Cheap & Easy

The Best Bang for Your Buck Events in Seattle This Weekend: Nov 24–26, 2023

Magic in the Market, Record Store Day Black Friday, and More Cheap & Easy Events Under $15
November 24, 2023
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Switch on your holiday spirit at the Tree Lighting Celebration at Westlake Park. (Downtown Seattle Association via Facebook)
The holiday season is now officially in full swing, and as such, there's plenty to busy yourself with. Make merry at events like the 28th Annual Magic in the Market, the Tree Lighting Celebration at Westlake Park, or Winterfest, and take the opportunity to shop small this weekend at Record Store Day: RSD Black Friday or the November Native Art Market. For more ideas, check out our guide to the top events of the week.

Holiday hours may vary—please check venue websites directly for the most up-to-date information.


Jump to: Friday | Saturday | Sunday | Multi-Day


FRIDAY

FOOD & DRINK

Coffee Beer and Donuts Past Event List
Need a little caffeine to shake off your tryptophan-induced Thanksgiving stupor? At Reuben's perennial favorite Coffee Beer and Donuts event, you can enjoy the Homer Simpson-approved combination of three Kuma Coffee-infused beers alongside a trio of brioche doughnuts with complementary flavors from the buzzy Doce Donut Co. JB
(Reuben's Brews, Fremont)

PARTIES & NIGHTLIFE

Black Cat Friday: A Feline-Themed Dark Dance Party & Holiday Market Past Event List
Take it from me, the mother of a 25-pound black cat—Thanksgiving weekend is a cat's time to shine. Not only does my son love the turkey leftovers, but he also matches my post-Thanksgiving dinner lethargy and crankiness in a way that no one else can. Dance off that frantic feline energy with this black cat-themed party and market featuring moody darkwave tunes, witchy local vendors, and tarot readings. All black, feline-themed looks are highly encouraged! AV
(Underbelly, Pioneer Square, $12-$15)

SHOPPING

GeekCraft Expo Seattle Holiday Market 2023 Past Event List
Find a gift for every geek in your life at this DIY craft market with fandom-inspired wares from hundreds of local vendors. There will be tons of fan art, miniatures, ceramics, fantasy-inspired tea, jewelry, stained glass, and more. Dust off those PAX fits, because cosplay is highly encouraged! Plus, there’ll be plenty of free activities to keep the kiddos entertained while you shop. Tickets for the preview night on Friday are a little pricier than the $5 weekend daily entrance fee, but you'll get first pick of all the geeky goods. SL
(Magnuson Park Hangar 30, Sand Point, $2-$20)

Record Store Day: RSD Black Friday 2023 Past Event List
Whether you're looking forspecial RSD releases, or just want to support your local record store, drag yourself out of bed bright and early this Black Friday as shops around town fill up with vinyl-hungry shoppers. Participation varies store-to-store, but expect sales, exclusive merch, extended hours, in-store performances, and other special events. Highlights from this year's special releases include a 7" box set of De La Soul's long out-of-print opus 3 Feet High and Rising, unheard demos from Joni Mitchell's Court and Spark, and PNW label Light in the Attic's compilation Light In The Attic & Friends, which features contemporary artists covering their favorite unsung heroes. Check out the RSD website for a full list of participating stores. AV
(Various locations)

SPORTS & RECREATION

Pregame at the Armory: Seattle Kraken Pregame Experience Remind List
The Seattle Kraken are back! The Seattle Center Armory is once again hosting pregame celebrations, starting two hours before each weekend match. You can join your fellow Kraken friends to make signs, play cornhole, enjoy food and drink vendors, and get hyped before the puck drops! If you don't have tickets to the game at Climate Pledge next door, don't fret, the Armory will be showing it on a big screen. You can even get your photo with Kraken mascot Buoy, or enjoy toe-tappin' tunes from Kraken band Red Alert. SL
(Seattle Center Armory, Uptown, free)

WINTER HOLIDAYS

Tree Lighting Celebration at Westlake Park Past Event List
If you've wandered through Westlake recently, you may have noticed new light installations like snowflakes and a giant reindeer. But that was just the beginning, as the city has added a 45-foot holiday tree. Head to the lighting ceremony early for live music from Holiday Harmony POP and the Pike Street Drummer, giveaways, and more. At 5 pm, join the tree lighting countdown, which will be followed by a fireworks show and more live music from the African American Cultural Ensemble and the Jewel Tones. SL
(Westlake Park, Downtown, free)

SATURDAY

COMEDY

Bandit Theater Presents: Fancy Cafeteria Musical Improv Past Event List
Part Broadway glamour, part disheveled improv experiment, Fancy Cafeteria is essentially the comedy equivalent of pizza day at school with a side of chocolate milk. Each edition serves up a brand-new musical straight from audience suggestions, complete with song, dance, a live soundtrack, and a full cast. With no predetermined script or score, it's bound to be a bumpy, hilarious ride. (Resist the urge to start a food fight.) LC
(Here-After at the Crocodile, Belltown, $15)

Friendship Dungeon Past Event List
Self-described as the city's "most-tolerated wizard grandpas," Derek Sheen and Emmett Montgomery have been doing strange stuff on stage for a long-ass time. Friendship Dungeon is no exception: The feel-good, weirdo show at new-ish comedy cavern Comedy/Bar spotlights local laughers at their "oddest and best" and surprise guests from farther-flung locales. "You might meet puppets and other monsters that will teach you things you may not want to know," the promotional materials tease. Bring it on. LC
(Comedy/Bar, Capitol Hill, $15)

COMMUNITY

NaNoWriMo Saturdays Past Event List
National Novel Writing Month—aka NaNoWriMo—invites participants to finally jam out their masterwork by committing to finishing a 50,000-word manuscript during the month of November. Sound hard? Sound, like, almost impossible? You're not wrong!! But NaNoWriMo is well-known for the supportive environment it provides. So go ahead—I dare you to finish that sci-fi soap opera of a novel about robot squids that you've had on the back burner. On Saturday afternoons this month, you can head to Folio for writing support and company. You may win a rubber duck. LC
(Folio: The Seattle Athenaeum, Pike Place Market, free)

FOOD & DRINK

Food Walk - Small Business Saturday 2023 Past Event List
In honor of Small Business Saturday, give Bezos and friends the finger and instead opt to stroll through Chinatown-International District, checking out food specials and retail items at participating local businesses. If you're lucky, you might even take home a prize. JB
(Hing Hay Park, Chinatown-International District, free)

WINTER HOLIDAYS

28th Annual Magic in the Market Past Event List
Pike Place Market loves to kick off the Christmas season right after Thanksgiving with their annual Magic at the Market event. You can take a free photo with Santa under the iconic clock and neon sign, print your own handmade stocking, watch glass artist Gina Karaba create handblown ornaments, and enjoy live holiday music from buskers and the STRUM Choral group. Make sure you're around during the five o'clock hour for the lighting ceremony led by Mr. Claus himself and featuring a performance from the Can Can Culinary Cabaret dancers. You can even pick out a fresh-cut tree (if you've got the space) or a holiday wreath (if your home is more economy-sized). SL
(Pike Place Market, Pike Place Market, free)

GloCone and Holiday Lighting Event Past Event List
Fun fact: the Phinney Park Air Raid tower is one of the few remaining Cold War air raid towers in the US, and every winter it gets a glow up when it becomes the "GloCone" with the help of 3,200 synchronized LEDs. The community comes together to celebrate the illumination with an evening filled with caroling, hot cocoa, sweet treats, and cheer. SL
(Phinney Center Community Hall, Phinney Ridge, free)

SUNDAY

FILM

Moving History: Bernie Whitebear and Vi Hilbert Past Event List
In observance of Native American Heritage Month, MIPoPS (Moving Image Preservation of Puget Sound) will share two video documents of beloved Native cultural stewards Vi taqʷšəblu Hilbert and Bernie Whitebear. Sharing Legends at Upper Skagit centers Vi Hilbert, a member and noted elder of the Upper Skagit tribe, while Bernie Whitebear: Modern Warrior details Whitebear's contributions to the establishment of the Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center and the United Indians of All Tribes Foundation. Proceeds from the screening will be donated to Lushootseed Research, a nonprofit "dedicated to sustaining Lushootseed language and culture to enhance cross-cultural knowledge." LC
(Northwest Film Forum, Capitol Hill, $7-$14)

LIVE MUSIC

Boris and the Joy, Serafima and the Shakedowns, and Alexandria Boe Past Event List
Boris and the Joy make sad boy bops that would appease any Elliott Smith or Sufjan Stevens fan. He will stop by on the seasonally appropriate Follow the Love in Autumn tour with the "un-Americana" band Serafima and the Shakedowns and indie-folk artist Alexandria Boe. AV
(Black Lodge, South Lake Union, $12-$15)

MULTI-DAY

EXHIBIT

Honored to Tell Past Event List
The first cohort to graduate from the Seattle Black Spatial Histories Institute will share their oral history and "Black memory work" in this culminating exhibition, which was inspired by interviews with Black longshore workers, barbers, dancers, educators, and beauticians. I'm stoked to see Ricky Reyes, Eboni Wyatt, and Sierra Parsons's Making.Wavs zine and immersive reading room, Ariel Paine's barbershop installation, and Brenetta Ward's quilted scrolls. LC
(Wa Na Wari, Central District, free, Friday-Sunday)

Maples Of The Seattle Japanese Garden Past Event List
Fall colors have officially unfolded among the Seattle Japanese Garden's collection of maple trees, making it the perfect time to visit and feel thankful that you live in a place with seasons. (Plus, the photo ops can't be beat.) This year, the garden is supplementing the autumnal atmosphere with an exhibition of photographs of maple tree specimens, each collected and documented by volunteers from the Arboretum Foundation and volunteers and staff from the Hyde Herbarium at the Center for Urban Horticulture. The exhibit presents an updated historical record of the garden's maples, and it should appeal to the nature nerd in (almost) all of us. LC
(Seattle Japanese Garden, Capitol Hill, $0-$10, Friday-Sunday)

Seattle Kraken Specialty Jerseys Exhibit Past Event List
Don’t miss your last chance to see a hockey-inspired art exhibit! The Seattle Kraken wear a number of special jerseys each season, and this year you can see them all on display before they hit the ice. Local artists have been commissioned to design the jerseys for Indigenous Peoples Night, Lunar New Year, Women in Hockey Night, and more—each one is a work of art. The exhibit also features jerseys from the Kraken’s past two seasons. SL
(A/NT Gallery, Belltown, free, Friday-Saturday; closing)

SHOPPING

November Native Art Market 2023 Past Event List
Celebrate Native American Heritage Month by supporting local Native artisans at this three-day holiday market, which includes traditional Native fare from on-site food vendors and handmade gifts (last year's event featured detailed wood carvings, drums, and prints) by local Indigenous creatives. It's also a solid opportunity to learn more about the Duwamish Longhouse and Cultural Center, which supports the survival of Seattle's Duwamish tribe. LC
(Duwamish Longhouse, North Delridge, free, Friday-Sunday)

FILM

50 Years of SIFF Past Event List
SIFF Cinema Egyptian's latest series offers a rare opportunity to catch 21 Seattle International Film Festival faves and Audience Award winners. Over the last five decades, the festival has screened over 10,000 films from all over the world, so seeing them all would be pretty much impossible. These screenings will help fill the gaps on your Letterboxd lists, though. The series continues with Eighth Grade, Trainspotting, and Black Dynamite this weekend. I'm stoked that they'll screen the eerie Australian flick Picnic at Hanging Rock, a favorite of SIFF festivalgoers in 1979, next week. LC
(SIFF Cinema Egyptian, Capitol Hill)

Anatomy of a Fall Past Event List
In one of Burial's unreleased tracks, you will find a sample that makes this claim: "It's like people had forgotten how to make a tune." Something similar can be said about the cinema of the procedural. It's hard to find a director who can do it right, who deeply understands the form. This is why Anatomy of a Fall, a French film by Justine Triet, is so remarkable: It's 100% a thriller. There is a crime, an investigation, a suspect, and, of course, lots of drama in the court. Triet builds all of the questions (Who did it? What are we missing? Why is the man nearly blind? What about the music? The aspirin?) into a solid maze. And the tension increases the closer we get to its core. Anatomy of a Fall (what a great title) deserved the Palme d'Or it won at this year's Cannes Film Festival. STRANGER SENIOR STAFF WRITER CHARLES MUDEDE
(SIFF Cinema Uptown, Uptown, $13-$14, Friday-Sunday)

Dream Scenario Past Event List
Fans of last year's Everything Everywhere All at Once will likely dig Dream Scenario, which continues A24's recent propensity for gonzo dream sequences and madcap visuals with a fun plotline: Nicolas Cage stars as a typical dude whose life flip-flops when he begins appearing in millions of people's dreams. If that sounds familiar, you're not wrong—it seems likely that the film was inspired by This Man, who allegedly began appearing in dreams back in 2006. Does this mean we'll start to see more flicks based on old memes, guerilla marketing tactics, and internet hoaxes? I'm here for it. LC
(SIFF Cinema Uptown, Uptown, $13-$14, Friday-Sunday)

The Holdovers Past Event List
It's November. It's time to watch Paul Giamatti act his little heart out as a curmudgeonly educator at a New England prep school in the '60s, where a gaggle of students have been left behind on Christmas break. Honestly, though, have you ever heard a film premise that made you want to wear wool socks and drink apple cider more than this one? Plus, and perhaps most importantly, The Holdovers was directed by Alexander Payne, aka the guy who made Election and that movie about wine. It's going to be funny and charming!!! Enjoy. LC
(SIFF Cinema Uptown, Uptown, $13-$14, Friday-Sunday)

Saltburn Past Event List
Emerald Fennell's latest film is nothing if not polarizing ("Saltburn is the sort of embarrassment you’ll put up with for 75 minutes. But not for 127," says the New York Times), but as the world's preeminent Barry Keoghan stan, I have to at least entertain the idea that it has legs. Saltburn is billed as a "wicked tale of privilege and desire" (oOoOo) that sees an Oxford student attempt to infiltrate the aristocratic world of a classmate on an "eccentric family’s sprawling estate." (Has anything good ever happened at a "sprawling estate?") If you like Agatha Christie and drugs, this one might hit. LC
(SIFF Cinema Uptown, Uptown, $13-$14, Friday-Sunday)

South Sound Experimental Film Festival Past Event List
Returning for its third year with more exploratory short films from artists based in the South Puget Sound area, the South Sound Experimental Film Festival spotlights creatives whose work may have otherwise gone overlooked due to "identity, insufficient resources, or qualifications of practice or technique." Fans of hybrid and experimental film won't want to miss it. I was jazzed to hear that the fest will open with Deep Listening: The Story of Pauline Oliveros; if you're not familiar with the pioneering work of the post-war composer, philosopher, and electronic musician, now's the time to learn about it. When Oliveros died in 2016, her "sonic meditations," created during the late '60s, still felt prescient, even futuristic. Hundreds flocked to social media to share excerpts of her work. (“Take a walk at night. Walk so silently that the bottoms of your feet become ears.”) Oliveros was an innovator in every sense, creating everything from musical tools and software to the "deep listening" aesthetic for which she would become best known. Dip your toes into her forward-thinking world with the documentary,and pregame with this TEDx talk, recorded only a year before her death. LC
(Northwest Film Forum, Capitol Hill, $13-$17, Saturday-Sunday)

Women Make Movies present: Queer Indigenous Shorts Past Event List
As the world's leading distributor of independent films by and about women, Women Make Movies supports women producers and directors who are "planting the seeds for a diverse and inclusive filmmaking landscape." Cool! This screening of three short films by queer Indigenous women creatives is a great introduction to what the organization does (and will likely introduce you to some filmmakers you weren't familiar with before). I'm intrigued by Mona Smith's Her Giveaway: A Spiritual Journey with AIDS, which "confronts the “official” invisibility of women, Native Americans, and lesbians with AIDS," and Shelley Niro's Honey Moccasin, a key entry in a "wave of films that examined Native identity in the '90s." LC
(Northwest Film Forum, Capitol Hill, $7-$14)

VISUAL ART

Emily Counts: So Familiar Past Event List
Emily Counts' ceramic style is always a little (okay, more than a little) mystical, reflecting on nature and the fragility of life through surreal sculptural busts and curious wall pieces that are sometimes lit from within. In her new exhibition So Familiar, Counts's coven of life-sized ceramic figures "stand in ceremony," each paired with a folkloric animal familiar. The exhibition expands upon her previous exhibition, Sea of Vapors, at the now-shuttered Museum of Museums, so expect more themes of growth, decomposition, aging, and transformation, plus sensory oddities and nostalgic features. LC
(studio e, Georgetown, free, Friday-Saturday)

Mary Josephson: Plenty Past Event List
Just look at Mary Josephson's beaded tapestries. They are incredible. Don't you want to see them in person?! Seriously, this blurb almost writes itself. The lush foliage and color-drenched compositions of Josephson's visual world as supplemented by her generous material usage, and each piece seems to scream and shout in celebration of life, animals, and texture. Although her multicolored works are forces to be reckoned with, I'm equally intrigued by Jacobson's quieter etched glass pieces, which fill the frame with confident gestures. LC
(Traver Gallery, Downtown, free, Friday-Saturday)

Sunshady Days: A 50 year Retrospective of Bumbershoot Past Event List
As a Seattle native, I grew up attending Bumbershoot before I knew what the word itself meant (it’s a synonym for umbrella if you still aren’t in the know). I have countless memories of the festival; running around the grounds with my big sister to see acts like Bob Dylan, Paramore, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, the Black Eyed Peas, Katy Perry, and many more. That's why, when I attended Bumbershoot's 50th-anniversary festival this summer, I wandered into the A/NT Gallery's photo retrospective and was nearly brought to tears. The exhibit included not only artist photos, but images of the audience that capture the spirit of the festival and its evolution over the past decade. Now, the exhibit has moved over to Photographic Center Northwest so that you can view it all month long. AV
(Photographic Center Northwest, Capitol Hill, free, Friday-Sunday)

WINTER HOLIDAYS

Winterfest Past Event List
Every holiday season, the Seattle Center transforms into Winterfest, where visitors will find seasonal decor, live performances on the weekends, and of course, the beloved miniature winter train and village. For the first time this year, we're getting a European-inspired outdoor Christmas market offering gifts from local and international vendors as well as tasty treats like glühwein and bratwurst. Winterfest opens on Friday, November 24, with kick-off celebrations including ice sculpture carving, roving carolers, s'mores, fire pits, and more. SL
(Seattle Center, Uptown, free, Friday-Sunday)

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