As I write this weekend preview, the Seattle Maritime Festival is looking like a very good bet, indeed. Temperatures are supposed to be in the 70s on Saturday — just the right setting for tugboat races, free harbor tours, a chowder cook-off, wooden-boat building for kids and all the rest. It takes place Saturday at Pier 66 on the Seattle waterfront. (Photo of a slide at last year’s Maritime Fest by Alan Berner/Seattle Times.)
Saturday is also a big day for birders: International Migratory Bird Day, to be specific, with events at Discovery Park, Magnuson Park, Seward Park and Juanita Bay Park. Learn more here from Seattle Times reporter Lynda Mapes … and don’t forget to bring your own binoculars.
The Pike Place Market Flower Festival takes place both Saturday and Sunday. Do we have to mention that this would be a good place to take your mom or mom-substitute? Sunday is Mother’s Day, after all. Other good options along the same lines are the Bellevue Botanical Garden Native Plant Society Sale, Saturday and Sunday, and Mother’s Day at the Arboretum, Sunday only. Here’s a big ol’ list of these sorts of events, if you’re so inclined. (Pike Place flowers photographed by Chris Joseph Taylor/Seattle Times.)
If your mom is anything like mine, however, you may be looking for a less-conventional outdoor activity. How’s this? A site-specific performance of “The Miraculous Mandarin,” presented by Spectrum Dance Theatre. Arts writer Michael Upchurch reports that the show will take place in the windows of the old Hanil Garden Restaurant overlooking Hing Hay Park, where the audience, voyeurlike, will be sitting or standing (reserve seats here). Note that “The Miraculous Mandarin” is based on Bela Bartok and Menyhert Lengyel’s 1926 pantomime, and it’s a tale of three drug addicts and a hooker that takes a supernatural twist — we recommend leaving the kids at home. It runs 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays, May 17-26, and it’s free.
Finally: It’s Seattle. So rain is always still a possibility. The big movie opening this weekend is “Dark Shadows,” starring Johnny Depp. It’s one odd monster-mashup, says movie critic Moira Macdonald — your own sense of humor may determine whether you like it or not. If you’re iffy on that, “The Avengers” is still packing in the crowds at the multiplex. (Did you miss our summer movie preview? Find it here.)