PAX West: A Local's Guide to Seattle, Part 3 (Activities & Events)
Welcome to Part 3 of 3 in our Local's Guide to Seattle! As Seattle residents and seasoned PAX exhibitors/attendees, we wanted to provide a general overview of the city and convention along with some tips and recommendations.
Doing things outside of the con can be difficult when almost everyone sticks to the convention wherever possible. When you've invested time and money into attending a convention (flight, hotel, badges, etc.) it can be hard to justify stepping away.
That said, sometimes it's nice to take a break from the PAX madness and explore what else is in the city you're in. Here are a few options for stuff to do and places to visit if you have time:
- Pike Place Market
- While not any less crowded than the convention, it's still a great destination to try food, pick up gifts for friends/family, or just sightsee. Check out some of our favorite stops: Mee Sum (Taiwanese food and bubble tea), Bottega Italiana (gelato), Golden Age Collectibles (comics and pop culture), and Gem Haven (crystals and jewelry).
- Seattle's Ferris Wheel
- If you're not afraid of heights, head down to the waterfront for the arcade, ice cream, and cotton candy, and finish it off with a ride on the Great Wheel. In our opinion, the best time to do it is at night when the wheel and the entire city is lit up.
- Smith Tower followed by drinks at Temperance
- Rather than going all the way to the Space Needle, head over to Smith Tower and take the elevator ride up to get views of the city that are just as good. Temperance is a bar located on the top floor that also serves non-alcoholic drinks and great food.
- International District
- Uwajimaya and its adjoining bookstore, Kinokuniya are a great stop to pick up gifts for both friends/family and yourself! There are tons of great restaurants in the International District, and many of them are located in the food court attached to Uwajimaya. Be sure to try the cream puffs at Beard Papa's!
If you are interested in mingling with other PAX attendees and exhibitors, here are some PAX-specific events and parties worth checking out:
- ID@Xbox Open House (free)
- This annual event is held at the Microsoft campus, located up north in Redmond. However, parking is free for the event, and there will be complimentary buses picking up attendees from the WSCC. If you are interested in getting a first look at some games before PAX begins, talking to devs, and have a chance for cool prizes, this event is well worth the trip!
- The MIX Seattle (free)
- This offsite event is a great chance to play some unreleased indie games and chat with devs and industry folks. The MIX is a full day game developer showcase, made by and for indie game devs and enthusiasts. There will also be a chance at winning some great prizes!
- Seattle Indies Expo (free)
- Want to support some indies and check out cool games? From the Eventbrite page: "SIX (Seattle Indies Expo) is a one-day exhibition for independent game developers to get together, socialize, and show off their stuff. At SIX, you'll get to spend quality time with some of the friendliest and most down-to-earth devs around."
- Pink Party ($15)
- One of the best options for a queer-themed dance party, with great music, cosplay and a ton of fun. From the Eventbrite page: "It's back, and it's bigger and better than ever. 10 years in the making, it's Pink Party X! Bring your PAX party to our party, the biggest and best queer geek party during PAX West. You don’t even need a PAX badge to come! All of the queer gamers, geeks, and nerds will be there."
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer Trivia Night ($5)
- Looking for something to do on Monday night? Head over to the Crocodile in Belltown for BTVS trivia and good drinks!
Have any recommendations for cool stuff you've done while visiting Seattle? Let us know!