Early Bird Entertainment: Finding Urban Fun That Doesn't Burn the Midnight Oil

Seattle no doubt boasts an exciting buzz any time of year, thanks to the city's multitude of thriving scenes–from dining and sports to music and the arts. Whatever your preference and whatever your taste, this town will surely find a way to keep you entertained. The days can be spent wandering the racks at Seattle shops, the gallery walls at city museums or the trails of parks, beaches and mountains that populate this region of the country. 

When the sun sets, however, entertainment options often shift to cozy indoor spaces where delicious dishes and creative cocktails rule the show. Visitors enjoy soaking in the flavors of the Northwest in bustlings restaurants, coffee shops and bars, and afterwards, they choose between activities from concerts and movies to plays and improv shows. 

While late-night options can be found, it's perhaps easier to stumble upon entertainment choices that start early and end early, meaning you're in bed before too late (and consequently refreshed to take on the city again early the next day). This roundup offers suggestions on where to find fun before the 10 o'clock hour; think early bird comedy productions, music showcases and restaurants where the low-key vibe is conducive to being home before the wee hours. Cheers!



This beloved Ballard nightspot features a smorgasbord of impressive music on a weekly basis, and performances range from zydeco, bluegrass and country to rock, folk, jazz and beyond. In addition to great live music, the Tractor also offers a...  Read More



This small divey-hipster music venue slash Flying Squirrel Pizza joint is a favorite among locals for the comfortable atmosphere, ample seating, decently priced covers, and quality of shows by up-and-coming but still obscure rock bands. The...  Read More

Northwest Film Forum
Photo courtesy of Northwest Film Forum


Northwest Film Forum began life in 1995 as a filmmakers' collective focusing on post-production by and for local filmmakers. As the organization expanded, it started showing films, first in conjunction with the historic Grand Illusion Cinema in...  Read More

The Triple Door
Photo courtesy of Angela Sterling


Located in Seattle's historic Mann Building, this intimate and sophisticated award-winning music and dinner theater occupies the renovated space that formerly housed the Embassy Theater, originally a 1920's vaudeville house. The Mainstage,...  Read More



Located at a thriving Pike Street intersection in Capitol Hill, this music club hosts awesome punk and indie-rock concerts and has attracted bands like Black Mountain, Vampire Weekend, Buckethead and The Reconteurs. The space was originally...  Read More

Rhein Haus
Photo courtesy of Geoffrey Smith


As of last year, a little piece of Germany has graced the ever-evolving 12th Avenue corridor in Capitol Hill (and as of this August, the bustling venue got a boost with a brand-new name). Rhein Haus (formerly known as Von Trapp's) reigns as...  Read More



A favorite day or nighttime haunt of the West Seattle crowd, this friendly brewpub offers a casual setting for mingling with friends or enjoying a bite of pub grub with the family. The spacious seating area is marked by its rustic red brick...  Read More

Pioneer Square


Set literally underground, Seattle's oldest comedy club may be short on atmosphere, but it's long on laughs. Headliners are often nationally or regionally known, and many big names graced the stage during their younger years, including Jerry...  Read More

Teatro ZinZanni
Photo courtesy of Teatro ZinZanni


There's no doubt that your experience at Teatro ZinZanni will be just that – an experience. The main event is part circus, part dinner theater. A three-hour tour de force, the evening combines innovative and thrilling feats by a troupe of...  Read More



Looking for some fast-paced laughs? Head to the Atlas Theatre in Fremont (right off Fremont Avenue, amidst an array of restaurants, shops and bars), where ComedySportz takes improv comedy into the sports arena. Two teams of comedians duke it out...  Read More


Meet Corinne Whiting

Corinne hails from the other Washington, where she caught the travel bug early on. Corinne studied abroad in Strasbourg, France (undergrad) and in Edinburgh, Scotland (graduate school). She's...  More About Corinne