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Madison Valley Events

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There’s plenty to do in Madison Park and the Washington Park Arboretum this month, with wine tastings and nature…

Throughout May: Wine Tastings
Varying Times | Madrona Wine Merchants
Madrona Wine Merchants offers wine tastings throughout May for interested or curious wine-o’s!

  • May 5th, Italy, 2-4pm
  • May 6th, Sunday Sippers, 11-5pm
  • May 12th, French, 2-4pm
  • May 13th, Sunday Sippers, 11-5pm
  • May 19th, Greece, 2-4pm
  • May 20th, Sunday Sippers, 11-5pm
  • May 26th, Pareja Cellars New Releases, 2-4pm
  • May 27th, Dragon Head Cider, 11-5pm

May 3: First Thursday Tram Tour
11am — 12pm | Washington Park Arboretum
The Washington Park Arboretum’s 13-passenger tram offers monthly tours of the expansive nature park. Riders and participants on the first Thursday tour each month will learn about highlights of the season, new plantings, history of the Arboretum and more as they travel from the Graham Visitors Center to the Pacific Connections Garden. This is an open-air tour that operates year-round, rain or shine. Register here.

May 13: Arboretum Running Tour
8:30am — 10:15am | Washington Park Arboretum
Get some exercise while learning and enjoying the Washington Park Arboretum with the monthly running tour. This month, on May 13th, you can learn about the history and design of the park, check out some choice plants, and learn about the traditional or modern uses of other plants along the running route. The tour is about 3 miles and held at a leisurely pace (11 or 12-minute mile). The price is $25/person.

May 13th: Mother’s Day Sunday Supper
6pm | Volunteer Park Cafe
Celebrate Mother’s Day at the Volunteer Park Cafe with a special dinner from Chef Ericka Burke. The menu includes chilled sweet pea bisque with mint & creme fraiche, a Green Goddess salad, seafood stew with cod, clams, mussels, prawns, gremolata & toast, and finishes with a lovely lemon chèvre cheesecake with berry compote and pistachio crumble. The cost is $45/person, and reservations are required.re.

May 17: Grupo Pesquera Wine Dinner
6:30pm | The Harvest Vine
The monthly wine dinner at The Harvest Vine will feature wines from Alejandro Fernández’s Bodega Pesquera and Bodega Condado de Haza (Ribera del Duero) Dehasa la Granja (Zamora) and El Vínculo (La Mancha). The different wine offerings are paired with an expertly prepared menu from Chef Joey Serquinia. Tickets are $125/person and include the dinner, wine pairings, tax and gratuity.

Today marks the start of the tastiest week of the season- the triumphant return of Seattle Restaurant Week!

We here in Seattle are so blessed with an abundance of fabulous dining options, ranging from simple and inexpensive to exotic, lavish and extraordinary, which usually doesn’t come too cheap. Seattle Restaurant Week is an opportunity for people to explore many incredible restaurants they may not normally spring for by offering fabulous deals you won’t want to miss out on.

Every Sunday through Thursday from April 2nd to April 19th, over 165 restaurants across the city will be offering up $33 three-course dinners, with many also offering $18 two-course lunches as well. These restaurants range in price, type of cuisine and location, giving you tons of options to choose from, in every department!

To maximize your SRW experience, check out a list of participating restaurants here (click on the name of the restaurants to see their location and view their SRW exclusive menu) and be sure to check out The Seattle Times lists of best overall value, best ambiance, neighborhood favorites and SRW newcomers.

If you are going to explore SRW (which we highly recommend you do!), remember to be patient, make reservations and tip your servers well! While SRW is a great opportunity for diners, restaurants do tend to get swamped, and the nicer and more understanding we are as patrons, the better the experience for everyone!

Now, go out and get a healthy dose of YUM, before it’s too late!

Get outside or enjoy some unique tasting events this month in Madison Park and Madison Valley. From wine tastings and Seattle Restaurant Week’s spring rendition, to the Grand Opening of the Loop Trail and Earth Day, April has lots of fun in store for our neighborhood.

April 1: Easter Sunday Supper
6pm | Volunteer Park Cafe
Celebrate Easter at the Volunteer Park Cafe with a special dinner from Chef Ericka Burke. The menu includes Deviled Eggs with chive & smoked trout roe, Little Gem Lettuces, Herb Roasted Chicken with Spring vegetables, Marble potatoes and pan jus, with a Carrot Coconut Cake for dessert. The cost is $45/person, and reservations are required.

April 2-19: Seattle Restaurant Week at Madison Park Eateries
Dinner | Around Madison Park
The spring Seattle Restaurant Week kicks off on Monday, April 2nd at various restaurants around Madison Park! Participating eateries are offering three dinner courses for $33 Sunday through Thursday each week through April 19th (excludes Easter Sunday). Around the neighborhood, the participating restaurants include: Bar Cantinetta, LUC, Red Cow, The Harvest Vine, Vendemmia, and Voila! French Bistro.

Throughout April: Wine Tastings
Varying Times | Madrona Wine Merchants
Madrona Wine Merchants offers wine tastings throughout April for interested or curious wine-o’s!

  • April 1st French Sunday Sippers, 11-5pm
  • April 7th Italy, 2-4pm
  • April 8th South American Sunday Sippers, 11-5pm
  • April 14th Nexus and Frontaura Spain, 2-4pm
  • April 15th Sunday Sippers, 11-5pm
  • April 21st Terre Margaritelli Umbria, 2-4pm
  • April 22nd Sunday Sippers, 11-5pm
  • April 28th Locus New Releases, 2-4pm
  • April 29th Sunday Sippers, 11-5pm

Throughout April: Workshops at City People’s Garden Store
Various Dates | City People’s Garden Store
Each month, the City People’s Garden Store offers a variety of workshops. In April, the workshops offered are as follows:

April 5: First Thursday Tram Tour
11am — 12pm | Washington Park Arboretum
The Washington Park Arboretum’s 13-passenger tram offers monthly tours of the expansive nature park. Riders and participants on the first Thursday tour each month will learn about highlights of the season, new plantings, history of the Arboretum and more as they travel from the Graham Visitors Center to the Pacific Connections Garden. This is an open-air tour that operates year-round, rain or shine. Register here.

April 8: Loop Trail Grand Opening
12pm — 3pm | Washington Park Arboretum
Celebrate the opening of the new Loop Trail on April 8th in a Grand Opening event! There will be fun events and festivities for the whole family, as well as runners and cyclists along the 2-mile loop. The Grand Opening event includes a ‘vine cutting’ ceremony, educational activities for the kiddos, a stroller/bike decoration station, live music, food trucks, and more.

April 19: Bodegas Nexus Y Frontaura Wine Dinner
6:30pm | The Harvest Vine
The monthly wine dinner at The Harvest Vine will host winemaker Loreto Herrero from the bodegas Nexus (Ribera del Duero) and Frontaura (Toro and Rueda). Chef Joey Serquinia is presenting a five-course dinner that’s paired with these amazing wines. Tickets are $125/person and include the dinner, wine pairings, tax and gratuity.

April 21: SCA Earth Day
9am — 1pm | Washington Park Arboretum
The Student Conservation Association (SCA) is hosting 60 projects this Earth Day in honor of its 60th anniversary! As one of those projects, Seattle volunteers will be working to restore the Washington Park Arboretum on Earth Day, April 21st. Volunteer participants should wear long pants and closed-toe shoes and bring a reusable water bottle. Coffee and light snacks will be provided with work gloves and project materials, and an after party will be hosted at 1 p.m. in the Crabapple Meadow with the MOViN’ 92.5 mobile music van and Dante’s Inferno Dogs for purchase. Register here.

After First Viewing Shinto blessing ceremony on March 4th, the Seattle Japanese Garden is now open for the 2018 season. Visitors can now enjoy the Garden in the Washington Park Arboretum from noon until 5 p.m. on Mondays in March, and from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Hours extend until 6 p.m. in April, and 7 p.m. May through August. Admission is $4-8.

The opening ceremony started with representatives from Seattle Parks and Recreation offering a brief welcome to guests, followed by remarks from representatives of the Arboretum Foundation; the partner organizations that operate the Garden. Then, Reverend Koichi Barrish from the Tsubaki Grand Shrine proceeded with the First Viewing blessing ceremony.

As the first religion practiced in Japan (according to the Reverend), Shintoism is a very old practice based on the belief that spirit animates all living things. Therefore, this First Viewing blessing is meant to honor the spirit living in the garden’s water, trees and stones, which is known as kami.

By chanting and using an altar of offerings, the Reverend purified the surrounding energy. He asked visitors to unite with him in the ceremony by bowing during special parts of the ritual. There were three guests of honor who offered a camellia branch called tamagushi, to bless the new year. After all guests were given the opportunity to make a wish, Rev. Barrish splashed aromatic sake in four directions to conclude the ceremony.

“May the ceremony bring good fortune to the garden and everyone who visits it this year,” said Skip Vonckx, Japanese Garden Committee Chair, in his opening remarks.