It happens so fast. Those summer nights are gone as swiftly as they roll in. But, oh, those warm afternoons and bright evenings are what sun-deprived Seattleites and Eastsiders dream of.
Beginning this month, summer spirit is swirling and sweeping everyone into a frenzy of music, festivals, sports and annual parties. The clock is already ticking, so if you're looking for a summer romance this season, fall in love with your city.
Mariners vs. Baltimore Orioles: Wednesday, May 1
Although baseball is the sport that never seems to quit (162 games!), nothing beats a summer Mariners game. Now that Safeco field is equipped with gourmet fare, enjoying a game is a tasty affair, too. Be there to watch the first May game.
Sounders vs. San Jose Earthquakes: Saturday, May 11
Seemingly taking its name from the rowdy fans, the Seattle Sounders have an unwavering following of those with mighty lungs. Here, soccer isn't just a sport; it's a passion. Prepare your voice for the first home game of the season. www.soundersfc.com
Seattle International Film Festival:
May 16-June 9
From features and documentaries to short films and animation, SIFF is the advocate for the film fanatic. Held at the classic Cinema Uptown in Queen Anne, it's a celebration of the art of movie making and entertainment. The movie lineup will be announced May 2. www.siff.net
Chateau Ste. Michelle Summer Concert Series: June-Sept.
Set at the picturesque Chateau Ste. Michelle winery, you'd be hard-pressed to find a more beautiful concert venue. There's always a diverse lineup of jazz, blues and contemporary, with past artists including Beach Boys, Stevie Wonder and Sarah McLachlan. www.ste-michelle.com/events/concerts
Seattle Science Festival: June 6-16
A great, educational event for families, this 11-day festival is a celebration of science and technology. The Seattle Center hosts, offering countless hands-on activities, demonstrations and talks from stars in the science world, which take place during opening and closing nights. www.seattlesciencefestival.org
Washington Brewers Festival:
Held during Father's Day weekend, more than 200 beers from 64 Washington breweries will be available for sipping. As always, there's great food, live music, a root beer garden for kids, a brewer's keg toss and, if you're not into beer, wine and cider tasting. www.washingtonbeer.com
Seafair Kick Off: Friday, June 21
In these parts, Seafair is synonymous with summer, so it's no surprise that its first day coincides with the first official day of summer. Events run through August, but opening fun begins Friday, June 21, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Rock' n' Roll Seattle Marathon and Half Marathon: Saturday, June 22
The largest marathon in Seattle (last year's race hosted 22,000 runners) is a bangin' good time. This is the fifth year the marathon has taken over the city, which benefits the American Cancer Society, and to add to the elation of finishing, runners are treated to a concert. www.runrocknroll.competitor.com/seattle
Bellevue Strawberry Festival:
This Seafair-sanctioned event helps support the Eastside Heritage Center. Folks gather at Crossroads Park to show appreciation for the berry by, what else, eating it! Dipped in chocolate, smothered over a shortcake and prepared au naturel, guests can get their fill, while also enjoying carnival games, live music and so much more. www.bellevuestrawberryfestival.org
Woodland Park ZooTunes:
Begins June 23
Now in its 30th year, a favorite of families, Woodland Park Zoo's annual concert series allows guests to mill around the animals, soak up the sun and live easy with great music. Plus, admission helps with zoo maintenance and conservation programs. www.zoo.org
Bellevue Summer Outdoor Movies: July 5-Aug. 23
Put on by the Parks & Community Services Department, the eight-week series shows family-friendly movies at Downtown Bellevue Park. There are activities before each movie, and films start at dusk. Additionally, movie nights are paired with various charities, and attendees are encouraged to bring suggested items to donate. www.bellevuewa.gov/sbcc_movies.htm
Seattle Outdoor Theater Festival: July 13-14
During just two nights, the festival showcases 14 performances from eight local companies. Held at the beautiful Volunteer Park, this free theater is a wonderful opportunity to expose your family to the arts. www.greenstage.org
Shakespeare in the Park:
July 13-Aug. 18
Held in parks throughout Seattle, Lynwood, Fall City, Redmond, Burien and Bainbridge Island, these free plays bring Shakespeare classics back to life. Make sure to check the schedule to find which plays will be featured this season.
Bite of Seattle: July 19-21
Featured on this past season of "Top Chef," Bite of Seattle brings together the best chefs in the Northwest. Get ready for dozens of samples, local craft beers and cooking demonstrations from Seattle celebrity chefs. www.biteofseattle.com
Kirkland Uncorked: July 19-21
The Kirkland shores of Lake Washington are a thing of beauty in the summer. Fine wines, food and art make them more so. This annual festival benefits the Hope Heart Institute, while guests relax in the tasting garden, in the art showroom and on the promenade. www.kirklanduncorked.com
Bellevue Arts Fair Weekend:
Another freebie, held just north of Bellevue Square at Cost Plus World Market, this supports a variety of non-profits. It's a combination of three events: Bellevue Festival of the Arts, Bellevue Art Musuem's ArtsFair and Bellevue's 6th Street Fair. Now in its 29th year, it celebrates all things local and sees an average of 150,000 visitors. www.bellevuefest.org
Seafair Fleet Week: July 31-Aug. 4
Ships have been coming into the Port of Seattle to celebrate this event since 1950. In partnership with Navy League Seattle Council and Port of Seattle, Navy and Coast Guard vessels are put on display during the procession through Elliott Bay, while above, vintage and contemporary aircraft put on their own show.
Seafair Weekend—Hydroplane Races and Air Show: Aug. 2-Aug. 4
This is what Seafair is known for. While hydroplanes delight at water level, a stunning air show takes place above. This year's special guest is the Patriots Jet Team, a civilian-owned precision-flying team sure to put on a remarkable show. www.seafair.com
Boeing Classicat TPC Snoqualmie Ridge: Aug. 19-25
The PGA Champions Tour supports Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason and the First Tee of Greater Seattle. Golf pros gather for a tournament like no other—from practicing their stroke with the Seahawks to playing with the Emirates Youth Clinic, it's a week of sport and charity.
LABOR DAY WEEKEND
Bumbershoot: Aug. 31-Sept. 2
Acting as the spokesperson for the end of summer, Bumbershoot is a Seattle standard in music and arts. Always on Labor Day weekend, and always at the Seattle Center, it's as dependable as the promise of fun during a Seattle summer. www.bumbershoot.org