Best Things To Do

These Are the Top 50 Events Happening in Seattle This Week: Oct 11–17, 2021

Refract, the Seattle Queer Film Festival, Kraken Game Night, and More
October 11, 2021
One of the signature events of Refract: The Seattle Glass Experience is Altered States, a group exhibition on Friday featuring interactive technologies and "live illuminated tube creation." (Refract)

This week is absolutely jam-packed with loads of noteworthy events, and luckily for you, we’ve rounded up all the best ones so you can spend less time deciding what to do and more time actually doing all the things! Check out everything from Wa Na Wari’s annual fundraiser Walk the Block to the Seattle Queer Film Festival to Seattle Night Market: Full Moon, and for even MORE ideas, check out our guide to Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

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Indigenous Peoples' Day 2021
The Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center will host a virtual celebration full of dancing, singing, and stories. This year's theme, "Our Existence Is Our Resistance," honors the survivors of residential schools, which separated indigenous children from their families. There will also be a drive-through component at the center from noon to 3 pm—while supplies last, you can pick up a bag with a meal, candle, and an #everychildmatters T-shirt and bracelet.
Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center, Magnolia



Book Larder's 10th Anniversary Celebration
Seattle's premier community cookbook store is celebrating a whole decade of business! Help them toast to the occasion with slices of cake from Coyle's Bakeshop and cookies baked by the store, and draw from a prize basket for a chance to win a mystery book or a discount on your total purchase. A mystery book will also be included in all online purchases while supplies last. 40% of all sales from the day will be donated to the nonprofits LIRS, United Indians of All Tribes, World Central Kitchen, and Planned Parenthood.
Book Larder, Fremont


Jonathan Franzen with Maria Semple — Crossroads
Crossroads, Jonathan Franzen's first novel in his new "magnum opus trilogy" A Key to All Mythologies, tells the story of a multi-generational Midwestern family across three generations, “mirroring the preoccupations and dilemmas of the United States from the Vietnam War to the 2020s.” The acclaimed novelist and essayist will be joined in conversation by fellow author Maria Semple.


Kraken Game Night
Celebrate the first game of the Seattle Kraken's inaugural season at this live broadcast. While you watch our NHL team take on the Las Vegas Golden Nights on the big screen (they're playing in Vegas), you can either sit in the stands or get tickets to skate on the ice yourself. There will also be giveaways, a DJ, and "hockey insights"—but no alcohol, as it's family-friendly.
Kraken Community Iceplex, Northgate



Spoooooky Pun Intended Punslam
Contestants will have to be quick on their feet during this slam-style pun-making competition. Audience members will be in on the action as well—five will be selected as judges who will award scores, "frequently including hilarious pictures and quips." After three rounds each featuring different prompts, a champion will emerge with bragging rights and a $40 gift card from Peddler Brewing.
Peddler Brewing Company, Ballard


Ann Wilson of Heart
Thanks to the Wilson sisters, legendary Seattle rock band Heart was the first widely successful rock band to be fronted by women. Ann Wilson's powerful pipes have earned her an induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and she's regarded as one of the greatest rock & roll singers of all time. Now in her sixth decade as a performer, Wilson is still going strong with her latest EP Sawheat 8.
Neptune Theatre, University District

Theo Croker BLK2LIFE
As the grandson of trumpet legend Doc Cheatham, Grammy-nominated trumpeter Theo Croker has jazz in his blood. On his sixth album BLK2LIFE || A FUTURE PAST, he follows a hero's journey towards self-actualization within the origins of Blackness, presenting "a sonic celebration of Afro-origin, and ultimately a reclamation of the culture, for the culture." He'll play tonight as part of the Earshot Jazz Festival.
Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, Central District



Alyssa! Memoirs of a Traveling Queen
This autobiographical show will shine a spotlight on tongue poppin’ drag legend Alyssa Edwards as you’ve never seen her. Expect costume changes, wigs aplenty, and stunning choreography while the dancing queen divulges stories from her childhood, her appearances on Drag Race, and beyond.
Broadway Performance Hall, Capitol Hill


Omnivorous Outdoors
Scoop up bites and drinks from an array of restaurants, bars, breweries, and distilleries, including Cafe Avole, Communion, Frankie & Jo’s, Hello Robin, L’Oursin, Marjorie, Matt’s in the Market, NuFlours, OOLA, Optimism Brewing, Plenty of Clouds, Rachel’s Ginger Beer, Revolver, Soul & Spice Catering Company, and Terra Plata, at this annual fundraiser for Community Roots Housing. KEXP DJ Riz Rollins will supply the tunes. There's also a free short virtual program for those who'd rather participate from the comfort of their homes.
Capitol Hill Station Plaza, Capitol Hill


Social Justice Film Festival 2021
This film festival highlights fierce and powerful progressive movements around the world. As social justice provides the only throughline, many of the movies have little in common. But the selection skews toward limber, on-the-ground filmmaking in the midst of protests and conflicts. This edition's theme is "Activate Refuge" and will be presented entirely virtually. See documentaries about, among other topics, unemployment during the pandemic, indigenous people living with HIV, a pair of journalists' search for disappeared people in Mexico, and more. There will also be panel talks and a filmmaker happy hour. 
University Heights, University District



Leavenworth Oktoberfest Markt
Leavenworth is switching up the format of its annual Oktoberfest extravaganza in favor of a festive "street fair vibe," with 100 local artists, vendors, and artisans for the first three weekends in October. In addition, you can expect classic German food, souvenirs, and a "kinderplatz" area for kids.

Seattle Made Tour & Tasting
At this Seattle Made Week event, you can taste beverages from local producers Ladro Roasting, Rooftop Brewing, and Fast Penny Spirits with a group and tour their production facilities. Plus, snack on samples from Honest Biscuit, Firefly Kitchens, Elsom Cellars, Seattle Sorbets, Marination, and Fuse Sauces.
Rooftop Brewing Company, North Queen Anne


La Fin
The cast of Valtesse Productions brings back their sexy and sinister revue for Halloween, "Dripping in erotic art, red and black velvet curtains, ornate rooms, secret corners, candles, and sensuality." Marvel at dance and burlesque performances in addition to contortion and aerial arts acts. Guests are encouraged to attend in costume, or red and black cocktail attire/fetish wear.
Little Red Day Spa, Industrial District


Written in the Stars: a queer astrology based matchmaking comedy show
The Bachelorette meets Co–Star in this queer dating show hosted by comedian Stephanie Nam and The Magic™ Astrologer. Following a match between a lucky bacheloreXXX with one of three potential suitors, audiences will watch the pair go on a date while local comedian Mitch Mitchell, Lee Nacozy, and Val Nigro make (ill-timed?) jokes about dating.
Rendezvous, Belltown


Seattle Arts & Lectures Presents: Kaveh Akbar
Accomplished poet Kaveh Akbar meditates on the question "How does one recover from addiction without destroying the self-as-addict?" in Pilgrim Bell, his newest collection of poems. He will be joined for a Q&A by Lena Khalaf Tuffaha.
Hugo House, Capitol Hill

Susan Orlean
New Yorker staff writer Susan Orlean presents her latest book, On Animals, compiling a "lifetime of musings, meditations, and in-depth profiles" about our relationships to household pets, animals we eat, predators, and more. The collection includes pieces "about animals that star in movies and animals that go to war and animals that are celebrated for being beautiful."
Town Hall, First Hill



Fall Fest + Spooky Specimens Tour
Glimpse a selection of the Volunteer Park Conservatory's spookiest specimens and learn about its history. Plus, enjoy music outside and purchase beer, cider, and snacks before or after your tour.
Volunteer Park Conservatory, Capitol Hill


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

Walk the Block: Wa Na Wari’s 3rd Annual Fundraiser
Black art and cultural space Wa Na Wari will utilize neighborhood spaces such as homes, businesses, parks, and more for street-viewable art installations and performance sites in their community-centered fall fundraising event Walk the Block. Take in art, video installations, live music, and more from artists such as Black Embodiments Studio, Shelf Life Community Story Project, Vis-a-Vis Society, and DJ Riz.
Wa Na Wari, Central District


Flogging Molly & Violent Femmes
Punk stalwarts Flogging Molly with their infusion of traditional Irish music, and Violent Femmes with their folk punk sensibilities, will team up for this co-headlining tour. Expect hits like "Drunken Lullabies" and "Blister in the Sun" to follow opening acts Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, and Thick.
WaMu Theater, SoDo

Pier Sounds Concert Series
Take in the sights and sounds of Elliott Bay layered with tunes from different performers 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

Seattle Rock Orchestra performs Pink Floyd: The Dark Side of the Moon
Seattle Rock Orchestra pays tribute to psychedelic and progressive rock band Pink Floyd, performing The Dark Side of the Moon in its totality. Hear the reimagining of this seminal album with the orchestra's arrangements featuring soloists from every section. 
Moore Theatre, Belltown


Seattle Night Market: Full Moon
The Seattle Street Food Festival presents the return of the city's largest indoor night market, showcasing 75 makers and local shops at the sprawling 30,000 square-foot indoor/outdoor venue Magnuson Park Hangar 30. If you need a breather from your retail habit, enjoy music from live DJs and other musicians, grab a bite from your choice of 15 food trucks and vendors, hit the bar, or capture some memories in photo booths.
Magnuson Park Hangar 30, Sand Point



Freakscene – the Story of Dinosaur Jr.
Goethe Pop Up Seattle and SIFF present the US premiere of Freakscene – The Story of Dinosaur Jr., a 2020 German documentary that tells the story of grunge pioneers Dinosaur Jr. through archive material and interviews. The screening will be complemented by a live virtual Q&A moderated by Megan Jasper of Sub Pop Records with director Philipp Reichenheim and Dinosaur Jr. frontman J. Mascis.
SIFF Cinema Egyptian, Capitol Hill


Fall Mead Fest at Skål Beer Hall
Drink like a Viking at this mead festival, which will feature honey wine made by six local meaderies (Æsir Meadery, Artivem Mead, Ethereal Mead, Hierophant Mead, KVLT Mead, and Oppegaard Meadery). You'll be able to sample the meads, meet the producers, purchase bottles to take home, and feast on sausage and pretzels.
Skål Beer Hall, Ballard


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

Seattle Arts & Lectures Presents: Lauren Groff
Three-time National Book Awards finalist Lauren Groff will no doubt chat about her fourth novel, Matrix, which was released last month. Following 17-year-old Marie de France as she's "sent to England to be the new prioress of an impoverished abbey" with "nuns on the brink of starvation and beset by disease," the novel is a National Book Awards 2021 finalist in fiction.

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.


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



Indigenous People Festival
Share in the wisdom of locally and nationally recognized Indigenous artists and advocates during a four-day schedule of virtual performances and panels covering topics like Indigenous foods and boarding school survivors. Presented by the Seattle Indian Health Board (SIHB) under the umbrella of Festál, the event will culminate with the in-person SpiritWalk & Warrior Run.
Virtual (Tuesday-Saturday)

Tasveer Festival
A multifaceted festival championing South Asian arts, Tasveer can be experienced through its film programming, celebration of literature from South Asia and its diaspora, or through the new-this-year "talk" component, which will feature the month-long comedy workshop Desi Girls Comedy Project and culminate in a comedy show spearheaded by Zubi Ahmed of Kutti Gang, a queer South Asian women’s comedy troupe based out of New York.
Virtual (Monday-Sunday)


Tacoma Film Festival 2021
This nonprofit festival makes an in-person return this year, with over 125 films being screened at Tacoma's Grand Cinema. The week-long program will be anchored by Potato Dreams of America, The Scary of Sixty First, Terra Femme, and Thin Skin.
Grand Cinema, Tacoma (Monday-Thursday)

Seattle Latino Film Festival
This 13th annual Seattle festival of Chicanx and Latinx cinema will feature both in-person and online screenings of films from almost 20 countries. Highlights include the documentary LA Quinceañera, Brazilian thriller The Fall, and Mexican rom-com Modern Love. Don't miss opening night at the Seattle Asian Art Museum, where the Uruguayan comedy The Broken Glass Theory will premiere and Honduran-American actor Dennis Mencia (Jane the Virgin, Infiltrators) will MC.
Ark Lodge Cinemas, Columbia City (Monday-Sunday)

Seattle Queer Film Festival
Film buffs from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho will be able to access the Seattle Queer Film Festival's digital programming this year. Stream shorts, docs, and films about lesbian, gay, bi/queer, trans, and QTBIPOC folx at your leisure or join at the festival's suggesting viewing times to also watch live Q&A sessions.
Virtual (Thursday-Sunday)


A Nightmare on Wall Street
As a spooky-season tradition, Belltown’s award-winning tiki bar Navy Strength temporarily transforms into a “fully immersive haunting experience" each October, with libations inspired by classic and modern horror flicks. Staff will dress up in costumes, and there will be a different theme this week if you want to join in. Frightening horror-film soundtracks contribute to the spine-chilling milieu. This year's lineup includes cocktails inspired by Sleepaway Camp, It, Carrie, The Babadook, Nightmare on Elm Street, Jaws, and more, available for both takeout and dine-in. 
Navy Strength, Belltown (Monday-Sunday)

Georgetown Morgue
This annual haunted village of doom—which takes place in an actual former morgue—hosts scares all throughout autumn.
Georgetown Morgue, Industrial District (Thursday-Sunday)

This Is Halloween
Inspired by the Tim Burton classic The Nightmare Before Christmas, this original musical adaptation features Can Can Productions' signature cabaret and burlesque production stylings, live orchestral music, haunting vocals, and video projections. This is pumpkin king Jack Skellington as you've never seen him.
Triple Door, Downtown (Friday-Sunday)


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, Washington Park


Wilco - Ode to Joy Tour
With 11 studio albums, plus a live album and more collaboration albums under their belts, Grammy-winning band Wilco has established themselves as alt-rock royalty. Their two-night stint in Seattle will feature their well-received 2019 "protest record" Ode to Joy
Paramount Theatre, Downtown (Tuesday-Wednesday)

Earshot Jazz Festival 2021
This year's hybrid Earshot Jazz Festival will provide swingin' in-person and virtual experiences from a lengthy lineup including headlining Cuban pianist Chucho Valdés, featured resident artist Marina Albero, Eugenie Jones, Kareem Kandi World Orchestra, The Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra, and many more.
Various locations and virtual (Wednesday-Sunday)


Frisson: The Richard E. Lang and Jane Lang Davis Collection
View 19 works from the collection of Richard E. Lang and Jane Lang Davis, gifted by the Friday Foundation. Frisson spans a post-war period between 1945-1976, with paintings, drawings, and sculptures tracing the artistic development of influential American and European abstract expressionists such as Francis Bacon, Lee Krasner, Joan Mitchell, and others. 
Seattle Art Museum, Downtown (Friday-Sunday)

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." 
Stonington Gallery, Pioneer Square (Wednesday-Saturday)

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 that invite the viewer to examine the relationship between the pieces and the spaces that hold them.
Henry Art Gallery, University District (Saturday-Sunday)

Monet at Étretat
SAM's resident Monet painting, Fishing Boats at Étretat, gets placed within a larger landscape of the French impressionist's work, focusing on pieces created during his times of artistic and financial struggle. The collection also brings a dozen works by Monet's contemporaries. 
Seattle Art Museum, Downtown (Wednesday-Sunday; closing)

Refract: The Seattle Glass Experience
Seattle is the heart of the U.S. studio glass art movement, and at this grand celebration of the medium, it's easy to see why. See delicate wonders of all shapes and colors at Refract's special events, art sales, open studios, exhibitions, demos, and more. 
Various locations (Thursday-Sunday)


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 (Thursday-Sunday)


Tom Segura: I'm Coming Everywhere
Comedian, podcaster, actor, and writer Tom Segura has a "natural and capable storytelling ability, one that lifts his narratives out of average anecdote fare and plants them firmly in hilarious ground” (Paste). His most recent Netflix special Ball Hog should be a satisfying appetizer for his three-night tour stop, at which we hope his wife and collaborator Christina Pazsitzky will make a surprise appearance.
Paramount Theatre, Downtown (Friday-Sunday)


La Bohème
Seattle Opera performs this classic four-act opera portraying young Parisians living the Bohemian lifestyle and following their love lives and creative pursuits. Get swept up by Puccini's moving score in this "timeless story of love and loss."
McCaw Hall, Seattle Center (Saturday-Sunday)

What We Were
Pony World Theatre makes their live performance return with the West Coast premiere of Blake Hackler's award-winning What We Were. The play is set over a span of 20 years, looking at the lives of three sisters who have been impacted by their abusive childhood. When youngest sister Tessa resurfaces after her disappearance 17 years ago, the family is forced to deal with their troubled past head-on and find ways to heal. 
12th Avenue Arts, Capitol Hill (Friday-Saturday)


Come on In | Faye Driscoll
As part of this truly one-of-a-kind "experiential exhibition"—which includes a space "awash with ambient sound, plush carpet, and pulsating light"—you'll be asked to take off your shoes and lie down on provided beds. You'll then "enter a state of repose and listen to individual soundtracks of Driscoll’s voice that guide [your] experience through a series of prompts and subtle directives." The goal is to reflect on "power and presence, yearning and absence, and... to reconceive our body and its limits." 
On the Boards, Uptown (Thursday-Saturday)