Stranger Than Usual

93 Stranger (Than Usual) Things To Do in Seattle This Week: September 4-8, 2019

Balloon Glow, Freddie Mercury's Birthday, and More Unusual Events
September 4, 2019
Giant (ground-stationed) hot air balloons will come aglow at Enumclaw's Balloon Glow this weekend. (Shutterstock)

Our arts and culture critics have already recommended 37 great things to do this week and our music critics have picked the 37 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‚ÄĒfrom TRL with Ryan Cabrera to a Freddie Mercury Birthday Party, and from the Mars-themed Look Up Fest to Lucky Envelope Brewing's Mid-Autumn Festival. For even more options this week, check out our complete EverOut Things To Do calendar.

Heading to Portland or Tacoma? Check out EverOut to find things to do there and in Seattle, all in one place.

Jump to: Wednesday | Thursday | Friday | Saturday | Sunday



  1. Pee-wee’s Big Adventure - Movie Night & Fundraiser
    Enjoy a screening of the classic Tim Burton comedy Pee-wee's Big Adventure, munch on Cycle Dogs, and drink beer to raise funds for the Bikery.

  3. Sequin Pride Skate with Cookie Couture
    Local drag legend Cookie Couture, one of the hosts of Pony's beloved recurring drag night Queen4Queen, will keep you company while you scoot around the skating rink in your cutest sequin-bedazzled attire. Local bands Old Witch, the Loungettes, and Very Serious will play live in the back bar.

  5. Susan Steinberg: Machine
    In Susan Steinberg's debut novel, a group of teens from various social backgrounds bond over a tragedy that happens during a formative summer at the shore. 


  7. Wild Waves 2019 Season
    Wild Waves is open for business for the final weekend of the summer. The family-friendly theme and water park offers rollercoasters, family rides, and carnival games.

  9. My Favorite Cartoon
    Twenty local creatives will present new takes on their cartoon characters of choice.
    Closing Saturday


  11. Kellie Talbot: America
    Kellie Talbot's oil paintings revolve around the landscape of American artifacts, craftsmanship, and history, using "rust and decay" as agents of change rather than negative forces.
    Opening Wednesday


  13. Lang Parker, Mike Masilotti, Birungi Birungi, & Travis Nelson
    Drink beer and share chuckles with Last Comic Standing favorite Lang Parker, Mike Masilotti, and Birungi Birungi.
  14. Melissa Shoshahi
    Local comic Melissa Shoshahi will delight you with her spot-on Kim K impression and funny sketches.

  16. Civic Cocktail
    Civic Cocktail is a monthly gathering (co-organized and broadcast by the Seattle Channel) that offers a discussion of pressing local issues over drinks and Tom Douglas appetizers. This edition will feature UW professor and author Christopher Sebastian Parker and King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg discussing white supremacist crime, followed by Garth Stein, author of the novel The Art of Racing in the Rain. 
  17. Happy Birthday Freddie!
    Celebrate the birthday of the dearly departed Queen frontman Freddie Mercury with themed cocktails and a Queen-themed gallery exhibition with work by local photographer Karen Kirsch. All proceeds will benefit Mercury Phoenix Trust, a nonprofit dedicated to global HIV/AIDS research. 
  18. FOOD & DRINK

  19. Garden Party Thursdays at Hotel Sorrento
    Every Thursday in September, take advantage of batch cocktails and a seasonal chef's choice menu in the garden of Hotel Sorrento. DJ Cat, a member of local dream-pop band Sundae Crush, will spin.
  20. MUSIC

  21. '90's Tribute Night: Planetelex, Without a Doubt, Good Riddance
    Women-fronted Radiohead tribute band Planetelex will give you their versions of bangers by the British electro-rock band. To keep the '90s theme going, they'll be joined by No Doubt tribute Without a Doubt and Green Day tribute Good Riddance.
  22. The Black Tones Vinyl Release & DJ set by Eva & Cedric
    Pick up some new vinyl from the Black Tones and enjoy a DJ set by the blues-punk post-grunge makers/Hendrixian rock-and-roll torchbearers (as Leilani Polk has described them).
  23. Cr√®me Tangerine: ‚ÄúAbbey Road at 50‚ÄĚ
    Join local Beatles tribute Crème Tangerine for all your favorites off of Abbey Road in celebration of the iconic album's 50th anniversary. 
  24. Freddie Mercury's Birthday at Hard Rock Cafe ft. Indica Jones
    Sip a special Freddie's Mustache Milkshake, dance to Queen's greatest hits from DJ Indica Jones, and enjoy a free screening of Bohemian Rhapsody at this birthday celebration for the sexiest of rock legends. 
  25. Rumble in the Jungle
    Get your end-of-summer ya-yas out with LA DJ Blake Russ at this "genre-less" party. 

  27. Freehold's Fall Open House and Free Class Sampler
    Interested in puppetry, movement, and other forms of acting? Enjoy snacks and get an idea about Freehold's fall course offerings. 

  29. Eliza Beth Whittington: Treat Me Like You Treat the Earth
    Queer activist Eliza Beth Whittington will read from their surreal collection of poems that promises to "challenge readers' sexual modesty" and address climate change in one fell swoop. 
  30. Kevin Horan and Elena Passarello: Goats & Sheep
    Photographer Kevin Horan was so charmed by his new ruminant neighbors when he first moved to the countryside that he started to think of them as "non-human persons" and began capturing their personalities in portraits. Hear him talk about his love of sheep and check out photos from his book.
  31. Regional Efforts to Address and Prepare for a Warmer World
    As climate change threatens our shorelines, forests, and skies, you're probably curious about what climate restoration efforts are being taken in the Northwest. This talk with UW's Dr. Heidi A. Roop will address plans that are underway and in the works throughout the region.  

  33. Yo Yo Yoga Closing Party
    Before it gets too cold to do yoga on a rooftop, join Daybreaker yoga instructor SarahRose Bernhardt and KEXP's DJ Sharlese for a beat-filled flow session.

  35. Hard In The Paint: Art Show & Trap Paint Party
    Sip a glass of wine, listen to trap music, and make a painting in this instructor-led class‚ÄĒall supplies provided.


  37. The Butterfly Lovers: Liang Zhu śĘĀÁ•Ě‚ÄĚ
    The Beijing Dance Academy will visit Seattle with a classic Chinese classical romantic drama.
  38. Party Mix
    This new-works festival boasts plays by promising playwrights of color, including Teague Parker, José Amador, and Kendall Uyeji. The subjects include two African American teachers confronting race issues in their Montessori school, a mayor trying to get a Latinx person to be Chumpville's police spokesperson, and an Asian American woman who keeps picking up hitchhikers. 

  40. Anne Traver: Unearthed
    Ceramics artist Traver professes her interest in "diminishing the functional nature of the pot with a little push towards the forms of nature" and "the remains of ceramic objects as signposts of human history."
    Opening Thursday
  41. Barbara Noah: Toss and Turn
    This artist has had works hung in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the New Museum of Contemporary Art, in museums abroad, and at the Henry and Seattle Art Museum. With Toss and Turn, she continues a series called Likely Stories, which depicts "metaphoric objects" symbolizing the imaginative possibilities of childhood hanging in the cosmos. The effect is both playful and melancholy, an evocation of human endeavor in the vast emptiness of space.
    Opening Thursday


  43. Steel Magnolias
    Six strong Louisianan ladies share friendship and love at Truvy's beauty shop in Robert Sarling's stirring tale of empowerment, best known for the Dolly Parton film adaptation.
  44. Washer/Dryer
    In Nandita Shenoy's comedy, produced by SIS Productions and Pratidhwani, an Indian American woman and her Chinese American husband desperately try to keep their washer/dryer-endowed apartment despite living on an actor's shoestring salary.

  46. Our-topia: Artists Create the Future
    For an uplifting change of pace, 10 artists share their visions of a better world through multimedia "blueprints," broaching subjects like climate change, racist police brutality, gun violence, and populism's threat to democracy. 
    Opening Thursday
  47. FRIDAY


  48. Fear Prov Friday
    Improvisers will reveal which elements of the craft freak them out the most‚ÄĒlike singing or performing¬†scenes in reverse‚ÄĒbefore facing their fears onstage in front of a supportive audience. That means lots of clapping and cheering are in order on your part.
  49. Spectacular
    Jeremiah ‚ÄúSweaty‚ÄĚ Dee will host this night of funny variety with additional acts by sketch, improv, and stand-up acts¬†Kate Gallo, Mr. Snake, Ethan Smith, Fat Cats, and Jason and Ryan.
  50. FILM

  51. The City as Character
    Learn about issues that have affected Seattle neighborhoods throughout history at this screening of documentary shorts made from archival footage. 
  52. MUSIC

  53. '90s Dance Flashback Party
    Slap on a bracelet and roll on some cucumber-melon body glitter for a '90s music video dance party.
  54. Bowievision
    The local tribute group Bowievision‚ÄĒfeaturing members of Dudley Manlove Quartet and Purr Gato, plus saxophonist Brian Bermudez‚ÄĒreplicate as faithfully as they can the chameleonic British singer/songwriter‚Äôs hits, with a light show and video backdrops for bonus dazzlement. DAVE SEGAL
  55. 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. 
  56. School of Rock Seattle Performs: Woodstock
    The talented babies of School of Rock Seattle will resurrect all your favorite rock songs from 1969 at this Woodstock night.

  58. Employee of the Month Club
    "Attendance is MANDATORY" at this performance revue/job review by Heavy Scene Macaque, who'll pit her drag queen "employees" against one another to general hilarity.
  59. Super Amazing Magic Fun Time
    This evening of magic and comedy by Aaron Wheeler promises "a world of laughter and amazement."
  60. TabiKat Toms All King Drag Troupe
    Hailing from Moscow, Idaho, the kings of TabiKat Toms will butch up your night with masc drag. 

  62. Alki Beach Sunset Run
    Chase the sunset (literally) along the shoreline at this 5K, then keep hanging out at the beach for live DJs, vodka drinks, and more at a post-race party. 
  63. Area 51
    Play laser tag in a space setting among extraterrestrial beings, and enjoy other alien-related activities. 
  64. Blue Friday Rally at The Seattle Great Wheel
    Blue Friday, a Seattle tradition wherein Seahawks fans swath themselves in navy blue nylon and spandex mesh shirts, will come to the Seattle waterfront as the team unveils a new Seahawks-themed #12 gondola on the Seattle Great Wheel, which will feature special Seahawks graphics.
  65. Peltoncast Live at Belltown Yacht Club
    The local sports podcast Peltoncast Live will welcome Ben Baldwin, who writes about the Seahawks for The Athletic Seattle, to the mic at this taping. 

  67. Big Schnapps: Unfamiliar Life Forms
    See art based on the blobby, primordial life forms that began emerging about 600 million years ago. The artist, Big Schnapps, writes: "Some of the more hard-bodied organisms made it into our fossil records, but the majority of the soft-bodied entities disappeared without a trace. This ancient universe of lost creatures could have looked like nearly anything." Enjoy tea samples as you commune with these lost beasties.


  69. Jackson Street Jazz Walk - Kick Off Performances
    This sixth annual jazz walk benefitting Northwest Harvest will take place across five Central District venues, featuring performances from Gail Pettis, the Bernie Jacobs Quartet, the Seattle Steel Pan Project, Todo Es, and others.


  71. Chinook Fest 2019
    Chinook Fest spends three days every summer boasting plenty of camping, artisanal food, craft booze, and some of the finest roots rock, blues, Americana, country, and folk artists out there, including the Cadillac Three, Stoney LaRue, and Hannah Dasher. Friday and Saturday are for the grown-ups, but Sunday's festivities are all ages.
  72. Sh’Bang! A Festival of Ideas
    For the 12th year, this Bellingham festival will bring art installations, workshops, carnival games, trapeze activities and zip-lining, over 100 live bands, and much more lasting the entire weekend. 
  73. GEEK

  74. Swordsquatch 2019
    Let your passion for historically accurate European martial arts be known at this three-day festival all about swords. You can expect workshops, tournaments, and non-sword-related things like food trucks, a facial hair competition, a flying trapeze, and more.

  76. Twelfth Night, or What You Will
    Fern Shakespeare will stage the classic comedy of cross-dressing, twins, and mistaken identity in a production directed by Wiley Basho Gorn.
  77. Two Degrees
    In Tira Palmquist's play, staged by Blue Hour Theatre Group, a young, grieving scientist must testify to Congress about climate change.
  78. Waiting for the Paint to Dry
    From local playwright K.E. Jenkins, Kairos Theatre Company presents the story of two siblings (Edith, a neurodivergent adult, and her sister Colby) who become trapped in their living situation. The play ponders the tension between familial loyalty and self-care. 


  80. Fierce as F*ck 2: No Thanks, Men.
    In the words of the organizers: "You got a rapist in the white house, Senators blocked from going to Israel, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Womxn and Girls, Black Trans Womxn under constant threat, Trans people banned from bathrooms, Indigenous migrants and refugees blocked at the border, and‚ÄĒafter all that and some more, they **still** expect us to be nice." Funny womxn of color‚ÄĒMC Abigail Echo-Hawk, Lourdez Velasco, Caf√©aulait Ol√©, Kiki Chesty La Rue, and St√©phanie Nam‚ÄĒwill host of a night of laughs and rage.
  81. Shot Prov
    Well, this sounds a little dangerous: Improvisers violate secret rules (secret from them, that is) as they play and must take a shot every time they do so. Poor things! After they reach their limit, they're booted off the stage, presumably for their own safety.
  82. The Woggles
    For some very, VERY offbeat laughs, watch the Woggles‚ÄĒsome improvisers posing as the ex-members of the Australian kids' show¬†The Wiggles‚ÄĒineptly tackle basic improv challenges. That's right: They're brilliant performers masquerading as very not-brilliant performers. Next-level shit!

  84. 28th Annual PAWS Walk
    Help animals in need at this dog-friendly "friendraiser" 5K benefiting the Progressive Animal Welfare Society.
  85. Balloon Glow
    Ground-stationed hot air balloons will come aglow at dusk (weather permitting) to form a sea of giant rainbow-hued lightbulbs. Show up early for live music from the Cylas Rock Band and food truck offerings.
  86. Family Saturday: Respect for Elders Day | Reading & Watercolor
    Families are invited to celebrate the Japanese holiday Respect for Elders Day (śē¨ŤÄĀ„Āģśó•) by hearing Sanae Ishida read from the newest edition of her children's series¬†Little Kunoichi and making watercolors.¬†
  87. Harvest Home
    Celebrate the beginning of fall the old-timey way by making dolls out of corn husks, pressing cider, playing Victorian-era games, and helping to decorate a hock cart that will carry the last sheaf of summer wheat through the fort to the granary. Musicians will be singing harvest songs and a harvest king and queen will be crowned. 
  88. Impeachment Teach-In
    Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal and Rep. Jaime Raskin will answer your questions about impeaching Trump.
  89. Summer Safari: African Wildlife Conservation Day
    Learn all about the Woodland Park Zoo residents native to Africa, including illegal practices that pose a threat to their species and how to protect them. 

  91. Burien Arts-A-Glow
    A lantern-based art gathering in Burien, Arts-a-Glow features lantern making, juggling, "circus" arts, and face painting. You'll feel like a forest nymph by the end of it.
  92. 5th Annual Sweet Corn Festival
    Kick off harvest season with a festival dedicated to all things corn: roasted corn, kettle corn, corn mazes, and corn shucking contests, to be specific.
  93. Thai Festival Seattle 2019
    Discover Thai culture by watching traditional and contemporary music, dance, and theater performances, seeing a Thai cooking demonstration, and shopping from over 70 food and craft vendors.
  94. FILM

  95. The Invisible Vegan
    If you're troubled by the impact of meat production on the environment and are considering eliminating animal products from your diet, join director Jasmine Leyva for a screening of her documentary The Invisible Vegan, followed by a discussion. Vegan snacks will be provided, courtesy of Chef Ariel.
  96. FOOD & DRINK

  97. Beside the Bine: The Humanity of Hop Cultivation
    During peak hop harvest time, sip a zippy brew and hear about the history of hops from local historians Liz Garibay and Brian Alberts. 
  98. Broken Bar Day
    Sometimes Theo Chocolate bars get smashed to smithereens, but you can pick up the pieces at this event, where shattered shards will be on sale for $10 a pound. The first 10 people in line will also receive two free bars of Theo's newest flavor.
  99. Iron Chef Morimoto Ramen Demo and Signing Event
    Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto will come to town to demonstrate how to make his signature instant ramen and to sign posters. Allez cuisine!
  100. Mid-Autumn Festival at Lucky Envelope Brewing: Mooncakes & Beer!
    In celebration of the mid-autumn harvest festival, which is traditionally celebrated in Chinese and Vietnamese cultures on the 15th day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar during the full moon, the Chinese-inspired brewery Lucky Envelope will distribute a variety of free mooncakes in different flavors. They'll also unveil a modified version of their Mijiaya Historic Chinese Beer, which is meant to approximate beer in northern China 5,000 years ago, as well as an autumnal version of their Double Happiness Barrel-Aged Imperial Porter and Lychee Black Tea Hazy IPA.
  101. MUSIC

  102. Earwigfest 8
    Ten bands who have recorded in Wallingford's Earwig Studio (including Shower Scum, Blue Glass, and Subways on the Sun) will take their instruments to Georgetown.
  103. Laser Chance the Rapper Premiere
    Sit back and hear mixes of Chance the Rapper's popular debut album set to colorful laser beams. 
  104. Look Up Fest: Mars
    Twelve West Coast psychedelic dream-pop bands off of Look Up Records will channel Martian energy at this third annual festival. Some acts include Darksoft, La Fonda, Bird & Shooter, and Youth. You can also enter a raffle to support the Beacon Food Forest (and to win cool stuff).
  105. TRL with Ryan Cabrera
    Known as the singer-songwriter of the 2000s hit single "On the Way Down" and as Ashley Simpson's ex-boyfriend, Ryan Cabrera will appear in the flesh for a stripped-down acoustic set. 

  107. Booklover's Burlesque: Much Ado About Seattle
    If only Shakespeare were alive to pour out sonnets about Seattle's talented roster of burlesque artists. This performance will pair the poetic verses of the most famous Bard with sexy performances. 
  108. Love Connie: Shameless In Seattle
    Local queens Strawberry Shartcake and Miss Texas 1988 will join RuPaul's Drag Race star Love Connie, plus Lou Becker and Moises Josue Michel, for some sick fun. 
  109. Ruined Childhood
    Faggedy Randy, Annie Position, Jacqueline Hyde, and many other sexy performers will ruin your memories of Disney movies, Care Bears, Sesame Street, and more.
  110. QUEER

  111. Rainbow Bingo South Park (Aunt Betty Malone)
    Win cash and other prizes at this bingo night with local queen Aunt Betty Malone.

  113. Arboretum Fall Plant Sale
    Prepare for the shift from summer to fall by scooping up native plants at this annual sale.
  114. Kubota Garden Fall Plant Sale
    Shop for perennials, grasses, deciduous and evergreen shrubs, Japanese Maples and more. 
  115. Urban Plants & Pups Pop-Up
    Multiple plant vendors will gather curbside for all your flora and fauna needs (they'll also have pots and other such accessories). If you happen to bring your dog along, stop at the Seattle Barkery for some canine treats. 

  117. Edmonds Coho Derby 2019
    This might be as action-packed as the serene water sport gets. Fisherpeople will compete for a $5,000 cash prize at this salmon-catching derby.
  118. Mountain Fest at Camp Long
    While the weather still permits it, enjoy a day of free rock climbing, mountain-themed games, and nature-learning opportunities.


  120. Cold Plate x Puffle Up
    Thai-style rolled ice cream and Hong Kong-style bubble waffles (or "puffles") are two of the trendiest street foods around. This pop-up will combine the two for maximum Instagrammability.
  121. SUNDAY


  122. Fight Mic
    Comedians will fight for your attention by trying to remove each other's socks on stage, gladiator style. 
  123. A Night of Musical Improv with Laura Hall and Rick Hall
    The accompanying pianist of Whose Line Is It Anyway, Laura Hall, and improviser and actor Rick Hall (KC Undercover, Curb Your Enthusiasm) will team up with students and members of Unexpected Productions for a night of musical improv.

  125. Celebrate Grandparents Day at NAAM
    Honor elder family members with a day of hands-on activities like outdoor games and face-painting, gallery talks, black genealogy resource stations, food, live performances, and more. 
  126. Meet the Seattle Mermaids at Madison Park Beach!
    Meet a group of half-fish people and take photos with them on the shoreline. 
  127. MUSIC

  128. The English Beat at Foodstock
    British ska band the English Beat will jam the heck out while you nosh on offerings from a "food truck rodeo" at this fundraiser for Food Lifeline. 
  129. Sunset Sessions: Luttrell
    Flail your body to melodic techno with San Francisco's Luttrell aboard this working cruise ship.

  131. Pony Party
    Pony World Theatre will celebrate their 10th birthday with a taco bar, lawn games, raffles, booze, and, of course, cake. Snack and hear about their upcoming traveling production of The Christians. 

  133. Julia Douthwaite Viglione and Cecile Perruche: The Frankenstein of the Apple Crate
    In this children's book that draws on scholarly research into how Mary Shelley came up with the idea for Frankenstein, a ghost called Mother helps a young girl recall "the first Gothic thriller" about a helpful robot. At this bilingual author event, Cecil Perruche will read from the French version. 

  135. 2019 Capitol Hill Garage Sale
    Garage sales will take over Capitol Hill (and their home base, Cal Anderson Park) at this day-long community event organized by the Capitol Hill Park Alliance.

  137. Helen Lessick: The Burning Forest (Pyrolysis)
    While life-sized, Helen Lessick's tree trunk installations are made of delicate, diaphanous material. They're suspended above a circle of bituminous coal, exploring the process of pyrolysis (the transformation of organic material by high heat). Learn about what happens to trees in natural disasters and ponder the peril of the wildfires currently raging in the Amazon. Also on view: bronze sculptures and works on paper "exploring vegetal responses to environmental challenges in both somber and playful ways."
    Opening Sunday