April is play month at Seattle Center with a fun and lively line-up of child-friendly activities to take families through the traditional spring break period and beyond. While the campus is abuzz with youthful goings-on at destinations like Artists at Play, KeyArena (WE Day, April 21), Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP), Pacific Science Center (Terracotta Warriors of the First Emperor opening April 8), Seattle Children’s Museum and Seattle Children’s Theatre, here are some public programming highlights for the month:
Seattle Center Whirligig!:
Seattle Center Whirligig! fills the Main Floor and Balcony area of Seattle Center Armory with super-sized inflatable rides, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. daily through Sunday, April 16. Families from across the region look forward to this annual bounce fest, suitable for children 12 and under. A Toddler’s Zone is also available. Inflatable offerings include a 30-Foot Obstacle Course, Jurassic Adventure, 24-Foot Dual Lane Slide, Cliff Jump and more. Whirligig! also presents an assortment of Student Showcases and delicious foods from Armory eateries.
Entry is free. Ride admission is $8 for an all-day main floor pass; $4.50 for an all-day toddler zone pass, and $1.50 for a single ride ticket. During Ride Free Thursdays, children may ride at no cost. For more information on Seattle Center Whirligig! and other Seattle Center programming, visit www.seattlecenter.com or call 206 684.7200.
International Children’s Friendship Festival 2017:
The 8th Annual International Children’s Friendship Festival, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., April 15-16, at Fisher Pavilion and South Fountain Lawn, invites children to join in honoring their heritage and culture through performances, cultural displays, education and a commitment to international peace and friendship. The free festival, organized by youth, features the 1st International Children’s Friendship Festival Arts Showcase, an international playground with activities from around the world and a Children’s Forum focused on a topic of global significance. In addition, children’s groups representing over 40 countries will present unique dances and songs.
The Turkish American Cultural Association of Washington produces the International Children’s Friendship Festival as part of the Seattle Center Productions program, Community Created Events. For additional information on the festival, visit childrensfest.tacawa.org.
Seattle Center Festál: Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival:
Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival, a founding member of Seattle Center Festál now in its 38th year, commemorates the long friendship between the people of Japan and Washington State and seeks to highlight the common values we all share beyond cultural differences, 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Friday, and 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, April 21-23, in Seattle Center Armory, Fisher Pavilion and Seattle Center Pavilion.
The Festival offers numerous child-oriented activities. In fact, Friday focuses on hands-on activities for students, and many of the activities continue through the weekend including: calligraphy workshops, play with traditional toys, happi and kite making, origami and kirie paper cutting and a special Friday dance workshop. This Festál event also features a variety of Japanese edibles including: the Festival’s own gyudon, curry rice, sushi burritos, a Japanese porkbelly bowl, traditional tea prepared by MyGreenTea and more.
World Rhythm Festival:
The largest – and perhaps liveliest – of the perennial Community Created Events, World Rhythm Festival: A World of Musical Performances and Drum & Dance Workshops, takes place 12 noon – 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday and 12 noon – 7 p.m. on Sunday, April 28-30, in Seattle Center Armory, Seattle Center Pavilion, Fisher Pavilion and Mural Amphitheatre.
The Festival offers a weekend immersion into world music, drumming and dance. Friday is Family Day, with performances and workshops on the Armory Main Floor. The Friday Night Opening Showcase features regional, national and international world music artists. Weekend offerings include all-ages workshops, performances, a drum and dance jam, international marketplace, drum rental and a Saturday night dance party. All events are free.
Seattle World Percussion Society produces World Rhythm Festival e in partnership with Seattle Center. For more information, visit www.swps.org.
Photo by SADDLEBURN MEDIA