This month has flown by like a flock of Great Blue Herons, which, as it happens, tend to hang around Seattle wetlands like the Ballard Locks this time of year. Read on for details on everything from how to become a spring nature expert in your neighborhood (which includes the aforementioned bird-watching) to how to zhuzh up your Passover Seder, and from food and drink specials for the Hindu festival Holi (like a celebration kit from Lassi & Spice) to a moment of silence for AAPI communities on the front steps of the Seattle Asian Art Museum. For even more options, read our guides to the best online events this week, the best movies to watch this week, and our complete guide to in-person things to do in Seattle.
Zhuzh up your standard Passover Seder. The first night of Passover—the Jewish holiday that recalls how the Israelites were spared during the last of the ten plagues in Egypt and liberated from slavery—is this Saturday, and even if you've scaled down to a party of one, there's no need to limit your celebration to the bitter herbs and charoset piled neatly on your Seder plate. To keep things fresh, opt for a kosher feast from local restaurants like Dingfelder's Delicatessen (whose à la carte holiday dishes include whole roasted chickens, slow-roasted brisket with gravy, house-smoked salmon, and strawberry ganache matzo cake), Vif (serving up rich chicken broth with leeks, carrots, and lokshen; braised chicken thighs marbella; and gluten-free almond cake with poached rhubarb and Meyer lemon cream), or another option in our roundup of Passover specials. Once your food and beverage situation is secured (bonus points if you drink your Manischewitz out of a chalice), swap out the Haggadah for a streaming Passover-themed TV episode. We like the Rugrats one where everyone gets trapped in the attic and is forced to hear Grandpa Boris retell the story of the holiday, but if you're not into kids' shows, turn to Curb Your Enthusiasm, High Maintenance, SNL, or—for a more educational vibe—Exodus: Gods & Kings. You might also consider Stroum Jewish Community Center's Passover events, like a Trophy Cupcake pop-up (flourless options only, of course) and a virtual Tot Shabbat, both on Friday.
Donate your winter clothes. Another common Passover tradition entails searching the house for non-kosher food items and tends to yield a thorough spring cleaning, but that's just a fun fact—you definitely don't need to partake in Jewish tradition to get rid of stuff for the new season. As you parse through your too-small sweaters and high-water snow pants that sat in your closet this winter, put them aside to donate to local charities like Mary's Place, which serves women and families experiencing homelessness in Seattle, drop them off at your nearest Goodwill, or, if you're looking to earn a little cash or store credit for your more coveted items, try your luck at Crossroads or Red Light.
Enjoy the first tastes of spring. The bounty of fresh spring produce, like asparagus, nettles, leeks, peas, tender leafy greens, rhubarb, and more, is just beginning, and chefs around town are whipping up special dishes to showcase it in all of its glory. Check out the white asparagus with nettle pesto at Paragon, the Creste di Gallo pasta with baby spinach pesto, creme fraiche, and Aleppo pepper at Pasta Casalinga, spring pea and beef bresaola pizza at Serious Pie, or the burrata with rhubarb, pistachio, and crostini at Haymaker.
Become a spring nature expert in your neighborhood. You can point out a cherry blossom and a daffodil, but what about those banana-like yellow flowers popping up on bushes in Volunteer Park, or the fuchsia petals you're only partly sure belong to rhododendrons? As flora and fauna brighten your local sidewalks, parks, and gardens, now's the time to learn their names and how long they'll stick around, as well as the birds and pollinators returning to the public eye after a long winter. To save your thumbs from Google fatigue, pick up a PNW guidebook from your local bookstore—like Arthur Kruckerberg and Linda Chalker-Scott's Gardening with Native Plants of the Pacific Northwest, the new edition of Birder's Guide to Washington, and this native plant directory from the Washington Native Plant Society—to flip through at home or refer to on your next spring stroll. While you're out, you may notice a small bird resting on the ground and looking uncommonly chill. If it doesn't fly away when you approach it—or if it appears puffed up—it may have salmonellosis, a disease brought over by Canadian pine siskins that's infecting a lot of winged creatures here in town. In that case, you'll want to call up the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to take care of it. (You'll also want to remove and/or diligently clean your bird feeders and keep your cats indoors to limit the spread.) In happier bird news, it's prime time for the majestic Great Blue Heron, whose densest west coast population is found in the Puget Sound area. Go to the Ballard Locks and look out for a creature with a slate-gray body, chestnut and black accents, and long legs and neck.
Try some Holi food specials. Also known as the "festival of love" or the "festival of colors," Holi is an ancient Hindu festival celebrating the end of winter and the arrival of spring. Some Seattle restaurants are recognizing this holiday with special offerings. Lassi & Spice's Holi celebration kit includes thandai (a creamy drink with nuts, rose jam, and spices), six pieces of gujiya (fried wheat-based dumplings stuffed with nuts, dried fruits, and khoa, traditionally served for Holi), and six pieces of thandai coconut ladoo (spiced coconut sweet balls). Kits are available for pickup Friday through Saturday, and the components are also available à la carte. Spice Waala is also selling a meal that showcases the colors and flavors of Holi, with kachori (lentil stuffed fried dough with tamarind chutney), puri and daal fry (colorful fried dough made with beets and peas alongside lentil stew), mutton curry, and gujiya. They're going fast, so place your pre-order soon. Other Indian food options: Check out the newly opened Rasai in Fremont, or try the acclaimed modern Indian spot Meesha (also in Fremont), which chef Renee Erickson named as one of her favorite places to eat in Seattle in our Tell Us Something Good column this week.
Take your new book into the fresh air. If you're on the pro side of reading outdoors, it's once again time to take advantage of the longer daylight hours to pore through your reading list by a nice, appropriately distanced tree. Out of things to read? Check out Elliott Bay's new spring releases (like Louise Erdrich's The Night Watchman and Clarissa Goenawan's The Perfect World of Miwako Sumida), or check out the Seattle Public Library's staff's picks for short story collections (like Charles Johnson's Night Hawks and Ted Chiang's Exhalation—we also recommend ZZ Packer's Drinking Coffee Elsewhere, Charles Yu's Sorry Please Thank You, and Jhumpa Lahiri's Interpreter of Maladies, which are also available at the library and local bookstores).
Other notable weekend events:
Full Moon Summit Fest
In anticipation of the full "worm moon" that will grace the skies this Sunday, Crystal Mountain invites you to board their COVID-safe Rainier Gondola to take in views of the Cascades a couple thousand feet above ground. Each station you reach has a different treat or activity.
Crystal Mountain Resort, Enumclaw (Saturday)
7th Annual La Conner Daffodil Festival 2021
The seventh annual La Conner Daffodil Festival welcomes the "golden trumpets" of spring with flower sales from the local Kiwanis and Boy Scouts around town, as well as this handy map of places to see blooms.
Various locations, La Conner (Friday-Sunday)
Peter Cotton Trail
Hundreds of elusive cutout bunny rabbits will be hidden around various Auburn parks and gardens for kids to find and redeem for prizes. Before you start, you’ll need to print a scorecard or pick one up at a participating location.
Various locations, Auburn (Friday-Sunday)
FOOD & DRINK
Celebrate Girl Scout cookie season. Whether you're partial to Thin Mints, Tagalongs, or Samoas, we can all agree that Girl Scout cookie season is a time to be savored. (And no, Wednesday Addams, they're not made with real Girl Scouts.) The sought-after cookies are currently available at QFC, so you can load up on boxes of your flavor of choice to hoard in your freezer—though maybe not for long. According to the Girl Scouts of Western Washington site, availability lasts until May 30 or until the cookies are sold out, so high-tail it over there ASAP or risk being stuck with a lone box of the dreaded Trefoils. Whether or not you get your hands on some, you can also sate your cravings with ice cream, like the year-round Scout Mint flavor at Molly Moon's (made with real crushed Thin Mints) or this month's seasonal Mint Cookie Crunch flavor at the plant-based creamery Frankie & Jo's, made with coconut and oat milk, mint leaves, chocolate sauce, house-made chocolate "Magic Shell," and chocolate cookie crisps. Prefer your Thin Mints in cupcake form? Trophy Cupcake's take on the flavor is a rich Valrhona chocolate cupcake filled with mint buttercream and dipped in mint chocolate ganache, with a real Thin Mint cookie embedded inside. (A vegan version is also available.)
Try some cereal-inspired specials. It seems cereal is everywhere you look lately, from this week's horrifying Cinnamon Toast Crunch shrimp debacle to some (decidedly more appetizing) cereal-inspired specials at local restaurants. Whether you chalk it up to nostalgia or Peter Pan syndrome, we think this trend is part of a complete breakfast. The artisan ice creamery chain Salt & Straw has rolled out its new "Cereal-sly" series, a series of nostalgic flavors inspired by breakfast cereals, with flavors like Pots of Gold and Rainbows (a fan-favorite flavor with a cereal milk base studded with real Lucky Charms marshmallows), OffLimits' Dash Cold Brew Cocoa Crisps (a Sandino Coffee Roasters cold brew ice cream swirled with malty fudge and Dash Coffee and Cocoa Cereal from the cereal brand OffLimits), Peanut Butter Captain Munch (a dairy-free oat milk and peanut butter base with peanut butter-coated cereal clusters and peanut butter swirl), Snap 'N Crackle Marshmallow Treats (a graham cracker ice cream with pieces of brown butter Rice Krispy treat florentines), and Cornflake Cookies with Marionberry Jam (a "cereal-flecked" ice cream with swirls of marionberry jam and crumbled brown butter sugar cookies). Local favorite Full Tilt Ice Cream currently has a Lucky Charms flavor, and chef Kryse Panis Martin's ice cream business KRYSE also got in on the fun with their "Fruity Pebz" ice cream, which is unfortunately sold out. For a non-ice cream option, try the Instagram-famous Fruity Pebble-encrusted French toast from Watson's Counter, or the CoCo Puff cereal milk cream pie from Pie Bar Ballard.
Celebrate International Whisk(e)y Day. This Saturday is International Whisk(e)y Day, a fine time to brush up on the finer points of the distinctive spirit. Check out local distilleries Westland Distillery, OOLA Distillery, Copperworks Distilling Co., Fremont Mischief Distillery, 2bar Spirits, Sound Spirits, 3 Howls Distillery, or Batch 206 Distillery, or get takeout drinks from the Capitol Hill drinking den The Doctor's Office, which has an extensive selection of whisk(e)y.
Observe National Noodle Month. March, which also happens to be National Noodle Month, is almost over, but you still have a few days left to get some strand-slurping in under the wire. Try the handmade soba noodles at Kamonegi, rice noodles in pho at Pho Bac Sùp Shop, hand-pulled noodles at Biang Biang Noodles, wonton noodles at Mike's Noodle House, or spaghetti at Due' Cucina.
Other notable weekend events:
Brewfest 2021 at McMenamins Anderson School
Sample a veritable smorgasbord of brews, with 16 different beers and 8 different ciders from McMenamins and some guest brewers, alongside outdoor barbecue food specials, and take in some live music.
McMenamins Anderson School, Bothel (Saturday)
The Dinner Detective Interactive Mystery Show
Enjoy a meal, but know that a killer is in the room, and they may just be hidden at your table. Dinner theatre gets an extra interactive boost at this murder mystery event with a prize package for best detective. This 25%-capacity event will feature touchless clues that you can access via your phone. Don't forget to mask up.
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Downtown (Saturday)
Everett Restaurant Month
Restaurants across Everett, like Anthony's and Jetty Bar & Grille, will be offering bargain three-course prix-fixe meals for $30, exclusive "unicorn" specials, and affordable value menus with $1, $5, and $10 options.
Various locations (Friday-Sunday)
Little Neon Taco @ La Dive
Chef Monica Dimas's recently closed First Hill restaurant Little Neon Taco will migrate to the trendy wine bar La Dive for a temporary pop-up residency.
La Dive, Capitol Hill (Friday-Saturday)
Puffy Jacket Pop-Up Dining Series
This new pop-up series from Columbia Hospitality is making the best of winter al fresco dining by encouraging local diners to bundle up in their most voluminous outerwear for outdoor meals with cozy cocktails at 12 different venues in Washington and Oregon. The menus are inspired by the Pacific Northwest—for example, Copperleaf will serve a seafood beach boil alongside a 2bar Spirits whiskey flight, while Hearth will feature foraged ingredients like mushrooms, oysters, and lamb and a pine whiskey sour playfully named the "Socks and Sandals."
Various locations (Friday-Saturday)
OTHER PICKS & HAPPENINGS
Shower gifts upon your favorite Aries. The first fire sign of the zodiac made its return this week, which means the Aries in your life have birthdays coming up between now and April 19. While rams are stereotypically less sentimental than their Pisces counterparts, you'll still win their blazing little hearts by giving them something special—like a Party in a Box from the Works, a DIY kit that comes with rainbow confetti cake mix and baking cups, sparkly decorations, and a celebratory playlist. To show your support for their competitive spirits, pick up a new board game from Blue Highway or Phoenix Games, or appeal to their lavish side with a fancy to-go cocktail from somewhere like Navy Strength, Ben Paris, or Knee High Stocking Co.
Support Asian communities and causes in Seattle. Even before this month's shooting in Atlanta, which left eight people dead—six of whom were women of Asian descent—a study compiled by California State University's Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism showed that racist violence against Asian Americans has increased by nearly 150% in major cities across the US in recent weeks. In light of that injustice, there are many things you can do to support the local AAPI community here in Seattle, from donating to local causes to shopping from AAPI-owned businesses to visiting arts and culture institutions. Check out our roundup of links, and don't miss the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center's annual All Things Japanese Sale and the Seattle Asian Art Museum's moment of silence on their front steps this weekend.
Other notable weekend events:
Footloose | Open Air Cinema Nights
Kick off your Sunday Friday shoes for a drive-in screening of the classic '80s flick Footloose, about a conservative town that outlaws dancing until a new student (Kevin Bacon) shows up and riles up the gentry.
The Outlet Collection, Auburn (Friday)
Throughout the month, the gallery will be transformed into a live film set featuring three site-specific designs by local artists and filmmakers Theresa Wingert and Jana Brevick, all about the tension between satisfaction and dissatisfaction. Anyone can take part in the film by following the artists' prompts on social media and uploading an audio or video file remotely with the provided QR code.
SOIL, Pioneer Square (Friday-Saturday; closing Saturday)
Minecraft: The Exhibition
This immersive exhibition, created in collaboration with Minecraft maker Mojang, celebrates the addictive virtual building game's 10th birthday. Publicity materials tease "life-size Minecraft monsters" and a soundscape and score combined with backdrops and a day-night lighting cycle. Find out about Minecraft's creativity, community, and influence.
Museum of Pop Culture, Seattle Center (Friday-Sunday)
Museum of Glass + Thea Foss Walking Tour
Join knowledgeable staff guides every Saturday for tours of the Museum of Glass, the Chihuly Bridge of Glass, and the Thea Foss Waterway.
Museum of Glass, Tacoma (Saturday)
Parable of Gravity
Seattle-based artist Casey Curran postulates about an idealistic future on Earth through large sculptures, including one in the likeness of a suspended aluminum asteroid, inspired by Galileo’s mission to Jupiter, as well as an otherworldly kinetic garden. The show is viewable by appointment only.
MadArt, South Lake Union (Friday-Sunday)
Pop Up Market at Kelley Farm
Make a quick-ish trip south to Bonney Lake to shop for flowers and handmade goods from local vendors.
The Kelley Farms, Bonney Lake (Saturday)
From the meticulous (Hui Zhang's "Study Hard Every Day, China Dream") to the abstract (Jim Westergard's "The Prisoners"), the gallery's broad collection of portraits capture subjects' hidden truths. See them all online or make an appointment to view them in person.
Davidson Galleries, Pioneer Square (Friday-Saturday; closing Saturday)
Safe & Sound Presents: Cleared for Takeoff
Billing itself as "Seattle's first outdoor, socially distant concert," this show featuring the Black Tones and special guest Payge Turner is the first drop of rain after a yearlong live music drought (excuse the cheesy metaphor). Tickets are sold out, but you can sign up for the waitlist in case there's a cancelation.
Museum of Flight, Tukwila (Sunday)
Transfigurations: Carbon Flow
While carbon is invisible, it can be found in nearly all life forms, including the human body. Rachel Loge's visual and sonic installation explores "the transmutation of carbon through natural, human, and industrial forms" through sounds and hand-drawn animation. The opening celebration will be held on Facebook Live, but you can see the show in person by making an appointment.
Jack Straw New Media Gallery, University District (Friday)
Yellow No. 5
Tariqa Waters' multi-disciplinary exhibition is a collaboration with regional artists exploring the "grab-and-go nature" of material goods and how they enable our codependent relationship with consumerism.
Bellevue Arts Museum (Friday-Sunday)