Attendees enjoy a free SEEDArts summer concert in Columbia Park in 2022

The South End Guide to Free Summer Concerts and Events

by Patheresa Wells

Looking to get outside and enjoy the best of the summer but want to go easy on your wallet? Want to cozy up on a blanket, popcorn in hand, as the sun sets and a blockbuster movie graces the giant screen? Or perhaps you are hoping to sway to the soulful rhythms of a local musician at an outdoor concert? The Emerald has gathered a roundup of South End outdoor events that are family friendly and free! So grab your picnic baskets, gather your loved ones, and get ready for a summer filled with movies, music, and art. 

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Events are listed in alphabetical order. 

Auburn Summer Events 

The city of Auburn has numerous events this summer. Its Summer Sounds concert series runs Thursdays from July 13 to Aug. 17 at Les Gove Park. Friday Night Flick offers a chance to see free movies on a 50-foot’ inflatable movie screen. And in case you are looking for something kid-specific, Kids Summerstage will provide outdoor entertainment Wednesdays, July 12 through Aug. 16, at 12 p.m. at Les Gove Park. Oh, and bring swimsuits and towels to take advantage of the spray park!

Columbia Park SEEDArts Summer Series

The SEEDArts Summer Series converts Columbia Park into an arts and entertainment arena that offers everything from outdoor movies to Shakespeare in the Park to a porch festival with drummers and dancing! The Rainier Arts Center Porch Festival will be held every Wednesday in July at 6 p.m. On Friday, July 28, at 7 p.m., witness Shakespeare in the Park’s performance of The Tempest. And there will be two chances to see Cinema Under the Stars, with Black Panther on Saturday, July 15, and Soul on Saturday, Aug. 19. Movies start after sunset! 

Downtown Summer Sounds

Offering almost 40 performances from July 7 through Sept. 8 at various parks around downtown, this concert series is a four-decades-long tradition. Catch everything from Eduardo Mendonça playing Brazilian Carnival music to the indie rock of ​​Black Belt Eagle Scout. Other standouts worth catching are All Star Opera, a seven-piece Seattle-based hip-hop/soul band that will play Rainier Square on Aug. 7. And DJ Aanshul will be dropping Indian dance music alongside live Bollywood drummers! 

SeaTac Summer Lineup

SeaTac has so many options it’s downright dizzying. Music in the Park happens Wednesdays at Angle Lake Park and Riverton Heights Park. There will be chances to see two plays, The Tempest and Good Morning, Bill, during Theatre in the Park. Friday \Flix presents three outdoor movies in August. And for the little ones, there are multiple events, including Kids’ Jam with family friendly music, Garden Story Time at Highline SeaTac Botanical Garden, and SeaTac Kidz Nite, an event with inflatables, games, live music, and more!

Tukwila Summer Events 

The City of Tukwila touts summer events that include something for everyone. Bark in the Park is a pet-friendly event with music and a soul fusion food truck held at Crestview Park on July 20 at 6 p.m. First Fridays at Foster Golf Links on Aug. 4 will have live music with a screening of the movie Encanto afterward. A lunchtime concert from School of Rock will occur at Tukwila Village on Aug. 16, with Ethiopian American cuisine available from Spice Bridge’s WUHA Cuisine and an interactive chalk art project! And the Back to School Beach Bash happens at Joseph Foster Memorial Park on Saturday, Aug. 26, with music, volleyball, and food!

Waterfront Park at Pier 62

Waterfront Park offers so many free events that include recreation, family friendly options, and even educational opportunities. Skate Like A Girl turns the pier into a skate park with an open skate and lessons! Yoga With Atlee Treasure is a Wednesday night yoga class. Other active classes include kickboxing, Zumba, and Bollywood dance! And Pier Sounds is an annual free concert series held on the waterfront July 28–29 in the evening.

Patheresa Wells is a Queer poet, writer, and storyteller who lives in SeaTac, Washington. Born to a Black mother and Persian father, her experiences as a multicultural child shaped her desire to advocate for and amplify her community. She is currently pursuing a B.A. in creative writing. Follow her on Twitter @PatheresaWells.

📸 Featured Image: Attendees enjoy a free SEEDArts summer concert in Columbia Park in 2022. (Photo: Julie Fowells)

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