Whirligig! returns to Seattle Center tomorrow through April 17th

Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 6.57.10 PMThe perennial Whiligig! returns to Seattle Center’s Armory tomorrow, Friday, April 1st. The collection of super-sized inflatable rides for kids will take over the Armory for just over two weeks, concluding its run on Sunday, April 17th.

The Armory will transform into a kid-sized entertainment center, with the aforementioned rides plus balloon artists, face painters, and caricaturists. And, the Armory restaurants will all be open during the Whiligig! festivities.

Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 6.59.21 PMThe rides are designed for those 12 years of age and under, and a Toddler Zone will also be on hand for the littlest kiddos. Tickets are $8 for All Day Main Floor Passes, $4.50 for All Day Toddler Passes, and $1.50 for single ride tickets.

Whirligig! runs Friday, April 1 – Sunday, April 17, at the Seattle Center Armory, 11am – 6pm each day. Thursdays are FREE!

Free Zumba and Gentle Yoga classes at Seattle Center start this month

Armory SignThe free Summer Zumba and yoga classes at the Seattle Center have always been popular, with some classes held outside as people celebrate summer weather. Now, to help shed the winter blahs and help with New Year’s resolutions, the Seattle Center is offering these free classes again as part of its Winter Fitness program.

The classes are free and open to all ages and all abilities, and they’ll be held every Wednesday evening, January 20th through March 3oth, in the Seattle Center Armory building.

Here are the details:

Zumba Fitness: 6pm-7pm
Offers participants an adventurous journey around the world through exhilarating Latin music, World Rhythms, West African, belly dance, dance hall, pop, classic rock and more. The result – a workout full of high energy, easy to follow choreography and fun!  Everyone is welcome. No dance experience is required. Participants are encouraged to bring plenty of water and wear comfortable sneakers.

Gentle Yoga:  7:30pm-8:30pm
Offers something for everyone, no matter what age or fitness level. Stretch your body, and breathe your stress away. The weekly classes focus on fluid movements to increase range of motion and increase joint and muscle flexibility. Beginners will learn the basics of Hatha Yoga, and all will enjoy a strengthening workout. Please bring your own yoga mat.

For more information on Winter Fitness and other Seattle Center programming, visitSeattle Center or call 206 684.7200.

Traffic Alert: Trans-Siberian Orchestra & Seattle Marathon will impact traffic this weekend

Two traffic alerts for today and tomorrow – Trans-Siberian Orchestra is at Key Arena today, Saturday, for performances at 4pm and 8pm. The city estimates 10,000 people will attend each of the shows (20,000 total), so expect traffic around Key Arena this afternoon and evening.

The bigger impact will likely be from the Seattle Marathon, which is tomorrow, Sunday, November 29th. The organizers cite the Seattle Marathon as the “largest combination marathon/half marathon in the Northwest and one of the top ten largest in the US” – what does that mean? 15,000 participants + thousands of spectators, and road closures around the Seattle Center, where the race starts and finishes.

The race map with street closures is below. For some reason, the Seattle Marathon organizers have once again decided to produce a West-oriented map, instead of the standard North-oriented view. So, it may look a bit odd, but note that 5th Ave near the Seattle Center will be closed 5:30am-9am, and one side of Mercer will be closed 8:45am-4pm.

Click the map for a larger image:

Screen Shot 2015-11-27 at 1.34.42 PM

And, just to make things a bit more complicated, traffic-wise, the Seahawks are playing the Pittsburgh Steelers at CenturyLink tomorrow (Sunday), with kickoff at 1:25pm.

Seattle Center Winterfest kicks off this Friday

Winterfest 2015Winterfest, the annual celebration of all things winter and holiday, starts this Friday, November 27th and runs all the way up to New Year’s Eve. The family-friendly event is really many events under one umbrella, from the popular Winterfest Ice Rink to the Winter train to ongoing performances and entertainment.

In addition to the indoor Ice Rink and Armory entertainment, outside the Seattle Center grounds will sparkle with lights and outdoor activities. And, the whole season wraps on New Year’s Eve with a celebration and fireworks at the Space Needle.

Here’s the Winterfest schedule – unless otherwise noted, all events are taking place at the Seattle Center Armory and are free:

Winter Train & Village
Nov. 27 – Dec. 31
10am – 6pm daily
Special Hours: closed at 4pm, Dec. 24; closed, Dec. 25

Winterfest Ice Rink
Nov. 27 – Jan. 3, 2016
Sunday – Thursday 11am-8pm, Friday – Saturday 11am-10pm
Special Hours: closed at 4pm, Dec. 24; closed, Dec. 25; open until 11:30pm, Dec. 31
Fisher Pavilion
Admission: $7 for adults, $5 for children ages 6-12, $2 children ages 5 and under, includes skate rental. Cash only.

Winterfest Student Showcases (over 100 performances)
Nov. 28 – Dec. 20, various times

Winterfest Ice Sculpting
Saturdays: Nov. 28; Dec. 5, 12, 19, 26
12 noon – 2pm
Outside Fisher Pavilion, FREE

The Dickens Carolers
Friday, Nov. 27 and Sunday, Nov. 29
11am – 12 noon
Keith Highlanders Pipe Band
Friday, Nov. 27
12:30pm – 1:30pm

3rd Shift Dance
Friday, Nov. 27
2pm – 3pm

Zaniac Comedy Show
Saturday, Nov. 28
11am – 12 noon

SANCA Cirrus Circus
Saturday, Nov. 28
12:30pm – 1:30pm

SANCA IMPulse Circus Collective
Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 28 – Nov. 29
2pm – 3pm

Hot Dog USA Jump Rope Team
Sunday, Nov. 29
12:30pm – 1:30pm

Global Heat
Saturday, Dec. 5
12:30pm – 1:30pm

Northwest Boychoir Apprentices
Sunday, Dec. 6
1pm – 2pm

Garfield Jazz Band
Saturday, Dec. 12
12:30pm – 1:30pm

Sunday, Dec. 13
2pm – 3pm

Seattle’s Best Damn Happy Hour
Thursday, Dec. 17
5pm – 8pm

XMAS Maximus
Saturday, Dec. 19
12:30pm – 1:30pm

The Bobs
Sunday, Dec. 20
12:30pm – 1:30pm

Bailadores de Bronce
Saturday, Dec. 26
12:30pm – 1:30pm

Datina Folkloric Ensemble
Sunday, Dec. 27
12:30pm – 1:30pm

New Year’s Eve Celebration
Thursday, Dec. 31
8pm – 11:45pm
Armory, Seattle Center grounds, FREE

Happy Winter!

Movies at the Mural start this Saturday at Seattle Center

Movies at the Mural 2015It’s time to pack up your picnic blanket and snacks and head to the Seattle Center for free movies at the Mural Amphitheatre. As in years past, the Seattle Center hosts movies on Saturday nights through the end of summer. All features begin at 9pm. Shown on a 45-foot screen, the movies are family-friendly (up to your discretion) and all are welcome except for 4-legged family members, as pets are not allowed.

The Seattle Center advises bringing something comfy to sit on such as low back chairs, blankets, or bean bags. You can also bring your own snacks or purchase them at the Seattle Armory. Note: large bags, large coolers/ice chests, umbrellas, and video/audio recorders are not allowed. Please leave pets at home.

Here’s this year’s schedule (descriptions from Seattle Center):

Selma (PG-13), Saturday, August 1
Commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 1965 civil rights march from Selma, Ala., to Montgomery, this stirring historical drama chronicles Martin Luther King’s campaign to secure equal voting rights and highlights the courage of the marchers as they withstand racist and violent attacks. 128 minutes.

Back to the Future (PG), Saturday, August 8
An eccentric inventor turns a DeLorean into a time machine that inadvertently sends young Marty McFly back 30 years. In 1955, Marty disrupts his parents’ destiny and risks throwing the time-space continuum out of whack. 30th anniversary of this sci-fi comedy classic.116 minutes.

Guardians of the Galaxy (PG-13), Saturday, August 15
On the run from intergalactic warlord Ronan, hotshot space pilot Peter Quill unites a ragtag band of oddballs to form a team of unlikely heroes. Soon, the Guardians discover that they alone stand between Ronan and the galaxy’s destruction. 121 minutes.

Into the Woods (PG), Saturday, August 22
Woven from a collection of revered fairy tales and characters, this enchanting musical mash-up by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine focuses on a childless couple who venture into the woods hoping to end a curse put on them by a vindictive witch. 125 minutes.

Plan to arrive early, as the movies are first-come, first-served. Pick out your spot on the lawn, grab a bite to eat, and enjoy movies at the Mural!

Celebrate PrideFest at the Seattle Center this Sunday

Pride Fest 2015Since I have a day job, I often get to the end of the week and haven’t had time to post on key weekend events on and around Queen Anne. This week is no exception, as it’s Friday and I just now have the time to post on PrideFest. But, for the first time, I’m glad I didn’t have time before now, as today is the perfect day to give everyone the heads up about this particular event.

Here are the details on Sunday’s events – the Parade from 4th Ave & Union up to the Seattle Center, and the Pride Fest activities at Seattle Center all day Sunday. Note, there are 30,000 people expected at the Seattle Center festivities this Sunday. It’ll impact traffic and parking, but after today’s Supreme Court ruling, who can complain?

Seattle Pride Parade: The parade begins at 11am, moving from 4th Ave & Union Street to Denny Way, then west on Denny to 2nd Ave N, ending at the Seattle Center. Parade is estimated to run 2.5 hours. Streets will be closed from 7am-4pm.

Seattle PrideFest: The Fest will celebrate Pride at the Seattle Center from 10am to 8pm.  About 30,000 people are expected to attend.

SCOTUS ruling

Happy PrideFest weekend!

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