Your Guide to a Socially Distanced Weekend in Seattle: Diwali Specials, WildLanterns, DIY Projects, and More

November 12, 2020
The Woodland Park Zoo's new-and-improved (and socially distanced) holiday light display WildLanterns kicks off this weekend. (Woodland Park Zoo)

With the coronavirus spreading at an accelerated rate, staying far away from other people is paramount right now. If SAD is getting to you and you're dreading a weekend of staying home, we've got your back with some ideas for ways to stay safe and entertained, which you can peruse alongside our guide to the best online events this week. Read on for details on everything from how to submit a film to HUMP! to how to make your own Thanksgiving party crackers to send to loved ones, and from Diwali food and drink specials (like gobi pakoras at Spice Waala) to the Woodland Park Zoo's WildLanterns. For even more options, look ahead to our guide to the best things to do all month long.

Jump to: Visual Art | Food & Drink | Projects | Holiday Season | Other Picks & Happenings

VISUAL ART

Short Run was canceled this year, but you can still support many of the local indie comix artists you’d find tabling at the annual festival—which usually takes place in early November—in other ways. Fantagraphics is a great resource for local risographs and zines and comix (our arts editor visited recently and spotted Elaine Lin prints, Cynthia Alfonso’s brilliantly saturated The One Who Weeps, and Joe Kessler’s beautiful and disturbing Windowpane, among other gems), and they happen to be hosting Blazers, an exhibition of work by women and non-binary artists selected for Short Run's indefinitely postponed Trailer Blaze Comics Residency, opening Saturday. Cold Cube, whose online shop is wide open, is another major player, but we’re also here for spending hours scrolling through local artists’ Instagrams and websites. We can’t list ‘em all, but definitely check out Sean Christensen, Travis Rommereim, Catherine Bresner, and Marie Bouassi. If there’s still a Short Run-shaped hole in your heart after that, go see local cartoonist and illustrator Robyn Jordan‘s reflections on her COVID-19 experience set up outside Fisher Pavilion, opening Saturday. 

Other notable weekend events:

Art on the Mind: Ten Years of Creative Aging
This exhibition highlights work by people living with dementia, their care partners, and others who help them along the way, like teaching artists. 
Frye Art Museum, First Hill (Saturday-Sunday; opening Saturday)

Georgetown Art Attack
The art scene of the tiny airport hamlet of Georgetown will show itself once more to both masked/socially distant passersby and to people at home on their computers. Galleries are offering appointments for viewings at limited capacity, so check with your favorite galleries before visiting.
Various locations (Saturday)

FOOD & DRINK

Celebrate Diwali. Diwali, the five-day Indian festival of lights, is here until Monday, November 16, to bring a bit of illumination to these gloomy days and to celebrate the triumph of good over evil (which might be especially relevant right now). If you’d like to observe this holiday, the Indian street food counter Spice Waala is offering holiday specials available for preorder, like a four-course meal with gobi pakoras (cauliflower fritters), jeera aloo (cumin potatoes), and matar paneer (peas and paneer in a tomato-based curry) today and a combo with aloo puri (spicy tomato-based potato curry with fried bread) and halwa (a semolina-based dessert) on Saturday. The colorful Indian restaurant Zaika is also serving a special three-course menu with choices like chicken lollipops, tandoori chicken, and baked cumin cauliflower. Plus, on Monday, November 16, you can tune in to the Book Larder’s virtual author talk on Zoom to see authors Maneet Chauhan, a Chopped judge and James Beard Award-winning chef, and Jody Eddy, a cookbook author and journalist, discuss their new book Chaat, which explores recipes culled from the "railways, markets, and kitchens" of India. If you’re feeling inspired to whip up some Diwali dishes in your own kitchen, Maneet's recipes are also featured in this Diwali collection on the New York Times cooking website.

Have a hot pot party at home. Hot pot is the perfect dining experience for these wet and blustery days. There’s just something inherently therapeutic about plunging skewers with thinly sliced meats and vegetables into a pot of simmering broth to cook them. You can enjoy hot pot in the comfort of your home, thanks to takeout kits from Chengdu Memory, Boiling Point, and the recently opened HaiDiLao. Set up a heating element, like a portable burner or electric hot plate (or just heat your broth up over the stove). Then gather around a bubbling cauldron with whoever you’re quarantined with and cook your own feast.

Get cozy with takeout and delivery specials and covered and heated patios. The drizzly gray Seattle winter is here, and we could all use some soul-warming nourishment to bolster our spirits. Of course, COVID-19 has changed the way we acquire that nourishment, so we've compiled a list of takeout and delivery food specials, like Addo's "Let's Get Hygge" kits, and drinks, like mulled wine at Fiasco and Latona Pub, plus places with dreamy heated and covered patios for socially distanced outdoor dining, so you can get your comfort food fix safely.

Grab takeout and watch Eater’s Guide to the World. Eater’s new TV show Eater's Guide to the World, narrated by Maya Rudolph, premiered on Hulu this week, and the first episode is devoted to some of the best restaurants in the Pacific Northwest. Before you hunker down to binge-watch it this weekend, check out our list of all the local restaurants featured in it, almost all of which are still open for takeout or dine-in service, and plan your meals accordingly.

Work up an appetite for Restaurant Week. This year's spring Seattle Restaurant Week, originally scheduled to start March 29, was one of the first events to be canceled due to COVID-19. For the fall edition, though, it's back and bigger than ever: To give the restaurant industry a much-needed boost, Seattle Restaurant Week is featuring more dining options and is extending the event to last an entire month, starting Sunday. Like usual, restaurants will create a variety of special meal offerings as $20 lunches and/or $35 dinners, but this time, those will take the form of make-at-home meal kits, food and cocktail takeout packages, in-house three-course meals, and more. SRW will also be partnering with Plate of Nations this time around, an event run by the MLK Business Association to highlight southeast Seattle businesses. So far, there are nearly 150 restaurants participating, but if you're overwhelmed by the long list, don't worry: We've rounded up our suggestions.

Make a winter feast like Monster Hunter's Grammeowster. Stranger staffer Matt Baume has recently become obsessed with the game Monster Hunter World, where players stop in at a canteen for power-up meals prepared by Felyne chefs before hunting monsters. "I’ve been staring at this food for long enough that it’s started to invade my dreams, and for my latest Play Date video, I decided to attempt to recreate some of the hardiest of the meals in real life," writes Baume. "I focused on the dinner prepared by the Grammeowster, a sweet elderly-looking cat who fixes up a beef stew, creamy soup, and cheesy casserole." Use his guide as inspiration for your own monster-fighting cooking project this weekend. 

Other notable weekend events:

Sweet Tooth Pop-Up: Harvest Edition
Sate your bottomless need for sweets at this Fremont pop-up, which will provide a selection of  sucrose-laden confections from eight artisan vendors.
Fremont Sunday Market (Sunday)

PROJECTS

Submit a film to HUMP! The Stranger’s annual short film festival dedicated to the wild and wonderful world of amateur porn (the kind that values a cornucopia of genders, kinks, body types, ages, and fetishes) is hitting a computer screen near you in the dead of winter, just when you’ll need it most. But it needs films first! By January 8, send in five minutes or less of original smutty footage for a chance to be featured in the 16th annual online program. P.S. If you can somehow incorporate bubbles, a photo booth, and/or Carol Channing in your film, you’ll earn “extra credit” from the judges. Before you hit send, be sure to read all the stipulations and requirements here. If you need inspiration, HUMP!’s greatest hits are currently available to stream online.

Work on your NaNoWriMo project with fellow writers. We’re almost halfway through November, also known as National Novel Writing Month, where writers of all ilks sign up for the challenge of writing a 50,000-word manuscript in 30 days. If there’s one thing that task requires (other than a love of writing, a steady supply of coffee, and a strong will about you), it’s some group encouragement. We’d normally tuck into a corner at Hugo House with our pen-wielding peers, but since the writing center is physically closed, we recommend joining their online NaNoWriMo writing party this Sunday instead. If you need more inspiration, check out The Seattle Public Library’s supply of books that were written during past NaNoWriMos. You can even buy a NaNoWriMo 2020 face mask to boast your undertaking to passersby. 

Make your own party crackers (not the edible kind) to open with loved ones on Thanksgiving. If a Zoom call with your extended family has replaced your preferred gathering table in light of the rise in COVID cases, why not send your far-away dinner guests homemade party crackers (those confetti- and trinket-filled doodads that explode when you pull at the ends) to open together for a moment of merriment before dinner? This tutorial seems easy enough, but Google is your oyster. In addition to wrapping paper, tape, ribbon, cracker snaps, scissors, card stock, and a moderate-to-strong passion for crafting, you’ll need things to put inside. This can be anything from stickers and pins (Claire England of Seattle party-punk band Dude York sells both in adorable varieties on Etsy) to candy (we’re thinking of buying some caramels from Theo Chocolate and rewrapping them individually in parchment) to little bits of colorful paper (we know Seattle ReCreative has lots of options). If you drop those babies in the mail by this Monday, they should reach their destination in time for Turkey Day.

Have a wine and craft night over Zoom. Zoom fatigue is real. If you’re running out of creative ways to stay connected to your friends and family, try a themed virtual hangout like a craft night. Flex your creative muscles by picking up supplies for a craft like embroidery, knitting, or crochet at Stitches, then swing by neighboring wine bar La Dive for a bottle of natural wine for your online stitching session. Other conveniently situated craft store and wine shop combinations to consider: the Fiber Gallery (which is hosting a virtual knit-long focusing on hats and cowls starting November 22) and Champion Wine Cellars in Greenwood, So Much Yarn and DeLaurenti’s wine department downtown, and the Tea Cozy Yarn Shop and Molly’s Bottle Shop in Ballard.

HOLIDAY SEASON

Donate food to people in need. Food security is essential all year round, but with the cold weather kicking in and with that surplus of nonperishables we know you have laying around from your first quarantine grocery haul, now is an especially great time to drop off supplies at your nearest community fridge and/or food bank. The former, volunteer-provided fridges that operate on a “take what you need, leave what you can” model and sprung from early COVID-19 mutual aid efforts, can be found in neighborhoods all around town (like in Beacon Hill outside Soft Spot and Chinatown-International District in the Danny Woo Community Gardens) and lean toward things like fresh produce and prepared sandwiches. (You can also donate to @seattlecommunityfridge on Venmo.) You know the drill with food banks: They need things like canned beans, freeze-dried foods, and other items that won’t go bad. You can also donate to the Washington Food Fund, which local organizations like Food Lifeline, Northwest Harvest, and Second Harvest depend on to distribute food to hundreds of food banks across the state, including rural communities.

Other notable weekend events:

Kirkland Winter Market
Stroll through downtown Kirkland and browse winter produce, dried flowers, artisan foods, and homemade crafts from local businesses.
Marina Park, Kirkland (Saturday)

Snohomish Harvested Holiday Market
Bundle up for an outdoor market in downtown Snohomish featuring fresh produce, handmade goods, food to go, and more.
Downtown Snohomish (Saturday)

WildLanterns
The Woodland Park Zoo is taking a more realistic approach to its beloved annual holiday light display by lining its paths with glowing lanterns in the likeness of tigers, snow leopards, aquatic creatures, zebras, and other exotic animals.
Woodland Park Zoo, Phinney (Friday-Sunday)

OTHER PICKS & HAPPENINGS

Watch the Seahawks take on the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday over beers and snacks from your local bar. Though this year may look different for sports fans, you can root for your favorite Seattle football team safely and still have fun with take-home food and drink specials. Read our guide to all-day happy hour and more, plus specials available for pickup, here.

It's gonna rain this weekend, and you're gonna want to cozy up and watch movies at some point. We just know it. To save you from decision paralysis, make use of our guide to the best things to stream online, from the Romanian Film Festival to the Seattle Queer Film Festival favorite Monsoon to the concert mosaic Newcomer: A Seattle Hip-Hop Mixtape.

Inhale stoner content from The Stranger every Friday at 4:20 with the new limited edition High-Brr-Nation weed newsletter, starting November 27. Every newsletter will begin with a different Stranger writer walking you through a stoner activity or clickhole. Think adventures through YouTube karaoke, essays on TikTok's "horsegirls," or a treatise on looking at stones while being stoned. Consider it a weekly check-in where we can get high and go on a mini journey together. Each newsletter will include a round-up of that week's biggest weed-related news, plus rotating games, PRIZES, giveaways, and general mischief.

Other notable weekend events:

Georgetown Morgue Closing Weekend
This annual haunted village of doom—which takes places in an actual former morgue—hosts scares all throughout autumn. This year's rig is fashioned for self-guided tours to ensure social distancing.
Georgetown Morgue (Friday-Saturday)

SER-UW Fall Native Plant Sale
Order trees and shrubs from SER-UW Native Plant Nursery, a student-run organization that promotes local ecosystems, and pick them up curbside at this fall native plant sale. 
UW Center for Urban Horticulture, University District (Saturday-Sunday)

Super Genius Tattoo Friday the 13th Flash Event!
Feeling daring on this unholy day? The shop will offer tats on a first-come-first-served basis between $50 and up.
Super Genius Tattoo, First Hill (Friday)

A Thousand Way Part II: An Encounter
In the long-awaited second installment of 600 Highwaymen's interactive virtual performance A Thousand Ways, you and a stranger meet on opposite ends of a table, separated by a pane of glass. Using a script and props, you'll connect with the other person through simple gestures.
On the Boards, Queen Anne (Friday-Sunday)