At the beginning of the year, we look at our readers’ favorite things to do in the past year. In the list below we’ve arranged popular seasonal activities first, followed by articles that were popular throughout the year and not attached to any particular season or holiday.
Most popular seasonal activities
The New Year is celebrated twice in the Puget Sound region. Chinese Lunar New Year occurs somewhere between January 20 and February 20, nearly halfway between the winter solstice and spring equinox. Lunar New Year event welcome the return of spring and chase out the dark days of winter (and the evil spirits who lurk there). Head to our solstice page for more solstice and equinox information and a calendar of related lantern festivals and light shows that occur throughout the year.
In spring, usually in the week before and after Easter Sunday, cherry blossom trees burst into flower throughout the Seattle-Tacoma metro area, heralding the arrival of longer days and warmer weather. Driving around the city to take in the view is a favorite pastime for many readers.
In late spring, the growing season begins at farms around Washington State. For many, this signals the time to think about u-pick crops around the Puget Sound region, which stretch through fall. U-pick crops include berries, stone fruits, and a variety of popular vegetables from beans to pumpkins. Farmers markets in Seattle neighborhoods and other cities around the Puget Sound region begin to open in April. All are open by June. Find a farmers market in the Puget Sound region.
While Memorial Day Weekend is the unofficial start of summer across the country, rain in the Puget Sound region usually continues through Independence Day, making it one more reason to celebrate July 4th with fireworks in cities throughout the Puget Sound region. Thousands head to nearby parks for spectacular summertime light shows.
Beginning in mid-summer and lasting through fall, Pacific Northwest waterways welcome the return of spawning salmon. We keep a list of where to see salmon during spawning season in Western Washington.
Car shows are another popular activity throughout summer around the Puget Sound region.
In August, the Blue Angels Show during Seattle Seafair Weekend is the clearly city’s favorite summer activity and the most popular of all the air shows in the Puget Sound region. Aviation enthusiasts, thrill seekers, and people of all ages consider the Blue Boeing F/A-18 Hornets over Lake Washington the most spectacular event of the year.
In the fall, a variety of trees, shrubs, and ground covers around Seattle and Western Washington morph into breathtaking hues of red, orange, and yellow. The colors are most vibrant after hot, dry summers. Many readers like to take take a walk in the city to see fall color or a scenic drive in Western Washington to enjoy this spectacular autumn event.
Walking and driving through Christmas light displays is a favorite winter activity in the Pacific Northwest from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve, along with snapping a photo with Santa in the Puget Sound region and dining out on Christmas Day.
Popular activities any time of year
People in the Puget Sound region love a good deal, especially when they can get free food. For this, they check our list of places to get free food around Washington state for your birthday and to enjoy food and drinks at a discount at the best happy hours.
The Seattle-Tacoma metro region offers many ways to entertain yourself without opening your wallet. Our list of free things to do anytime are open nearly every day and include popular attractions, outdoor recreational activities. For seasonal events, check our list of free things to do for the next 30 days.
For a more in-depth experience, there are a variety of places around the Puget Sound region where you can take free tours, including tours about history, technology, food, locally made clothing, gardens, and seasonal attractions.
Known as an epicenter for music development across the country, Seattle boasts many live music venues with low or no cover charges, some with all ages shows.
Popular movies of 2019
No matter what time of year, Puget Sound residents enjoy going to the movies. Here’s our selected list of movies highly enjoyed by audiences in 2019 (listed in order by MPAA rating):
- Apollo 11 (G)
- Toy Story 4 (G)
- A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (PG)
- Aladdin (PG)
- Frozen II (PG)
- Maiden (PG)
- Avengers: Endgame (PG-13)
- Dark Waters (PG-13)
- Ford v Ferrari (PG-13)
- Just Mercy (PG-13)
- Knives Out (PG-13)
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (PG-13)
- Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am (PG-13)
- 1917 (R)
- Clemency (R)
- Dolomite is My Name (R)
- Mickey and the Bear (R)
- Pain and Glory (R)
- Queen & Slim (R)
- They Shall Not Grow Old (R)
- Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché (NR)
- For Sama (NR)
- Midnight Family (NR)
In Seattle in 2019, we said hello to the SR 99 tunnel and goodbye to the Alaskan Way Viaduct. This transformation leads the Emerald City out of the 2010s and into a new decade. May you enjoy peace and prosperity in the coming year. We’ll help with the prosperity part by continuing to bring you free events and cheap things to do throughout 2020.