4 to Explore: A Northeast Neighborhoods Newsletter

1 Fun to Enjoy

1 Fun to Enjoy

Jazz Nutcracker at Roosevelt High

What do Duke Ellington, Teddy Roosevelt, and Tchaikovsky all have in common? The Jazz Nutcracker at Roosevelt High!  In Northeast Seattle, combining the classic Nutcracker music with the acclaimed jazz band of Roosevelt High School is destined to be more enjoyable than combining cream, eggs, and spirits into eggnog for the holidays.

So grab your tickets today for the JAZZ NUTCRACKER AT ROOSEVELT HIGH.

As described on their website“Swing into the holiday season with Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn’s festive Jazz Nutcracker, a fanciful take on the Tchaikovsky suite. The award-winning Roosevelt Jazz Band is fortunate to have the rights to perform this arrangement. Join us for a Seattle tradition. Check out this video for a preview of what you will enjoy at the show.”

  • WHAT: Nutcracker Jazz performances
  • WHEN: Sat, Dec 2 at 7:30 p.m. and Sun, Dec 3 at 2:00 p.m.
  • WHERE: Roosevelt High at 1410 NE 66th Street, Seattle, WA 98115
  • PARKING? Yes.
  • COST? Yes, to buy tickets CLICK HERE.

If you miss the live performance, you can download past concerts or buy music CDs, by CLICKING HERE. You’ll be the hippest, micro-local Christmas afficionado by playing the Rough Riders playing Duke Ellington at your holiday party.

It’s been 3 years since we originally featured the Jazz Nutcracker here in “4 to Explore”: https://alexpedersen.org/jazz-nutcracker-at-roosevelt/  So if you have not enjoyed it in a while, it’s time to go back to high school to enjoy it again. The band members are different, but the music is the same high quality.

NEIGHBORHOOD: Learn more about the Roosevelt neighborhood, named after former President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt. Check out the Roosevelt Neighborhood Association (RNA) and read their publication “The Roosie.” Roosevelt hosts an annual “Bull Moose” Festival, which is traditionally held every summer.

The Roosevelt neighborhood is going through a lot of changes with the light rail station scheduled to open in 2021 (the big red crane has been a recent fixture). One of our first Stores to Adore already closed Peaks Frozen Custard and many other may be pushed out by demolitions and rising rents on cherished neighborhood businesses such as Teddy’s Tavern. We at 4toExplore.org have featured a few more including Rain City Burgers, Bengal Tiger, and India Bistro.

MORE: Families can find other fun events this holiday season on the websites of Parent MapRed Tricycle, and Seattle’s Child.

1 Fun to Enjoy

Caspar Babypants Music (in U District)

Dancing kids, smiling parents, fun music.

If you’ve got infants or toddlers in your family, don’t miss a concert by CASPAR BABYPANTS. This beloved band for babies often sings its way through Northeast Seattle — and they’ll be here again this season.

As described on their Facebook page“CASPAR BABYPANTS is Chris Ballew…making high quality intelligent simple acoustic music for kids and their parents to enjoy together.”

“4 to Explore” wrote about Caspar Babypants back in July 2015 as part of the U Village Sounds of Summer concert series. But they are a Fun to Enjoy all by themselves.

But don’t take our word for it; check out a review of their album “Night Night” by Geek Dad (CLICK HERE) and a review of “Sing Along” by Parent Map (CLICK HERE).

  • WHAT: Kids Concert by Caspar Babypants
  • WHEN: Sat, Oct 14 at 3:30 p.m.
  • WHERE: University Heights at 5031 University Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105 (on “The Ave” at NE 50th St.)
  • PARKING? Yes.
  • COST? Free
  • KID-FRIENDLY EVENT? Yes, that’s what it’s all about!

MORE: If you want to plan way ahead, the next Caspar Babypants concert in Northeast Seattle will be April 28, 2018 at the Neptune Theatre at 1303 NE 45th St, Seattle, WA 98105.

  • To hear Froggie Went a Courtin’ and other music samples (with animation!), CLICK HERE.
  • To explore their newest album “Jump for Joy” released Aug 2017, CLICK HERE.
  • As the holidays approach, enjoy their “Winter Party” CD which includes favorites Deck the Halls and Jingle Bells (CLICK HERE).

photo of bulldozer at NE 50th Street & Brooklyn on March 7, 2017

NEIGHBORHOOD: Learn more about the U District. Stroll through Farmers Market Saturday mornings. Engage the many groups: University District Community Council, the U District Partnership (formerly the Chamber of Commerce), and the City / University Community Advisory Committee (CUCAC). Fill up at the diverse eateries from Chaco Canyon Organic Cafe to Portage Bay Cafe to Shultzy’s Sausage and Beer. Adore the stores like The Trading Musician to Artist & Craftsman Supply.

Families can find other fun events this summer on the websites of Parent MapRed Tricycle, and Seattle’s Child.

1 Fun to Enjoy

Live Music at Wedgwood Ale House to Build Park

Have fun this summer helping to turn dirt into a park!

Thanks to the old Parks & Green Spaces Levy from 2008, your taxpayer dollars enabled City Hall to buy a parcel at 35th Ave NE and NE 86th Street in the Wedgwood neighborhood for a future “Morningside Park.” Several years later, however, no park. (For the long history, CLICK HERE.)

Despite their $5 BILLION annual budget, our leaders at City Hall can’t seem to find the money to create the park. City Hall has failed to get the job done in Ravenna and other neighborhoods.  After paying for multiple tax increases advertised as creating more parks, residents are forced to scrape together their own funds to finish the job of city officials.  This is either mismanagement of existing funds or yet another example of how the city officials could be generating funds for parks, sidewalks, and schools if they had the guts to charge for-profit developers Impact Fees. Oops, this is a “Fun to Enjoy” so let’s stay positive!

Thankfully, residents of Northeast Seattle are taking charge by organizing LIVE MUSIC AT WEDGWOOD ALE HOUSE TO BUILD A PARK

The centerpiece of the fundraiser is live music from local bands in the back of the Ale House. A featured local band called “The Civilians” includes a Wedgwoood Community Council board member jamming on guitar.

As described on the website of the Wedgwood Community Council“The Benefit is [an] all ages show, and your presence and donation will help to raise money for the design of Wedgwood’s future park…currently scheduled to start design in 2018 and construction beginning in 2019…Robert Pulson owner of the Wedgwood Ale House is donating the use of the back room and providing staff to meet all your food and drink related needs. Come on out and support a great cause, wonderful band, and a terrific local business. WCC will use these funds to help with the park design.”

  • WHAT: Live Band, Beer, Fundraiser for NE Seattle Park
  • WHEN: Sat, July 15 at 7:30 p.m.
  • WHERE: Wedgwood Ale House (in the back), 8515 35th Ave NE
  • PARKING? Yes, until the city government screws that up soon.
  • COST: $5
  • KID-FRIENDLY EVENT? Yes, that’s how it’s advertised, but there will be beer for adults and bands rockin’ n’ rollin’
  • MENU at Wedgwood Ale House:  CLICK HERE.

NEIGHBORHOOD:  To explore more of Wedgwood, subscribe to Wedgwood View and the Wedgwood Echo.  We have featured a lot of cool stuff in Wedgwood, including Wedgwood Arts Festival (this year on July 8 & 9) and Veraci Pizza. 4 to Explore is in Wedgwood a lot (it’s where our P.O. Box is located) so, for the latest on the neighborhood, be sure to “like” 4 to Explore on Facebook or follow us on Twitter. You can also attend the Wedgwood Community Council monthly meetings.

Families can find other fun events this summer on the websites of Parent MapRed Tricycle, and Seattle’s Child.

1 Fun to Enjoy

Magic Mondays at Ravenna Third Place Books

Abracadabra!  Now you see it, now you don’t.  With all of the change in Seattle, we can say that about our city. But let’s have some fun and — while hard to believe — let’s have fun on a Monday. That’s right, MAGIC MONDAYS AT RAVENNA THIRD PLACE BOOKS. Free evening performances on the 2nd Monday of every month.

As described by Seattle’s Child magazine, “…Each show features the Pacific Northwest’s finest magicians performing feats of mystery, wonder and the bizarre. With its origins in the theaters of London and New York, Magic Monday is a cabaret of conjuring in the intimate setting of our bookstore.” 

  • WHAT: Magic Mondays at Ravenna Third Place Books
  • WHEN: 2nd Mondays each month 7:00 p.m. This spring that’s
  • Monday, April 10,
  • Monday, May 8,
  • Monday, June 12.
  • For regular hours of the bookstore, CLICK HERE. (It’s open every day and night).
  • WHERE: Ravenna Third Place Books, 6504 20th Ave NE at NE 65th St., Seattle, WA 98115.
  • PARKING? Yes, in back.
  • COST: Free, but bring money to buy books.
  • CAFE on site? Yes, Vios:  CLICK HERE.

One of our first “Store to Adore” articles (in Sept 2013) featured the tender trifecta of Ravenna Third Place Books, Vios restaurant & cafe, and Third Place Pub. For that original article, CLICK HERE.

For the books recommended by the well-read Third Place staff, CLICK HERE. This month’s “Staff Picks” include “Evicted: Poverty & Profit in the American City.”

For video showing the magic coin-bending trick, CLICK HERE.
For lots of magic tricks for kids, CLICK HERE.

Families can find other fun events this month on the calendar websites of Parent MapRed Tricycle, and Seattle’s Child.

NEIGHBORHOOD:  To explore more of Ravenna and Bryant, subscribe to the Ravenna Blog, “like” 4 to Explore on Facebook or follow us on Twitter. You can also attend the Ravenna-Bryant Community Association (RCBA). The RBCA is among the many community councils that serve on our Northeast District Council (NEDC).


Easter Egg Hunts at Northeast Seattle Parks.

  • Ravenna:
  • Where: Ravenna Eckstein Community Center.
  • When: Saturday, April 15 at 9:45 a.m., Rain or Shine.
  • Laurelhurst:
  • Where: Laurelhurst Community Center
  • When: Saturday, April 15 at 9:45 a.m., Rain or Shine.
  • Other locations in Northeast Seattle, CLICK HERE.

1 Fun to Enjoy

ArtVentures at the Henry Museum

Rainy and cold weekends can make parents fret, “What fun things can I do with my kids in Northeast Seattle? Explore ARTVENTURES AT THE HENRY MUSEUM. You may have never noticed this modern-looking museum on the western edge of UW’s main campus, just south of the Burke Museum.

Venture into ArtVenture with the family on the 2nd Sunday of each month. You might build a toy that reflects your individuality, create a skit or game that stretches your perspective, or draw a portrait of your favorite person without showing their face.

  • WHAT: ArtVentures for families.
  • WHEN: 2nd Sundays of each month 1:00 to 3:30 p.m. In 2017, that’s
  • Jan 8, “Toy Transformation”. For reservations, CLICK HERE.
  • Feb 12, “Imagination is REAL” For reservations, CLICK HERE.
  • For future dates, such as March 12 and April 9, CLICK HERE.
  • For regular Museum Hours, CLICK HERE.
  • WHERE: Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, 15th Ave NE at NE 41st St., Seattle, WA 98105.
  • DIRECTIONS: You can park for free on 15th or enter the UW Central parking lot off 15th Ave. For other modes, CLICK HERE.
  • COST: Free with museum admission.
  • CAFE on site? Yes, CLICK HERE.

According to the museum’s website, “The Henry was founded as Washington State’s first art museum by Seattle entrepreneur Horace C. Henry, on the principle that art stimulates inquiry, fosters knowledge, and builds a healthy community. In 1926, Horace C. and Susan Henry donated their collection of 152 paintings…From its earliest days, the Henry has been known for being first in the region to showcase world-renowned contemporary artists…”

NEIGHBORHOOD: Learn more about the U District. Stroll through Farmers Market Saturday mornings. Engage the many groups: University District Community Council, the U District Partnership (formerly the Chamber of Commerce), and the City / University Community Advisory Committee (CUCAC). Fill up at the diverse eateries from Chaco Canyon Organic Cafe to Portage Bay Cafe to Shultzy’s Sausage and Beer. Adore stores like The Trading Musician to Artist & Craftsman Supply.


  • Calling all kids and young teens for free activities:  “S.T.E.A.M. Sundays” at the Northeast Seattle Library branch on 35th Ave NE where the Bryant and Wedgwood neighborhoods meet. Sunday, Feb 26 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. S.T.E.A.M. stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, ART, and Math.

1 Fun to Enjoy

Classical Music in Laurelhurst

Classical music separates us from the beasts and elevates our soul. Enjoy LIVE CLASSICAL MUSIC right here in Northeast Seattle. The Laurelhurst neighborhood continues to host Philharmonia Northwest at St. Stephen’s Church.

What is Philharmonia, you ask? “Philharmonia Northwest was established in 1976…The Orchestra is comprised of approximately 40 musicians from the Puget Sound area, who volunteer their talents and perform music ranging from the works of the Baroque era to world premieres” (according to their website).

This Fall, two very different concerts are featured at St. Stephen’s Church, which is located at 4805 NE 45th Street, Seattle, WA — just east of Laurelhurst Park and Laurelhurst Elementary.

Fall concert #1: “Drum Roll, Please…”

  • WHEN: Sunday, October 23 at 2:30 p.m.
  • WHERE: St. Stephen’s Church in Laurelhurst:  4805 NE 45th St.
  • FEATURING: Matt Drumm (Yes, his name is Drumm.)
  • MUSIC:
  1. Rossini: La gazza ladra overture
  2. Ney Rosauro: Concerto for Timpani and String Orchestra
  3. Hayden: Symphony No. 103 (“Drumroll”)

Fall concert #2: “The Great Tradition”

  • WHEN: Sunday, November 20 at 2:30 p.m.
  • WHERE: St. Stephen’s Church in Laurelhurst:  4805 NE 45th St.
  • FEATURING: Lauren Roth (photo above)
  • MUSIC:
  1. Mozart: “Don Giovanni” Overture
  2. Brahms: Violin Concerto in D Major
  3. Tchaikovsky: Suite No. 4 in G Major

To hear how talented Lauren Roth is, enjoy the first 10 seconds of this performance on YouTube.

For Philharmonia concerts through April, CLICK HERE. To buy season tickets, CLICK HERE. Tickets can be purchased at the door, but they are less expensive when you buy online.

Learn more about Laurelhurst by subscribing to the Laurelhurst Blog and attending the Laurelhurst Community Club.


Families can find other fun events this summer on the calendar websites of Parent MapRed Tricycle, and Seattle’s Child.

Get our free "4 to Explore" newsletter delivered to your inbox every month. Click Here to Subscribe