What’s Happening Aug. 12-18

Believe it or not, Pacific Science Center hosts a range of events for adults only, no kids at all. I visited PacSci Summer Nights: Happy Hour last month, and I can confidently say it’s the perfect place to embrace your own inner child (or even bring a date).

A ticket for $20 ($25 at the door) buys entrance to the museum’s Tropical Butterfly House and shows in the Laser Dome and Planetarium. Visitors also can explore the miniexhibits in between shows, grab food or even play giant chess or checkers while listening to music by KEXP’s DJ Evie, all with a drink in hand.

After arriving at 6:30 p.m., I grabbed a Pacific Science Center-themed cocktail ($11) and headed straight to the combustion show after hearing others excitedly announce, “The combustion show starts in three minutes, let’s hurry and get over there!”

The audience watched captivated, like we’ve all been transported back to an elementary school field trip, except this time we can actually understand why combustion needs oxygen, heat and fuel and we cheer each other excitedly after every fire demonstration.

“The Pacific Science Center and science in general is for everyone — it’s fun at any age,” said Tracy Sawan, PacSci’s marketing communications manager. Events like Happy Hour provide a playful evening while still presenting learning opportunities, she added.

With my curiosity piqued, I grabbed pineapple pulled pork sliders ($7) and made it my personal mission to check out anything and everything before the night ends. I visited the Planetarium and the Laser Dome, set my drink aside to watch the butterflies in the Tropical Butterfly House and ventured outside to the human-sized hamster wheel and water jets.


I made my way back inside, passing the dinosaur exhibit, and headed to the Tinker Tank, the hands-on tinkering space where guests can tinker with paper airplanes, Legos, wooden architecture and more.

My favorite Tinker findings: the flow-motion wheel, where the spin of a wheel creates different currents within the fluid inside, and the whisper dishes, where your voice seemingly magically reflects and carries across the room to whoever is listening on the other side.

Although the museum is family-friendly during the day, opening it up for adults only after hours “is a nice opportunity for parents and other adults to take their time, go more in depth into science and research and discover their inner child and their inner scientists without the kids around,” Sawan said.

If you can’t make it to Happy Hour, Pacific Science Center hosts a handful of other 21+ events: Brewology, where guests sample different beers and ciders and get a chance to talk directly to brewers; Spectra, the museum’s New Year’s Eve party with drinks, fireworks, music and more; and Science in the City, a series of talks about topical issues in STEM.

“We want science to be accessible to everybody of all ages, abilities and backgrounds. That’s why a lot of our content is also being produced in Spanish and we’re looking to translate that into other languages as well. But really, accessibility is so important to us, and science learning isn’t just for kids, it’s really for adults, too,” Sawan said.

The next Happy Hour will take place 5:30-8:30 p.m. Aug. 17. Purchase tickets and find more information online at: pacificsciencecenter.org/events/pacsci-summer-nights-happy-hour


What else is happening

Here are some other events happening Aug. 12-18 in the Puget Sound area. If you would like to submit an event for consideration, please email your event details to weekend@seattletimes.com.

U District Summer Movies by the Bay — Aug. 12

Enjoy live music at 7 p.m. and “Whale Rider” at dusk at the new Fritz Hedges Waterway Park hosted by The U District Partnership, Scarecrow Video and Agua Verde Café. Attendees can grab a bite from the nearby Agua Verde Café or pick up takeout from a local U District business, bring a picnic blanket or chairs, and settle in for the movie. Free. 1117 N.E. Boat St., Seattle; udistrictseattle.com/summermovies

Vashon Island Film Festival — Aug. 12-14

The Vashon Film Institute presents its inaugural Vashon Island Film Festival including 10 features, 10 shorts and a selection of other film-centric
events for patrons to experience, including an Opening Night Gala, Saturday Night Soiree and two seminars delivered by notable film industry guests. Purchase tickets online; $10-$117. Location varies; vashonislandfilmfestival.com

Celebrate Lakeridge Playfield & Play Area — Aug. 13

Seattle Parks and Recreation invites the community to celebrate the renovated Lakeridge Playfield and Play Area 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Enjoy games, food, music, activities and an opportunity to explore all the improvements. Free. 10145 Rainier Ave. S., Seattle; 206-684-4075; seattle.gov

Hai! Japantown — Aug. 13

Join Wing Luke Museum and other Chinatown International District organizations in celebrating Japantown’s life, culture, artistry and businesses at Japantown’s annual block party 1-5 p.m. Enjoy free performances, a beer garden, games, giveaways and more. Free. Location varies; 206-623-5124; wingluke.org

Seattle Arab Festival — Aug. 13-14

Seattle Center Festál continues with Seattle Arab Festival 11 a.m.-7 p.m. at the Armory Food & Event Hall and the Mural Amphitheatre. This in-person event features Arabic cuisine food trucks, children’s activities, live music and folk dancing performances, a hookah lounge, exhibits and art workshops, and a traditional bazaar marketplace. Free. 305 Harrison St. Seattle; 206-684-7200; seattlecenter.com


Capitol Hill Garage Sale — Aug. 14

The Cal Anderson Park Alliance presents the return of the Capitol Hill Garage Sale after a two-year hiatus. Seattle’s longest-running communitywide garage sale will feature more than 75 vendors in Cal Anderson Park, as well as nearly 20 independent garage sales at homes across Capitol Hill from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. A DJ and beverages and treats also will be available at the Capitol Hill Neighborhood Farmers Market just alongside the garage sale (11 a.m.-3 p.m.). Free. 1635 11th Ave., Seattle; capitolhillgaragesale.org

Othello Park International Festival — Aug. 14

After a two-year pandemic hiatus, the annual Othello Park International Festival returns noon-6 p.m. The Othello neighborhood will share its authentic variety of cultural music, dance, vendors and art. This year’s performers include Washington Diamonds Drill Team, Mak Lai Lion Dancer, Samoan Siva Dance Group, Northwest Wushu Martial Arts, Copoeira, JAKO Warrior Fire Dancers and more. Free. 4351 S. Othello St., Seattle; othellopark.org/2022-festival

Tacoma Battle Games: Battle of the Bows — Aug. 14

Join this outdoor activity for youths and adults in which two or more groups engage in mock archery combat using padded tipped arrows at 1 p.m. Work as a team to eliminate your opponents with team tactics and skills in archery. All players must be 14 and older and must be mature enough mentally, physically, socially and emotionally to play on the war field (all players 14-17 must have a legal guardian present). Free. 1501 S. Puget Sound Ave., Tacoma; allsfaire.org/battle-games

Ukulele Start-Up for Beginners at the Federal Way Library — Aug. 16

King County Library System hosts a class presented by award-winning songwriter Wes Weddell where participants will learn how to play the ukulele at 6 p.m. Go from zero to song, no previous experience necessary. There will be 15 ukes available; first come, first served. Register online; free. 34200 First Way S., Federal Way; 253-838-3668; kcls.org