The 45 Best Things to Do in Seattle This Labor Day Weekend: September 4-7, 2020

The National Nordic Museum Reopening, 107.7 The End's Virtual Summer Camp, and More Top Picks
September 4, 2020
The National Nordic Museum reopens to the public for timed, limited-capacity visits this weekend! (Courtesy of the National Nordic Museum)

We don't blame you in the slightest if the global pandemic and the plethora of White House-kindled dumpster fires (not to mention actual devastating wildfires) have caused you to give up on summer 2020. But if you're looking to squeeze out the last drops of the season before fall rolls around, Labor Day weekend, summer's last hurrah, is the time to do it. Below, we've rounded up the best things to do to have a nice time while remaining socially distant over this three-day weekend, both in-person and online—from the re-opening of the National Nordic Museum to a Street Closure Party in South Lake Union, and from 107.7 The End's Virtual Summer Camp to the Volunteer Park Conservatory's Fall Plant Sale. For even more options, check out our guides to movies to stream this weekend, our complete streaming events and protests & resistance calendars, and our guide to outdoor and socially distanced things to do this summer.


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FRIDAY

FILM

The Murder of Fred Hampton Online Movie Night
Charles Mudede wrote, "The Murder of Fred Hampton was not supposed to be about the murder of Fred Hampton. It was supposed to be about the life of the young Black Panther activist. But Hampton was killed by the Chicago police while Mike Gray and Howard Alk, the producer and the director, were working on the documentary. They were in Hampton’s apartment the day after the Chicago police shot the sleeping 21-year-old community organizer twice in the head and once on the shoulder. This doc was released in 1971, a little over a year after the assassination, and so it has about it (the interviews, reenactments, police footage, scenes of the Black Panther gatherings) a sense of urgency." See an online screening with Seattle's Freedom Socialist Party branch and stay on for a post-film discussion.

The Peace Bus Pilot Episode Drive-In Experience!
Not to be confused with the other Tacoma Peace Bus (a light-blue bus driven around by Tacomaite Kwabi Amoah-Forson, who delivers breakfast cereal to kids in underserved South Sound neighborhoods), this new TV show aims to educate kids on "homelessness, poverty, incarceration, hunger, racism, and how they can help with the environment." See the pilot episode on a big screen outside the Central Co-op. 
Central Co-op (Tacoma)

Stories of Us - Camp Second Chance
Join documentary filmmaker Melinda Raebyne for an online screening of her 2019 project Stories of Us - Camp Second Chance, about the inner workings of a Seattle homeless camp. Stay on after the film for a live talkback with Raebyne. 

MUSIC

Benefit for Creative Justice NW with Public Pool
Seattle's Public Pool ("indie-rock for those who love to swim") will rock out for Creative Justice, an "arts-based alternative to incarceration" for youth in King County. 

Kremwerk x Tenth Aesthetic Livestream
Krista Bourgeois, Ol'Skinny, and Cereus² will be your musical guides at this internet dance party. 

Pearl Jam
In 2018, Pearl Jam kicked off a national tour by turning Safeco Field into their own personal playground, and by all accounts, the concert was fire, with a 33-song setlist and the band on all cylinders. If you missed it, you can catch it now, as nugs.tv presents the recording on this special stream.

The Royal Room Staycation Fest - Julia Francis CD Release with Nicolle Swims of Black Ends
Soulful local blues-rocker Julia Francis will share her newest album When You Get What You Want on Royal Room's virtual stage. She'll be joined by Nicolle Swims of local dream-pop outfit Black Ends.

PERFORMANCE

The Tumbleweed Zephyr Revisited
The second installment of Amy Poisson's steampunk play will come to New Providence's Facebook Live and YouTube pages. 

READINGS & TALKS

Margaret Randall with Cedar Sigo: I Never Left Home
Margaret Randall will discuss her new book Never Left Home: Feminist, Revolutionary with poet and author Cedar Sigo at this virtual Elliott Bay event.

Thom Hartmann: The Hidden History of Monopolies
America's monopolies can seem impenetrable, but author Thom Hartmann has some ideas about how to dismantle them. Join him as he shares insights from his book The Hidden History of Monopolies: How Big Business Destroyed the American Dream with Town Hall.

FRIDAY-SATURDAY

MUSIC

SLU Street Closure Party
Gold Bar and its nearby SLU neighbors got their first free street closure permit! The 24K cocktail spot will be slinging drinks to celebrate this new drinking/dining/socially distant chilling area along Ninth Ave, and hometown heroes like Dos Leches, Kween Kay$h (Fri), She Gucci, Reverend Dollars (Sat), and others will provide live DJ sets all weekend long.
Ninth Avenue (South Lake Union)

FRIDAY-SUNDAY

FILM

15th Annual Hump Film Fest - Encore Presentation
Our colleagues, the creators of HUMP!, were crushed to cancel their originally planned fall tour. But after receiving enthusiastic support and permission from the filmmakers to show their films online, they knew that the show must go on! Even if we can’t watch together in movie theaters, we can still watch the 16 sexy short films, curated by Dan Savage, in the privacy and safety of our homes. Dan will introduce the show and then take you straight to the great dirty movies that showcase an amazing range of shapes, colors, sexualities, kinks, and fetishes!

MUSEUMS

National Nordic Museum Reopening
Explore traveling exhibits like Gudrun Sjödén–A Colourful Universe (which was originally slated to close in September, but extended to October 18) and Johan Bävman's Swedish Dads when you visit Ballard's National Nordic Museum. There will be no coat check, but you will be given a "souvenir stylus pen" to use on interactive surfaces without having to share with others during your two-hour-max visit. 
National Nordic Museum (Ballard)

MUSIC

Tumbleweed Music Festival
Instead of heading to the banks of the Columbia River like previous years, check out prerecorded music and dance performances by over 60 artists, plus livestreamed workshops and shanty sings, at this Labor Day weekend festival.

VISUAL ART

Pop-Up Glassblowing and Activities
The Museum of Glass is opening up its outdoor plaza for a weekend of socially distant live glassblowing, scavenger hunts, and art-making activities, like painting on glass jars.
Museum of Glass (Tacoma)

FRIDAY-MONDAY

COMMUNITY

Virtual Washington State Fair
The Washington State Fair in its usual incarnation is a no-go this year, but you can still get fair food to go via a drive-through, shop from local vendors at a virtual marketplace (through Oct 15), and participate in a virtual Run the Puyallup (Sat).

FOOD & DRINK

Ba Sa First Birthday Celebration
Trinh and Thai Nguyen's modern Vietnamese restaurant on Bainbridge Island will serve up some special Viet-Cajun dishes like catfish banh mi, smothered catfish with crawfish étouffée and rice, and a shrimp, crab, and crawfish boil for its first birthday celebration.
Ba Sa (Bainbridge Island)

MUSIC

Archipelago Virtual Festival
San Juan-based chamber music collective Archipelago will bring you four days of live concerts streamed online, kicking off with the Grammy-winning Attacca Quartet.

Detroit Jazz Festival
The Detroit Jazz Festival will stream its 2020 performances live on Facebook Live, YouTube, and Instagram for all the world to see.

The First (and hopefully only) Virtual Summer Camp
Summer Camp is 107.7 The End's version of Warped Tour: all the bands you hear on your favorite Seattle rock station, but actually live, playing all the hits. This year's lineup (which includes All Time Low, Barns Courtney, Chaz Cardigan, the Head and the Heart, Local Natives, and the X Ambassadors, among others) won't be playing in the flesh at Marymoor Park like usual, but they will be livestreaming for your remote viewing pleasure.

Whidbey Island Summer Music Festival
This monthlong virtual music festival will highlight baroque and classical chamber music by artists near and far. In honor of Beethoven's 250th birthday (cheers to you, Ludwig), this year's event will feature some classic fortepiano and cello sonatas.

VISUAL ART

Seattle Multiverse Actual Reality Trek
Diehard burners and burner-curious folks alike can marvel at art viewable from the street and sidewalk as part of Burning Man's Multiverse event.
Various locations

SATURDAY

COMMUNITY

Burn Night: Live From Home
Create your own mini Burning Man effigy using either the provided blueprint or your own burner imagination. Then, find a safe and socially distant place to host your own burning ceremony, which you can upload to 24-hour Burn Night livestream. 

Silver Lake Lighted Boat Parade
Decorate your rafts and kayaks and such with lights and baubles and cruise around the shorelines of Silver Lake with other bedazzled vessels. (Or watch from the shore.)
Streeters Resort (Silver Lake)

FILM

Nurturing Roots Films at The Farm
Pull up to Nurturing Roots Farm for a socially conscious drive-in double feature: Nurturing Roots Farm, a film by Thriving Communities about founder and urban farmer Nyema Clark and her mission, and The Platform, a dystopian Spanish sci-fi horror film with class warfare themes.
Nurturing Roots (Beacon Hill)

Scarecrow Academy: The Art In Horror
It's almost spooky season, baby! Join film critic Robert Horton for an in-depth look at great horror films throughout time—like Rosemary's Baby (Sept 5) and The Shining (Sept 19)—in these online one-off classes.

GEEK & GAMING

Seattle Indies Expo
Try out 24 up-coming indie games made in the Pacific Northwest every Saturday in September at the virtual edition of this annual festival. 

MUSEUMS

Museum of Flight Re-opening
Aviation and space nerds can once again explore this Tukwila museum in the flesh for timed visits.
Museum of Flight (Tukwila)

MUSIC

Everyone's Wedding!
Did your wedding get postponed because of quarantine? DJ Van Beezly has you covered with a night of bangers for the newly betrothed, which you can listen to live while you eat cake. 

Hot Chip: Live in Streamland
Britain’s Hot Chip have become global standard-bearers for song-oriented house music. Their frictionless tracks bubble with a restrained optimism and melodies to which well-adjusted people like to sing along. As DJs, Hot Chip dig deeper than you’d think in the techno and house realms while staying open to a wide range of styles in order to undercut expectations. For example, their Bugged Out mix includes tracks by Theo Parrish, Armando, Conrad Schnitzler, Sparks, Zapp, and Gang Gang Dance while Hot Chip’s DJ-Kicks mix contains cuts by Audion, Tom Zé, Black Devil Disco Club, Grauzone, and This Heat. Let’s hope the Hot Chip blokes still harbor such adventurousness on the decks. DAVE SEGAL

Kremwerk x Vivid Recordings Livestream
This Vivid Recordings/Rain City Kremwerk takeover will bring you live sets from Wetman, Farquaad, Sword of Thorns, Mayor of Frownsville, and Fleksor. 

Opry Live: Carrie Underwood, Brad Paisley
Labor Day weekend's got a very twangy 'n' smiley soundtrack courtesy of this concert presented by the Grand Ole Opry, with superstars Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley delivering the hits.

Tank & the Bangas
New Orleans’ Tank and the Bangas are masters of funk, jazz, R&B, and soul, but often allow their music to explore elements of rock, folk, gospel, and hip-hop via spoken word. The group’s pint-sized, big-haired frontwoman is Tarriona “Tank” Ball, a highly skilled powerhouse singer who doubles as a slam poet and often surprises even herself with the sounds that come out of her mouth. Catch them performing live on nugs.tv. 

READINGS & TALKS

Book Signing: Concrete Ghost by painter Laura Hamje
Let your first IRL book signing be local artist Laura Hamje's flippable collection of paintings, Concrete Ghost: Seattle’s Vanished Viaduct and Emerging Waterfront, which features over five dozen paintings of the Viaduct before its demise last year, plus pictures of the city caught through the window of a fast-moving car. The book includes text from architect Mark Hinshaw, Bryan Ohno, Nathan Vass, Baso Fibonacci, Mike Dumovich, and editor Phil Bevis. If you're so inclined, you can pop over to Linda Hodges Gallery where Hamje’s work is currently on view.
Arundel Books (Pioneer Square)

Peace Peloton Bike Ride
Hop on your bicycle and join a 14-mile ride supporting Black-owned businesses, starting at Chef Edouardo Jordan's Ravenna restaurant JuneBaby, where Dr. Rayburn Lewis (International Community Health Services) will give an opening address. Halfway through, the group will stop at  Myrtle Edwards Park for a presentation by MySonShineProject, and will continue to White Center's Beer Star.
JuneBaby (Ravenna)

VISUAL ART

Baso Fibonacci Live Painting
Watch on Twitch as local artist Baso Fibonacci paints live from Jupiter Bar's arcade. 

SATURDAY-SUNDAY

FOOD & DRINK

Taste of Blackberry
At this drive-thru event, relish juicy, deep purple berries in a myriad of forms, from wine to pie to "blackberry slug" pastries (a bar doughnut filled with blackberry filling and topped with whipped cream). There's also a contest for the best-decorated cars, so deck out your ride with berry-themed adornments for a chance to win a prize. Proceeds support Bremerton Rotary, Bremerton Central Lions, and the Bremerton Kiwanis.
Olympic College (Bremerton)

SATURDAY-MONDAY

COMEDY

SketchFest Seattle presents StreamFest 2020 pt. 2
Those SNL reruns aren't going anywhere—for this monthlong sketch comedy festival, turn your attention to livestreamed performances and classes with local comics on Zoom and Twitch.

FESTIVALS

Vashon Japan Festival 2020
If you can't make it to Vashon's Makai Farm & Garden for the Japanese Festival (where you can walk through the Lantern Labyrinth, add your wish to a tree, and, if you're a kid, take small gifts) you can get online to see live and prerecorded performances.
Makai Farm & Garden (Vashon Island)

SUNDAY

COMMUNITY

Sundae Sermon: A Celebration of Black Folks
Join emcee Kellie Richardson, birders Etta Cosey and Kintea Bryant, Seattle GirlTrek organizers Trina Baker and Mikia Cain, and cellist Gretchen Yanover for an online celebration of Black women. Each installment of this Sunday series honors a different public land, and this time it will be Federation Forest State Park. 

FILM

Movies at MoPOP: 'Bend it Like Beckham' Online Watchalong
Don't pass up an opportunity to watch one of the most perfect movies of all time with your friends on the internet as part of MoPOP's Grow Up! watch-along series. In case you haven't seen this cult classic, it's about a talented young soccer player (or football player, since it takes place in England) who juggles her love of the sport with the expectations of her traditional Indian family. David Beckham even makes a cameo at the end. 

MUSIC

People Music Livestream Benefit
Local electronic artists Åse, Lotus Drops, Pressha, Subduktion, and Xakra will hit you with live sets from Monkey Loft's rooftop. Tune in on Twitch. 

PERFORMANCE

The Deep End Friends Podcast: Black Healing
Deep End podcast creators Reagan Jackson and Anastacia-Reneé will host a special livestreamed episode featuring a wide range of perspectives on Black healing. They'll be joined by anthropology student Mary Hall-Williams, movement artist TAQUEET$, Young Women Empowered's Victoria Santos, and One Race One Humanity's Rocky Lester.

MONDAY

PERFORMANCE

Shin Yu Pai with Steve Scher: ENSO
Hear local author Shin Yu Pa read from and discuss her new poetry collection Ensō, which includes reflection on motherhood and immigration, in this episode of Town Hall's In the Moment podcast.

Friends of the Conservatory Fall Plant Sale
Need some new plant friends for your plant friends? Your favorite Victorian greenhouse is still closed to the public, but the Volunteer Park Conservatory's biggest fundraiser of the year will allow you to shop for flora and fauna online and pick them up safely. In addition to a bevy of seasonal native plants—plus some tropicals for skilled green thumbs—they'll also have new merch and hand-crafted planters by local artists. You can pick up your bounty later in the week.