss her new cookbook Just Peachy. GEEK
- Campfire Trivia with Washington Wild
Can you name the five major volcanoes in Washington State? What are the 10 essentials of hiking? Washington Wild will ask you things of this nature and dole out prizes while you cozy up by the fire with a roasty-toasty molten treat from the Hot Cakes Wilderness Collection.PERFORMANCE
- Shifties/The Funhouse Family/Save the D8 Podcast Liveshow
Love seeing your favorite podcast hosts in the flesh? Sit in on back-to-back live tapings of the real-play RPG podcast D8, the emerging artist-themed Funhouse Family podcast, and the service industry-themed Shifties. READINGS & TALKS
- Ebony Stewart and Poets Responding to the Warren Pope’s ‘Blood Lines, Time Lines, Red Lines’
Poets will respond to the current NAAM exhibit Blood Lines, Time Lines, Red Lines at this special installment of the touring Alchemy Poetry series. Woman of the World Poetry Slam Champion Ebony Stewart will feature.
- Garth Stein Movie Release Party
The author of the bestselling The Art of Racing in the Rain will hang out at Mercer Island Books to celebrate the release of the movie tie-in edition of his novel. Have some drinks, hear Stein speak, and get a signed copy of the book.
- Virtual Bauhaus: An Interactive Exhibition
Take a virtual tour of the famous school that revolutionized design during its brief interwar existence in Dessau, Germany, in this VR exhibition by Goethe-Institut Boston in cooperation with Cologne Game Lab (CGL) at the Technical University Cologne and independent Bauhaus experts.
- Fleet Week
This Seafair highlight presented in part by the Seattle Navy League celebrates U.S. military service members with a week of ship parades and demonstrations, search and rescue demos, and ship tours.
FOOD & DRINK
- Shark Week in the Woods
In anticipation of summer TV-watchers’ favorite weekend, head to Two Beers to watch daily episodes, take photos in an inflatable shark suit, enter a shark coloring contest, snack on gummy shark “garnishes” with any pint, and witness a possible flash mob of baby sharks.
FOOD & DRINK
- Crown Royal Wing Eating Bonanza
Gather a team to gobble crispy poultry bites in a relay as fast as you can for the chance to win fantastic prizes, such as gift certificates for beef brisket, pork spare ribs, black-eyed peas, collard greens, mac and cheese, seven-layer chocolate cake, and a bottle of Crown Royal Whiskey. GEEK
- Harry Potter Birthday Bash at Central Cinema
It feels like yesterday that Harry Potter was wishing himself a happy 11th birthday before heading off to Hogwarts. Can you believe the wizard boy will celebrate his 39th this year? Join the party by wearing your best costume and catching a screening of The Prisoner of Azkaban.
- Harry Potter Birthday Party at White Center Library
July 31 is not only Harry Potter’s birthday; it’s also the anniversary of the day he learned he was a wizard. Jealous of his non-muggle state? Here you can get sorted into a Hogwarts house, feast on magical snacks, and make mythical crafts.
- Science Trivia Night
Bring your brainiest friends (kids and dogs are welcome, too) and answer questions about science in pursuit of sweet prizes. If you’re thirsty for brews, know that a dollar from every pint will benefit 500 Women Scientists and Health Alliance International. MUSIC
- The Alchemy of Improvisation
Bassist Abbey Blackwell, drummer Will Lone, and pianist Daniel Salka make up the Alchemy of Improvisation, a cross-genre music project “in which consciousness transmutes sound and sound transmutes consciousness.”
- First Forty: SassyBlack
Neo-soul/funk hero SassyBlack will showcase her many musical talents by performing live, revealing some unreleased tracks, and having an interview-style chat with a special guest. Bask in her presence and enter to win cool prizes. READINGS & TALKS
- Andrew Shaffer: Hope Rides Again
About Andrew Shaffer’s first Obama-Biden fanfic mystery, Rich Smith wrote: “In this obvious piece of escapist fiction, the former president and vice president team up to solve train crimes in Delaware. The book might not help you make sense of the world we’re living in right now, but it will help you make sense of the world as it should be.” Now Shaffer is back with a sequel in which the duo chase down the thief of Obama’s Blackberry.
WEDNESDAY & SATURDAY
- Jason Hirata: Splash
With the help of Levi Easterbrooks and Lucas Quigley, artist Jason Hirata overlays text onto cropped vertical images from postcards specific to various cities. In honor of the Puget Sound’s beloved and endangered Southern Resident orcas, the Seattle show includes a photo of a whale flipping in the water.
- Meet Us at the Beach: Low Tide Beach Walks
Seattle Aquarium beach naturalist volunteers will show you around the tidepools at Richmond Beach, Carkeek Park, Golden Gardens, and other local shores, where you can see and learn about sea stars, barnacles, moon snails, and other creatures. FOOD & DRINK
- Shark Week Celebration!
Knock back some “shark shots,” pick up some shark stickers, and support Sea Shepherd Seattle with every purchase of the “A Shark Named Chi Chi” drink special in honor of—you guessed it!—Shark Week.PERFORMANCE
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Follow Charlie Bucket through the delicious but treacherous Chocolate Factory in this musical adaptation of the Roald Dahl novel, featuring songs from the 1971 movie with Gene Wilder. VISUAL ART
- Firsts in Flight: A Hidden History
Learn about a thrilling piece of history at this exhibition about African American women pilots and other minority aerospace pioneers, such as Bessie Colman, the first black woman in America to earn her pilot’s license, or the Women Airforce Service Pilots, women who tested planes and trained pilots during World War II.
- Collide-O-Scope Surprise Party!
Enjoy a night of video weirdness and wonderment—plus free prize drawings and snacks—at this special edition of Collide-O-Scope that coincides with host Michael Anderson’s birthday. FOOD & DRINK
- Bruce Lee Day
In its former life as a mortuary, the Capitol Hill watering hole known as the Pine Box hosted Bruce Lee’s funeral 46 years ago. They’ll pay tribute to the martial arts cinema icon with cocktail specials, Chinese-influenced beers from Lucky Envelope, and other “thematic entertainment.”
- National IPA Day Celebration
Raise a foamy glass to all things bitter and lupulin-laden at the Reuben’s Brews taproom, with over 20 varieties of their IPAs to try on tap.
- What the Vikings Drank – Ancient Ales Discussion & Tasting
Imbibe like an ancient Norse seafarer at this educational session with Mika Laitinen, author of Viking Age Brew, and Jereme Zimmerman, author of Make Mead Like a Viking and Brew Beer Like a Yeti. MUSIC
- Mallory, Without A Doubt, Kyle Cavanaugh
Thrash to local punks Mallory, bop around to “Just a Girl” and other No Doubt hits with local tribute band Without a Doubt, and enjoy an additional opening set from Kyle Cavanaugh.
- Vampires VS Werewolves | What Team Are You On?
Ready for Halloween? Dust off your vampire or werewolf costume early and groove all night to the preferred musical genre of ghoulish creatures: synth-wave. DJ Oliver D will spin, along with Us3r, ZeroWolf, 2 Libras, and Wolftron. READINGS & TALKS
- Caitlin Horrocks: The Vexations
Caitlin Horrocks’s first novel imagines scenes in the life of the innovative French composer Erik Satie: his life in Belle-Époque Paris, his lovers, his friends, and his work.
- FWWR Story Sessions: Dear Body
For Women Who Roar magazine will host an evening of women’s storytelling, art, and poetry, plus writing prompts and an open mic. VISUAL ART
- First Thursday Art Walk at the Knife Room
Stop by Nordo during the First Thursday art walk for puppetry art with beloved local comic Emmett Montgomery, a jazz jam led by Michael Van Bebber, a mac and cheese bar, and special cocktails.
In this take on Homer’s Odyssey, a young refugee wanders the United States in search of his family. Seattle Children’s Theatre drama students will bring this topical yet classical story to life.
- Summer Meltdown 2019
Nestled in the mountains of central Washington, Summer Meltdown aims to provide a weekend of high-energy live music performances in a lush woodland setting. Headliners will include Tipper, Umphrey’s McGee, Gramatik, and Nahko and Medicine for the People, and there will also be “adventures” like rafting, helicopter rides, and kayaking.FOOD & DRINK
- Perfect Pilsner Party!
Beveridge Place Pub will showcase crisp, pale lagers for three weeks straight at their annual Pilsner Invitational. Each week, they’ll feature six new varieties, and guests can get a blind taster tray and vote for their favorites to earn a spot on tap all month long. MUSIC
- Pianos In The Parks
If you stop to listen every time you hear the Pike Place piano man doing his thing, or if you jump at the chance to show off your own musical skills at the sight of an idle instrument, take note: Parks around the city will be presented with 13 public pianos for the month of August.PERFORMANCE
- AJ Clauss: Salty
AJ Clauss’s new play, presented here by ReAct in its West Coast debut, is about “global warming, loss, survival and love.” A pair of gay penguins must act to save their zoo and even humanity from the ravages of climate change.
Movement-based indie theater company Dacha will perform Mary Zimmerman’s Metamorphoses, an adaptation of Ovid’s beautiful, ancient, poetic mythological tales, set somewhere on the shores of Lake Washington. They’ll embody the stories, which encompass all sorts of horrors and wonders, “through a devised, movement-driven process, finding personal connections and developing unique physical languages.”
- Morgan Thorson: Still Life
Minneapolis-based choreographer Morgan Thorson’s cyclical five-hour dance installation Still Life will feature a cast of dancers from Minnesota and the Pacific Northwest. Created for a white-walled gallery space, the piece will “[explore] what it means to kill choreography by erasing material with each repetition of the work.”
- The Winter’s Tale
Willy’s Dead will stage an all-women production of the Shakespearean history play which, as the producers note, famously “involves someone exiting and being pursued by a bear.”VISUAL ART
- Wandering and Wondering Photo Exhibition
In tandem with an outdoor avant-garde butoh performance, Wandering and Wondering, see photos of people practicing this grotesque dance form.
With the exception of sunbathing, everything you can do in the daytime is more fun at night. At these after-hours events, you’ll get to explore the zoo’s exhibits and hear keeper talks while you sip watermelon sangria and snack on s’mores. FILM
- Movies in the Park with Scarecrow Video
The invaluable video library will screen charming movies about “animals saving the day,” starting tonight with Wallace and Gromit shorts, preceded by children’s activities. MUSIC
- ’90s Dance Flashback Party
Slap on a bracelet and roll on some cucumber-melon body glitter for a ’90s music video dance party.
- Emergency Hand Puppet, Late Unpleasantness, Adam Levitt, PTRKLLR
Drone-heavy experimental artists Emergency Hand Puppet, the Late Unpleasantness, Adam Levitt, and P T R K L L R will provide you with “sounds of societal detritus for desperate times.”
- Purple Stardust – A Prince & Bowie Dance Party
Shake your star stuff to wild tracks by pop kings David Bowie and Prince at this dance party staffed by local Bowie and Prince impersonators.
Lace up your pirate booties and shimmy into the wee hours of the morning at this three-stage dance party. The Kraken’s Den stage will play host to artists like Jaykol, Mung Mung, Doctor Brain, and the Wyzrd, with Opia Effect, Porcelain Robot, and Chimera taking over the Shipwreck stage. Over on the Treasure Cove stage, catch Beandip, Dark Matter, Majora, and FrogMan. PERFORMANCE
- Epicuriositease: A Sampling of Earthly Delights
Feast your eyes on darkly titillating performances as you delight your taste buds with wine tastings.
- This Might Get Weird
Listen to best friends “Grace, an introvert from Jersey, and Mamrie, a firecracker from North Carolina” gab about pop culture, their lives, and “other stupid things.” READINGS & TALKS
- Heather Redmond: Grave Expectations
Did Charles Dickens solve a murder involving a spinster in a wedding gown in real life? Not that we know of. But he does just that—with the help of his fiancée Kate Hogarth (who did become his wife IRL)—in Heather Redmond’s new historical fiction novel Grave Expectations. Hear the author read.
- Jay Whittaker
LA comic Jay Whittaker will share his funny takes on parenting, romance, and “all things geeky.” VISUAL ART
- Anne Marie Nequette
If you’re too terrified to think directly about sea level rise and its effect on dense coastal cities, let Nequette provide the intermediary of abstract collage inspired by this environmental plight.
Opening Friday; reception Saturday
- Anacortes Arts Festival
Fine artists and artisans will sell their wares at this beloved festival, which will also have three stages—one for mainstream rock/pop, one for jazz, and one for diverse genres of performance—and lots of food booths to nourish the 80,000-some visitors.
- Umoja Fest
Celebrate African diaspora culture in the Northwest by joining the Africatown Heritage Parade (featuring dance troops and drill teams), dancing to live music (including Soul N the Park, a roots stage, and a hip-hop stage), watching the Heal the Hood Basketball Tournament, eating from food trucks, and shopping for goods at a marketplace. SPORTS & RECREATION
- Gumshoe 5K Detective Walk
Get to the bottom of a mystery by solving a series of clues in this three-ish-mile neighborhood walk.
- The Final Matt-enee
Matt Hatfield and Renee Lynch or “Matt-enee,” as they so cleverly call themselves, use only one suggestion each to inspire a series of relationship-driven scenes. Sometimes things get “real,” and most of the time things get pretty dark but always in a way you’ll find entertaining. See Matt-enee and witness Renee and Matt work through life’s problems the only way they know how: doing so while hiding behind “silly voices and characters.” COMMUNITY
- Celebrate the Birthdays of Social Security & Medicare: Expand Social Security! Medicare for All!
Local and visiting leaders (including Pramila Jayapal and Teresa Mosqueda) will celebrate the birthday of Social Security and Medicare by calling on Congress to make the programs accessible to all. FESTIVALS
- Adult Recess Seattle
Adults can re-experience the thrill of recess by enjoying a day of schoolyard games like kickball and four-square (if you were one of the few who played such games voluntarily), dancing to old-school hits by live bands and DJs, and eating childhood snacks from food trucks. Proceeds will benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Western Washington and Alaska.
- CID Block Party 2019
Head to Chinatown for a day dedicated to Asian Pacific American culture, featuring live music by local greats like Chong the Nomad, Prometheus Brown, Bambu DePistola, and Kronika; a boozy boba beer garden hosted by East Trading Co.; an outdoor screening of Crazy Rich Asians; a Bar Hunt; and much more.
- Open Air Outdoor Aerial Festival
Watch visiting artists and local acrobats soar and contort high over your heads at this festival of aerial performance. It’s a little out of town, but promises some impressive feats if you make the trip to the beautiful Vashon Island. FILM
- Princess Angeline
See a documentary about Princess Angeline, the daughter of Chief Seattle, and stay on for a discussion with Duwamish elder Edie Loyer Nelson. FOOD & DRINK
- Lucky Envelope’s IPA Day
In pursuit of hoppy-ness, taste Lucky Envelope’s specialty IPAs in distinct flavors such as dragonfruit hibiscus and triple-berry milkshake. Nosh from the food truck Now Make Me A Sandwich will be available. GEEK
- Harry Potter Trivia: Happy Birthday Harry!
Celebrate both Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling’s birthday a few days late with a night of wizardly trivia. MUSIC
Get sweaty at the club with Finnish dance music artist Darude on this Seattle tour stop.
- Dead Baby Disco Party
Pregame your bod for the Dead Baby Downhill by busting out your disco moves and sipping drink specials.
- Jamaica’s 57th Independence Celebration
Celebrate 57 years of Jamaica’s independence as an island nation with appetizers, champagne, and traditional rum cake, and music from rotating DJs Y2K Sound, ZJ Veteran, and DJ X-Ten.
- Laser Stranger Things Premiere Night
The synth-heavy score and ’80s soundtrack of Stranger Things almost seems like it was made specifically for a laser show. Experience the sounds of the Netflix Original in a sea of lights, new and improved for season three.
- WHO’S BAD: The Ultimate Michael Jackson Experience
Local tribute Who’s Bad will play Michael Jackson’s greatest hits. PARTIES & NIGHTLIFE
- Love Boat Gay Bingo
During Seafair Weekend, fight for the title of Love Boat Captain in a gay bingo costume contest, plus other fun games, while you sip a special cocktail on a docked ship. Proceeds will benefit Lifelong. PERFORMANCE
- Meow Mix
At this drag-filled house music dance party, you’ll be rewarded for looking your absolute worst. Tonight’s special cocktail is a “Gimme Kitty.” SPORTS & RECREATION
- Dead Baby Downhill XXIII
The details of the 23rd annual Dead Baby Downhill include a race start time of 6 p.m. sharp from Captain Black’s and the assertion that you should definitely wear underwear and use a ride-share bike if you can’t find your own. This wildly popular Mad Max-style bike race and party will end in Georgetown with a raucous evening throwdown with booze, live music, bike jousting, a circle of fire, carnival rides, and much more. VISUAL ART
- Art in the Garden
The Ballard P-Patch will stock up on ice cream, baked goods, beer and wine, and more at this family-friendly affair where you can learn about growing your own organic produce.
- Jet Blast Bash
This Seafair Weekend festival offers great views of the Blue Angels air show, a car show, and plenty of food and beer to go around.
- Washington Midsummer Renaissance Faire
Is your alter ego a hero or a villain? More importantly, which persona makes for a better costume? For the first portion of this annual three-weekend renaissance festival at Bonney Lake’s Kelley Farm (aka the village of Merriwick), the real fun will be getting to dress up in your best 17th-century cosplay. When you’re not showing off your armor, your ominous cape, or your spindly fingernails (be creative), you can watch knights “vie for the favor of crown and court” in jousting duals, shop from an artisan marketplace, and feast like royalty on turkey legs and meat pies.
- Corgi Races
Picture this: a single stubby-legged, perma-smiling corgi running around a race track with carefree abandon. Multiply that vision by 70 and you’ve got the third annual Corgi Races, wherein lovable pups compete in six qualifying heats and a final championship. You can also meet adoptable dogs from the Auburn Valley Humane Society in the picnic area. FESTIVALS
- Feast in the Street!
Seattle Neighborhood Greenways—a local organization that advocates for safe transportation for pedestrians, drivers, cyclists, and everyone else—will host a family-friendly festival in the street. Go for the buffet from Manu’s Bodega, local beer and wine, e-scooter demos, a bike decoration station, music by DJ Topspin, and cornhole.
- Seattle Russian Festival
Celebrate all things Russki at this community festival with performances by Russian artists, traditional food (pelmeni, anyone?), and more. MUSIC
Shake off your Sunday morning lethargy at this dance party complete with live DJs, art installations, poets, and, best of all, vegan milkshakes. PERFORMANCE
- Revolution Drag Brunch Bingo
Drag, brunch, and bingo—three of Seattle’s favorite things—will coalesce at this Sunday-morning affair with Ladie Chablis and Anita Spritzer. Fill out a card, feast on all-you-can-eat biscuits and gravy, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, and hashbrowns, and sip $5 mimosas, bloody Marys, and vodka sodas. Best of all, you can win prizes like Sounders tickets, West Seattle bowl passes, a “sex basket,” and more. READINGS & TALKS
- Border Resistance Speaking Tour
Hear from collectives and crews (Food Not Walls, Casa Carmelita, and others) who have spent the past year advocating for immigration justice in the border regions of El Paso, Juarez, Tijuana, and San Diego.
- David M. Skover: The People v. Ferlinghetti
A scholar of the constitutional foundations of free expression, Seattle University law professor David Skover, will read from The People v. Ferlinghetti: The Fight to Publish Allen Ginsberg’s Howl, which he co-authored with UW’s K.L. Collins.
- Friends of Asian Art Present: The Silk Road of Uzbekistan
Travel photographer Barry Broman will show photos of the Silk Road in Uzbekistan and talk about the history of the ancient trade route that connected East and West. He’ll be joined by Dr. David Paly, who will bring samples of Uzbek textiles from his fabric collection. SHOPPING
- Macabre Market
Summer goths can seek refuge at this market that celebrates the dark side of life. Plus, in honor of Mercury’s birthday, there will be free cupcakes and a special gift for the first 50 people in the door.