Cheap & Easy

The Best Bang for Your Buck Events in Seattle This MLK Day Weekend: Jan 13-16, 2023

MLK Day March and Rally, Tết in Seattle, and More Cheap & Easy Events Under $15
January 13, 2023
This year marks the 40th year of the MLK Day March and Rally. (Seattle MLK, Jr. Organizing Coalition via Facebook)
There's plenty to watch, see, and do this long weekend—and better yet—there's plenty of things to do under $15. Read on for all of your options, from the 2023 MLK Day March and Rally to Tết in Seattle 2023 and from Renaissance - All Beyonce, All Night to Jules Maes Saloon Prohibition Birthday Party. For even more ideas, check out our top picks for the week.

Venues may have health guidelines in place—we advise directly checking the specific protocols for an event before heading out.

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Desperately Seeking Susan in 35mm Add to a List
When I first saw Desperately Seeking Susan sometime in the early 90s, as a bright-eyed, innocent 10 year old, I saw it as a how-to guide for becoming as cool as its star, Madonna. Rosanna Arquette is Roberta Glass, just "a housewife from Fort Lee, New Jersey" and Madonna is Susan, a rock 'n' roll babe who doesn't give a fuck. When Glass gets mistaken for Susan and, after a moped accident, comes to believe she is Susan, the movie (directed by Susan Seidelman!) becomes an antics-filled romp, but also a playbook on living your best life, Madonna style. Steal! Be friends with magician's assistants! Sleep with a young hairy and hunky Aiden Quinn! Wear a lot of jewelry! No, even more jewelry! Go to jail! Get caught up in a mobster's murder! Make friends while you solve crimes! If you're feeling stuck in life, like a plain Jane housewife from New Jersey, head down to Grand Illusion to see this perfect 80s time capsule in all its 35 mm glory to be reminded that you can be whoever the fuck you want to be. STRANGER ARTS EDITOR MEGAN SELING
(Grand Illusion, University District, $5-$11)


Brewing: Turbulent Waters Add to a List
Turbulence and agitation might sound like bad things, but when it comes to making coffee, they're actually very desirable. Learn all about the profound effect that stirring and movement can have on your brews at this free community session.
(Fuel Coffee, Miller Park, free)

Wagyu Smash Dip 'n' Dash Add to a List
The West Seattle smokehouse Lady Jaye will sling wagyu smash burgers alongside hot sauce and soft serve on their patio.
(Lady Jaye, Junction)


St Celfer Add to a List
The São Paulo- and Seattle-dwelling musician St Celfer has been featured on Bandcamp's "New & Notable" page two years in a row for his immersive electronic compositions. For this unique performance, he will play songs on his "gambiarra," an innovative and unpredictable instrument that he invented during the pandemic.
(Chapel Performance Space, Wallingford, $5–$15 donation at the door)


Renaissance - All Beyonce, All Night Add to a List
I think we can all agree that Beyoncé's latest album, Renaissance, was made for the dance floor. So, don't miss this opportunity to "release your stress" by dancing to tracks from the album, along with other favorites from Queen Bey.
(Neumos, Capitol Hill, $5-$10)


Fundraiser Market: Warm Up Ukraine Add to a List
Greenwood Art Collective, which includes six independent art galleries and studio spaces, lets visitors scope out a wide range of visual art under one roof each month for their ongoing art walk. This fundraising edition will feature a bake sale, Ukrainian DJs, and scientific illustrations for sale; a portion of profits from the event will be donated to the Volia Fund, a local nonprofit that is purchasing generators for Ukraine.
(The Greenwood Art Collective, Greenwood, free)


Fiber Art Meet-Up Add to a List
This quarterly meet-up, planned "in the spirit of the quilting bee," will bring together knitters, sewers, and weavers alike for community building around rotating fiber craft techniques. For the first edition of the tactile gathering, attendees will be invited to take part in a knotting activity and a discussion on reclaimed materials with exhibiting artists Add to a List Lee Davignon and Megan Prince.
(The Vestibule, Ballard, free)



Maple Daddies Present: Something to Look Forward to in January Add to a List
Organized by Maple Daddies, this "dopamine delight" of a comedy show will help you shake off the post-holiday blues with a chuckle. The stand-up showcase will feature 420-loving podcasters The Stoner Chicks and sketch comedy group Good Crash.
(Rendezvous, Belltown, $15)


Saturday Secret Matinees 2023 Add to a List
If you're a sucker for old-school cinema with an element of surprise, this recurring series is for you. Grand Illusion will continue its longstanding tradition of screening matinee classics alongside a "weekly cliffhanger episode of a movie serial" every Saturday, all in dreamy 16mm. For the next two weekends, the theme will be “Swashbuckling Generations”—expect swordplay and secret identities.
(Grand Illusion, University District, $5-$11)


La Galette des Rois Add to a List
Tuck into galettes provided by La Parisienne French Bakery at this celebration of the Epiphany (the Christian feast day that celebrates the revelation of God incarnate as Jesus Christ) co-hosted by the Alliance Française de Seattle, the Union des Français à l’Etranger, and Beauchamps Imports. Per tradition, a charm will be hidden in each galette, and the lucky one to find it will be crowned king or queen for the day. You'll also get the opportunity to sip plenty of French cider.
(La Parisienne French Bakery, Belltown, $5-$20)

Soup Club: In Person! Add to a List
Cookbook author (and noted soup lover) Caroline Wright, who received a terminal brain cancer diagnosis in 2017, will set up in front of Book Larder and sling soup inspired by her latest release, Soup Club. All proceeds benefit the Glioblastoma Foundation, which aims to transform the standard of care for glioblastoma.
(Book Larder, Fremont, free)


Clinton Fearon: A Birthday Celebration Add to a List
Stranger writer Charles Mudede wrote: "A former member of the classic Jamaican reggae band the Gladiators, Clinton Fearon is the only real roots rocker in the Pacific Northwest. His first Seattle band, the Defenders, was beloved by all black immigrants, who were moved by his sense of authority, his command of important issues, and his determination that Africa would one day rise again and destroy monolithic Babylon. The Defenders' 'Chant Down Babylon' even became a local hit." The reggae legend will celebrate his 72nd birthday amongst friends, fans, and a few surprise special guests.
(Nectar, Fremont, $10-$15)


Lunar New Year Celebration Add to a List
You'll find martial arts performances, a lion dance, traditional Chinese crafts, family-friendly activities, and more at Bellevue Square for this Lunar New Year celebration, which is co-presented by The Bellevue Collection and Seattle Chinese Culture and Arts Association. The mall will be decked out with bright red decor, perfect for snapping a selfie or two.
(Bellevue Square, free)


A Dance Party (Taylor’s Version) - Eras Edition Add to a List
Are you one of the millions of fans who missed out on tickets to Taylor Swift's sold-out Eras tour? Look no further! This all-T-Swift, all-night dance party will take inspiration from her upcoming tour with songs from all throughout her career (a different album every half hour, to be exact!) for you to sing, dance, and cry along to. This is a safe space to express your Ticketmaster-related rage.
(Neumos, Capitol Hill, $5-$10)

Disco Dust Add to a List
Pull up in your sparkliest attire for an all-vinyl dance party complete with feel-good disco classics and edits from all-vinyl DJs Moonlighter and Robin Burrowes. This is the perfect opportunity to show off your finest hustle, funky chicken, electric slide, and other disco moves.
(Cherry Nightclub, Downtown, $11.90)

Jules Maes Saloon Prohibition Birthday Party Add to a List
Party like it's 1923 with live music, dancing, drink specials, games, and more in celebration of Seattle's oldest bar, Jules Maes' 147th birthday. Prohibition-style costumes are highly encouraged!
(Jules Maes Saloon, Georgetown, free)

Peekaboo! Queer Dance Party Add to a List
DJs Dark Wiley and Aunt Joody will spin an uplifting mix of pop, hip-hop, house, and throwbacks for this celebratory queer dance party featuring performances from drag stars Betty Wetter and Ursula Major.
(Clock-Out Lounge, Beacon Hill, $5)

T4T: All Trans & Non-Binary Drag Show Add to a List
This by-trans, for-trans drag show hosted by Bee’Uh BombChelle promises a glam evening of drag delicacies. Performers include artsy divas and crowd faves like Killer Bunny, Hot Pink Shade, Harley Sayne, and It Girl Solana Solstice.
(Timbre Room, Downtown, $15-$20)


Art Opening Add to a List
Interdisciplinary creative Sable Elyse Smith, self-taught artist Kriston Banfield, local painter Bonnie Hopper, and Jacksonville-based illustrator Amanda Howell Whitehurst will present new work at Wa Na Wari this month. Be the first to see their varied, boundary-pushing works at this opening shindig, which will include refreshments and musical vibes mixed by DJ Surreal.
(Wa Na Wari, Central District, free)

Bleak Beauty Add to a List
Koplin Del Rio's latest group exhibition conjures the overcast days of January with an eclectic mix of sculpture and two-dimensional works rendered in moody blacks and grays.
(Koplin Del Rio Gallery, Pioneer Square, free; opening)



Cafe y Espanol: Casual Conversations in Spanish & Coffee Add to a List
Brush up on your español at these hour-long coffee-fueled sessions with native speakers and novice learners alike.
(Assembly Seattle, Ballard, free)

World Central Kitchen Fundraiser Add to a List
Rachel's Bagels and Burritos, Paul Osher and Raquel Zamora's Ballard cafe specializing in scratch-made bagels and breakfast burritos, has earned praise from the likes of local food writer J. Kenji López-Alt. They'll serve a slightly condensed version of their menu alongside Kuma Coffee espresso drinks at Elliott Bay Brewing to raise funds for the nonprofit World Central Kitchen, which provides meals in the wake of natural disasters.
(Elliott Bay Public House & Brewery, Olympic Hills, $5-$15)


Racer Sessions with Mingjia Chen Add to a List
Known for her improvisational style and various hats as a musician, vocalist, composer, teacher, and curator, Toronto-based artist Mingjia Chen will perform her solo indie folk lullabies with whimsical titles like "avocado sock" and "dreaming in noontime."
(Cafe Racer, Capitol Hill, free)


Intersection of Culture, Identity, and The Dream Community Celebration Add to a List
Stand in solidarity with the Puget Sound's diverse community at this MLK Day celebration, which will include a performance from the Awesome Praise choir, poetry, and other programming organized by youth activists. Celebrators can kick off the festivities early at the Move & Be Moved Social Justice Social Add to a List on January 13, or join in on the museum's other offerings throughout the weekend, including a printmaking session Add to a List with artist and provocateur Amos Paul Kennedy, Jr. (whose politically informed work is currently on view Add to a List ).
(Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, Winslow, free)

KEXP Presents: 23rd Annual Expansions MLK Unity Party and Live Broadcast Add to a List
Join KEXP for the 23rd annual Expansions MLK Unity Party in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy. The show will start off with a live broadcast of Sunday Soul with DJ Supreme La Rock, followed by a special edition of Expansions brought to you by Riz featuring select mixes from the whole gang. If you're not able to make the in-person celebration, be sure to tune in throughout the day for special holiday broadcasting.
(Clock-Out Lounge, Beacon Hill, $12)


Fremont Bridge Winter Market Add to a List
Duck under the Fremont Bridge for the winter season, where you'll find over 100 booths of handcrafted goods, plus street bites, DJs, and patio heaters to help you stay toasty while you mingle.
(Fremont Sunday Market, Fremont, free)



Grand Reopening King Day Celebration Add to a List
Northwest African American Museum will celebrate its long-awaited reopening with a family-friendly Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebration, complete with live music, civil rights film screenings, motivational social justice speakers, and snacks provided by local food vendors.
(Northwest African American Museum, Central District, free)

2023 MLK Day March and Rally Add to a List
Because Martin Luther King, Jr.'s dream is alive and well in 2023, join in on this masked, socially distanced march and rally in solidarity with social justice movements.
(Garfield High School, Central District, free)

South Hudson Music Project Presents: A MLK Day Tribute to Billie Holiday Add to a List
Powerhouse vocalist Johnaye Kendrick will celebrate MLK Day alongside the South Hudson Music Project as they pay tribute to "the lady in satin" Billie Holiday by performing her legendary jazz hits.
(The Royal Room, Columbia City, free)



Seattle MLK Jr Coalition MLK Day 2023 Add to a List
When attending this year's Seattle MLK Jr. Coalition 2023 March and Rally, keep in mind that, in our times, Seattle is the base from which one of the most brazenly racist attacks on American blackness was launched. The key figure in this project is Christopher Rufo, who once ran for a seat on Seattle's City Council. Now he is the GOP's go-to anti-woke guru. And anti-woke only means white people prefer their colored people to be sleepy. That is it and nothing more. What was once conventional, teaching MLK's message and ideas, is now considered to be woke. Our times are still in danger. The spirit of MLK must be taken seriously. The west coast's "longest running MLK" march begins at Garfield High School at 12:30 pm. STRANGER SENIOR STAFF WRITER CHARLES MUDEDE
(Every day, through Jan 16)


Tết Celebration 2023 Add to a List
Raise a paw for the Year of the Cat! This free weekend of Tết festivities invites attendees to enjoy an uproarious lion dance performance by longstanding local troupe Mak Fai Kung Fu and shop Lunar New Year goodies from regional vendors.
(Friends of Little Sài Gòn Creative, free, Saturday-Sunday)

Tết in Seattle 2023 Add to a List
This free, family-friendly Tết celebration calls in the Year of the Cat with lion dances and live musical performances, plus bites from ChuMinh Tofu, Vinason Pho, Puffle Up, and other cultural food vendors. Visitors to Seattle Center in observance of the Vietnamese New Year can also receive complimentary blood sugar and diabetes screenings at the on-site health fair.
(Seattle Center, Uptown, free, Saturday-Sunday)


Children of the Mist Add to a List
Set within the clouded beauty of an Indigenous Hmong village in the Vietnamese mountains, Children of the Mist follows Di, a 12-year-old girl whose adolescence is complicated by newfound access to formal education and the traditional-yet-controversial practice of "bride kidnapping." Amid Lunar New Year celebrations, Di disappears. Hà Lệ Diễm directs the documentary, for which she won the Best Directing award at the 2021 International Documentary Film Festival.
(Northwest Film Forum, Capitol Hill, $7-$14, Friday-Sunday)

Tár Add to a List
Some have described the journey Tár takes us on as one about cancel culture: a phrase that can mean whatever one wants it to mean at this point, though this easy categorization feels far too neat and Internet-brained. A more apt comparison would be to 2014’s Whiplash, a film that explores ambition and power—though Tár contains more humor and a willingness to poke fun at its central subject. Without tipping off exactly what happens, those who stick out the two and a half hour film are treated to a final, fraught, and unexpected punchline. It cements. Field's tragicomedy uncovers the full picture of a unique figure in all her grim glory. PORTLAND MERCURY WRITER CHASE HUTCHINSON
(SIFF Cinema Uptown, Uptown, $13-$14, Friday-Sunday)

Utama Add to a List
Photographer-turned-filmmaker Alejandro Loayza Grisi's debut feature film, which features awe-inspiring cinematography by Barbara Alvarez, won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival. Utama follows an elderly Quechua couple whose tranquil life in the Bolivian highlands is interrupted by a severe drought; the not-so-subtle portrait of global warming was deemed "a gentle and superbly shot film" by The Guardian.
(Northwest Film Forum, Capitol Hill, $7-$14, Friday-Sunday)


Amos Paul Kennedy, Jr.: Rosa Parks Series Add to a List
Detroit-based printer, book artist, and papermaker Amos Paul Kennedy, Jr. is well-known for his pointed social and political critique, which takes on new power when applied to his practice of creating print multiples. Using eco-friendly materials and handset type, Kennedy's works have a vibrant but lo-fi feel; his Rosa Parks series spotlights the civil rights activist's vision with layered quotes and bold compositions.
(Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, Winslow, free, Friday-Monday)

Ariel Parrow: 1969 Add to a List
Seattle-based artist Ariel Parrow deals in the visual language of capitalism and consumerism—slick fonts, even slicker subjects. You might recognize her sculpture work from XO Seattle which featured "HELLO THERE," an installation that shifted depending on where you stood in the room. Parrow's show at Gallery Ergo will feature a body of new work, featuring both paintings and sculptures. She often paints glimpses of people's bodies that look eerily familiar but in a context you can't quite recall. It's spooky and beautiful all at once. STRANGER STAFF WRITER JAS KEIMIG
(Gallery ERGO, Pike Place Market, free, Friday-Monday; opening)

Barry Johnson: for real though Add to a List
Seattle-based multidisciplinary artist Barry Johnson makes intentional shifts to his practice each year, and in his solo exhibition for real though, his focus turns to interiority. Rendering domestic spaces in jewel tones and filling them with books and houseplants, Johnson creates familiar rooms that feel friendly, yet invite questions of visibility and spectatorship.
(Winston Wächter Fine Art, South Lake Union, free, Friday-Saturday)

Door to the Atmosphere Add to a List
This spirit-conjuring group exhibition evokes apocalyptic dreams, rituals, and strange visitations for deep reflection—no Ouija board required. Artists Sedrick Chisom, Harry Gould Harvey IV, Cindy Ji Hye Kim, Mimi Lauter, Jill Mulleady, Naudline Pierre, Eden Seifu, and TARWUK come together in Door to the Atmosphere, drawing from sci-fi, anime, folk tales, and myths to reflect on thresholds and portals to other worlds. The results contain subtle social critiques, merging memories of unsettled pasts and anxieties about uncertain futures.
(Frye Art Museum, First Hill, free, Friday-Sunday; closing)

OUTCRY: Works by Whitney Bradshaw Add to a List
Chicago-based photographer Whitney Bradshaw's OUTCRY project launched on the night of the 2018 Women's March, and has since expanded to include 400 diverse women's portraits. Whitney's ongoing practice involves "scream sessions," wherein women are invited to her studio for intense emotional release and feminist camaraderie. 
(Photographic Center Northwest, Central District, free, Saturday-Monday)

VIM: A Group Invitational Add to a List
Innovative contemporary artists like Sofia Arnold, Markeith Woods, and Genevieve Leavold come together for this invitational group exhibition, a playful response to the archaic word "vim" (not often seen without its counterpoint word, "vigor"). VIM aims to capture the "high spirits and infectious energy" of the term through eye-popping visuals and textures.
(ZINC contemporary, Pioneer Square, free, Friday-Monday)


Village of Lights: Winter Karneval Add to a List
The holidays may be over, but winter's still here—why not pretend you're in a real-deal Bavarian village? Leavenworth's Winter Karneval honors an ancient German tradition called Fasching. The charming town will brighten its streets with twinkle lights and offer performances and demos of ice carving and fire dancing alongside other snowy festivities.
(Leavenworth, Saturday-Sunday)

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