The St. Demetrios Greek Festival is Oct. 7-9; you can ramble through Interlaken Park or the Washington Park Arboretum; or get out and play and learn at the Montlake Community Center.
St. Demetrios Greek Festival
Montlake neighborhood’s biggest annual party is coming up Oct. 7, 8 and 9. Expect traditional Greek food, music and dancing on the grounds of St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church. The Greek Festival invites all to “come for the food and stay for the entertainment.” That food and entertainment includes lamb sandwiches, gyros, calamari, souvlaki, spanakopita and Greek desserts and pastries and more for sale, and performances by St. Demetrios Greek Dance Groups. Seated meals are served in the dining hall, with Greek wine and beer available at the Taverna bar and weekend sports events on the big screen. Festival shops offer Greek imports and deli items, and there will be guided tours of the St. Demetrios church sanctuary. Parking can be difficult in the neighborhood during this popular event; free parking and shuttle service will be offered Saturday and Sunday at Seattle Preparatory School parking garage and Montlake Elementary School Playground. Festival hours are from noon to 9 p.m. Oct. 7, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Oct. 8 and noon to 7 p.m. Oct. 9, 2100 Boyer Ave. E., Seattle; admission is free (seattlegreekfestival.com).
Paths and trails through the wooded hillside of Interlaken Park (2451 Delmar Drive E., Seattle) are popular with bikers, hikers and joggers. East Interlaken Boulevard runs through the park north to south. Interlaken Park is adjacent to Louisa Boren Park, 1606 15th Ave. E., Seattle, a scenic viewpoint with views of Lake Washington and the Cascades.
Montlake Community Center and Playfield
Montlake Community Center and Playfield is a popular neighborhood gathering spot. It hosts sports and fitness activities, pottery studio classes, toddler indoor playground and seasonal events. It’s made up of two buildings, one with a sports court and meeting rooms, and the other, the original community center built by the Works Progress Administration in the 1930s; it’s used for youth and adult programs. The surrounding playground includes a play area, tennis courts, basketball court and a well-used sports field; 1618 E. Calhoun St., Seattle (206-684-4736 or seattle.gov/parks/find/centers/montlake-community-center).
Nearby West Montlake Park, a stretch of flat grass bordering the Seattle Yacht Club, also looks out on Portage Bay and the Montlake Cut; 2815 W. Park Drive E., Seattle (seattle.gov/parks/find/parks/west-montlake-park).
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Washington Park Arboretum
Washington Park Arboretum/University of Washington Botanic Gardens is along the Montlake neighborhood’s eastern boundary, a few blocks away from the “Montlake Welcomes You” sign. One of Seattle’s most beloved destinations, the Arboretum includes trails, themed gardens, wetlands, the seasonal Japanese Garden and Graham Visitor Center. Weekly tours at 1 p.m. Sundays are free from the Visitor Center; no registration needed. Self-guided tour maps, school field trips, family walks and programs, and private group tours are also available; 2300 Arboretum Drive E., Seattle (206-543-8800 or depts.washington.edu/uwbg/gardens/wpa.shtml).
The south end of Arboretum Drive is closed to pedestrians until approximately Oct. 13 as part of a construction project for a new paved-surface trail. The extensive trail project is to continue through 2017. When completed, it will include three new bridges, restored wetlands and views of Arboretum Creek.
The Seattle Japanese Garden in Washington Park Arboretum is a 3.5-acre formal garden open March through November. Beautiful at any time of year, the garden is full of fall color, celebrated with music and special events at the upcoming Maple View Festival on Oct. 15 and 16. The garden is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays in October, subject to weather; 1075 Lake Washington Blvd., Seattle; $4-$6 admission, fees for special events vary (206-684-4725 or seattlejapanesegarden.org).