Seattle Spotlight: Art Walks

While our Calendar of Events is a great place to find events and activities all year long, some popular Seattle events require additional explanation. As Seattle weather becomes cooler and Autumn quarter begins, there are many opportunities for students to explore all that Seattle offers.


In 1981, Seattle art dealers printed handout maps and painted footsteps in front of their galleries to attract residents and tourists. With this, the first Art Walk in the United States was born. Art walks are community events where local artists and art dealers display their art to the public, who can view it for free. These events, which typically happen every month, are important occasions to encourage community engagement and appreciation of the arts.

  1. Fremont Art Walk

    Every first Friday from 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm. Located at Fremont Ave. N. and N. 35th St.

    fremont-art-walk-300x210The Fremont Art Walk brings Fremont shops, galleries, and restaurants together to celebrate creativity. You can experience many forms of art – from oil paintings to musical performances – while you walk through the famous Fremont neighborhood.

  2. First Thursday Seattle Art Walk

    Every first Thursday from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm. Located at 102 First Ave.

    seattle-first-thursday-art-walkPioneer Square has over 35 art venues to visit for free on the first Thursday of every month, and many restaurants to grab a bite to eat. In addition, Pioneer Square’s Occidental Square contains a number of sculptures for visitors to enjoy any day of the month.

  3. West Seattle Art Walk

    Every second Thursday from 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm. Located at California Ave. S.W. and S.W. Alaska St.


    Local artists, galleries, and businesses come together on the second Thursday of each month in West Seattle to display and sell art. Here, you can view beautiful pottery from Washington artists and listen to local musicians.

  4. BLITZ Capitol Hill Art Walk

    Every second Thursday from 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm. Located at Broadway and E. Pike St.


Visit one of Seattle’s most famous neighborhoods and enjoy various mediums of art and artistic performances. Capitol Hill Art Walk features theater groups, art by prolific Seattle artists, and access to a variety of restaurants and coffee shops.

Seattle is an artistic city with a strong sense of community, and Seattle Art Walks are a fantastic way to explore Seattle neighborhoods, interact with locals, and enjoy work by talented individuals. You can learn more and access a list of all neighborhood arts walks here, and find more Seattle events using our Calendar of Events.

Photo Credits: Rich Schleifer, FIUTS, Seattle Artists, West Seattle Art Walk, Capitol Hill Art Walk

American as Apple Pie

Hot dogs, milkshakes, and grilled cheese are all iconic American foods, but none are quite “as American as apple pie.” A pie is a baked dish made up of a pastry dough exterior that is filled with sweet or savory ingredients. However, not all pies are made equal. Pie was initially a practical dish because it required less flour to make than bread, making it the ideal, cheap, and filling dish for hungry immigrants. As colonists (and their pie recipes) spread towards the West, variations developed and came to represent different areas of the United States.

In Northern states, Native Americans taught settlers how to extract sap from maple trees, and pumpkin pies sweetened with maple syrup became very popular in this area. Maine, which boasted a plentiful blueberry harvest each year, claimed blueberry pie as their signature dessert. The Midwest, with its abundance of dairy farms, specialized in cheese and cream pies. Southern states indulged in various kinds of “chess pie” which was filled with rich buttermilk or cream, sugar, egg, and sometimes bourbon.

Today, pies of all kinds are enjoyed throughout the States, especially during American holidays like Thanksgiving and Fourth of July. If you haven’t tasted pie yet, it is a classic (and delicious!) part of American heritage that you need to try at least once while in the States. With Independence Day coming up, you will likely find pies on display in any major American supermarket, but Seattle also has a slew of specialty pie shops if you want a taste of the traditional homemade goods. Here are a few of the most popular:


Pie Bar Ballard


This family-owned business has a weekly-rotating menu of sweet and savory pies as well as craft cocktails and ciders to compliment! Check out their unique selection of treats here.

A la Mode Pies


“Quite simply, exceptional pie – the kind Mom would be proud to serve.” – Chris Porter (Owner)

This hand-baked pie shop has expanded from its original location in West Seattle to open a second in Phinney Ridge across from the Woodland Park Zoo. Their 9-inch pies are made-to-order with the fruit filling sourced from local, organic farms. They also offer pie-making classes on Tuesdays and delivery for orders consisting of of 5 or more pies. Explore their website to browse their flavors, order online, and check out their extended summer hours.




As its name would suggest, this is a one-stop-shop for all of your pie needs. Baked fresh throughout the day, each one (meat pies, vegetarian pies, sweet pies, savory pies, morning pies, late- night pies) is individually sized which ensures freshness and the perfect portion. Their menu changes daily in rotation so you can expect a new treat for your taste buds with each visit!



Pie-history Credit:


Celebrate 4th of July this Summer!

Independence Day is one of the biggest American holidays during the summer. Traditional activities include having a BBQ, eating apple pie, watching fireworks, and wearing red white and blue. Even if you don’t identify as American, it’s a fun and easy holiday to celebrate, and there are so many ways to get involved around Seattle! Here are some of the many activities going on in Seattle this July 4th.

1.Seafair Summer Fourth

This free, family-friendly fair takes place at Gasworks Park, only about a 20 minute walk from West campus! There will be food vendors, live entertainment, and “All-American games” such as pie-eating contests and sack-races during the day, with a spectacular firework show after the sun sets over Lake Union.

Event Website:


2. Family Fourth of July, Seatac 

This festival takes place all day at Angle Lake Park and features a free water spray park with spray nozzles for children to run through, carnival rides and bouncers, and a fantastic firework show at night.

For more Info:

3. Burien’s Fourth of July Parade

This parade is one of the oldest and most highly attended in King County! Beginning at 3pm and running for about 2 hours, this parade features floats, pirates, marching bands, and so much more! For more information on how to get involved, visit their website:

Image result for burien independence day parade

4. Kent Fourth of July Splash

This unique festival features traditional American games from noon-5pm such as pie-eating contests and T-Bird puck and shoot. Kent also provides free shuttle transportation and parking close to Lake Meridian, and of course, no Fourth of July would be complete without a fireworks finale!

Event website:

Holidays in April and How You Can Get Involved

We hope that you have been enjoying your courses and life so far at UW and in Seattle. As you are more introduced to American cultures during your study at UW, we want to introduce some April holidays and tell you how you can get involved!


Date: Sunday, April 16, 2017.

WHAT IS IT? Easter starts as a Christian holiday to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. It is also now celebrated around the world to welcome the spring. The celebration always involves different activities with Easter bunny, Easter eggs, and other Springtime creatures and themes.


  • “Beat the Bunny 5K Run & Walk” with your friends on Saturday, April 8th, 10am at Redmond Central Connector Park. Adults who are 15 or older need to pay $20
  • “2017 Bunny Party” on Saturday, April 8th, 11am to 6pm at Ugly Baby and La Ru (1430 Western Ave, Seattle). This is an egg hunt activity down Western Avenue. You can participate in sidewalk art, color pages, and pet bunnies. Cost: $5 to $10.easter-e1427190346683


Date: Saturday, April 22, 2017

WHAT IS IT? Earth Day is an annual event celebrated around the world to demonstrate support for environmental protection. In 1968, Morton Hilbert and the U.S. Public Health Services organized an environmental conference for students to hear from scientists about the effects of environmental degradation on human health. This was the beginning of Earth Day.


  • “RainWise 101 Workshop” on April 17, 2017 at 6-7:30pm at Montlake Library, 2401 24th Ave E, Seattle WA 98112. At this free workshop, you will learn about applying for a rebate from Seattle Public Utilities and King County for up to 100 percent of the cost of your rain garden or cistern.
  • “Wild and Scenic Film Festival” on April 20, 2017 at 5:30pm at 511 Queen Anne Ave N, Seattle, WA. You can enjoy multiple film sessions, happy hour, and a drawing activity at the Wild and Scenic Film Festival, featuring environmental and adventure films (Cost is $30). 
  • You can find more interesting activities here


Date: Friday, April 28, 2017

WHAT IS IT? Arbor Day is a holiday in which people are encouraged to plant and care for trees. Lots of countries around the world are celebrating this holiday to educate about the importance of trees.


  • Plant a tree!!! You can go on for instructions on how to start planting a tree.


Besides these well-known April holidays, there are some “weird” and interesting holidays.

4. National Siblings Day 

Date: Monday, April 10, 2017

WHAT IS IT? It is a holiday recognized annually in some parts of the United States to honor the relationship of siblings.

5. Blah Blah Blah Day 

Date: Monday, April 17, 2017

WHAT IS IT? It is a day to do all the things everyone has been nagging you about!

For the complete April holiday calendar, check it out here. This calendar also includes some holidays in other countries.

Cover Photo: Credit to Dennis Wise.

April Events You Don’t Want to Miss

As a student living in Seattle, you never want to miss the most beautiful season of the year: the spring. You can go hiking in the national park, see the cherry blossoms on campus, and have a picnic with your friends at Gas Works Park. In addition, there are lots of interesting events and activities happening around Seattle in April with thousands of people participating. Let’s see what is happening in April and be part of the community!

1. The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

Time: April 1-30, 2017

The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival was inaugurated in 1984 by the Mount Vernon Chamber of Commerce to attract more visitors to see the tulips in Skagit Valley. Today, the festival is composed of a variety of fun events including art shows, gala celebrations, concerts, tours of local shellfish, and cheese operations etc. Two major events during this period are Downtown Mount Vermon Street Fair and the Kiwainis Salmon Barbecue.  The tulips will bloom depending on their own schedule during the festival. Don’t worry if you can’t make it on the weekend when the tulips started blooming!


2. Seattle Restaurant Week

Time: April 2-6 and 9-13, 2017

Seattle Restaurant Week is a ten-day celebration of food in King County that always takes place in April and October. The dining celebration features over 165 restaurants in King County. All the participating restaurants will offer a three-course dinner for $32 (some restaurants even offer $18 deal) with an appetizer, entrée, and dessert with at least three options under each course. It is absolutely a great opportunity to have some awesome Seattle food!


Seattle Restaurant Week, The Seattle Times


3. National Park Week

Time: April 15-16, and 22-23, 2017

National Park Week is America’s largest celebration of national heritage. As you have read from our previous posts, Washington State has lots of resources of national parks. So why don’t you take the advantage of the resources you have, discover and make connections with the nature? During these days, all National Park Services that charge an entrance fee will offer free admission to everyone. The fee waiver will include entrance fees, commercial tour fees, and transportation entrance fees.


Credit to Pinterest


4. Seattle Cheery Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival

Time: April 21-23, 2017

The Festival first started when Japan’s former Prime Minister, Takeo Miki, sent 1,000 cherry trees to Seattle on May 8, 1976 in commemoration of the long friendship between people of Japan and Washing State. The Festival is free with beautiful sakura, cherry tree, and traditional Japanese music and dances.


5. National Film Festival for Talented Youth (NFFTY) 

Time: April 27-30, 2017

NFFTY is the world’s largest film festival for emerging directors. It is the premier showcase for young directors who are 24 and younger from all over the world to express their voices and their understanding of the world. The festival includes film screenings, filmmaking workshops, panels, concerts, and a gala opening night.


There are lots of events going on our campus as well. Make sure to check out our Campus Calendar regularly to keep updated about what is going on in our school! Go Huskies!

All About Halloween

Halloween is celebrated in America every year on October 31. 

This is a fun holiday that is celebrated by people of all ages! It is typical  to dress up. People will dress up as witches, princesses, superheroes and more!


IELP Students dress up for the Mid Quarter Costume Party!

Little kids will dress up and walk around the neighborhood trick-or -treating. Trick-or-treating is when you ring on people’s doorbells and say trick-or-treat to receive candy.


There are many Halloween themed parties complete with pumpkins, skeletons, witches and black cats.


Many people carve pumpkins. At night, people will put candles in them. These are called Jack-O’-Lanterns. Sometime you will see them in front of people’s houses at night – there are even pumpkin carving contests! Many people will make funny faces, scary faces, or even realistic faces on the pumpkins!

halloween-hero-1-aHappy Halloween!

Visit Capitol Hill

Capitol Hill, located just south of the University District where the University of Washington’s Seattle campus is located is a neighborhood full of culture! It has many great places to eat, relax, and encounter new things! See below for some suggestions for where to visit, eat, and have fun!

Volunteer Park


This sculpture is called “Black Sun”

Also home to the Seattle Asian Art Museum, Volunteer Park is a great place to have a picnic and enjoy the outdoors. It has a water tower build over 100 years ago in 1906! You can walk up to the top and see a great view of Seattle. Volunteer Park is is where you can find the Volunteer Park Conservatory, which is open Tuesday thru Sunday from 10am-4pm. Tickets for the conservatory are FREE every FIRST Thursday and Saturday of each month. See more here.


This is the Volunteer Park Conservatory

Elliott Bay Book Company


The interior of the Elliott Bay Book Company

Founded in 1973, the Elliott Bay Book Company was originally located in Pioneer Square until it moved to it’s current location in Capitol Hill! It is a great local bookstore that everyone should visit!

Check out the events they have this month here!

Hello Robin


Hello Robin serves local ice cream from Molly Moon’s

Hello Robin is a bakery which bakes cookies fresh each day, with flavors such as Chocolate Chip, Birthday Cake, Mackles’more, and more! They specialize in ice cream sandwiches made from these cookies, with Molly Moon’s ice cream sandwiched between two cookies! You can visit their website here.

Tacos Chukis


Tacos Chukis is great! If you can find it.

Tacos Chukis is an excellent taqueria (a mexican restaurant which specializes in tacos) however it can be difficult to find. The prices though are on the lower end of many restaurants which are located in Capitol Hill! This taqueria is located upstairs in the Broadway Alley.



This drive has several locations throughout Seattle

Dick’s is located on Broadway, like many other restaurants in Capitol Hill. It was founded in Seattle in the 1950s, as part of a fast food boom that was sweeping across the country. It is one of Seattle’s favorite traditional burger joints! It is important to note that this restaurant only accepts cash as payment. You can visit their website here.

Century Ballroom


The Century Ballroom hosts all sorts of dancing!

Established in 1997, Century Ballroom promotes social dancing of all kinds! They host many events such as Bachata dancing, with a drop in lesson before. They also offer classes. Please note that many classes and events are only offered to those 21 and up.

Learn more here.

Dancing Feet

On Broadway, a major street in Capitol Hill where you can find a lot of places to eat there is an interesting art installment. The Broadway Dance Steps are bronze shoes in the ground, numbered to allow people to easily dance the rumba for instance without ever having to do it before! Read more about the history of the art installation here!



The steps are numbered so you can dance!

Next time you’re in Capitol Hill make sure to check these out!

Woodland Park Zoo & How to Visit Yourself

Last weekend IELP Student Workers took a group of IELP students to the zoo! Now that it is sunnier and it is getting warmer, more and more animals are outside to see! At the zoo you can see animals like lions, tapirs, gorillas, wolves, all sorts of birds, snakes, insects, and much more!

fall colors, leaves, foliage

During the summer time you can see giraffes!

Located in near Greenlake in Seattle, the Woodland Park Zoo is a great place to go with family and friends! The zoo opens at 9AM and closes at 6PM during the summer months, it closes at 4PM during the winter months.


The bears are always cool to watch

How to Get There:

From UW Seattle Campus: take bus #44 towards Ballard/Wallingford. Get off the bus at 46th Street and Phinney Ave N. From there it is a quick 3-5 minute walk to the West Entrance where the penguins are!

Zoo map

The bus route for bus 44 to Woodland Park zoo

From Downtown: Take bus #5 north-bound from downtown to the zoo’s West Entrance at Phinney Ave. N. and N. 55th St.


During the summer (April 1-September 30) tickets are:

Adult (13 -64 years old): $19.95

Child (3- 12 years old): $12.25

Toddler (0-2 years old): FREE

you can find more information about tickets here.


There are several ticket discounts you can get too!

Rainy Day Discount: especially during fall, winter, and spring there are a number of rainy days. You can check here to see if the discount is available if it looks rainy outside. With the discount you can get up to 50% off you ticket!

Transit Discount: If you take the bus to the zoo you can get $2 off your ticket! Just show your Orca Card/UPASS or a bus ticket when you buy the tickets!

Take a look at the zoo map here before you go!


A Humbolt penguin at the Woodland Park Zoo



Free First Thursdays!

On the first Thursday of the month many museums in Seattle are FREE!

Here is a list of some museums and links to see more. You can find more free Seattle museums  here.

The Center for Wooden Boats


The center for wooden boats is a maritime museum where you can rent boats and go sailing or rowing! You can also enroll in sailing classes, woodworking classes, boat building classes for kids and much more!

The Center for Wooden Boats is located right next to MOHAI – another interesting museum which is free on the first Thursday of the month!

Admissions is ALWAYS free, however rentals may have some fees or suggested donations.

First Thursday Art Walk

First Thursday art walk takes place every month in Pioneer Square from 6PM to 8PM. This art walk is the first art walk in the USA! Many art galleries in the area will open their doors to introduce their new exhibits and artists to the public, there are also  public art installations between galleries as well.

Henry Art Gallery


The Henry Art Gallery is located on the UW campus right in front of the George Washington Statue.

Admission is ALWAYS free for UW students (with their husky card) and children.

Admission on the first Thursday and every Sunday is free for everyone!

Burke Museum


Like the Henry Art Gallery, the Burke Museum is located on the UW campus! The Burke Museum exhibits objects that demonstrate the natural and cultural heritage of Washington State such as plants, animals, and Northwest Native art.

Admission is ALWAYS free for UW students (with their husky card).

Admission is free for everyone on the first Thursday of the month!

Washington Park Arboretum


The Washington Park Arboretum (a type of botanical garden) is FREE for the everyone. If you’re interested there are tours on Sundays starting at 1:00PM at the Graham Visitors Center. Look at the schedule here.

The Washington Park also includes a play field and the Seattle Japanese Garden. You can get to this park from campus by a short bus ride on either bus 43 or bus 48 headed south.

Interested in the parks in the Seattle area? Look at some more cool parks here!


Sweets in Seattle

This year Valentine’s Day will be on Sunday, February 14th. In the U.S. many people send Valentine’s Day cards to one another in order to celebrate. Many people also will buy chocolate for their loved ones. Some other will prefer to go out and eat with them instead – both in restaurants and sweet shops. You can read more about Valentine’s Day here.


Molly Moon’s ice cream is made from local ingredients

Luckily, here in Seattle we have numerous stores and shops which sell chocolate, pastries, ice cream, and other sweets to satisfy any sugar craving. Molly Moon’s is an ice cream shop which makes ice cream primarily from ingredients found in the Pacific Northwest. While they always have traditional flavors such as Strawberry, Chocolate, Vanilla, Mint, and Coffee they also serve some unusual flavors like Earl Grey and Honey Lavender. If you’ve tried all of the flavors already don’t worry! Molly Moon’s switches things up with their seasonal flavors which are currently Meyer Lemon, Cardamom Goat Fro-yo, Vegan ‘Scout’ Mint, and Organic Lemon Sorbet.


Some unique flavors from Molly Moon’s

If the line is too long at Molly Moon’s, pop over to Wallingford and visit another popular sweet shop: Fainting Goat Gelato. Gelato is the Italian word for ‘ice cream’- traditionally it has a lower fat content than ice cream. Here the gelato is handcrafted and the flavors change each day! Some interesting flavors here include: Avocado, Salted Caramel, Stracciatella, Nutella, Tiramisu, Coconut, and more! Find more information here


The Fainting Goat serves gelato!

If ice cream isn’t your favorite dessert, head over to University Village and stop by the Trophy Cupcakes. Each day has a different selection of cupcakes! Some of the cupcakes they offer there are: Red Velvet (there is also a gluten free option), Raspberry Macaroon, Strawberry Lemonade, Chocolate Chip Mint, and many others. See more at here. Trophy Cupcakes also has locations in Wallingford Center and Pacific Place.


A cupcake outside U Vill’s Trophy Cupcake shop

Yet another chocolate location in Seattle is our very own Theo’s Chocolate! It is the first organic fair trade-certified cocoa producer in the US. Visit Fremont to either take a tour of the chocolate factory or to visit their gift shop! They sell chocolate bars and caramels. Some interesting flavors they have are orange and chocolate, ginger and chocolate, milk chocolate etc. Seasonal Flavors like Cinnamon Crunch are here specifically for Valentine’s Day! Learn more here.


Delicious chocolates from Theo’s

Have a wonderful weekend and let us know about your favorite food shop in Seattle!