$15 or less: Weekend listings for the budget-conscious culture lover

Swedish pancakes, Bingo Karaoke, Salon of Shame and more. (Okay, bingo will run you $16.)
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Swedish pancakes

Swedish pancakes, Bingo Karaoke, Salon of Shame and more. (Okay, bingo will run you $16.)

There are times when I make note of some distant event that I definitely want to attend only to miss it because I forget or because it sells out way ahead of time. To save you this frustration, here are some regularly occurring, one-of-a-kind happenings to keep on your radar, a few more so than others as they can sell out weeks in advance.

Pancake breakfast at the Swedish Cultural Center
Swedish Cultural Center, First Sunday of every month, $9 for adults
Once a month, the Swedish Cultural Center invites us all – regardless of how many "v's" are in your name – to partake of music, dancing, and, of course, Swedish pancakes. (Think crepes with an ethereal lightness).

Bingo Karaoke
Greenwood Senior Center, Last Friday of every month, 7 p.m., $16/general
Hosted by Mae of Mae’s Phinney Ridge Café, this benefit for the Greenwood Senior Center happens on the last Friday of every month. Kegs of craft beer (donated by local breweries) and tater tot boats keep you going if, for some reason, the surprisingly great Johnny Cash covers and the potential to win $180 doesn’t. Tickets go on sale the first Monday of the month – and sell out almost immediately.

The Moth
Fremont Abbey, First Thursday of every month, 8 p.m., $8 general admission
The night is dedicated to storytelling.Ten 10 locals share a five minute tale, all around a particular theme.This Seattle edition of the National Public Radio event is hosted by the loveable and hilarious local writer Lindy West. Tickets go on sale a week before and sell out fast.

Tours of The Paramount
The Paramount Theatre, First Saturday of every month, 10 a.m., FREE
Seattle Theatre Group volunteers (many with a particular area of passion and expertise) lead tours of this gorgeous theatre, giving its many ornate details the attention they deserve by the light of day.

Chop Suey, Last Friday of every month, 9 p.m. start, $5
I’ve talked about it before, and my love for it remains strong. Soul music (rare 45s at that), awkward dancers and an excuse to trot out any vaguely fifties item of clothing hanging in the closet. Fun for non-dancers too.

Art Attack
Georgetown, Second Saturday of every month
Georgetown may be a little off the beaten path, but Second Saturday is worth the trip to see this formerly industrial, quirky neighborhood at its best. Meander through artists’ spaces at the Old Rainier Bottling Plant, ogle vintage goods at the darling Georgetown Trailer Park Mall and then visit Calamity Jane’s or the new Machine House Brewery for a snort.

Salon of Shame
Theatre Off Jackson, Second Tuesday of every month, 8 p.m., $12
Adults bravely read from their childhood writings, selflessly reliving these awkward, painful times for our benefit. The night is warm and welcoming, surprisingly heartfelt and always entertaining. Alcohol is available. Tickets go on sale the third Sunday of each month at 8 p.m. – and sell out quickly.

Movies on King’s Patio
King’s, Every Monday on the patio, FREE
A truly awesome happy hour, either al fresco or within the taxidermy-laden walls of this Ballard branch of Linda Derschang’s empire (Linda’s, Oddfellows). $10 microbrew pitchers from 4-7p.m. And every Monday, they show a movie! A summertime must.

Seattle Arts and Lectures Series
These vary but are FREE the day-of with a student ID
Seattle Arts and Lectures hosts an impressive lineup of lecturers and artists: Joan Didion, Al Gore and Miranda July this season alone. The lectures can cost a pretty penny, but they’re free on the day-of with a student ID. Last fall I saw Mark Bittman. From a box seat. For nothing!

Mimosas with Mama
The Grill on Broadway, Every Sunday at 1 p.m., $10, includes your first mimosa
Mimosas with Mama is Seattle’s self-proclaimed, longest-running and best drag brunch. And it delights me to live in a place where there’s competition. Enjoy brunch food and soak up the ever-hysterical legend and, of course, the mimosas.

Wine Tastings, FREE
Every Saturday around Seattle
A roster of local wine shops host tastings every weekend, including Portalis, McCarthy and Schiering, Wine World and DeLaurenti. Check out individual websites for details, but rest assured that there is wine to be drunk, local winesellers to support and lessons to be learned about the wonderful world of the grape.

Little Big Show
Neptune Theatre, times and dates vary, $15
A collaboration between KEXP, Starbucks and Seattle Theater Group, each show raises money for a different local nonprofit. Recent headliners include First Aid Kit and Father John Misty. Catch angel-voiced Jim James (of My Morning Jacket) at the Neptune on May 15th.


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