Gung Hay Fat Choy! That would be Happy New Year in Chinese (no doubt badly pronounced), for those getting ready to enjoy the Lunar New Year celebrations. And there is certainly a lot to enjoy. This Saturday in the International District, you can find everything from martial arts demonstrations, to taiko drumming, to Chinese dance forms in the Union Station Presentation Hall (click here for a schedule), and admission to these events is free. In addition, expect at least two different Kung-Fu schools performing Lion Dances in the street for local businesses (just follow the rhythmic music and large crowds of people). Children who don’t like loud noises will do best to stay back — both the music and the fireworks used in this ceremony to bring good luck can be loud. Can’t join the festivities in the I.D.? Celebrate at home. Red clothing is supposed to bring good fortune, kids receive money in red envelopes and are encouraged to stay up as lateas possible on New Year’s Eve. Doing so is supposed to guarantee a long life for their parents. So whatever way you do it, celebrate the Year of the Boar!
Gross Out Weekend! At Pacific Science Center, you can indulge your child’s love of all that is gross this weekend at their annual Gross Out Weekend. All weekend long, you’ll find burping contests, workshops on how to make edible fake poop, barf, and snot (I kid you not), and even a blood donation center. “Grossologist” Sylvia Branzel, author of the popular Grossology Books, swears that when kids learn the science behind those body functions they can be so obsessed with, fact replaces the fart jokes. That alone sounds worth the price of admission ($10.00 for adults, $8.50 for kids 3-13). For more information, check out the interview with Ms. Branzel on KUOW’s The Beat.
Northwest Flower and Garden Show Those eager to enjoy the Spring planting and weather will be delighted to know that the annual Northwest Flower and Garden Show is here again. Children can play in the Sproutopia children’s area, where they’ll find performer’s on stage throughout the weekend, and a treasure hunt they can complete for prizes. You parents with potty-trained kids can take advantage of the free childcare being offered this year to sample the more adult garden options. All events are happening at the Convention Center (at 7th and Pike, downtown), and tickets are $3.00 for children 6-17, and $19.00/day for adults.
Stuck for things to do with the kids over Mid-Winter break? Don’t forget the daily kids’ movie at Columbia City Cinemas (see the sidebar for the schedule).