The Best In-Person Things to Do in Seattle This Weekend: Oct 9-11, 2020

Nightmare on Wall Street, Free State Park Day, and More Socially Distanced Options
October 8, 2020
Belltown’s award-winning tiki bar Navy Strength transformed into Nightmare on Wall Street this week. Stop by for "frightening decor" and take-home cocktail kits inspired by classic Halloween movies. (Navy Strength via Instagram)

You've already read our picks for the best things to do from home this week (like SassyBlack's Online Dance Party on Friday and a virtual concert with the Kareem Kandi World Orchestra on Sunday), so now we're mixing it up with some recommendations for IRL, socially distanced ways to spend your weekend, including in-person events and some more general suggestions that we don't usually get the chance to gush over. See them all below, from the Hot Machines Art Show at Fantagraphics to State Parks Free Days, and from the Tacoma Art Museum Reopening to Nightmare on Wall Street. Plus, you can always check out our complete in-person and streaming calendars for even more options, our directory of places accepting in-person visits, or our guides to the best movies to stream this weekend. and where to celebrate Indigenous Peoples' Day.


This is a great weekend to pay a visit to Fantagraphics, the retail outpost of the local publisher that’s “home to the world's greatest cartoonists,” for many reasons. First of all, it’s supposed to rain, and Georgetown’s industrial vista will provide excellent fodder for your moody daydreams. More importantly, the bookstore has unearthed a whole spread of Halloween-appropriate offerings, like Simon Hanselmann’s Megahex, along with other favorites in the Meg, Mogg, & Owl series, plus Terror Train And Other Stories, by the former editor of Mad Magazine, Al Feldstein. Plus, the Hot Machines art show is opening on Saturday with enough delicious risographs and indie comix creators to sate your appetite until Short Run (hopefully) returns in 2021. While you're in the neighborhood, stop by studio e for the closing weekend of Gillian Theobald's Night Music, or make an appointment ahead of time to see Robert Pruitt's Guest Minister at Oxbow for a mini Georgetown Art Attack-style outing. Maybe you'll grab some fresh hop beers from Jellyfish Brewing and/or order some comfort food from Cookie’s Country Chicken for pickup before cozying up at home with your newfangled reading material, eh? 

The Stranger’s resident comic book expert Matt Baume also has some great recommendations newly on deck at Phoenix Comics & Games, including Eleanor Crewes’s debut graphic novel The Times I Knew I Was Gay. “A wonderful memoir, it began as a zine that Crewes stitched by hand and delivered to comic shops on her bike,” writes Baume. “It’s not hard to see why it took off: It’s a funny, confessional reflection on moments in the author's life when she confronted and struggled with identity, from having complex feelings about Willow on Buffy; to her awkward attempts at dating boys who liked the same anime she did; to coming out of the closet four or five times before it really stuck. It is an intensely relatable and at times eye-opening portrait of befuddling queerness, given additional intimacy by Crewes’ sketchy pencil art and the book’s wonderfully rough paper.” Also on the list is Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology, Jerry Craft’s Class Act, (the sequel to his award-winning New Kid), and more. 

Other weekend events worth noting:

Tacoma Art Museum Reopening
Having been closed for in-person visits since March 13, the Tacoma Art Museum is the newest venue to join the list of newly reopened Seattle museums (along with the Wing Luke, which also opened this week). TAM plans to welcome back 50 guests at a time for a "nearly contactless experience." In addition to cleaning surfaces between visits, the space has implemented an additional air purification technology system. Guests are asked to wear masks and keep six feet apart along guided pathways. TAM's Art Studio, café, and hands-on gallery interactives will be unavailable, as will access to the lockers and coat check. As for what to see, exhibitions like Immigrant Artists and the American West are on extended view.
Tacoma Art Museum (all weekend)

The Great Seattle Arts Adventure
Using the mobile app Goose Chase, this all-ages, arts-based scavenger hunt hosted by the Seattle Shakespeare Company allows you to complete challenges for the chance to win prizes without straying too far from home.
Wherever you are (all weekend)

Greenwood Outdoor Art Walk
Stroll under the canopies along Piper's Lane (just West of the Greenwood Art Collective) taking in original paintings, illustrations, photography, and jewelry for sale from local artists.
Greenwood Art Collective (Friday)

The Bellingham-based "experience" Sensebellum features interactive science-y art, 3D projection mapping, intricate lighting systems, and renderings of the natural world.
Periodic: A Pop-Up Shop (South Lake Union, all weekend)


October is Filipino American History Month, a worthwhile and easy-to-celebrate occasion, as Seattle is blessed to have a rich Filipinx food scene. Marcus Samuelsson even devoted the Seattle episode of his PBS show No Passport Required to exploring the community and its history. This is great time to explore some local Filipinx-owned spots, like the celebrated Musang, which recently set up a covered outdoor patio area with blankets to keep patrons warm. Also of note: Hood Famous Bakeshop, a favorite for its vibrant violet ube treats and for its baked goods showcasing flavors like pandan and calamansi.
If you need more hygge in your life, we'd also suggest visiting the Friday Afternoon tea shop for fall flavors. The idea of spending a lot more time indoors is much more bearable with a good book and a steaming cup of tea, so why not visit Wallingford’s geek-themed tea shop Friday Afternoon for some new leaves to brew? Owner Friday Elliott has the rare lexical-gustatory form of synesthesia, meaning she can actually taste words and ideas, so she’s a master at coming up with tea blends that evoke your favorite films, TV shows, books, games, and fandoms. (Examples: the Dune-themed “Spice Must Flow” or the Xena-referencing “Warrior Princess.”) For fall, she’s got a selection of cozy, seasonal favorites, including Harvest Spice, Maple Hojicha, and Punkin Pie Rooibos.
Other weekend events worth noting:

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. This year, they're bringing the spine-chilling immersive experience to you with weekly cocktail kits for you to take home, make, and enjoy while watching the film they're based on, complete with popcorn, snacks, and your very own keepsake zombie glass. This week's kit, Bird in Cage, is inspired by Sleepy Hollow and "SERVED IN A DAMN PUMPKIN!"
(Belltown, all weekend)

Juntos Con Latinx
To encourage Seattleites to support local Latinx-owned businesses during Latinx Heritage Month, the local small business directory Intentionalist is partnering with five women-owned businesses, including Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream, Rachel’s Ginger Beer, Stoup Brewing, The London Plane, and Trophy Cupcakes, to offer discounts and other perks to customers who present a receipt from a local Latinx-owned establishment.
Various locations (Central District, all weekend)

Fall Beer Showcase!
All 30 taps at Ounces will be dedicated to autumnal beers, including fresh hop, pumpkin, Oktoberfest, fall seasonals, cider, and more.
Ounces (West Seattle, all weekend)

Leif Erikson Day
Visit Ballard's Scandinavian beer hall to celebrate the day dedicated to the first Icelander to travel to North America (which also happens to be SpongeBob's favorite holiday). Dine on pork and beef meatballs with caramelized leeks in gjetost gravy, served with horseradish mashed potatoes and shaved cucumber salad, or a meatball sub with pickled cucumbers on a Kaffeeklatsch sub roll, and sip some rare aquavit varieties.
Skål Beer Hall (Ballard, Friday)

Freshies To Your Face Fresh Hop Event
Guzzle as many fresh hop beers as you can handle from breweries like Fremont, Wandering Hop, Skookum, Matchless, Fort George, 5 Rights, Single Hill, Georgetown, and Volition. Food trucks will also be onsite on Friday and Saturday.
The Hop and Hound (Bothell, all weekend)

Li'l Woody's Fast Food Month
For the month of October, local burger joint Li'l Woody's is cleverly recreating fast food favorites for its weekly specials. First up is the Woody's Baconator, a take on the Wendy's Baconator with mayo, double Hills bacon, double Painted Hills grass-fed beef, and double American cheese.
Various locations (all weekend)

North Bend Dinner & A Movie Week!
During the North Bend Film Festival, several participating restaurants, including Apollo Mediterranean Greek Food, Chang Thai & Pho, Iron Duck Public House, North Bend Bar & Grill, North Bend Theatre, Rio Bravo, Twede’s Cafe, and Volition Brewing, are offering specials for take-out and dine-in.
Various locations (North Bend, all weekend)

Plus, don't forget to check out our dine-in and outdoor dining directory.


If you want to pour one out for Eddie Van Halen, pay your respects at your local record store. Even if you’ve never personally lit one up and sunk into the synthetic velvet upholstery in your parents’ basement with Van Halen’s “Runnin’ With the Devil” deafening your eardrums, you can’t argue that the ‘70s-bred rock band is a household name. Its frontman, Eddie Van Halen, died at 65 early this week following a battle with lung cancer. “Mr. Van Halen structured his solos the way Macy’s choreographs its Independence Day fireworks shows: shooting off rockets of sound that seemed to explode in a shower of light and color. His outpouring of riffs, runs and solos was hyperactive and athletic, joyous and wry, making deeper or darker emotions feel irrelevant,” wrote Jim Farber for the New York Times. This weekend, head to your nearest vinyl purveyor and scoop up one of his records, of which there are plenty at Easy Street (West Seattle), Everyday Music (Capitol Hill), Jive Time (Fremont)—all of which are open for limited-capacity shopping—and probably anywhere else. 

Other weekend events worth noting:

SPASM South Park Swap Meet
Support artists and small businesses in Seattle's South Park neighborhood at this in-person shopping event co-presented by the Punk Rock Flea Market. Be sure to wear a mask and keep your distance. Hand sanitizer will be available for all customers.
Big Top Curiosity Shop (South Park, Saturday)

Fremont Sunday Market
Every Sunday year-round, Fremont hosts their weekly market, featuring food, crafts, gifts, antiques, and more. It's been a Seattle tradition since 1990, and they're now reopen with COVID restrictions in mind.
Fremont (Sunday)

Witches Night Out 2020
Select businesses along downtown Enumclaw's main drag will offer special treats to anyone using a broom as transportation, wearing a pointy hat (and a mask, of course), and cackling with maniacal delight. Don't forget to bring canned food donations for the Enumclaw Food Bank to drop off at Seeders. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, witches are encouraged to decorate and their cars and parade down the street on wheels instead of on foot. 
Downtown Enumclaw (Saturday)

LAKEtoberfest and Urban Market at Dock & Drink
Every weekend in October brings small businesses, artists, and other vendors around the Puget Sound together for an autumnal market and COVID-safe bacchanal on the Hyatt Regency's lakeside boardwalks.
Hyatt Regency (Renton, Saturday–Sunday)


If you live for spooky season, you'll be glad to know that haunted houses aren't canceled, and it's not too late to get tickets for the self-guided Georgetown Morgue or Snohomish's drive-through Stalker Farms for this weekend. If you're looking for something a little less intense, you can still get your seasonal fix at one of these fall festivals and pumpkin patches, or get your hands on one of these fall cocktails.

If you're excited about the Seahawks playing the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, we've also got a guide to where to watch the games, plus where to get takeout for the occasion.

Also worth noting:

State Parks Free Days
If you don't have a Discover Pass but you still want to take in Northwest wildlife during larch season, take advantage of free admission to state parks on special days throughout the year. This weekend, the parks will be free in honor of World Mental Health Day (and to make up for an originally scheduled spring day that was postponed due to COVID).
Various locations (Saturday)


If you haven't heard, drive-in movies are no longer relegated to the summer. For seasonally appropriate movies, check out Hocus Pocus and Coco at the Vasa Park Resort in Bellevue, or Casper and Poltergeist at the Blue Fox in Oak Harbor. The latest Hollywood movies can be found at Port Orchard's Rodeo Drive-In, where this weekend's options include On the Rocks with Bill Murray and Rashida Jones, the new horror flick Possessor, and Bill & Ted Face the Music, which is also playing at Shelton's Skyline Drive-In along with Tenet. Tried-and-true classics can be found in Burien (Monster's Inc on Friday only) and Port Townsend (Talladega Nights and Step Brothers). Plus, don't forget to get your tickets to The Stranger's SLAY Drive-In before they sell out!