85 Stranger (Than Usual) Things To Do in Seattle This Week: February 18-23, 2020

CatVideoFest, Octopus Week, and More Unusual Events
February 18, 2020
Revel in the divine conjunction of cats and internet at SIFF's CatVideoFest this weekend.
Our arts critics have already recommended 57 great things to do this week and our music critics have picked the 43 best music shows, but there are still hundreds more events happening. To prevent some of the quirkier and more extraordinary ones from slipping through the cracks, we've compiled them here‚ÄĒfrom Octopus Week to A Night of Shitty Theater, and from Edison's Chicken Parade to Randy's Cheeseburger Picnic. For even more options this week, check out our complete EverOut Things To Do calendar.
Jump to: Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday | Saturday | Sunday



  1. Brews 4 Mews - Meowtropolitan's 4th Anniversary!
    Enjoy the winning combination of cats, brews, and prizes at this fundraiser, which will donate 100% of beer purchases to Seattle Meowtropolitan and will host a silent auction with donations from local cat-related businesses. At least one "cat representative" will be present, and "cool" cats on leashes are welcome.
  2. I Heart Mussels Week
    Savor mussels in a myriad in preparations, from cold-smoked mussels to mussel pasta to mussel risotto.

  4. Judith Skillman and Arthur Ginsberg
    Local poets Judith Skillman and Arthur Ginsberg will read from their new collections: Came Home to Winter and Brain Works, respectively. 
  5. Leah Plunkett: Why We Should Be Cautious With Our Kids' Data
    Educator Leah Plunkett has some concerns about how much Millennial parents are posting about their young children on social media. She'll come to Seattle to read from her new book, Sharenthood: Why We Should Think before We Talk about Our Kids Online.
  6. Octopus Intelligence: Untangling a Distributed Brain
    In addition to being wicked smart, the octopus has no bones, is excellent at camouflaging with its surroundings, and carries most of its nervous system in its arms. Other than that, the many-limbed mollusk has remained pretty mysterious until recently. Here's your chance to learn some cool, little-known octopus facts with Dr. David Gire. 


  8. Movin' Around the World: Winter
    In partnership with Northwest Folklife, this weeklong event invites people of all ages to learn about cultures around the world through live music and dance and hands-on activities.


  10. Balancing Act: Urbanism and Emerging Technologies
    This exhibition by Boston design firm CBT explores the effects of pervasive technology on urban life, speculating on the future of cities and new tech.
    Closing Saturday
  11. Marita Dingus and Hoa Hong
    Mixed-media sculptor Marita Dingus, known for her inventive use of reclaimed materials, reflects on environmental, racial, and feminist themes, while Hoa Hong, through figurative painting, explores identity and the ability to know a person.
    Closing Saturday


  13. Octopus Week
    Show some love for the one and only eight-limbed, big-brained mollusk at this week-long octopus fest complete with special feeding demos, hands-on kids' activities, and educational talks.

  15. Bliss
    The third of 5th Avenue's new musicals this season is Bliss, written by Emma Lively and Tyler Beattie and choreographed by Josh Prince (the Broadway choreographer of Shrek and Beautiful). It follows four sister princesses who sneak out of their castle, determined to be belles of the ball in their fairy-tale world.

  17. Seattle Home Show
    Homeowners looking to cozy up their new abode can get inspired by landscape and decor displays, chat with gardening and design experts, and, of course, shop for home goods. There will also be a wine and beer garden presented by Sleep Number (who we assume will provide comfy mattresses to sit on), cooking demos, and more.

  19. Glass from the Permanent Art Collection
    See glass from Bainbridge Island Museum of Art's permanent collection, featuring works by Sonja Blomdahl, Robert Carlson, Steffen Dam, Walter Lieberman, Dante Marioni, Steven Maslach, Nancy Mee, Janis Miltenberger, James Minson, Paul Marioni, Susan Stinsmuehlen-Amend, and Dick Weiss.
    Closing Sunday


  21. Pretty Strong
    Eight female pro climbers travel to Yosemite, Colorado, and beyond in this documentary. Go for the athletes' badass feats of endurance, stay for the stunning landscapes.

  23. BurlesKARAOKE
    Local burlesque performers will strip sultrily while you bashfully sing your favorite songs in karaoke.

  25. Charles Kastner: Race Across America
    In the late 1920s, Seattle-born runner Eddie "The Sheik" Gardner endured racist death threats and other forms of harassment as he competed in the Transcontinental Foot Race across America. Charles B. Kastner chronicles the athlete's journey in his biography Race Across America, which he'll read from tonight.
  26. Courtney Maum: Before and After the Book Deal
    As part of their Writer's Life series, Hugo House will invite Courtney Maum to speak about Before and After the Book Deal: A Writer's Guide to Finishing, Publishing, Promoting, and Surviving Your First Book, which gathers publishing advice from the likes of Anthony Doerr, Roxane Gay, Garth Greenwell, Lisa Ko, and many, many others.
  27. Craig Fehrman: Author in Chief
    Discover a long tradition of American presidential authorship, from Thomas Jefferson's Notes on the State of Virginia to Abraham Lincoln's Political Debates Between Hon. Abraham Lincoln and Hon. Stephen A. Douglas to Donald Trump's (ghost-written) The Art of the Deal.
  28. Imbolo Mbue
    Cameroonian writer Imbolo Mbue nabbed the PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction with her very first novel, Behold the Dreamers, which follows a pair of immigrants who arrive in New York just in time for the Great Recession. Gain wisdom from this literary star as he gives two talks, titled "Behold the Dreamers and How Being a Reader Made Me a Writer" and "Empathy in a Time of Chaos: Immigration and the American Dream."
  29. Pacific Flyway: Waterbird Migration from the Arctic to Tierra del Fuego
    The Pacific Flyway‚ÄĒwhich is not a¬†cheeky riff on the Pacific Coast Highway, as it turns out‚ÄĒfunnels waterbirds through its 10,000-mile migratory corridor¬†from the Arctic to Tierra del Fuego. Join the ornithologists and authors of¬†Pacific Flyway,¬†along with wildlife photographer Gerrit Vyn, to learn about the¬†survival challenges these birds face every year.¬†

  31. Mappy Hour SEA: Beginner's Guide to Backcountry
    Before you graduate from groomed trails and ski lifts to untracked backcountry mountain passes, get prepared at this snow sporty happy hour with Frank "Ripper" Martin and Jeff "Shredder" Schomaker.

  33. 2020 Annual Open House and Bill Strong Awards
    Learn about the Seattle Architecture Foundation's activities and programs, particularly if you're interested in volunteering‚ÄĒthe main idea of this event is to celebrate the passionate people who keep the SAF running. There will also be food, activities, and the granting of the Annual Bill Strong Award for Volunteer Excellence.


  35. 45 Plays for 45 Presidents
    As the 2020 presidential elections draw nearer, brush up on our nation's history with the irreverent and experimental theater group the Neo-Futurists' series of plays about every United States president so far. 


  37. Zig Zag 20th Anniversary
    The self-proclaimed "granddaddy of Seattle cocktail bars" will fete its 20th birthday with live music from the Casey MacGill Trio, a special beer release from Maritime Brewing, and limited-edition merch.
  38. MUSIC

  39. Cherry Cherry Neil Diamond Tribute
    Belt out "Sweet Caroline" and other Neil Diamond hits like you mean it at this show with tribute band Cherry Cherry. 
  40. Everyone Is Rivers Cuomo!
    Wear a costume that honors your favorite phase of the Weezer frontman at this Rivers Cuomo tribute night with local bands Actionesse, LipStitch, and Flesh Produce.

  42. Noir: 1-Year Anniversary
    Join Londyn Bradshaw and Skarlet Dior Black for a special first-anniversary edition of the recurring drag series Noir (falling in line with the sixth anniversary of Kremwerk). Issa Man, Alessandra Hunt, Dion Dior Black, and LA's Kornbread Jeté will also perform.

  44. Karen Sherman: Brick by Brick
    Women's rights activist and author Karen Sherman, who moved to Rwanda to oversee the construction of a "first-of-its-kind women’s opportunity center," shares stories of women who survived the Rwandan genocide in her book Brick by Brick: Building Hope and Opportunity for Women Survivors Everywhere. Join her in Seattle for a conversation with physician Dr. Rosita Van Coevorden.


  46. Global Citizen
    Celebrate this new international smartphone short film festival about being responsible to our "global family," Global Citizen, presented by the organization CARAVAN.
  47. FOOD & DRINK

  48. Three Days of Dark Beers & Dark Days with Fort George for Stout Month
    Stout lovers will flock to this three-day celebration of dark beers, which will include belly dancing, tarot reading, and live music, hosted by the Astoria-based brewery Fort George.

  50. Passion, Poison, & Petrifaction & The Bald Soprano: A Night of Linguistically Agile Plays
    Outsiders Inn promise "delightful flights of linguistic distractions" with its renditions of George Bernard Shaw's Passion, Poison, and Petrification and Eugene Ionesco's The Bold Soprano.  


  52. Wintergrass
    Bluegrass artists from near and far will gather to play their twangy, resonant music at this annual festival. This year's lineup includes Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn, Darrell Scott, the Kruger Brothers, Che Apalache, the Warren G Hardings, and many others. 

  54. Admissions
    Playwright Joshua Harmon (Bad Jews)'s new, award-winning play tackles affluent, "liberal white America" through the story of a prep school admissions chief named Sherri. In her professional life, she's successfully helped diversify the student body, but her ideals are challenged when her son reveals his determination to attend an Ivy League university.
  55. The Moors
    In what sounds like a fun, fond, but nonetheless dark and violent parody of 19th-century feminist classics like Jane Eyre, Jen Silverman's comedy follows two sisters, a dog, a new governess, and a hen on the gloomy English moors (enlivened by "anachronisms sprinkled throughout" and even a power ballad). Dacha Theatre promises this production "will delight anyone who has curled up with a British novel, toured a haunted house, or giggled over an unlikely animal friendship."

  57. Sanctus Ignotus
    Artists from the Push/Pull collective illustrate canonical and non-canonical/unconventional saints, like Dolly Parton and Charles Bronson.
    Opening Thursday
  58. FRIDAY


  59. Randy's Cheeseburger Picnic
    Based on the hit show Trailer Park Boys, in which he stars as Randy, Patrick Roach promises "a bit of stand-up, a bit of silly contests," and other surprises (including actual cheeseburgers to eat. Surprise!).
  60. FOOD & DRINK

  61. Science of Spirits
    Discover the process behind your favorite boozy refreshments, and taste samples from local distillers like 3 Howls Distillery, Copperworks Distilling, Heritage Distilling Co., and others. You'll also learn about the science of "love and attraction" with various educational activities and get access to the Planetarium and Butterfly House.
  62. MUSIC

  63. For the '99 and 2000s: Back to the Future
    Swipe on your lip gloss and Y2K eyeshadow for this '90s and early-millennium DJ dance party.
  64. Heartbeat Silent Disco - Love Train!
    Put on a pair of headphones and your best party attire and get your blood pumping with energetic tunes of your choice at this "Love Train"-themed silent disco.
  65. Nirvana Night III: Kurt Cobain Birthday Tribute
    The late grunge legend and Pisces prince Kurt Cobain would be 53 this year, which calls for a two-for-one tribute night with local Nirvana cover bands Lithium and Nevermind. 
  66. PROBLEM CHILD: Mardi Gras Masquerade Ball!
    For an alternative to New Orleans-style jazz, cover your mug with a masquerade number and join local AC/DC tribute band Problem Child for a Mardi Gras show.
  67. War Puppy, Hellbat, Merchant Mariner
    Skate around and around as peppy punk-rockers War Puppy, Hellbat, and Merchant Mariner play sets in the center of the rink. If you really need to bust a move, we recommend taking a dance break in the safety of the carpeted area. 

  69. August Wilson Monologue Competition Finals
    Twelve theater-loving high schoolers will recite their favorite monologues by the late Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright August Wilson. The winner will get to go to New York to perform at the August Wilson Theatre on Broadway.
  70. Dark Diamonds Burlesque Presents: THOTS & Prayers - A Show for the Culture
    The artists of Dark Diamonds Burlesque will take cultural appropriation and rip it to shreds with the power of twerk and trap. 
  71. A Little Bit of Tammie
    Former RuPaul's Drag Race (and RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars) contestant Tammie Brown will bring her star power to Seattle for an evening of music and storytelling. 
  72. A Night of Dance with Brian Puspos and Sorah Yang
    Houston-bred dancer and choreographer Brian Puspos, who has competed twice on America’s Best Dance Crew, will perform alongside Sorah Yang, who is currently working as the Associate Choreographer for the Britney Spears Broadway musical Once Upon a One More Time.

    Pro wrestlers will throw down in the ring. They're fueled by rowdiness, so practice your yelling.

  76. Spooked Hearts
    Eat snacks from Bulldog News and peruse quirky occult art by Joe Estey, Lis Wright Ivec, Eyona Bella, Ryan Allred, Braden Duncan, Dani Wilson, Alec Marsh, and Morbid Heart Designs.


  78. Moxie
    Jerboa Dance Company's family-friendly performance promises a dance- and acrobatics-filled journey "from a 1920s beach party to a 1950s technological snafu."


  80. Whisker City Bowling Fundraiser
    Channel your inner Dude and knock down pins to raise money for Shoreline's Whisker City cat rescue.
  81. FOOD & DRINK

  82. Chili Con Carnival Benefit & FireFlower Pepper Saison Release
    Bring a chili recipe made with Hellbent Beer to see how yours stacks up against the competition, or simply come and taste all the delicious entries. Plus, Hellbent will unveil their new FireFlower collaboration Pepper Beer, a chili pepper-infused saison. Proceeds will benefit North Helpline.
  83. Irish Soda Bread Cooking Exhibition/Class
    Learn how to bake the traditional Irish bread leavened with baking soda and buttermilk (and wow your friends for St. Patrick's Day) at this hands-on demonstration.
  84. MUSIC

  85. The Emo Night Tour
    Drown your teenage dirtbag sorrows in the pop-punk lamentations of Taking Back Sunday, Fall Out Boy, Panic! At the Disco, My Chemical Romance, and more at this sad-sack live set from tribute band the Emo Night Tour. 
  86. Prom Date Mixtape
    Let '80s new wave and synth-pop tribute group Prom Date Mixtape take you back a few decades for a night of high-energy dance music.
  87. Radical Revolution ('80s Tribute)
    Six-piece '80s tribute band Radical Revolution will dish out those big-hair hits. 
  88. Sound Off! 2020 Finals
    For the 19th year, MoPOP's Sound Off! will pit local, under-21 bands against each other in this concert series that rewards the first-place winner with a performance slot at Bumbershoot. Throughout these three nights (this is the second), each band will get the chance to show off their skills in an effort to win the big prize.
  89. Wonder Women
    Celebrate the works of women composers like Boulanger, Beach, and Price in this performance of songs and stories of strong women throughout history.

  91. Dacha Jam: The Moors Edition
    Let loose with some animal-themed improv led by Mike Lion, director of Dacha's dark comedy The Moors. 
  92. Halau o Keikiali'i
    Discover long-held music and dance traditions from Hawaii at this performance with Halau o Keikiali'i.
  93. Leftovers: A Drag Show‚ÄĒBirthday Edition
    Kara Sutra will host a night of drag and trivia with DonnaTella Howe (who is turning 36 on this day), Catty Wompus, Vel Veeta, Nadja Sutra, Louvel, and Daddy Issues. 
  94. Mardi Gras Twerklesque
    Watch talented burlesque performers shake their butts, then try your hand at it yourself in a twerk dance party. 
  95. Oleaje Flamenco Presents Cuadro Flamenco
    Fiery music and dance troupe Oleaje Flamenco will perform traditional Flamenco. 
  96. Re-bar 30th Anniversary Party with Sherry Vine, Joey Arias in the Garden of Sheden
    The legendary venue Re-bar will continue its 30th birthday festivities with help from drag darlings Sherry Vine and Joey Arias, performing two separate solo sets as well as a duo set as the Garden of Sheden. KEXP's Riz Rollins will spin in between.
  97. Shady Ladies 3: Drag Queens of Comedy
    As part of Kremwerk's sixth-anniversary series, join Angela Visalia, Cookie Couture, Dolce Vida, Jane Don't, Uh Oh, and other local performers for a night of drag and comedy.
  98. Tickle MY Elmo
    Burlesque dancers take inspiration from their favorite children's shows in order to warp your mind with sexy moves.
  99. QUEER

  100. A Very Queer Health Fair
    This free, queer-focused health fair will include dental care appointments (with limited spots), a workshop on changing gender markers on state and federal IDs, HIV testing and counseling, haircuts by Bishops, a free raffle, blood pressure screenings, and much more. 

  102. Dogs and Doughnuts Dash 2: More Dogs, More Doughnuts
    Run along the Burke-Gilman Trail with your well-behaved doggo, then stop by the Brooks Trailhead Store afterward for doughnuts, coffee, and a chance to win a new pair of running shoes. 
  103. Seattle Dragons vs. Dallas Renegades
    XFL team the Seattle Dragons will take on the Dallas Renegades in the second home game of their inaugural season. 
  104. Seattle Polar Plunge
    If you slept through the various Polar Plunges on New Year's Day, head to West Seattle to dive into the icy waters of the Puget Sound to raise money for Special Olympics Washington. If you're too scared to jump in, you can keep warm in the "chicken coop" while still raising funds. There'll be beer, food trucks, and live DJs, too.


  106. CatVideoFest 2020
    Spend some time appreciating the glories of the feline realm on the big screen instead of on YouTube at this annual celebration of the divine conjunction of cats and internet. Watch them purr, romp, pounce, and cuddle‚ÄĒand, if you choose to donate with your ticket admission, feel good knowing your dollar is benefitting¬†Progressive Animal Welfare Society (PAWS). On Saturday, celebrity feline Klaus the Cat will make a special guest appearance.¬†

  108. BFA Dance Concert 2020
    Cornish College of the Arts dance students will present an eclectic program spanning styles. 

  110. Full Moon Market
    A rotating lineup of local businesses gather under one roof on every full moon to sell their stuff. For the inaugural edition, Carla Marie will record a live taping of her podcast Side Hustlers.
  111. SUNDAY


  112. Black Ice: The Unexpected Sitcom
    Unexpected Productions improvisers will fashion a live prime-time TV sitcom using audience suggestions.
  113. Sofia Ni√Īo de Rivera
    This prominent Mexican stand-up comedian is now also a YouTube Originals sketch comedy star. See her live.

  115. Chicken Parade
    Claiming international fame, this annual procession of human-sized hens in downtown Edison got its start in 2012 as part of the Edison Bird Festival, as a way to honor the birding culture of Skagit Valley.
  116. Fastelavn 2020: A Danish Carnival in Seattle
    The Danish kids' carnival Fastelavn invites little ones to "beat the cat out of the barrel" to chase away the winter spirit, swing at a pi√Īata, eat candy, make crafts (like a¬†fastelavnsris, which kids use to flog their lazy parents to wake them up¬†Fastelavn Sunday), and more.
  117. If The Shoe Fits: A Seattle Humane Princess Party
    Can't make it to Disney land? Elsa, Tinkerbell, Ariel, Belle, and other Disney princesses will travel from their far-away kingdoms to hang out and take photos with you and your pets, who are invited to dress up as their favorite storybook character.
  118. Petit Troll Parade
    Join the Neon Brass Party at the Fremont Sunday Market for a flashy mini parade a couple days before Fat Tuesday. They'll be decked out in glittery costumes as they galavant down the street with mini floats in tow.
  119. FOOD & DRINK

  120. Baked Potato Night
    Grab a roasted spud and heap it with all your favorite toppings at Addo chef Eric Rivera's baked potato bar.
  121. MUSIC

  122. Beatles vs. Stones - A Musical Showdown
    Two distinctive camps of classic-rock music lovers will collide at this Beatles and Rolling Stones tribute night with cover bands Abbey Road and Satisfaction.

  124. New Day Rising
    This new solo show by¬†Tom Spangenberg, which press materials describe as a cross between¬†The Iron Giant¬†and The Handmaid's Tale‚ÄĒwill have a workshop run, meaning you'll get to see the playwright make adjustments to the show before your eyes.¬†Carol Thompson directs.¬†
  125. A Night of Shitty Theater
    Instead of letting all the terrible theater in the world get you down, embrace it by seeing short scenes from "the worst play in existence," performed by "the funniest people in Seattle."  

  127. Day of Remembrance, Day of Action
    On the 78th anniversary of the executive order that imprisoned over a hundred thousand Japanese Americans during WWII, Tsuru for Solidarity and other resistance groups will stand in camaraderie with Mexican immigrants seeking asylum in the US who are currently being detained at Tacoma's Northwest Detention Center.

  129. Emerald City Cup 2020
    Pinball champs can prove their worth at this annual tournament. 
  130. Lunar New Year 5K 2020
    Lion dance performances and firecrackers will get you warmed up for this mostly flat 5K.
  131. Willy Nilly Bike Ride
    For a less-intense alternative to the Chilly Hilly bike ride, it doesn't get more lackadaisical than Willy Nilly, a 10- to 60-mile route ("your pace, your style") that goes from West Seattle to Vashon Island and back again. Riders are encouraged to stop for food and drinks at establishments along the way.