Seattle's Child

Your guide to a kid-friendly city

Parent’s Guide to the Seattle Children’s Festival

There's a full weekend of fun at the Seattle Children's Festival, Sept. 21-22. Not sure which events to choose? Here are one parent's picks.


It's almost time to load up your strollers and day packs and head downtown for the Seattle Children’s Festival, September 21-22 at Seattle Center. Seattle Children's Festival is a multicultural, intergenerational affair that celebrates the arts, cultures and traditions that make Seattle communities thrive. With two community stages, three workshop spaces, two interactive discovery zones, and a STEAM lab, there are a dizzying number of things to see and do. (Here's the full event schedule.)


This year the festival is expanding from a one-day shindig into a full weekend packed with music, performances, workshops and more – all geared toward children ages 4 to 12. I've attended the Seattle Children's Festival  twice now – with two preschoolers in tow. Even with two days to check out the festival this year, I expect that there will be way too much for my 4- and 2-year-olds to do before they crash for naps. But I'm glad there are options. It's also helpful that events are scattered all throughout Seattle Center. You won't have to walk (or lug the stroller) far before you find something that catches your family's interest.


If you're having a hard time choosing what to do, here are some of our family's favorite events, plus some new things we're looking forward to experiencing.


8 Seattle Children's Festival program picks

1. Circle 'round for Drag Queen Story Time with Aleksa Manila. (Read what story hour with Aleksa is like)

2. See traditional Chinese and Filipino dance performances, plus many more cultural showcases.

3. Learn to break dance with the Fraggle Rock Crew, and watch a break dancing competition with 206 Zulu.

4. Learn to dance at flamenco, salsa and bachata workshops.

5. See the Colors of Peace Exhibition and the opening ceremony.

6. Feel the Spirit of 12 at the parade with Seahawks Dancers and Blue Thunder.

7. Drop by the Discovery Zone to build toy boats, dig into a worm bin, and make robots and masks.

8. Watch a wizard magic show featuring dragons and fairies.


Several of the festival workshops provide a low-sensory experience for children who might benefit from that. We plan to check out the low-sensory workshop hosted by Kids Quest Museum. 

Northwest Folklife has the full schedule for your weekend. You can browse through the many, many events listed, or do what our family tends to do: Just go, and see what we discover!

The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., September 21-22 at the Seattle Center. Admission is free, however, suggested $10 donations per person are welcome. Parking is, as usual, a pain. Take public transit if you can, or better yet, get some fresh air and walk there. Northwest Folklife notes a few more options for getting there


Let's all cross our fingers for good festival-goin' weather. Maybe we'll see you there!


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