Summer favorites: Shakespeare in the Park, Woodland Park Zoo, parades, waterfront, Mount Rainier wildflowers

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1. Shakespeare in the Park performances are lively and wonderful. Comedies are my favorite. This year, Seattle Shakespeare Company Wooden O productions are “Much Ado About Nothing” and “Pericles.” GreenStage offers “The Comedy of Errors,” “Richard II” and more. Performances are free, but bring some cash that you’ll probably be inspired to donate when the actors pass the hats.

Seattle Summer Guide 2017

2. Woodland Park Zoo makes for a lovely excursion on a nice summer day to see the animals frolicking or lolling in the sun, enjoying it as much as we do. There’s also the carousel, the seasonal butterfly garden, and the adorable Yola the baby gorilla.

3. Sitting on the curb watching marching bands, drill teams and floats go by always makes me feel like a kid again. Almost every community festival has a small parade that doesn’t require much time and planning to enjoy. One of my favorites: the West Seattle Grand Parade, since it’s in the neighborhood where I grew up. It’s July 22 this year.

4. Seattle’s waterfront has gone through a lot of changes, but the sights, smells and charms of the salty air, seafood restaurants and touristy shops remain quintessentially Seattle. Grab some fish and chips to share with greedy seagulls at Ivar’s Fish Bar; see Sylvester the Mummy, the two-headed calf and more at Ye Olde Curiosity Shop; visit Seattle Aquarium or splurge on a sailboat ride or boat tour.

5. Take a day trip to Mount Rainier National Park during the brief season when the wildflowers are in glorious bloom. With the mountain views, fabulously fresh air, colorful flowers and bubbling streams, it’s easy to see how Paradise got its name. For bloom information, travel advice and more see or call 360-569-2211.