Seattle has incredible outdoor activities, indoor entertainment, festivals and sporting events all year long. The area’s weather is temperate throughout the year and the city parks are wonderful to explore or have a picnic. There are three National Parks within a couple hours’ drive of the city, Puget Sound offers a variety of beaches to explore and the mountains have multiple trails to hike. Check out these top five reasons to visit the city of Seattle in the new year.

Solstice Festival
Fremont District
Seattle, WA 981
(206) 633-0422

Date: June 19-21, 2015

The Fremont District in Seattle is home to the annual Fremont Festival, which is held to celebrate the Solstice. This festival is a free-thinking extravaganza filled with music, beer gardens, the famous Solstice Parade and the body-paint bike ride. The festival is the best way for the district to celebrate Fremont’s culture, the “delibertas quirkas,” or freedom to be peculiar. This is a family-friendly event with parent discretion, and looking through the scheduled events for the day before attending is highly recommended.

The Seahawks play at CenturyLink Field. (Credit, Karen Ulvestad)

Seahawks Football
800 Occidental Ave. S.
Seattle,WA 98134
(206) 203-8000

For the football lover, the Seattle Seahawks put on a great show at their home games. Seattle is a great football town, and fans of rival teams are welcome. Prior to home games, there is an area in the parking lot designated for tailgate parties. The fans are all very friendly and welcoming. Many of the local bars and restaurants become Seahawk gathering places, where fans can watch the game on big-screen TVs with friends. The Seahawks were the Super Bowl XLVIII Champions, and the city supports the team as the “12th Man.” Their home stadium, CenturyLink Field, holds the record for the loudest crowd. The record was measured on the richter scale as a small earthquake.

Seattle Center
Seattle, WA 98109
(206) 673-5060

Date: Labor Day Weekend, 2015

Bumbershoot is the annual music and art festival that happens every Labor Day Weekend and transforms the Seattle Center into a huge concert venue. Seattle was the home of the Grunge music scene in the 1990s and alternative music continues to thrive. The three-day event showcases music, comedy and regional artists. There are even food vendors, which makes this the perfect day activity. The festival is family friendly, though parents should make choices about whether it is appropriate for their child. If the events seem too adult, there are activities especially for children at Youngershoot.

The Edmonds Arts Festival is held at the Frances Anderson Center every Father’s Day weekend. (Credit, Karen Ulvestad)

Edmonds Arts Festival
700 Main St.
Edmonds, WA 98020
(425) 771-6412

Date: June 19-21, 2015

The annual Edmonds Arts Festival is one of the largest art festivals in the area and takes place on Father’s Day weekend. The festival draws thousands of people each year. The juried show is split into multiple different mediums, such as Photography, Sculpture and 2-D Media. The field outside is filled with over 100 juried artist booths. The vendors show and sell their artwork, gourmet cooking sauces or foods. This is a great all-day activity, with a variety of food vendors and wonderful restaurants in downtown Edmonds (2 to 3 blocks away). The festival showcases the best student artwork in the Edmonds School District by grade level. In the week prior to the show, the festival holds its “The Party: A Celebration of the Arts in Edmonds,” which includes a preview of the show.

Seafair Hydroplane Races
Genesee Park/Lake Washington
Seattle, WA 98118
(206) 728-0123

Date: July 31 to Aug. 2, 2015

The Seafair Hydroplane races are a tradition in the Seattle area. Seafair is a series of events which includes the H-1 Unlimited hydroplane races held on Lake Washington and the US Navy’s Blue Angels flight demonstration. This event can be experienced from the shore or from a boat. One of the best known parts of this event are the Seafair Pirates. This motley crew lands the week prior to the races and participates in the Torch Light Parade in downtown Seattle.

Karen Ulvestad is a mother and professional writer/photographer, who lives in the greater Seattle area. She graduated from the University of Washington with a BA in English Composition. Her background is in fitness, travel, photography and writing. She continually researches locations to visit, and/or entertainment opportunities for family outings and/or photo shoots. Her work can be found at