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June 24, 2019

CC / Marcus Yam 

Let’s be real, Washington state is primed for outdoor activities to keep you busy all season long thanks to an abundance of rivers, lakes and breathtaking mountain ranges. However, the greater Seattle area is also home to various cultures. This lends itself to a wealth of opportunities for locals to immerse themselves and their families in the unique ethnic traditions vibrating throughout this city.

Here are 4 family friendly multicultural festivals to attend this year that will inspire you and your kids!

Dragon Fest

CC / Joe Mabel

June 29th, 2019 
11am-7pm  / Featuring a $3 food walk with over 40 restaurants offering your favorite pan-Asian tasting plates, we recommend you come to Dragon Fest hungry! Situated in Seattle’s own Chinatown International District, Dragon Fest pays homage to the many immigrants and refugees who shaped the ID and invites guests to be “tourists in their own town.” Featuring a wide variety of cultural performances, from dragon and lion dances to traditional martial arts demos and an anime costume contest for kids, it’s rare that you’ll find a dull moment at this crowd-friendly festival. Add to the experience by leaving your car at home and catching public transit to avoid wasting time searching for parking that could be spent eating. 

In The Spirit: Northwest Native Festival 

CC / Tacoma Art Museum and Washington State Museum 

August 10, 2019
Presented by the Tacoma Art Museum and the Washington State History Museum, the Northwest Native Festival is an indoor/outdoor experience celebrating native culture. Held at the Tacoma Art Museum, this free festival is open to the public and features dancing, drumming, singing and shopping. Storytime circles and an art market make the event kid and parent friendly, while a signature runway fashion show is sure to collect gasps of excitement from audience members of all ages. Running from noon to 5 this is the perfect family festival to make a day-trip of! Come early to beat the Seattle traffic, (Tacoma traffic is inevitable) and peruse the Tacoma waterfront before heading to the event. Close out the evening at the family- approvedSteamer’s Seafood Cafefor ‘Beer Battered Halibut and Chips.’ 

Umoja Fest: The Soul of Seafair

August 2-4th, 2019 All-Day / A tradition since the ‘1940s, the Umoja Fest is a Seattle staple and honors the African American culture and African diaspora. “Umoja” means unity in Swahili and is the theme of this family-friendly festival. In addition to the AfricaTown heritage parade, children’s day and family fun village, an assortment of food trucks and a vendor marketplace showcasing African goods, the festival features multiple stages for live musical performances showcasing local talent, fashion shows and more. Prepare for sensory overload in the best way possible. Judkins spacious park offers the ideal backdrop for this community event. 

Nordic Sol

CC / National Nordic Museum 

Aug 22-25th, 2019
A series of carefully curated events make up this weekend festival celebrating Arctic culture. An arctic-themed, storyboard-style Pecha Kucha presentation featuring 20 slides in 20 seconds, Circumpolar Hip Hop collaboration and modern designers add cool points to this one-of-a-kind festival and make it a hit amongst eco-fashionable families. Wash down traditional bites like herring and crayfish at the aquavit garden, a classic Scandinavian spirit distilled from grain and potatoes and flavored with herbs. A a variety of arts and crafts activities are sure to keep the kids entertained all weekend long! 

By Abiola Akanni

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