Cheap & Easy

37 Cheap & Easy Seattle Events This Weekend: Oct 15-17, 2021

Northwest Record Show, Fall Foliage Festival, and More Last-Minute Things To Do Under $15
October 15, 2021
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Take a leisurely weekend drive down to Federal Way to see the trees poppin' off at the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden's Fall Foliage Festival. (Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden)

A penny saved is a penny earned, and we’re here to help you save your pennies in this weekend’s roundup of cheap and easy things to do. Check out events around Seattle like Tacoma’s Arts at the Armory and a Fall Foliage Festival in Federal Way, or stay in town and check out some Refract offerings (just be careful not to break anything!), or flip through rows of records at the biannual Northwest Record Show. For more ideas, check out our guide to the top 50 events happening this week or our complete food guide.


Jump to: Friday | Saturday | Sunday


FRIDAY

MUSIC

Criminal Squirrel Orchestra
Criminal Squirrel Orchestra is a Bothell-based quartet of rodents—err, seasoned musicians—whose repertoire encompasses original music, covers, and mashups. They're excited to be back on stage and go nuts (had to, sorry) in "one the finest rooms we've played!"
Aurora Borealis, Meridian Park (free)

Eldridge Gravy & The Court Supreme w/ Fruit Juice & Afrocop
The Court Supreme ain’t never anything less than a total blowout. They’re a full and funky complement of honkin’ horns, tinklin’ keys, uh… lots of sweat, and a hype man, all bent on laying down high-energy, concrete-thick, late-1970s funk. MIKE NIPPER 
Tractor Tavern, Ballard ($13)

Haunted Horses, Fotocrime, Noise-A-Tron
Help Seattle industrial-punk trio Haunted Horses kick off their mini-West Coast tour with Fotocrine (the solo project of ex-Coliseum vocalist/guitarist Ryan Patterson). Haunted Horses can also help you get in the spooky season mood with their micro-horror music video for their single “Thee Worst.”
Bar House, Fremont ($10)

Spotlight on The Waterfront
Discover some of the region's up and coming artistes at this showcase set against the stunning Seattle waterfront. Different artists will pop up each week, ready to engage audiences of all ages with music and visual performances. This week, The Rhapsody Project will “present songs that reflect their cultural heritage.”
Pier 62, Waterfront

VISUAL ART

Refract: Open House with Squire Broel
Glass Eye Studio is hosting an open house as part of Refract, which will feature a live collaboration between their artisan glassblowing team and visiting artist Squire Broel, who is noted for his signature totemic structures. The event will also include many people's three favorite words: an open bar.
Glass Eye Studio, Fremont (free)

For the Love of Math!
Left brain meets right brain at this group show curated by Timea Tihanyi and presented by the Seattle Universal Math Museum (whose clever acronym is SUMM—we see you!). See math through the lens of various media, such as poetry, visual art, dance, mathematical visualizations, and digital games and software from 19 artists.
Suzanne Zahr Gallery, Mercer Island (free)

Howl Nights
We can't be sure, but actual howling might be involved at this series of multi-disciplinary art events, which will include dance, music, film, and interactive art. Organizers will hold space for artists and the community as folks process their grief and outrage at the state of the world. This week, check out performative sculpture and film from multimedia artist Sarah Fetterman.
The Shed, Georgetown (free)

Celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month
Downtown Redmond's hub for Mexican culture and arts will proudly display an art exhibition featuring the work of Latino artists across the region.
Centro Cultural Mexicano, Downtown Redmond (free; closing)

FILM

Free Friday Night Movies In The Park
Layer up and bring a blanket for good measure before you post up on the Burien Town Square Park lawn to watch free family friendly movies on a blow up screen throughout October. This week, sing along to classic numbers from Grease.
Burien Town Square Park (free)

FRIDAY-SATURDAY

VISUAL ART

Luminosity: Northwest Native Glass Art
Check out the work of three indigenous master glass artists—Preston Singletary, Raven Skyriver, and Dan Friday—at this group show, which also falls during the Refract glass festival. Of Singletary, Jasmyne Keimig has written, "The work of Seattle artist Preston Singletary completely shifted my perception of what glass can look like and, most importantly, what glass can convey. Yes, Singletary is undoubtedly a master of form, color, and shape. He also has an immensely satisfying name. And he has harnessed the medium in a way that points away from the manufacture of cold objects and outward toward nature. His melding of his own Tlingit heritage to the European tradition of glass art brings the practice of glassblowing to an exciting new level." She's also written that Tlingit artist "Raven Skyriver’s work is in tune with the rhythm of ecosystems and animal life." Friday crafts exquisite sculptures based on Lummi material culture, like totem poles and, like one piece in this show is called, "Aunt Fran's Basket." Wed - Sat, through Nov 27,
Stonington Gallery, Pioneer Square (free)

FRIDAY-SUNDAY

FALL

Maple Festival 2021
Fall colors are unfolding amongst the Seattle Japanese Garden's collection of maple trees, making for breathtaking views and stunning photo ops. Annually, the garden takes part in the Japanese tradition of momijigari (紅葉狩り), or leaf watching. Weekends will include a scavenger hunt, but self-guided maple tour brochures are always available at the gatehouse and the Northwest Nikkei exhibit is on display daily.
Seattle Japanese Garden, Stevens ($4-$8)

Pumpkin Walk 2021
Take a leisurely stroll along Bainbridge Gardens' historic nature trail, which will be lined with hundreds of carved and hand painted pumpkins, then examine a plump pumpkin and take your best guess at its weight at the event's annual pumpkin weighing contest. There will also be live music on select days and Battle Point BBQ available on Saturdays. Donations towards the Bainbridge Island Boys and Girls Club will be accepted.
Bainbridge Gardens, Bainbridge Island (free)

FOOD & DRINK

Taste of Iceland
Seattle and Reykjavik aren't just close pals, they're sister cities. In fact, Seattle is home to more Icelandic people than anywhere else in the United States. To celebrate the culture of the magical Nordic land, Seattle hosts an annual Taste of Iceland festival. This year's festivities will include Iceland-inspired specials from local food trucks, a performance from artist Laufey Lin, a screening of the Icelandic documentary The Third Pole, and an elemental meditation journey from Jósa Goodlife. Guests can spin a wheel for a chance to win a trip to Iceland via Icelandair and other prizes.
National Nordic Museum, Ballard (free)

VISUAL ART

Pop Up Fall Showcase: Stefan Leandro Gonzales
Seattle-based artist and gallerist Anna Mlasowsky has partnered with Goethe Pop Up to present this artist-run window space showcasing solo exhibitions in a COVID-safe manner. Indigenous, trans/non-binary artist and arts educator Stefan Leandro Gonzales will revisit old work and create a brand new piece as part of their practice, which is centered around decolonizing art and its institutions.
Das Schaufenster, West Woodland (free)

SATURDAY

COMMUNITY 

Orca Recovery Day
Several counties across Western Washington will host community activities to take action towards improving habitats for orca whales, who are currently experiencing high rates of calf mortality. Volunteer shifts (all ages encouraged) may include tree planting, invasive weed removal, habitat improvement, and trash removal from waterways.
Various locations (free)

PERFORMANCE

Buffy: The Drag Show
Londyn Bradshaw presents a vampire slaying edition of her drag show WEIRD, featuring fellow queens Old Witch, Issa Man, Mercury Divine, Rowan Ruthless, and more. We can only hope the show incorporates a song or two from "Once More, With Feeling," Buffy the Vampire Slayer's campy musical episode.
Kremwerk, Downtown ($14.56)

FESTIVALS

Kirkland Harvest Festival
Greet autumn with a family-friendly festival featuring live music, food truck fare, craft and food vendors, tractor-pulled wagon rides, photo booths, apple cider-pressing demos, a caricature artist, a balloon artist, glitter tattoos, and fall-themed contests such as pie eating and corn shucking. The event will also feature a "kid's korral" with faux cow milking, bull roping, craft tables, pumpkin bowling, a cookie walk, 4-H dogs, and outdoor games.
Juanita Beach Park, Kirkland (free)

FOOD & DRINK

Backyard Oktoberfest Celebration
Don your finest Oktoberfest togs for this party with beer specials on tap and German-style pretzels to smother in cheese sauce or mustard.
Backyard, Rainier Valley (free)

MUSIC

Pier Sounds Concert Series
Take in the sights and sounds of Elliott Bay layered with tunes from a weekly performer while enjoying a late lunch from local food trucks at this series presented by The Friends of Waterfront Seattle. Soul musicians Tiffany Wilson and Lady A close out the series this week with opening acts DJ Vitamin D, and Zhanea June with Funk E Fusion and her special guests Shelby Poole and Avalon Townsend.
Pier 62, Waterfront (free)

The Aqua-Nets & The Post-Punks
The Aqua-Nets serve up a "roller derby, tutu-wearing, B-52's hair, glam rock aesthetic" while churning out pop hits from the '80s, '90s, and today with a full horn section. They'll be joined by The Post-Punks for this "double feature show."
Aurora Borealis, Meridian Park (free)

Octoberfest at the Patio with the Unsinkable Heavies
The Columbia City Business Association and the community group Double Dutch Divas will host this walk featuring live music, a fundraising drive, and a charity coat drive at the Patio, a street block repurposed by local businesses into a performance venue and community gathering space. Enjoy dance-funk tunes from the Unsinkable Heavies (a sub-group of the Polyrhythmics) and pop grooves from the Last-Minute Maybes. The nearby bar The Backyard will also be hosting its Oktoberfest celebration with beer specials and German-style pretzels, and Lottie's Lounge will set up its bratwurst stand.
The Patio, Columbia City (free)

Haley Graves, Mr. Dinkles, Sofiiak & Maya Marie
Riot Grrrl Records has teamed up with the newly resurrected venue to present pop punk singer Haley Graves, with support from Mr. Dinkles, Sofiiak, and Maya Marie. RGR will be tabling with their zine Ra Ra Rebel alongside other art vendors.
Cafe Racer, Capitol Hill ($5-$8)

SNAP! Y2K 90s vs 2000s Dance Party
Calling all millennials to the dance floor—the collective of DJs known as Trashy Trash, including AC Lewis, Colin Jones, Mad Max, Introcut, and Ben Meadow, will mash up throwbacks from the '90s to the early '00s with Ms. Coco B taking hosting duties.
LoFi, South Lake Union ($10 cash at the door)

SHOPPING

Seattle Made Pop-Up Shop
Shop and connect with makers, crafters, and producers during this pop-up shop presented by Seattle Made Week. Find out the stories behind thoughtfully-made homegrown products from Ember Community Kits, Beneficial Brewing Company, Lanier's Fine Candies, Refugee Artisan Initiative, and more while supporting the makers.
The Works Seattle, Yesler Terrace (free)

FILM

Black Summer Camp
Join Sankofa Film Society every Saturday for outdoor screenings of movies centering the Black American experience, including Jackie Brown and The Last Black Man in San Francisco. “Some of these films are campy, some of these films are silly, some of these films pack a punch, but all of these films are about the Black experience,” writes Sankofa co-founder Karen Toering. “We just picked the films we love. The films we know that afterwards—or even during—folks will want to talk about.” They have a popcorn machine, but viewers are welcome to bring takeout from nearby restaurants.
El Centro de la Raza, Beacon Hill (free)

SATURDAY-SUNDAY

VISUAL ART

Arts at the Armory
Interact with over 90 Tacoma artists as they share and sell their work at this event, which is part of Tacoma Arts Month. Jazz, blues, and NPR News station KNKX will also present live performances by Kareem Kandi World Orchestra (Sat Oct 16) and Stephanie Anne Johnson (Sun Oct 17) at this family-friendly experience.
Tacoma Armory, Tacoma (free)

Math Bass: a picture stuck in the mirror
Los Angeles-based abstract artist Math Bass started out in performance art, but has since expanded their art practice to include painting and sculpture. In this special exhibition, Bass will create a site-specific installation with a series of recent oil paintings, a kinetic wall work, sculpture, and large-scale wall applications which will invite the viewer to examine the relationship between the pieces and the spaces that hold them.
Henry Art Gallery, University District (free)

FESTIVALS

Fall Foliage Festival
In addition to offering free admission to the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden, this fall festival will include a half-price plant sale, food and other vendors, free cider and cookies, planting demos, garden tours, a photo station, family-friendly activities, and more.
Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden, Federal Way (free)

Seattle Children's Festival
Tune into this year's virtual kid-centric festival to explore the Chinatown-International District, Ballard, Rainier Valley, and Eastside neighborhoods with your kiddos all from your living room (hey, you probably won’t have to field any complaints about being tired!). The program will also feature performances, stories, and workshops from artists such as Karoun Dance Ensemble, Baile Dior, Orquesta Northwest, MJ Steele, Sunshine Music Together, and more.
Virtual (Suggested donation $10/family)

SUNDAY

COMEDY

Horror Unexpected: Spooky Sundays
Expect the unexpected at this improv parody show spoofing works by the "masters of horror." You'll even have the opportunity to help craft the show, as Unexpected Productions' performers will take audience suggestions and turn them into horrifically humorous and dramatic stories.
Unexpected Productions' Market Theater, Pike Place Market ($15)

READINGS & TALKS

Lit Crawl Seattle
There will be decidedly less crawling this year as the literary event sticks to a sole venue for readings by the 2021-22 Youth Poet Laureates cohort, folks from the Jack Straw Writers Program, and Washington state poet laureate Rena Priest.
Hugo House, Capitol Hill ($5)

Descendants Series: Tina Wyatt, Great-Great-Great-Grandniece of Harriet Tubman
The Northwest African American Museum's Descendants Series brings Tina Wyatt, the great-great-great-grandniece of Harriet Tubman, together for a virtual conversation with Kiantha Duncan, president of the NAACP's Spokane chapter.
Virtual (free)

FALL

Autumn on the Edge
Spend an afternoon perched over Elliott Bay as Seattle's only over-the-water property, The Edgewater Hotel, hosts a fall festival complete with a pumpkin patch, a craft beer and cider garden, seasonal food and beverages from their restaurant Six Seven, a s'mores station, kids' crafts, a petting zoo, and local vendors.
Edgewater Hotel, Waterfront (free)

MUSIC

10 Year Anniversary of STM's ZombieProm with School of Rock
Mosh to some of the greater Seattle area's best new rock talent at the 10th anniversary of Seattle Teen Music's (STM) ZombieProm. The School of Rock will bring house bands from five area schools to celebrate. All proceeds will go towards diabetes organizations RAD (Rock Against Diabetes) and Connect1D.
Hale's Palladium, Fremont ($10-$12)

ourHOUSE
The house rules for this queer-geared dance night are simple: They play house music (interspersed with disco and funk tracks), you dance to it. DJs YourMOM and ShortSTACK are set to be joined by special guests, and will be checking if you "did your homeTWERK."
Timbre Room, Belltown ($8)

SHOPPING

Northwest Record Show
Flip through records and CDs from every genre under the sun, DVDs, and tons of other music-related collectibles spread out across 50 tables. Folks who bring a food item to donate to Northwest Harvest will get one dollar off admission.
Seattle Center Armory, Uptown ($3-$15)

VISUAL ART

Refract: Pike Place Market Glass Artist Showcase
Admire work from Pike Place Market's unique glass artists at this showcase that is part of Refract—there will be pieces for sale, and you can even answer glass artist-themed trivia for a chance to win one-of-a-kind art pieces and other market gifts.
Pike Place Market (free)