So mom and dad are here to meet your friends, find your bong, and see the sights. Whether you love, like, or loathe your parents, here are a few ways to spend the weekend.
You Love Your Parents.
Talk them out of going to the Space Needle. Yes, it spins. Yes, it's got a view. Yes, it's fun to throw pennies off the observation deck. But everything else about it sucks—and you can get the same view with the Space Needle from Kerry Park on Queen Anne.
Instead of being held hostage by bad food 600 feet up, tell your parents the Needle's closed for retrofitting and head to the Center House at Seattle Center. Grab a hot dog from Frankfurter and take a relaxing ride on the Wild River log ride, or take the monorail to Westlake and walk to the cheese and magic shops at Pike Place Market. But if your parents insist on going somewhere schmancy with a view, take them to Canlis (2576 Aurora Ave N, 283-3313), Ray's (6049 Seaview Ave NW, 789-3770), or Salty's on Alki (1936 Harbor Ave SW, 937-1600). They're paying, right?
Got some time to kill after dinner? Old people love bookstores, and your parents are old, so take 'em down to Pioneer Square (the less icky part) and pay Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle's most happenin' and most beloved independent bookstore, a visit (101 S Main St, 624-6600).
There's an old episode of Kolchak: The Night Stalker where he chases a vampire through underground Seattle, which looks like a subterranean metropolis made out of plywood and black paint. Seattle Underground Tour isn't nearly as exciting, and there aren't any vampires, but it's a good way to kill time during a visit to Pioneer Square.
How about a walk in Discovery Park—it's accessible, off the beaten path, and a great place to walk and smoke weed. If your parents are hep, or were alive during the '60s, chances are you can get them to blaze up with you. If your family's a bunch of squares, or you're worried they'll smoke all of your weed, the three-mile loop trail still has some great views.
You Like Your Parents.
Okay, nothing too fancy. You don't want to give your parents a reason to come back anytime soon.
Head down to the International District for a pork-filled dim sum breakfast. Pick a restaurant, any restaurant—they're all good. Then head north to the Seattle Art Museum (1300 First Ave, 654-3100) for some culture, art, whatever. Parents love that crap. Then jump back in the car and go rent a pedal boat at Green Lake (7351 E Green Lake Dr N, 527-0171). Yes, you'll look like a tool, but the boats are kind of fun. If your parents get too obnoxious, you can ditch them on Duck Island.
After the pedal boats it's time for a pub crawl on the Ave. You won't have to tell your parents about your newly acquired credit-card debt or your third abortion if your dad is too busy reliving his frat years drinking out of pitchers at Dante's (5300 Roosevelt Way NE, 525-1300) and your mom's getting felt up by a lacrosse player named Chad who's young enough to be your brother. Everyone's a winner!
You Wish You'd Never Been Born.
Vengeance is a dish best served slathered in spite sauce.
When your parents call and ask where they should stay, give them the name of the skeeziest-sounding motel on Aurora. They'll be up all night listening to hooker fights and gunshots. Tell your parents that Aurora's "the good part of town," and they'll never, ever come back.
First thing in the morning, head for Tacoma to check out the Chihuly exhibit at Tacoma's Museum of Glass. It's an interminably long car ride—quality time! you can visit the whole way!—but socking mom and dad with a faceful of paper mill is payback for forcing you to learn the oboe. Then haul ass back to downtown Seattle. Tell the 'rents you're going to run in and use the bathroom at the Century Square Building at Third Avenue and Pine Street. Slip in the back door, out the front, and leave them waiting for you at the most dangerous intersection in town.
Bonus: If your parents live in a gated community, they'll see black people for the first time! Double bonus: If it's your lucky day, you may collect your inheritance early!
Then take mom and dad to the Space Needle. As soon as you get off the elevator, excuse yourself to go take a handful of mushrooms, then join your parents at their table, order the most expensive things on the menu, and then tell your parents that you're gay. Even if you're not.